Hupo Honigl won an entertaining second A-Main of the EOS 2WD Buggy class in which the Durango driver had to fend off a strong challenge from American TLR star Mike Truhe. Honigl, who messed up his opening lap in Leg 1, was handed an early lead when team-mate & Leg 1 victor Joern Neumann got his landing wrong on the first run over the table top dropping the German to last. Shadowed by a much more competitive looking TLR22 of Truhe the race came to a head when the American, who had shown great patience behind the Austrian, tried a pass into the hairpin after the double which resulted in the pair getting tangled. Getting free of each other the delay set the stage for a four way dash to the finish. With the timing loop positioned just after the table top Honigl, Truhe, Oskar Levin and the recovering Neumann threw their buggies at it but in the air Truhe go clipped resulting in a disappointing fourth place behind winner Honigl, Levin and Neumann.
Afterwards Truhe said he was probably too patient during the race but having come here to learn about racing on ‘European style’ carpet tracks he was pleased to finally be able to run on the pace of the Durango squad. Neumann said his errors are down to changing between his 2WD Buggy and 4WD Short Course truck over the morning as they both need a very different approach at the table top where in Leg 1 of the buggy final he also had problems. Making a mistake Miguel Matias was unable to repeat his run to 2nd in Leg 1 but was encouraged by his pace as his Nosram powered TLR 22 set the fastest lap of the race.
Top Qualifier Joern Neumann has won the opening 2WD Buggy A-Main at Round 1 of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in the Czech Republic this morning but two mistakes meant the Team Durango star had to work for the expected win. The German looked to have been given an easy passage to victory on the opening lap when team-mate Hupo Honigl, who started second, put his DEX210 on its roof but two laps later a mistake on the landing off the table top saw Neumann also end up on his roof. While he held on to the lead the Reedy Race winner now had a trio of TLR drivers right on his rear wing. Mounting the most serious challenge was Oskar Levin but the talented young Swede was also to make errors that dropped him to fourth. In the end it was a very steady drive by Portugal’s Miguel Matias that saw him take second ahead of Team Losi Racing team-mate Mike Truhe.
Joern Neumann will carry the No.1 starting number on both his buggies in tomorrow’s A-Mains at the Euro Offroad Series opener in the Czech Republic after the German ace completed the double in buggy qualifying. Having secured overall TQ honours in 2WD Buggy from Durango team-mate Hupo Hönigl, the European Champion went on to put in his fastest run of the weekend in the closing heat of the day to be crowned Top Qualifier again from his Austrian team-mate.
Having produced the fastest overall time of the five rounds of qualifying when he TQ’d Q2, Honigl will be hoping he can challenge his, very much on form, younger team-mate over tomorrow’s 3 leg finals but with Neumann still on a high from becoming the first European to win the Reedy International Race of Champions, he will have his work cut out. Neumann was always expected to rule proceedings in 4WD Buggy this weekend especially as the other full factory squad here this weekend, TLR, are using a buggy that hit the market two decades ago.
Despite the age of the his car European Horizon Hobby backed driver Oskar Levin is again the best non-Durango driver with his XX4 set to start 3rd on the grid in front of the XXX4 of former 1:8 Offroad European Champion and World finalist Miguel Matias. Knowing that they have little chance of going for the win the TLR pair are focused on their own private battle for the final spot on the podium but will need to be careful of promising local 15-year-old Kája Novotny whose Durango DEX410 starts fifth in front of the Tamiya of Swedish Champion Otto Ausfelt.
In 4WD Short Course there was further success for the Team Durango squad with Hönigl declared the Top Qualifier over Neumann after the pair tied on points. Mike Truhe’s Losi Ten-SCTE will line up third.