Lee Martin lead a Yokomo 1,2,3 in the first round of the 2WD qualifier at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany. The reigning champion set the pace over Marc Rheinard by 1.8-seconds, the pair being the only drivers to make 16 lap, with a much improved Carson Wernimont a further 3-seconds back. For EOS debutant Neil Cragg, his first qualifier started off well with him in contention for the TQ until he had a marshalled car put out in front of him, then on target for a Top 3 he would crash himself on his final lap to end up 9th.
‘Not too bad but going from 4WD practice to 2WD qualifying and starting first the only thing you expect is to mess it up’, was how Martin summed up his opening qualifying. Describing the early laps as ‘super close’, the current points leader, who could secure his second consecutive title tomorrow with a third win of the season, he said ‘then everyone started making mistakes’. With the pressure off as a result, he was able to pace himself over the rest of the qualifier. In terms of his RC Concept powered YZ-2, he said his ‘shocks needed a rebuild’ and thats what he will do for Q2, leaving the set-up unchanged.
‘The speed is there, I just had one crash too many’, was how Rheinard viewed his Q1 performance adding ‘it took a while to get into 2WD again after running 4WD’. Finding one of the rear arms on his YZ-2 to be ‘tight’ after the qualifier, he will fit new arms adding other than that the only aim is to ‘catch Lee’.
Wernimont declared his Q1 as being ‘Way better than practice’. The American, who will spend the next week in German and make his ETS debut next weekend, said in practice his ‘car wasn’t good and the driver didn’t turn up’. Copying his team-mates set-up he said his YZ-2 ‘now feels really good’ despite him not having the prototype rear hubs being used by Martin & Rheinard. Given a set for last week’s Reedy Race of Champions, but running his Worlds car at the EOS he forgot to remove the hubs from his dirt car before leaving California. On the qualifier itself he sad it started off a little slow but as he got comfortable with the improved set-up he was able to push more. Set to leave the car unchanged for Q2 he will make a speedo change looking to get more top speed.
Ending up the closest challenge to the Yokomos with the 4th fastest time, Xray’s Martin Bayer said he ‘was just too slow but had the speed’. With a faster lap time than the three ahead of him the Czech driver said, ‘I just drove too careful at the start. I was scared to make a mistake but shouldn’t have been cause the car is good’. Leaving his XB2 unchanged for Q2 he will instead ‘push a little more’.
New team-mate Hupo Honigl response to how his run to 5th had gone was answer with a big smile. One of the key drivers in instigating the setting up of the EOS back in 2011, the Austrian said even with ‘millions of small mistakes’ he was still able to get a good time. Admitting his first big race with a new car added pressure leaving him ‘not happy with (his) driving’ he added its good for his confidence as he knows there is a lot more to come. Having had problems with the roller after the straight in practice he said after running 4WD it is no longer an issue as having been scared of it before he is now ‘punched’ over it.
Giving an account of his first EOS qualifier, Cragg said ‘I set off great but then a marshal went and put a car out in front of me’. Losing almost 2-seconds, the former World Champion said this left him third a result that would have been ‘super dialled’. On the last lap however he would have a ‘big ass crash’ of his own doing which ‘lost (him) a few years’. Hoping his P9 ends up being his dropped score, he said with his B5M working good he just need to ‘try to do better’ in the next one.
Bruno Coelho set the pace in 4WD practice at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Xray driver topping the times from main title rival Lee Martin. Winner of Round 2 of the championship in Slovakia, the World Champion was 3/10ths of a second faster than reigning EOS champion Martin over 3-consecutive laps. Facebook video star Martin Wollanka, his battle with & pass on team-mate Coelho at EOS Round 2 getting over 35-million views, completed the Top 3 at the end of the two seeding rounds. Putting in an impressive first controlled practice, Finland’s Joel Valander would put his Xray fourth fastest.
Coming into the weekend joint leader of the 4WD standings with Martin, Coelho was pleased to put his XB4 at the top of the time sheets. Struggling to execute a good third lap in first practice, putting that down to making the switch from 2WD to 4WD, he said his rhythm, together with adapting a ‘safer’ driving style was ‘much better’ second time round. Running his ‘standard set-up’, something the Portuguese ace rarely deviates from, he said his car is ‘really good’ and there is nothing he needs to change for qualifying tomorrow.
