Joern Neumann is the 2WD Buggy Top Qualifier for the opening round of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series after the German secured his third TQ run of the day in the fifth & final round of qualifying in the Czech Republic. The Team Durango driver went into the last qualifier with only team-mate Hupo Honigl in a position to deny him the No.1 starting position but the Austrian rolled onto his roof on the opening lap bringing a very premature end to that challenge.
Instead Neumann came under pressure early in the 5-minute heat from TLR’s Mike Truhe. The TLR star’s first experience of racing a buggy on carpet, the American’s confidence on what is an alien surface to the former US Champion has grown with each run and in Q5 we saw for the first time that Durango may not have it 100% their own way in tomorrow’s A-Main. A mistake on his penultimate lap saw Truhe drop to third on the time sheets behind fellow TLR22 driver Oskar Levin, a result that also means he lines up on the grid in fourth position behind the 17-year-old Swedish Champion who is the highest starting non-Durango driver. Having held third in the qualification ranking for much of the day the 6th fastest time in the final two qualifiers drops TLR’s Miguel Matias to fifth on the grid.
Securing second the grid, Honigl said after his roll two corners into the start of Q5 that he reverted to using the run to scrub in his new set of dBoots for the finals, pulling up his LRP powered DEX210 once the controlled tyres started to come in. Able to run a very similar fastest lap time to Neumann during the round Honigl said he is confident he can give his team-mate a good run for his money tomorrow.
Team Durango’s Joern Neumann and Hupo Honigl remain in control of qualifying for the opening round of the inaugural TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series with the duo sharing the honour of topping the time sheets for all of the buggy qualifiers. After 3 of the five rounds of heats, of which two will count towards tomorrow’s grid positions, Neumann has two TQ runs in both 2WD & 4WD Buggy while Honigl has a maximum score in each along with a hat trick of fastest runs in 4WD Short Course.
Holding the fastest lap for both buggy classes, Neumann is clearly the man to beat here in Hrotovice but the German has made some big driver errors which have benefited Honigl who took Q2 in 4WD and Q3 in 2WD.
Behind the Durango squad it is Miguel Matias who is best of the rest with the Team Losi Racing driver holding 3rd in the qualification rankings for both classes. Better known for his 1:8 Offroad achievements, the Portuguese driver who has only recently made a return to electric offroad after a 10 year absence has just recorded his best round of 2WD taking his TLR22 to the second fastest time just short of a 14 lap run. Overall Q3 marked an improvement from the TLR squad with American ace Mike Truhe clocking his fastest run improving his previous best time by over 5.5 seconds.
Joern Neumann has TQ’d the first round of qualifying in both buggy classes at the opening race of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series in the Czech Republic, the German ace outpacing TLR’s Oskar Levin in 2WD and his own Team Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl in 4WD.
One second clear of the field in 2WD, the Reedy Race Champion said he was happy with his first qualifier and while he is still fine tuning the set-up on his Speed Passion powered DEX210 he feels he is now heading in the right direction having only been fifth fastest at the end of official practice yesterday. Describing the set-up of his DEX410 as ‘good as always’ the European Champion was annoyed with himself for two ‘stupid mistakes’ one of which required his buggy to be marshaled. Despite the errors he was still a topped the time sheets by 2.8 sec from Honigl. Honigl said he has the speed to match his team-mate but that Neumann is much more consistent and that’s something he needs to work on himself. Fifth fastest in 2WD, the former European Champion said his buggy feels good but a mistake by Truhe at the start of the run led him to make his own mistakes.
Fastest of the TLR22 drivers Levin said other than a small error he was happy with his opening run. With the car to his liking the 17-year-old said he will leave everything as is for Q2 and is confident of improving his time but admitted its going to be difficult to match Neumann pace. Fifth fastest in 4WD, the Swede said considering he is driving a buggy that was designed not long after he was born he is very happy with his run.
Team Losi Racing team-mate Miguel Matias and Otto Ausfelt completed the Top 4 for the round with US star Mike Truhe only 6th fastest. Matias said his 22 is really safe and consistent to drive but he hopes to make some small changes for Q2 in the hope of finding a little more corner speed. Ausfelt said he drove a cautious round having had motor temperature issues which caused his car shut down this morning in practice. A change of gearing for Q1 appears to have solved the issue and the Swede is hopeful of a better second run as the buggy is working really well and he can just focus on driving it now.
