The Euro Offroad Series’ first ever round of qualifying has been dominated by American drivers with Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri topping 4WD in both buggy & Short Course truck while Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans reigned over 2WD.
Cavalieri said his TQ run in 4WD Buggy was far from perfect but he was happy to end the opening day of the EOS pilot event at the top of the ranking. Having had no issues with any sections of the track in practice, the 2-time World Champion found himself struggling at the table top in Q1 resulting a number of mistakes. Not planning any changes to his Orion powered B44.1 for the second round of qualifying tomorrow he will instead adapt his line through the section. In Short Course Truck Cavalieri said he just drove his own race aware that his biggest challenger Joern Neumann had made a few mistakes lifting the pressure off him to push his SC10 4X4.
Having struggled with a lack of steering on his Tamiya TRF511X all through practice Lee Martin made a number of set-up changes for Q1 that transformed his buggy. This gave the European Champion a buggy with the potential to run a TQ pace but having been only 10th fastest in timed practice he had to contend with working his way from the back of the field and lost over 2 seconds when he tangled with a group of cars he was trying to pass. In the end the British ace finished 2nd fastest just one second off Cavalieri’s time.
Recording the fastest lap of qualifying with his Losi XXX4 Dustin Evans also experienced problems with traffic and ended up third just ahead of the Team Durango’s Joern Neumann who was the only other driver to record 14 laps.
Former European Champion and current 1:10 Touring Car World Champion Marc Rheinard was fifth fastest ahead of local hot shots Otto Ausfelt and Oskar Levin who are running the same chassis as the factory Tamiya driver. Despite little experience of electric racing Martin Bayer got his event of to an encouraging start by completing the Top 8.
In 2WD Evans headed a Losi TLR22 one-two as 16-year-old Levin showed his practice topping pace was down to talent. Evans who also set the fastest lap for 2WD buggy was full of praise for the local star saying he was an ‘awesome’ driver and he had to work very hard to get passed him only managing in the final laps of the run. Just 7/10th off Evans time, Levin said the run was clean but felt fellow countryman Mikael Johnsson, who ended up 10th fastest, held him up a little.
Cavalieri and Martin set the third & fourth fastest times respectively despite both their cars needing marshaling after crashes. Cavalieri made a mistake four laps into the run but Martin got it wrong on the first lap which cost him 3-seconds. David Ronnefalk was top Kyosho and delighted with his fifth position saying 2WD is not normally that good for him. In 4WD the Swedish teenager endured a tough day but he feels it is more down to him than the car and is hoping tomorrow when the classes are run separately, 2WD and Short Course in the morning followed by 4WD Buggy in the evening, that he will be able challenge for a place in the A-Main.
In 2WD Short Course Evans TQ’d by a convincing margin over the Losi XXX-SCT’s of team-mates Martin Bayer and David Spashett with US female racer Sarah Ernst fourth fastest driving an Associated SC10.
Day 2 of the Euro Offroad Series will see four more rounds of qualifying for drivers with the best 2 of 5 to determine the grids for Sunday’s finals. All drivers will get triple A-Mains.
Team Asoociated’s Ryan Cavalieri has ended practice at the top of the time sheets in both 4WD classes here at the Euro Offroad Series in Sweden and will be seeded No.1 for Buggy and Short Course truck qualifying while in 2WD it is Losi who head the groups with local talent Oskar Levin fastest in Buggy and Dustin Evans the pace setter in Short Course.
Cavalieri set the pace from Team Durango’s Joern Neumann in both classes and is feeling confident going into qualifying. Getting a better diff setting on his B44.1 in the fifth and final practice he also improved the handling on his SC10 4X4 by moving the battery to the forward mounting position. Neumann was happy with both his 4WD cars saying the only changes he has made today has been to his buggy with softer shock oil improving his DEX410.
Third fastest in 4WD Buggy was top Swedish driver Otto Ausfelt. This is his local track and he is putting his knowledge to good use as he also set a fourth fastest time in 2WD qualifying. Running a Tamiya in 4WD he said his buggy is near perfect and very easy to drive. Supported by Swedish distributor Phoenix Racing, Ausfelt is running a Losi TLR22 in 2WD which he said just keeps getting better and better with each outing as he still learns about the car. Another strong Swedish performance is that of Niclas Mansson who took his Associated B44.1 to the fifth fastest time just behind Evans.
Multiple Japanese National Champion Shin Adachi was fastest of the Kyosho drivers with a switch to heavy shock oil improving his Lazer allowing him to run the sixth fastest time followed closely Viktor Wilck who was best of the TRF squad.
In 2WD Buggy 16-year-old Levin surprised himself by outpacing two of the best in the business with Evans second and Cavalieri third fastest. Making his race debut with the new Losi TLR22 the youngster said he was really happy with his Speed Passion powered example and is hopeful that he can continue his form in qualifying. Evans said the field is very equal here and its going to be all about consistency and not making mistakes in qualifying as the track conditions make it very hard to make up lost time.
Fifth fastest in 2WD buggy behind Ausfelt, Neumann says his Durango is still not to his liking but hopes a new set of tyres for the first qualifier might help. Completing the Top 6 was Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk, the teenager saying his 2WD is the best it has ever been. Current European Champion Lee Martin was the top Tamiya setting the seventh best time over three consecutive laps.
In 2WD Short Course Truck Losi filled the Top 3 places with Evans fastest from team-mate Martin Bayer and their team boss David Spashett. A multiple 1:12 World Champion Spashett is running a car he borrowed from one of the staff members at Horizon Hobby. One of the leading drivers on Losi’s European 1:8 Offroad gas team Bayer is really enjoying his electric offroad debut.
