Joern Neumann got his title defense of the TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby off to a positive start as he put his Durango top of the time sheets in practice for the opening round of season No.2 of the series which got underway today in Poznan, Poland. Setting the fastest three consecutive laps, making him top seed for tomorrow’s four rounds of qualifying, the German outpaced the Team Losi Racing pairing of Dustin Evans and Darren Bloomfield who set the 2nd and 3rd fastest times respectively.
Running as part of a hobby exhibition which is expected to attract in the region of 30,000 visitors over the weekend, Neumann was pleased with his Speed Passion powered DEX210 but said he is having a little trouble with judging the jumps due to the height of the drivers stand which is positioned up on the balcony that runs around the outer wall of the large hall in which the event is taking place. Making only a shock oil change to his buggy, going to a lighter oil in the rear, Neumann said he used practice to evaluate tyres. While drivers must run a Nanobyte tyre from official tyre supplier dBoots on the rear, this year they can choose between two control front tyres for 2WD Buggy. Testing the pin type Nanobyte and staggered Blockpass, Neumann said the Blockpass was much easier to drive event though it gave his buggy a little less steering. Team-mate Hupo Honigl, who set the 4th fastest time, also tried both but said he preferred the aggressiveness of the Nanobyte which he described as a ‘man tyre’. The Austrian is running his buggy pretty much the same as at the inaugural EOS season finale in Dortmund, Germany, and he is happy with his pace so far. Both drivers are running alloy chassis plates that are 8mm longer than of the standard kit buggy.
Despite breaking a front shock tower in the first timed practice when he jumped his Orion powered TLR22 up on to the corner table top leading on to the main straight a little too hot, Evans said his buggy was really good and he believes over 5-minutes he has a really competitive package. Describing Neumann’s 17.660 fastest lap as ‘one hero lap’, the 2011 US National Champion said the addition of the dBoots Blockpass this season is a big positive for him and he is much more comfortable with his buggy on that tyre pattern. Only his third time to ever race on a carpet track, Evans said he is able to drive with good consistency and he is looking forward to the opening qualifier in the morning.
Running a ball diff as opposed to the gear diff that Evans is running, Bloomfield said he preferred the feeling of the Nanobyte but found they wear too quick and so for Q1 he will run the Blockpass. Just back from a tour of the United States, the 1:8 Offroad European Champion is struggling a little with jet lag but said he has found a good starting base for qualifying. Only competing in 2WD Buggy this weekend, he will spend the evening helping Evans and Matt Castellano with their 4WD cars with both running 4WD Buggy and Short Course. Experiencing his first ever offroad race on carpet Castellano described it as ‘way different’ adding that the corner speeds were so much faster than on dirt. Setting the sixth fastest time in practice he said he is ‘having fun’ and just needs more time to learn the uniquely European style track along with working on his consistency.
In between all the factory drivers setting the 5th fastest time was one of Poland’s emerging young international talents Michal Orlowski. Just 11-years old and better known for his efforts in the Euro Touring Series, it turns out he is also a dab hand at offroad holding the reign of Polish Indoor National Champion. Running a Vega converted Tamiya similar to that used by factory TRF driver Lee Martin to win round 2 of last season’s EOS, Orlowski is very happy with how the mid mount motor buggy is working around what is a very fast track.
Factory Schumacher driver Tom Cockerill, who took a front corner off his Cougar SV2 in his first timed practice run, set the 7th fastest time. The British driver, who likes the flow of the track, said his buggy was consistent but was lacking a little in power and for qualifying has decided to change speedo. Looking to shave a few tenths off his lap times he said he hoped most of that would come from the new speedo.
With 2WD practice complete, the drivers will now turn their attentions to five rounds of 4WD practice with the final two runs set to determine the heat order for qualifying.