Truhe, who was top seed after practice, didn’t get his qualifying off to the best of starts as he crashed on his opening lap. The 2010 Us Champion put the mistake down to nerves but said he knows the buggy has the speed and its just up to him to get the job done. Also racing in 4WD Short Course here in Hrotovice he said the carpet track is ‘so foreign’ that they are just using the event as a learning experience for the rest of the EOS schedule. Setting the third fastest time behind Honigl and Neumann, he said they have discovered he doesn’t have the right inserts but said he will be sure to have them for Belgium.
Carrying the hopes of the TLR squad in the 4WD Buggy class Matias took his XX-4 to the third fastest time despite failing to finish the run as his gearbox seized on the final lap. The Portuguese drivers said he doesn’t think they can get much more from the car in terms of pace but hopes he can complete the full five minutes in the remaining 4 qualifiers.
Behind the factory backed drivers 15-year-old local driver Kaja Novotny marked himself as one to watch for the future as he took his Durango to the fourth fastest time ahead of the Tamiya of Swedish National Champion and experienced international racer Otto Ausfelt.
At the end of the first timed practice run for the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series it is TLR driver Oskar Levin and Team Durango’s Joern Neumann who head the respective 2WD and 4WD Buggy time sheets in the Czech Republic. Driving his TLR22 Levin was some 6/10ths quicker than Neumann over his fastest three consecutive laps while in 4WD Neumann had an 8/10ths advantage over Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl.
Describing his buggy as ‘perfect’ Swedish 2WD National Champion Levin said the different sections make it hard to put in a clean lap everytime but overall he loves the layout which has been created by event host Michal Bok who himself was ninth fastest in 2WD driving Yokomo’s new B-Max2. 5th fastest in 4WD the teenager said considering the age of the XX-4 he is pretty happy but still trying different things on the buggy he is hopeful of improving on that in the final practice run of the day.
Very happy with his DEX410, Neumann said his DEX210 needs more work with the overall feeling of the 2WD buggy which is not 100% to his liking. Team-mate Honigl was happy with how is 4WD buggy ran he was a little surprised by how much of an advantage Neumann had on him over 3 laps. Although he ran the third fastest time in 2WD Buggy the former multiple European Champion was frustrated by an electric problem which he is having problems trying to find a cure for. Also competing in the 4WD Short Course class, the Durango duo also set the top two times with a considerable gap over Team Losi Racing’s Mike Truhe who was third fastest.
Truhe who is suffering from an upset stomach said driving Short Course on carpet is very alien to him and he needs more time to adapt his driving style to suit. In 2WD Buggy the former US Champion was left frustrated by traffic which hindered him from getting three clean laps leaving him only 15th fastest, but happy with the performance of his Orion powered TLR22 he is confident he has the pace to run at the front. TLR team-mate Miguel Matias faired better setting the 4th fastest time in 2WD. Unlike Truhe the Portuguese driver is competing in the 4WD Buggy class taking his XXX-4 to the sixth fastest time just behind the similar car of Levin.
Third fastest in 4WD Buggy was Otto Ausfelt, although a TLR team driver the Swedish Champion runs a Tamiya TRF511 in 4WD and says his steering servo is getting a good work out as he is on full lock every corner. Setting the 7th fastest time in 2WD he is confident a fresh set of the controlled dBoots tyres will bring him nearer to the pace in the sixth & final practice.
During the final round of practice the area surrounding Hrotovice suffered a major power failure leaving everywhere in darkness forcing race director Scotty Ernst to postpone the completion of the round till the morning. Managing to get through all of 2WD Buggy groups before the loss of electricity Mike Truhe set a new fastest time meaning he will be top seed for tomorrow’s qualifying ahead of Hupo Honigl, Oskar Levin, Miguel Matias and Joern Nuemann.
After months of preparation and planning Scotty Ernst & Uwe Rheinard watched their newest race series jump into life this morning in the Czech Republic as drivers from 13 countries took to the indoor carpet track in Hrotovice for Day 1 of the opening round of the exciting new TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby. With six round of practice making up today’s schedule the focus of attention is going to be on the head to head battle between the full factory squads of Team Losi Racing and Team Durango.
