September 19, 2015

Coelho opens EOS account with TQ run

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Having been the star of yesterday’s practice, Bruno Coelho has backed that up by opening his Euro Offroad Series debut with a TQ run.  Making his debut at the Season #5 opener at the Nürburgring in Germany, the Xray driver convincingly topped the first of the four 2WD qualifiers by over 3.5 seconds from EOS race winner Michal Orwloski, the pair the only drivers to 17-lap runs.  Behind them reigning champion Lee Martin would complete the Top 3 followed by Yokomo team-mate Carson Wernimont.

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Establishing himself over the last 12-months as one of the stars of touring car racing and openly admitting 2WD buggy was a class he wasn’t particular keen on, Coelho’s TQ run marked the Portuguese ace as, as one industry onlooker put it, a ‘very special talent’.  Commenting on the opening heat himself, Coelho described it as ‘really good’.  Aiming for a Top 5 time, he said he took it super safe and seeing Orlowski, who start in front of him crash on the opening lap, that ensured that approach for him.  Seeing Lee Martin also make a mistake he said he just kept it safe and in the end ‘all was ok’. Commenting on his XB2, which is fitted with some prototype parts, he said’ the new car is perfect’ and having not been fan of 2WD he is starting to come around to liking it.

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Commenting on his P2 run, Orlowski said, ‘it was ok for a first run’.  While his Cougar KF2 was ‘very good’ with the 14-year-old confident its got TQ pace, it was two mistakes that were the issue.  The first of these came on the opening lap at the big jump and than a second in the mid section later in the 5-minutes, both resulted in 20-second lap times compared to the Q1 fastest lap of 18.058 which was set by the Polish ace.

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‘Not too great’, was how Martin summed up his opening performance.  The European Champion said their shock set up was ‘a bit too hard’ for the cooler temperature, conditions much colder this morning in the Ring Boulevard hall.  As a result his YZ-2 didn’t want to land off the jumps.  Asked about his own performance the Brit said he ‘didn’t drive very well but not bad’ continuing ‘next time should be better’.

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Wernimont described P4 as ‘better than expected as I flew off the track pretty good’.  On the landing on the single after coming off the main straight he flipped his Yokomo which ended up in under the drivers stand losing him over 3-seconds.  While he said his car was ‘fairly easy to drive’, he Shared Martin’s views on set-up saying ‘we got caught off guard with the cold this morning and we need to make a shock adjustment for Q2’.

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Posting the fifth fastest time Xray’s Martin Wollanka describing the heat as ‘ok’.  Trying to save his XB2 from a flip he got out of shape and lost time as he had to turn the buggy back in the right direction.  Looking for a smoother car for Q2 he will adjust the front flex, which should make it want to flip less.  He will also rebuild his shocks just to refreshen them up.

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Completing the Top 6 ahead of the Yokomo of Tom Cockerill, Joern Neumann was another to crash on the opening lap after he over jumped a single and trying to get turned in for he following corner flipped his Serpent.  He would suffer a second mistake of his own and then lost further time on the last lap when he collected the out of shape Yokomo of Marc Rheinard.  Aside from the mistakes, the German said ‘everything else was ok, the car is good’ and for the next one he just needs to cut out the driver errors.

View complete event results here.

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September 18, 2015

Coelho heads Xray 1-2 at Nürburgring

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Making his Euro Offroad Series debut, Touring Car ace Bruno Coelho is proving the big surprise at the opening round of of Season #5 at the Nürburgring in Germany.  Having impressed when he posted the 3rd quickest time in 2WD practice earlier in the day, he headed an Xray 1-2 in 4WD practice ahead of team-mate Martin Bayer.  With Xray’s Martin Wollanka ending up 4th fastest it was a promising start to the event for the Slovakian manufacturer. Closest to the Xrays over 3-consecutive laps would be reigning Champion Lee Martin who despite having battery issues in the second of the two seeding runs would put his all new Yokomo 3rd on the time sheets.

