Joern Neumann is the 2WD Buggy Champion of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby after a faultless drive in the third A-Main secured the Team Durango driver the overall win in Germany and with it a second buggy title for the German ace ahead of US Champion Dustin Evans and European Champion Lee Martin.
Having made hard work of the opening two A-Mains, Top Qualifier Neumann, who at the preceding round in Belgium became the first ever EOS Champion when he claimed the 4WD Buggy title early, made up for his earlier errors with a clean tone to tone victory ahead of Team Losi Racing’s Darren Bloomfield and Durango team-mate Hupo Hönigl. Commenting on his win Neumann said he aired on the side of caution for leg 3 opting to ‘drive safe’ rather than fast and with no mistakes the win ‘was easy in the end’. The fastest man all weekend in Dortmund in terms of outright pace that safe driving was reflected on the time sheets as for the first time his Speed Passion powered DEX210 didn’t record the fastest lap, that honour instead going to Evans. Delighted to do the championship double, the World Championship runner-up said he is already looking forward to next year’s EOS and to defending his titles. With the buggy classes sewn up he is now focused on doing the hat trick this afternoon as he chases the 4WD Short Course championship crown.
Evans, who only managed 5th in what was a chaotic race behind Neumann, said that having missed the opening round of the series in the Czech Republic it was always going to be an uphill battle to try and win the title so he had to be happy with taking the runners-up spot. Making the podium in both races he contested, he was very happy to have been as competitive as he was considering that the astro turf and carpet surfaces were alien to him. Planning to test on a local carpet touring car track back in the US, he said he will be better prepared for next year’s series which will expand to four rounds, two of which the organisers are striving to run on dirt.
Making his EOS debut, and his first buggy outing in seven months, Rheinard was very happy to take the second step on the podium at the Intermodellbau Hobby Show event which has given great exposure to the sport with very large crowds of visitors enjoying the action. Feeling a pass by Bloomfield in the third A-Main, which destroyed his race, was a little rough, the 3-time reigning Touring Car World Champion said he never expected to end up on the podium in 2WD so overall he was very happy with the result. Asked if he would like to return next year he said it was dependent on Tamiya but he would himself like to have a go at the full series.
After a messy performance in the opening 2WD A-Main at the EOS finale, Joern Neumann got the job done in Leg 2 but it was another far from perfect run by the German who again allowed Leg 1 winner Marc Rheinard by after a mistake of his own doing on lap 4. The champion elect managed to retake his fellow countryman 7 laps later when the lead Tamiya got out of shape coming onto to main straight and the pair touched. Unfortunately for Rheinard his buggy got beached on the track barrier losing him 2 seconds and allowing Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans through to finish second with Neumann taking the win by just over a second.
Neumann, who is running a 5.5T Speed Passion motor in his DEX210, said he just gave too much throttle coming into the double single and over jumped the double hitting the single causing his buggy to land on its roof. Regarding his pass on Rheinard the 21-year-old said he didn’t believed he touched the Tamiya and that the coming together was a result of Rheinard having already lost the TRF201. The Reedy Race Champion said if thought he had hit Rheinard, with whom he is good friends off the track, and caused him to get out shape he would have waited and let him back through.
Having tried a new set of front tyres on his warm-up laps Rheinard switched back to a mixed set of used tyres having picked the best two tyres from his qualifying sets. The Touring Car ace, who is enjoying better success here on his first offroad outing since last year’s European Championship in France than he has of late in touring cars, said after the incident on the straight he expected Neumann to wait but added it wasn’t a big issue as he had not made the best entry onto the straight and the current European 4WD Buggy Champion was by far the quickest man on track.
Finishing 2nd Evans said he messed up his race with a mistake of his own on lap 4 that resulted in everyone bar Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill, who was marshalling at the double single, to miss Neumann’s mistake that allowed Rheinard into the lead. Evans said a change of oil and piston in the rear shocks after Leg 1 had made the 22 safer to drive without losing him any speed and added the plan for the 3rd leg, which will decide who between Rheinard, Neumann and himself takes the overall win for Round 3, is to go all or nothing.
2WD Buggy Leg 2 Result
1.(1) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango – 16/5:18.538
2.(4) Dustin Evans (US) – TLR – 16/5:19.570
3.(2) Marc Rheinard (DE) – Tamiya – 16/5:20.278
4.(6) Hupo Hönigl (AT) – Durango – 15/5:04.772
5.(7) Mike Truhe (US) – TLR – 15/5:06.070
6.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Tamiya – 15/5:07.160
7.(3) Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR – 15/5:09.757
8.(9) Oskar Levin (SE) – TLR – 15/5:14.795
9.(8) Paul Bradby (GB) – Associated – 15/5:16.813
10.(10)Oliver Speith (DE) – Kyosho – 14/5:03.962
The surprise of qualifying, putting his Tamiya second on the grid of world class offroad drivers, World Touring Car Champion Marc Rheinard has won the opening leg of the 2WD Buggy A-Main at the finale of the inaugural TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in Dortmund, Germany. The German driver was handed the lead of the race on the first run through the double double after Top Qualifier & title hopeful Joern Neumann flipped his Durango off the second double luckily landing on his wheels but dropping him to third behind Team Losi Racing’s Darren Bloomfield. A second mistake by Neumann and then an incident first with Dustin Evans and later with Lee Martin, the other two title protagonists, allowed Rheinard to eventually cross the line 2,5 seconds clear of Evans with Bloomfield taking third just in front of Neumann.
Rheinard described his win as ‘lucky’ saying his Vega converted TRF201 lacked steering after he gambled on running used front tyres. Caught up quickly by Neumann, who like the previous two days of action at the Intermodellbau Hobby Show would set the fastest lap, the Tamiya Racing Factory driver said defensive driving was the only way he could keep his fellow countryman behind him. Eventually Rheinard got his big break on lap 12 of 15 when Neumann tried a move down the inside on Evans that resulted in the TLR22 needing to be marshalled. Neumann waited but the incident cost Evans, who was in striking distance of the Tamiya, 5 seconds and any chance of the win.
Neumann said his opening mistake was his own doing and his Speed Passion powered DEX210 is easily up to the job but he really needs to improve his driving in the remaining two legs. Dropping from second to fourth when he was hit by Martin the lap following his coming together with Evans, the Reedy Race Champion put both incidents down to close racing.
Evans was clearly frustrated at being hit by Neumann. The US Champion said he was patient when he was third behind the German and he should of done the same as the pair were clearly quicker and going to find a way passed Rheinard. Starting from fourth on the grid, Evans said if he can get a clean run he is confident he can challenge for the win in Leg 2 as changes to his Orion powered 22 had improved it a lot since qualifying.
Finishing third 2.2 seconds behind his Team Losi Racing team-mate, who started one place behind him on the grid, Bloomfield said he got lucky as changes to his Orion powered 22 made the rear a little too soft.