Having won a closely fought battle for the 2WD Buggy Top Qualifier honours this morning it was a very different affair in the afternoon at the TLR/Spektrum sponsored Euro Offroad Series, as Team Durango’s Joern Neumann trounced the opposition in qualifying for both 4WD Buggy and Short Course. Having already wrapped up the 4WD Buggy title with TQ’s and wins in the Czech Republic and Belgium, the German ace now wants to complete the 100% perfect score in the class, of which he is the reigning European Champion, and going by his form so far this weekend the battle tomorrow is all about second such is Neumann’s pace.
Describing 2WD qualifying as a challenge, Neumann said both his 4WD Buggy & Short Course Truck were ‘good as always’ adding that there was not much more he can do to improve them. On target not only for a hat trick of race wins tomorrow, the first European winner of the prestigious Reedy Race is now clearly poised to became a triple champion of the inaugural EOS.
Wrapping up the pole position in Q3, Neumann used the fourth & final qualifier to scrub in a new set of dBoots tyres and fighting with an edgy DEX410 this was the only time his name wouldn’t be top of the time sheets. That honour instead went to Tamiya’s Lee Martin who was fastest ahead of factory Yokomo Touring Car driver Yannic Prumper with Neumann third having posted a new outright fastest lap of 19.205.
All baring a major disaster, the top step at the podium presentation in Dortmund tomorrow evening already has Neumann’s name on it, but the race to see who will stand each side of him should produce some good racing. Better known as one of the World’s top touring car drivers Prumper will start second on the grid. Breaking his chassis in Q2, which because he has no spare he had to glue back together, the young German was the only other driver to record 16 laps when he finished second to Neumann in Q3.
Managing only fourth fastest as his best run prior to TQ’ing Q4, British Champion Martin will line up third on the grid with his Tamiya in front of the Durango of Hupo Honigl with fellow Brit Darren Bloomfield completing the front end of the grid in fifth as the highest placed Losi driver.
Putting in impressive runs in Q1 & 2 when he posted the 4th & 3rd fastest time respectively with the aging XXX-4, Team Losi Racing team-mate Mike Truhe is the best placed American driver lining up in sixth ahead of former European Champion Marc Rheinard, who considering his surprise 2nd on the grid in 2WD, didn’t do as well as expected on the high grip carpet track. Rheinard is one of three factory touring car drivers to make the A-Main with Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp getting the 10th and final spot.
Having BQ’d in 2WD, Schumacher’s lead driver Tom Cockerill ensured the British manufacturer is on the grid for the main 4WD event with his Speed Passion powered CAT SX4 set to carry No.8 tomorrow. Also making the show on his European indoor offroad debut is Associated team boss Brent Thielke whose Reedy powered B44.1 is the only buggy from the World’s most winning offroad manufacturer with team-mate Tony Truman taking the unenviable BQ ahead of TLR’s Dustin Evans where he will be joined by the third of the AE drivers Paul Bradby who starts 5th.
In Short Course behind Neumann team mate and title rival Hupo Honigl will start 2nd followed by Bjorn Prumper, older brother of Yannic. Horizon Hobby Germany backed Prumper is top Losi lining up ahead of factory drivers Dustin Evans and Mike Truhe with Russian driver Dmitry Malyshko completing the top 6.
Joern Neumann is Top Qualifier for tomorrow’s title deciding A-Main after the Team Durango ace set a new fastest time in the final round of 2WD Buggy Qualifying at the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series finale in Dortmund, Germany. A major boost for the championship protagonist, whose two title rivals will start the deciding race from the middle of the grid, the German claimed pole position on tie break with Marc Rheinard and Darren Bloomfield thanks to his Q4 time which was just .065 shy of being the only 16 lap run of the event.
Very happy to claim the extra championship bonus point that goes with taking overall TQ honours, Neumann was even more happy to finally put together a clean round. The fastest man on track every round, mistakes meant the 21-year-old ended up with 2nd, 3rd and 4th fastest time in the opening three rounds. Expecting his greatest challenge this weekend to come from Lee Martin following his win at the preceding round in Belgium, Neumann said he was happy to have Rheinard and Bloomfield start behind him as it gives him a buffer over Dustin Evans & Martin who start 4th & 5th respectively. Aware of the potential challenge that could come from Rheinard, whose touring car driving skills are an advantage on the carpet track, Neumann said he is very comfortable with the handling of his Speed Passion powered DEX210 and should he come under any pressure he is confident he can safely defend.
Never expecting to find himself in the hunt for the overall TQ of an international 2WD Buggy race going in to the final qualifier, Rheinard was very happy to find himself 2nd on the grid. The 3-time reigning Touring Car World Champion said his dBoots tyres reached their best in the final qualifier but added if he can prepare the extra set issued to all A-Main drivers correctly he is planning to give Neumann a run for his money tomorrow. Tamiya Racing Factory team-mate Martin wishes he could switch position with Rheinard. The reigning European Champion said his Vega converted TRF201 feels good and has put his below par performance down to him not gelling with the track layout. Although he faces a major task tomorrow if he is to deny Neumann the overall title, the Englishman said all he needs to do is repeat what Evans pulled off in Belgium when he won the second A-Main from 5th on the grid.