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Clearly pleased with his day’s performance, 1:10 Offroad being a class the Portuguese star has the least experience of, he said both his cars were really good and of the two it was the 2WD that was the easier to drive but ‘easier doesn’t mean faster’. Improving the soon to be released XB4 2016 ‘a lot’  having conducted 5-days of testing at the Hudy Racing Arena in the build up to the EOS opener, he said was able to run the car the same over all the practice rounds.  Having had some issue with the track’s big jump in 2WD practice, he said that run time had allowed him master it for 4WD.  Looking to Sunday’s 4WD action, 2WD making up tomorrow’s schedule, he commented ‘I hope that everything is in a good way for qualifying but its looks good right now’.

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‘Super good’ that was Bayers reaction to his team’s performance. As Xray’s lead offroad driver and having played a key roll in the development of the new car he was ‘super happy’ getting the cars 1,2 & 4 in the seeding times. Winner of the Season #4 finale in 4WD, The Czech driver said considering how ‘fresh the car is’, them only getting a day & a half of testing with the 2016 model due to having to wait for the final examples to come of the production line, he said ‘the base set-up is really good and (he) didn’t change anything’ over the practice here.  Wollanka said while his car is also very good, he feels there is more speed to be got from it.  Playing with the gluing of his front tyre’s side walls he said he needs to find the balance between this and the actual steering set-up.

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‘Car is getting better and better’, that was how Martin summed up the debut of Yokomo’s new 4WD buggy.  He adding consider Xray managed ‘a lot of carpet time’ with their new XB4 he was encouraged by the pace of his Japanese team’s new car considering it has only run 5 battery packs. Setting his best time in the first of the timed runs, he said the time could have been better as he managed a few laps that were under the minimum lap time set on the timing system.  In the final run of the day he said the car’s power ‘felt soft’ after his cells didn’t take a full charge.  Looking to qualifying on Sunday he said overall the car already has a good 5-minute pace so its been a good start for the team.

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Fifth fastest behind Wollanka, Yokomo’s Marc Rheinard said they were ‘still trying stuff’ but it felt ‘pretty good’.  The problem for the German is he is not happy with how the car is landing and he is lacking confidence to go at them ‘full power’.  Trying changes each of the runs to try cure the landing issues he said ‘its not really getting better’.  Hopeful of improving the car for qualifying, he said his aim is no mistakes because everyone is crashing and a clean run is what will count.

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Completing the Top 6, Yokomo’s newest addition to its bolstered World Championship line-up, Carson Wernimont, said he got ‘caught off guard by how much traction there was’.  Having ‘changed a lot of stuff’ he is is having to learn what changes the prototype car likes.  Having got more on pace over the practice sessions he said he still needs to get more out of it.

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Setting the 7th fastest time Joern Neumann said he played around a lot with his tyre prep. Trying different options in terms of the number of pins removed and the level of gluing in the front tyre walls, the car too edgy without any glue, he felt he has found a good combination.  Now the German, who also made shock set-up changes during the rounds, said he needs to find more speed from the set-up.

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Another driver debuting a new car at the event, Michal Orlowski would put his Schumacher 8th fastest.  The recently crowned European Champion, said the car started off feeling really good but changes to get more steering left him with less.  The 14-year-old said this was part of racing with a new car and because of the lack of track time they dont yet really know what direction to take to improve the car.

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Posting the 9th fastest time ahead of Yokomo designer Shin Adachi,  HB’s David Ronnefalk said it was a busy day as they tested a lot of stuff on his D413 which features a new gearbox design and roll centre.  The Swede said the ‘huge bite’ of the track caused them difficulty.  With the car too edgy when you don’t remove any pins from the handout Schumacher Mini pin tyre, he said when you do it ends up being too slow.  Happy that they learnt a lot over the practicce he is hopeful he can find something for Sunday.

View our full event image gallery here.