Having topped 2WD seeding, Martin said 4WD ‘wasn’t too bad’ adding his ‘car was pretty good’. Running a new set-up which Shin Adachi tested in Japan, the Nurburgring winner said they didn’t change the car between practice rounds. Despite feeling the YZ-4 ‘could land a little better’ he plans to leave it unchanged for Q1 stating it ‘should be good over 5-minutes’.
A podium finish at the opening two races of the season, Wollanka was content with his practice times. Changing from a slipper to a diff and making a shock set-up change, the Austrian liked the softer shocks but didn’t like the diff. Feeling with slipper his XB4 was more stable under braking he will put it back in for Q1.
Declaring the EOS’ first visit to Muelheim-Kaerlich as his ‘favourite EOS track so far’, 17-year-old Valander described his run to the fourth quickest time as ‘OK’. Setting his time in the first run, his second run 2/10th slower, the Xray driver felt his car was ‘a little hard to drive’ adding however that he was ‘maybe driving it too hard’. Making no changes to his XB4 between practice runs, he plans to leave it unchanged for the opening qualifier saying he would instead ‘back it [his driving] down a little’ and see how that works first.
‘Pretty OK but it feels like something is missing’ was how Rheinard summed up his 4WD practice. Posting the 5th fastest time, the Yokomo offroad team driver feels his driving, in particular how he is taking the corner table top, is where he is losing time and thats something he will try to improve on tomorrow.
Completing the Top 6, Hupo Honigl was very pleased with his pace saying ‘I think my car is very good. It easy to drive and stable, it just needs a little more steering’. Having tried a different sway bar for his second practice, his faster run, the newly signed Xray driver said ‘it didn’t help’ but added the car is ‘not far way from being perfect’. With ‘4WD quali far away’, the Austrian said he had ‘time to think about any changes’ he might make for Q1. Behind Honigl, top Belgian driver Nico Risser took his XB4 to 7th in the seeding.
Setting the 8th fastest time, 3-time EOS 4WD Champion Joern Nuemann said ‘I was 8th after practice at the DHI Cup’, the German going on to take his first international win with Serpent. Describing his car as ‘OK to drive’ he said it flips sometimes, something he feels he can rectify by making it stiffer for Q1 adding ‘for sure running 5-minute is very different to putting in 3-laps’. Behind Neumann, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski and Xray’s multiple race winner Martin Bayer rounded out the Top 10.
Chassis: Xray XB4 ’16 Motor: LRP X20 5.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: LRP 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa Remarks – Reigning 4WD World Champion and joint EOS 4wd points leader Bruno Coelho is running a pretty standard version of the Xray XB4 4WD buggy. In terms of option parts, the car is equipped with an aluminium steering rack, graphite suspension arms and a Hudy aluminium servo horn.
Team Yokomo put in a very strong showing in practice at the Euro Offroad Series with Lee Martin topping the 2WD seeding at Round 3 in Germany. Improving his best 3-consecutive laps by 7/10th of a second in the final controlled practice, Martin again set the pace from team-mate Marc Rheinard with five Yokomo drivers making up the Top 10 times. Heading the challenge to Yokomo, despite not improving on his opening time, Team Associated Neil Cragg would open his EOS debut with the third fastest time albeit over 1-second off the pace of the reigning champion. One of the big improvers of the final practice would be Yokomo touring car star Yannic Prumper who knocked 1.3 seconds off his opening time to end the seeding 4th fastest.
Having changed to a new prototype rear hub on his YZ-2, which he is running in the soon to be released 3-gear gearbox ‘CA’ configuration, Martin said they ‘settled it pretty good’. Happy with the car’s performance he said ‘to change the car now would be stupid, especially after running 4wd’, drivers running their 4WD practice before the first two rounds of 2WD qualifying tonight.
Only able to improve his time slightly, 9/100th of a second to be exact, while Martin extended his advantage, Rheinard said ‘I need to change the car for qualifying’. Having left it unchanged from CP1, the German will copy Martin by switching to the limited prototype rear hubs. Sticking with running his YZ-2 with the standard kit gearbox, the touring car ace said if after changing hubs his team-mate maintains his distinct advantage in the first qualifier he will then have to switch over to the 3-gear gearbox.
Having had power issues in the opening two practices, Cragg said his ‘slipper is (now) dialled’. Having made changes to the front end of his prototype B5M for CP2, he said it created ‘a little more lock’ leaving him with ‘too much steering’. Unable to better his CP12 time as a result, the EOS debutant will revert back to his previous set-up for Q1.