Lining up behind his Losi/Orion team-mate Bloomfield, who was the most consistent driver in qualifying before breaking his 22 in Q4, Evans said he was frustrated to be starting 4th having enjoyed a TQ run in the second qualifying. Although he finished runner-up in Belgium from 5th on the grid, the US Champion said the track at the Intermodellbau Hobby Show is a much tougher challenge and so such a result is only going to be possible if other make mistakes.
Two big name casualties of the final round of qualifying were Associated team-manager Brent Thielke whose idler gear stripped and needing a good result the DNF dropped him to 12th in the qualification ranking. The American will start 2nd in the B-Main behind factory Schumacher driver Tom Cockerill who lost out on the final A-Main grid position on a tie break with Oskar Levin and 16-year-old local kid Oliver Speith whose mid motored Kyosho will carry the No.10 tomorrow.
Touring Car World Champion Marc Rheinard pulled off a surprise TQ run in the penultimate round of 2WD Buggy qualifying at finale of the Euro Offroad Series in Dortmund, Germany. The Tamiya driver topped the time sheets from Team Losi Racing’ Darren Bloomfield and Durango’s Hupo Hönigl while the three title contenders Joern Neumann, Dustin Evans and Lee Martin made mistakes, the latter’s error resulting in a broken shock tower.
Rheinard, who joked he can’t remember the last time he TQ’d a round in Touring Cars, said starting last after his DNF in the previous qualifier he just aimed to run an error free 5-minutes and helped by the mistakes of others the end result was a TQ run in a class that is the least favourite of those in which he competes. Team-mate Martin was on for a potential Top 3 time but with less than a minute to go caught one of the hay bails on the edge of the table top causing his Tamiya to rotate upside down and break the front shock tower on landing.
Bloomfield, who is full of praise for the power delivery and feeling he is getting from his new Team Orion electrics, said fresh tyres improved his TLR22 allowing the Brit to post his fastest 5-minute run. Unfortunately for team-mate Evans, who TQ’d the preceding qualifier and felt he had got a handle on the controlled dBoots tyres, he was wrong and going for an extra run on his first set of tyres didn’t pay off as they were passed their best. Struggling for pace the American eventually finished 7th after a mistake on lap 10 lost him 5-seconds but he said a top result was already out the window after lap 2.
Recording his best qualifier Hönigl said both his LRP powered DEX210 and driver were much better this time round and was very pleased with third. Fourth fastest for the round, Durango team-mate Neumann got caught out by fresh tyres, the German having two bad laps as he struggled with his buggy being very edgy.
Completing the Top 6 were Team Losi Racing drivers Mike Truhe and Oskar Levin, the young Swede who was one of the stars of qualifying at the opening EOS event finally getting in a solid run.
Team Losi Racing claimed a 1-2 in the second round of 2WD Buggy qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series Finale with Dustin Evans topping the time sheets from this morning’s Q1 top qualifier Darren Bloomfield. Having clipped down the pins on his front tyre for Q2, Evans said his Team Orion powered TLR22 was much more comfortable to drive although still a bit edgy but with the natural wear he said it’s only going get better for Q3. The American Champion said cutting the pins has given him valuable information as to how he needs to prepare his dBoot tyres for the finals.
While Evans got his tyres close to the optimum performance, by the end of the 5-minute qualifier Bloomfield was starting to run out of front tyres. Making changes to his set-up to improve the mid corner steering on his 22, the British driver said he could feel the tyres going away but the lack of pins didn’t effect his overall performance much as he set his fastest lap of the run on the final lap.
Making a mistake three laps into the run, which saw the Top 10 for the round run 15 laps, Neumann posted the 3rd fastest time. Following his mistake he dropped behind Evans and shadowing his title rival for the rest of the run the Team Durango driver said afterwards they were both running almost an identicial pace. Like in Q1 the German once again set the fastest lap of the round being the only driver to navigate the challenging track in 19 seconds.
Lee Martin once again set the fourth fastest time with his Tamiya. The Belgian EOS race winner said his Speed Passion powered TRF201 buggy is getting better with each run but is still hard to drive fast. Planning to make the chassis heavier for Q3 he hopes this will help keep it planted more through the corners. Team-mate Marc Rheinard who was 5th in Q1, managed only 5 laps after a lead came off his Speed Passion motor.
Going for a safe rather than fast run Team Losi Racing’s Mike Truhe set the 5th fastest time for Q2 followed by Team Associated’s Paul Bradby. Bradby, who was joined in the Top 10 by both his AE team-mates Brent Theilke and Tony Truman who set the 9th & 10th fastest time respectively, said he needs to improve the reaction of the rear big bore shocks on his car so as to get C4.1 to settle quicker.
In between the Associated squad, with the 8th fastest time, factory Schumacher driver Tom Cockerill said his improvement was simply down to better driving. Making one mistake the Englishman said he doesn’t know exactly where he is losing time but he feels the SV2 is not aggressive enough but thinks he will stick with having a safe set-up and focus on getting a clean run.