As title sponsors of the EOS, TLR have flown over American ace Mike Truhe who will also travel to rounds 2 & 3 in Belgium and Germany. While he is one of the worlds top offroad racers, the 2010 US National Champion faces an all new challenge this weekend as he samples offroad racing on carpet for the very first time. Having never seen an offroad carpet track before his arrival in Eastern Europe, Truhe said it was a lot better to drive on than he had expected and he was relishing the chance to learn the ‘European’s Game’ this weekend. Expecting the carpet to offer higher traction he is finding the mixture of surfaces used on the track, with a number of different wood finishes being used in the construction of some of the jumps, is taking the most getting used too but overall he is happy with his early practice pace.
Having returned to TLR for the 2012 season, former European 1:8 Offroad Champion and World finalist Miguel Matias has recently made 1:10 comeback after a 10 year absence. Enjoying success in his native Portuguese Indoor Off-Road Series, he has more experience than his US team-mate on carpet surface and although he is still learning about both his TLR22 and XXX4 he is happy with his opening practice runs this morning. Also in the TLR camp Swedish National Champions Oskar Levin, one of the stars of last year’s EOS Pilot Race, & Otto Ausfelt can be expected to be in the mix over the next three days.
Fresh from becoming the first European to win the Reedy International Race of Champions in California, beating the Americans in their own backyard, Joern Nuemann heads the Team Durango effort and on paper is going to be the man to beat this weekend. The hugely talented German has already notched up two big wins on carpet this year dominating both the Petit Race and the DHI Cup which were both held in January. Describing the track layout as ‘good’ the 4WD Vice-World Champion said the grip is pretty low for carpet and feels pretty close to the clay surface at WCRC where he took his historic Reedy Race win.
Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl, who has done a lot of behind the scene work helping make the EOS a reality, is pleased with his early practice runs and says he is looking forward to a weekend of close racing. Joining Nuemann & Honigl is British team driver Adam Skelding who along with racing has made the trip to provide support for dBoots who are the official controlled tyres for the EOS.
Today’s schedule will be made up of six rounds of practice with the fastest 3-consecutive laps from the final P5 & P6 determining a reseed for tomorrow’s five round of qualifying, the best two of which will decide the grid for Sunday’s triple main finals.
The organisers of the inaugural ‘Euro Offroad Series’ are delighted to announce that Horizon Hobby, through their Team Losi Racing and Spektrum brands, will be title sponsors of the three round 1:10 electric offroad series which is set to kick off in the Czech Republic in just under two weeks time. To be known officially as the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’, the partnership is a huge endorsement of the brand new series and will see Team Losi Racing send one of their star American drivers to each of the events with 2010 US National 2WD Buggy Champion Mike Truhe entered for the opening race.
Speaking on the sponsorship announcement World famous race announcer Scotty Ernst, who together with Uwe Rheinard has created the EOS following the huge success of their Euro Touring Series that is now in its fifth season, said, ’Securing the backing of a company like Horizon Hobby in the first year of an all new series is a huge endorsement for what we are trying to offer electric offroad racers in Europe. Losi has played a huge part in the history of our sport and to have TLR along with Spektrum as the title sponsor of our inaugural season is a great honour for me and the entire team who will put on each event.’
Taking place over the weekend of February 10-12, the venue for the opening race is the Sport-V Hotel in Hrotovice which has previously played host to two Euro Touring Series events and an EFRA European Championship. After the Czech Republic the series will move on to Charleroi in Belgium for Round 2 on the weekend of March 9-11. Wanting to bring the first season of the EOS to a high profile finish and to showcase electric offroad racing, the final leg with take place in Germany at Intermodellbau Dortmund, which attracts 85,000 visitors and is Europe’s largest consumer Hobby Show.
Catering for 2wd Buggy, 4wd Buggy, 17.5 2wd Short Course and 4wd Modified Short Course, the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’ will use a controlled tyre provided by dBoots. 4wd Buggy and both Short Course classes will use controlled tyres front and rear while in the 2wd Buggy class only the rear tyre is controlled.
Entry is currently open at MyRCM, so if you want to compete against the best in the World at an awesome venue with a great atmosphere then sign up now.