With the second season of the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’ set to get underway this weekend (26-28 Oct) in Poznan, Poland, the series’ organisers are delighted to announce that the 3rd & penultimate round will take place in Austria. Expanding from three to four events for the 2012/13 season, the EOS’ first ever visit to Austria will take place in the centre of the country in the city of Leoben from March 8-10. As with the Polish and two German events on the schedule, the race will also take place indoors ensuring racers are guaranteed three days of racing irrespective of the weather.
One of three new venues, this weekend’s opening round takes place at the ‘HOBBY Model Making and Games Exhibition’ which is expected to attract up to 30,000 visitors. Poznan successfully hosted the fourth round of last season’s Euro Touring Series as part of one of the country’s largest motor shows and having impressed with their level of organisation they are now aiming to make the same impression on the world of offroad racing. The EOS will be the first major international 1:10 electric offroad event hosted in the country.
Heading the entry will be defending Champion Joern Nuemann, the Team Durango driver having claimed three of the four titles during the inaugural season. One driver who took the challenge to the German in 2WD Buggy was top American racer Dustin Evans. Having never raced on anything other than dirt before last season’s EOS, the Team Losi Racing driver adapted quickly to the carpet surface but this time round with experience of European style tracks he should be a serious contender for the 2012/13 title. Set to make his EOS debut this weekend, TLR’s Matt Castellano will also make the trip over from the United States.
Other top entries expected to be involved in the battle for victory at Round 1 are TLR’s new 1:8 Offroad European Champion Darren Bloomfield, Team Durango’s Hupo Honigl, factory Schumacher driver Tom Cockerill and top Swedish racers Oskar Levin & Otto Ausfelt. Like last season the weekend’s programme will be made up of four classes, 2WD & 4WD Buggy and 2WD & 4WD Short Course Truck, with all cars running dBoots tyres who continue as the official controlled tyre supplier for the EOS.
Having backed the successful inaugural season of the Euro Offroad Series, Horizon Hobby have announced that they will continue as title sponsors of the 1:10 electric offroad championship for the 2012/13 season with it to be again known officially as the ‘TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby’. Team Losi Racing have also confirmed that EOS Season 1 regular Dustin Evans will contest the full championship with the 2011 Reedy Race Champion to be joined by top fellow American racer Matt Castellano.
Run over three events in its inaugural year, Season No.2 of the EOS will expand to four races with the opening round taking competitors to the city of Poznan in Poland over the weekend of October 26-28. Poznan successfully hosted the fourth round of the 2011/12 Euro Touring Series as part of one of the country’s largest motor shows. For the Euro Offroad Series the host club have organised for Round 1 to take place at the same venue, this time as part of the ‘HOBBY Model Making and Games Exhibition’ which is expected to attract up to 30,000 visitors.
Round 2 will take racers on the first of two visits to Germany with the local club of defending champion Joern Nuemann joining the series and hosting an indoor event in the city of Langenfeld on January 4-6. While it will be a home event for Team Durango’s Neumann, the venue for the EOS race is all new, meaning the European 4WD Champion will have little advantage over his rivals other than the fact he will be able to enjoy the comfort of being able to sleep in his own bed each night!
With the date for the third round set for the weekend of March 8-10, series promoters Scotty Ernst and Uwe Rheinard are still in talks with a number of clubs regarding the location for the penultimate race with an announcement on the venue expected very shortly.
As in the inaugural EOS, the season finale will again take place in Dortmund, Germany, as part of Europe’s largest consumer hobby show Intermodellbau which in 2012 had an official attendance figure of 88,000 visitors. The date for the fourth round is April 12-14.
Following a successful partnership with dBoots last season the 2012/13 TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby will continue to run dBoots as the controlled tyre for the three classes, 2WD & 4WD Buggy and 4WD Short Course Truck, that will make up the programme at each round.
Registration for the EOS, which also enjoys support from Proline, Vampire Racing, Tonisport and new 2012/13 sponsor Team C, is open for Round 1 and can be made through the MyRCM website – www.myrcm.ch
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