September 18, 2015

Chassis Focus – Lee Martin

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Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2
Motor: Muchmore
ESC: Muchmore
Batteries: Protek RC
Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Lee Martin Edition
Remarks – Reigning champion in both classes, Lee Martin proved himself ready to defend his 2WD title topping today’s practice with his Yokomo YZ-2. The car is equipped with a number of option parts, such as titanium screws and turnbuckles, black diamond shock shafts, a hard coated slipper plate and Yatabe shock springs. An Avior Wing and an under LiPo weight from LMR complete the package.

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September 18, 2015

Martin tops 2WD practice at Nurburgring

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Reigning double Euro Offroad Series Champion Lee Martin has opened Season #5 in the best way possible as he topped 2WD practice at the Nürburgring.  The Yokomo driver set the fastest 3-consecutive laps ahead of last year’s 2WD season finale winner Michal Orlowski, the Schumacher driver 0.389 of a second off.  Making an impressive EOS debut this weekend, Touring car ace Bruno Coelho completing the Top 3 with his Xray ahead of fellow touring car star Marc Rheinard.

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Also the reigning European Champion in 2WD, Martin described practice as having gone ‘not bad’.  Curing his YZ-2 from skipping in high speed corners by changing from gullwing to flat arms, the British driver also played around with shock oils declaring they had ‘got that right now’.  Feeling that he has a good 5-minute car, one area he feels the can improve is how the car feels through the tight corner at the end of the straight on new tyres but with tyre wear very low on the new carpet, some drivers expecting to run all four qualifiers on the same set, it shouldn’t be a huge issue.

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Starting out the event with the same set-up on his Cougar KF2 as he used when he claimed his first EOS win at the Hudy Racing Arena, Orlowski said they just made some small changes over the sessions.  Happy with everything the 14-year-old said the car was now pretty safe and overall he was happy with everything going into qualifying tomorrow.  Asked about the track layout the Polish ace admitted he wasn’t a big fan feeling the track was ‘too small and tight’ adding the black track markers are too tall.

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A race winner in the EOS organisers two other series, the Euro Touring Series and the Euro Nitro Series, racing in a class that he admits to not particularly enjoying to drive Coelho seems to be finding his way quickly.  The Portuguese star, who last raced offroad when he contested the 1:8 World Championships over a year ago, said ‘all is going well’.  Having spent 5-days at the Hudy Racing Arena testing in preparation for his EOS debut, he said Xray has done a lot of development work with its 2WD, the XB2 featuring a number of prototype parts, and as a result of that he hasn’t had to change the car since the first practice.  Describing the track layout as easier than that of the Hudy Arena he said the big jump here is causing him some difficulty.  Approaching it having just exited a fast left hand corner he said the landing needs to be perfect as the jump is ‘narrow’.

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Rheinard said he used practice mainly to get used to running offroad again adding being fourth fastest was ‘not too bad’.  Following the same route as team-mate Martin changing from gullwing to flat arms for the final practice, he said this improved the car but the fact they forgot to change the front shock tower for this he said things should be even better for qualifying.  Asked about the track, the four time onroad World Champion said it is ‘not easy’ with crashes inevitable over 5-minutes.

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Setting the fifth fastest time was Martin Wollanka, the Xray driver describing his XB2 as ‘working really well’.  Describing the track as ‘one of the best (the EOS) has created’ he said it was ‘very nice to drive’.  With his buggy feeling like it wants to flip he said if he can reduce that it would be perfect for qualifying and he has ‘2 or 3 options’ to consider in the shocks which should help.  Team-mate Martin Bayer would post the 8th fastest time.  Describing things as ‘not so bad’, adding that Coelho & Wollanka are fast, he said he is missing steering and having to drive on the limit which ‘of course brings mistakes’.  An EOS winner in both 2WD and 4WD, the Czech driver complemented organiser Uwe Rheinard on sourcing the new carpet saying it was nice to not need 5 sets of tyres anymore to go racing adding the low tyre wear is good for everyone.