Practice continues in Sweden at the first ever Euro Offroad Series race with drivers having completed three five minute runs on the indoor clay Tomelilla track. With a racing groove starting to appear drivers have two final opportunities to get their cars dialed-in ahead of the first round of qualifying. While times from the opening three practice don’t count for anything, each driver’s three fastest consecutive laps from P4 or P5 will count towards reseeding the heats.
Racing in all four of the classes that make up the race programme at the EOS pilot event, Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans is the busiest man in the pits. The 25-year-old from Colorado is running both buggy classes along with 2WD & 4WD Short Course truck and other than a smokey speedo failure in his 4WD SC Truck has had to do very little to his fleet of cars. Describing both his buggies handling as awesome he said track conditions have improved with it becoming a lot more consistent than this morning. Team-mate Martin Bayer is making his electric racing debut this weekend and after his opening runs is very upbeat about his chances. A 1:8 Offroad gas driver, the former European Championship podium finisher said he is still learning each of the three electric cars and trying to reduce the number of mistakes he is making but is already looking forward to qualifying.
Two time World Champion Ryan Cavalieri said other than loosing a wheel nut off his Associated B44 in the third practice everything has been going well. The American star who along with his regular buggies is running 4WD Short Course with Associated’s new SC10 4X4 is still getting used to the unique hard-packed track surface. AE team-mate Peter Pinisch had little to report, the former European Champion saying he was happy with his day so far.
Kyosho are looking strong with their two local young guns Mikael Johansson and David Ronnefalk. The 2WD Swedish National Champion, 16-year-old Johansson is very happy with his 4WD but said his 2WD still needs work and he plans to change shocks for P4. Ronnefalk is very happy with his 2WD car but can not get his 4WD to work. The Swedish 4WD Champion is struggling with the back end of his Lazer being very loose and will make some major changes to try rectify the problem. Kyosho designer Shin Adachi was much happier with the track conditions and is happy with his 4WD but said he is still finding 2WD tough. This weekend Adachi’s cars are not running in his distinctive land of the rising sun colours as the tragedy that hit his home country of Japan has affected his regular body painter hence the white bodyshells here in Sweden.
Team Durango’s Hupo Honigl is very happy with his three cars, the Austrian running buggy and 4WD Short course. The multiple European Champion feels the choice of controlled tyres being used here is not the best option for the conditions but as its the same for everyone its not a huge problem. Team-mate Joern Neumann said his 4WD cars are good but in 2WD he is struggling with a lack of traction.
Heading up the Tamiya Racing Factory squad Lee Martin broke his TRF511X in P3. Breaking the rear right suspension arm he said he tried a softer oil and it didn’t work so he will revert back to his morning set-up. Team-mates Marc Rheinard and Viktor Wilck had little to report.
On January 19 the organisers of the hugely popular Euro Touring Series announced they were to take their concept off road and this morning, just 10 weeks later, it has kicked into life as practice for the Euro Offroad Series pilot race got underway at the large indoor clay track in Tomelilla, Sweden. With such a facility a rare thing in Europe, the event has attracted a big manufacturer presence with Associated, Losi, Durango, Tamiya and Kyosho sending some of the biggest names in the sport which sets the stage for a weekend of hot competition. In the pits there is a great buzz in the air with local racers describing the EOS as the biggest thing to hit Sweden since 2004 when the country hosted the 1:8 Offroad World Championships.
Due to their vast experience of clay tracks back in the US, Team Losi Racing’s Dustin Evans and Team Associated’s Ryan Cavalieri are the early favourites despite both saying the surface was very different to what they are used too. A hard compact clay, all the leading drivers found conditions tricky but gave the layout a big thumbs up saying it should make for really good close racing once the grip comes up. One driver who knows the track well is young Swedish talent David Ronnefalk and his experience here is that the track will groove up pretty quickly and will be helped by the fact the EOS is the largest entry to run on the track.
Today’s schedule is made up of 5 rounds of controlled practice with the opening round of qualifying bringing the first day of action to a close. Once the drivers have settled in and worked out their plan of attack we will catch up with the drivers to bring up all the latest news from the pits.
Kyosho are the latest manufacturer to put their support behind the new ‘Euro Offroad Series’ concept by entering Japanese ace Shin Adachi for the April 1-3 pilot event in Tomelilla, Sweden. The seven time Japanese National off road champion joins a host of top international drivers for the three day indoor clay surface event that will see official factory representation from Team Associated, Losi, Tamiya, Durango and Kyosho.
Responsible for the development of Kyosho’s electric competition cars, Adachi will join a strong local Kyosho squad. Teenagers Mikael Johansson and David Ronnefalk both hold European Junior Off Road titles and are the reigning Swedish national EP champions – Johansson the title holder in 2WD and 15-year-old Ronnefalk the champion in 4WD. Both up & coming talents will be hoping to put their knowledge of the Tomelilla track to good use and make their mark in one weeks time.
The EOS pilot race has attracted a quality entry with 2-time World Champion Ryan Cavalieri, Reedy Race winner Dustin Evans, European Champion Lee Martin, former European champions Marc Rheinard, Hupo Honigl, Jorn Neumann & Peter Pinisch and Petit RC race winner Paul Bradby all making the trip to Sweden. For your chance to be part of history in the making visit the race page where you can find further details on the event and registering your entry.