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Completing the Top 6 was new Yokomo signing Carson Wernimont.  The American, who spent the days leading up to the event testing with Lee Martin and designer Shin Adachi in the UK, said practice was just about getting used to carpet again.  In terms of his car he said he took the lead from Martin and that he is now running pretty much the same set-up as Martin & Rheinard.  Describing his new car as ‘really solid’, his last EOS outing having been with Team Associated, he said while he has never been a master of single laps for seeding he feels he will be up there for qualifying as everything feels good going into tomorrow.

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With a new gearbox design and alu chassis, Serpent’s Joern Neumann would set the 7th fastest time.  Starting out his first full EOS campaign with Serpent the former champion said things are ‘getting better and better’ every race he does with the cars.  With his car 3-wheeling at the end of the straight, he said a change to heavier oil & harder front springs improved this and now all he needs is a little more mid corner speed.  Overall the German appeared happy with his early pace.

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The Top 10 in 2WD practice would be completed by Tom Cockerill, the former Schumacher designer and Top Qualifier making his first EOS appearance since departing the British manufacturer, and Schumacher’s Peter Pinisch.  Elsewhere, running HB’s new 2WD buggy, David Ronnefalk would post the 14th fastest time.

View our full event image gallery here.


September 18, 2015

Chassis Focus – Michal Orlowski

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Chassis: Schumacher CAT-K2
Motor: Speed Passion
ESC: LRP
Batteries: LRP
Radio/Servo: Ko Propo
Remarks – Newly crowned European Champion and top Schumacher driver Michal Orlowski is debuting the new Schumacher 4WD Buggy, called CAT-K2. Having a chat with Schumacher designer Phil Booth we understood that the main goal in developing the car has been transferring the weight distribution concept from their 2WD on to the new 4WD buggy, keeping the motor centred and moving it as forward as possible while obtaining a narrower car. The layout also allows the user to choose from 5 different battery positions, using a saddle pack or a shorty. The transmission is now completely straight and allows the use of the FAB (Front Adjustable Brake) System, while on the suspension only some small details have been changed.

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September 18, 2015

Track Focus – Nürburgring

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Venue – Nürburgring
Race Hosts – ADAC
Country – Germany
Location – Nürburg (120 km northwest of Frankfurt)
Direction – Anti-Clockwise
Surface – Carpet

The Euro Offroad Series opens a fifth season this weekend by celebrating the running of its 15th championship event, round 1 could not happen at a more iconic motorsport venue as it brings RC drivers from around the globe to the world famous Nürburgring in Germany.  Situated in the impressive Ring Boulevard building, which runs parallel to the main straight of the 1:1 race track, the EOS event is part of the full size Nürburgring 1000KM race weekend.  Also adding to the racing atmosphere of the event is SimRacing Expo which is taking place next to the EOS.  The opportunity for RC Racing to be a part of the Nürburgring has come about thanks to German motoring association the ADAC which has an impressive membership of almost 20-million.  With EOS c0-founder Uwe Rheinard having successful arranged a touring car race at the venue last year, the ADAC, who are organisers of the 1:1 race meeting, invited him to return making the perfect opportunity for the opening round of the EOS.

New for Season #5 is the carpet. After the Hudy Racing Arena successfully debuted new black carpet for last season’s finale, this year the EOS organisers have acquired the same black carpet with drivers already giving it a huge thumbs up.  While the Hudy Racing Arena got their carpet in square tile sections, the EOS managed to acquire it in 4-metre rolls making it easier to transport to all rounds.  Having been in control of the EOS for the past four season as Race Director, Scotty Ernst is himself making his racing debut on the European style carpet track in the newly introduced Stadium Truck class this weekend.  An experienced dirt offroad racer, the American said the track was really fun and it presents its own unique offroad driving style.

Featuring the biggest jump yet to be included in an EOS, Gerd Strenge building the jumps and designing the track layout, the track is getting a positive reaction from drivers.  Double defending champion Lee Martin said the new carpet is proving very consistent and is already developing groove.  In terms of the layout he said while the big jump is easy the transition on the landing is tricky.  The Yokomo driver said the end of the straight is key to a good lap,  feeling it is ‘too tight’ he said it is ‘critical to not get it wrong rather than trying to get it right’.  Joern Neumann said the layout out is nice to drive and commenting on the new carpet said it was ‘very good’ pointing to the tyres on his Serpent, which had done three practice runs, saying they ‘look like new’. Like Martin, Neumann’s only negative of the track is the black piping against the black carpet which both drivers said makes it hard to clearly see the layout.

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September 17, 2015

EOS Season #5 opens at iconic Nurburgring

EOS Season #5 opens at iconic Nurburgring

This weekend (18-20 September) the Euro Offroad Series opens its fifth season at the iconic Nürburgring racing circuit in Germany.  Marking the 15th event of the high profile 1:10 electric offroad championship, Round 1 of the 2015/16 season takes place alongside the Nürburgring 1000KM, a round of the full size sportscar Blancpain Endurance Series.  Heading the entry on the EOS’ first visit to the Nürburgring is defending double champion Lee Martin.  Last season in addition to claiming the 2WD Buggy title, the Yokomo driver became the first driver to deny Joern Neumann the 4WD title, the German having held that crown since the creation of the indoor championship.

Building on their success, Yokomo come into the new season with their strongest line up to-date with Martin, who was joined by Marc Rheinard at the season finale, now also having a third high profile team-mate in new American signing Carson Wernimont.  Last season, then driving for Schumacher, Wernimont was Top Qualifier in 2WD at the opening round and he will be looking for a repeat performance this weekend with his new team.

Having joined Serpent halfway through last season’s campaign, the final two rounds a steep learning curve for the championship’s one time dominator, Neumann now has the benefit of having had time with his new cars. Fresh from being crowned German National Champion, he will be more determined than ever to regain his reign as an EOS champion.  Also making the mid season switch to Serpent, rejoining his former Durango team-mate, veteran offroader Hupo Honigl will be looking for the kind of start to the season he had two years ago when he took his first EOS win at the opening round.  Having just clinched the Austrian National titles he travels to German in confident form.

Winner of 4WD  at last season’s closing race, Martin Bayer will be a formidable force heading Xray’s campaign.  For the passed two season’s Bayer has been in title contention at the final round and the Czech ace would like nothing better than to open Season #5 with a win.  One of only four drivers to have won EOS races in both 2WD and 4WD, Bayer will again race alongside Austrian Martin Wollanka.  One very interesting addition to the Xray Offroad team  line-up this weekend is that of their touring car ace and European 1:10 Nitro Champion Bruno Coelho.

The star of Season #4, winning 2WD at the season finale before going on to become European 4WD Champion, Michal Orlowski heads Schumacher’s quest for an EOS title.  Having given the British manufacturer, which also supplies the handout tyre of the EOS, their first win the 14-year-old comes into his first full season with Schumacher as a serious championship contender.  Racing alongside Orlowski will be experienced Austrian Peter Pinisch who is also in his first full season with the team.

Expected to debut a new 2WD Buggy at the season opener, David Ronnefalk carries the hopes of HB.  Always fast, the Swede had a disappointing Season #4 results wise but with a full year of development time with his new Japanese team’s cars under his belt he will be looking to make amends for last season and try to get that win that has eluded him.  A man who has played a pivotal role in Ronnefalk’s successful 1:8 Offroad career, tuning his Orion engine, Adrien Bertin will be his protege’s team-mate when the former 1:8 and 1:10 Onroad World Champion Adrien Bertin makes his EOS debut. It is expected that the Frenchman will have plenty of questions for the 19-year-old.