Starting out the day with his YZ-2 running a basic kit set-up, Prumper said copying Rheinard’s set-up made the car ‘much better’. Asked if he planned to also copy Martin’s rear hub change he replied ‘No’, the German not having the option as the team only have 3-sets available which are in use with Martin, Adachi and now Rheinard. Adachi would set the 6th fastest time while American former EOS Top Qualifier Carson Wernimont ended up 9th.
Improving to the fifth fastest time, Michal Orlowski said ‘(my car) feels ok in my hand and looks ok on the track but on lap times its off the pace’. Running a heavier battery and adjusting his rear camber links, the Schumacher driver said it was an improvement and the main problem in CP2 was his slipper was too tight. Popping wheelies he said he had to back off the power and this was costing him time. Planning to loosen the slipper for Q1 he said he would leave everything else untouched on his KF2 feeling that over 5-minute the car should be good. Admitting ‘Yokomo are very fast here’, he said the important thing was to try and run the 5-minutes without mistakes. Faster than his team-mate in CP1, Peter Pinisch would end up 7th fastest behind the young Pole.
Best of the Xrays, with the 8th fastest time, Bruno Coelho said he made a ‘big improvement’ between runs. Suffering from ‘too much rear traction’ describing his XB2 as feeling like having it had ‘glue on the rear tyres’ he said changes to make the rear more loose was good. Looking to further reduce the rear traction, the Portuguese star said ‘I think we are going in the right direction now so we should be able to further improve things for qualifying’.
Chassis: TLR 22 3.0 Motor: Tekin 7.5T ESC: Tekin RSX Batteries: LRP 2900mAh LCG Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – British TLR driver Ellis Stafford is debuting at the EOS running a modified 22 3.0 from the American manufacturer. His buggy sports a prototype 3 gear transmission, and is also equipped with a brass front bulkhead and several other weights, as well as a -2 rear toe plate.
Lee Martin set the early pace at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the reigning champion heading a Yokomo 1-2 in the first round of 2WD controlled practice. 3/10ths off over the fastest 3-consecutive laps, Marc Rheinard would post the second fastest time in what was a good morning for the Japanese manufacturer with their designer Shin Adachi fourth fastest. Making his EOS debut, Neil Cragg was quick to settle in and with just a single round of free practice to get a feel for the EOS carpet took his Associated to the 3rd fastest time.
Running his fastest three laps in a time of 58.611, Martin summed up his early performance as ‘not bad’. Running a 3-gear gearbox, Yokomo set to release this in March as a CA (Carpet/Astro) version of the YZ-2, he described his car as ‘a little nervous at high speed’. Looking to improve this by changing to a different rear hub, he said the main issue is when he ‘lock(s) on the the brakes the rear becomes unstable’ but apart from this the car is working the rest of the track well. Mechanic for Martin, Adachi said his own car was going well. Racing so as he can ‘test stuff for Lee’, for the final practice he will run a number of new parts to evaluate if they would be beneficial to their lead driver and the rest of the team.
The only one of the factory Yokomo drivers starting out with a standard kit version YZ-2, Rheinard was also happy with his early pace. Using the first of the two controlled practices to break in a new set of the Schumacher tyres he joked ‘I guess thats why Lee was faster than me’. The 4-time onroad World Champion said while the track ‘could do with one or two more jumps’ the ‘layout is nice and quite technical’. For the second & final controlled practice before the drivers switch over to 4WD practice, the German plans to use the track time to run in a second set of rear tyres.
Asked how his first EOS outing was going Cragg replied, ‘Good. I’m enjoying it’. Running the same 3-gear gearbox car he used at the World Championships in Japan, the former World Champion said he hasn’t made any changes to the set-up, instead working on getting the power right. With the carpet surface ‘super grippy like (he) expected’, he said his slipper is too tight. Adjusting it after free practice as well as reducing his ‘punch setting’ on his speedo he said they need to go a bit more on the slipper. For the final practice he will also stiffen up his front shocks to help carry more speed through the corners.
Fifth fastest ahead of Schumacher team-mate Michal Orlowski, Peter Pinisch summed up his performance as ‘so far so good’. Running two cars in free practice, he said the heavier (regular battery) car was better as it was easier to drive than the shortie configured KF2. Describing the left side of the track as ‘too much like touring car’ he said the right side is good to drive for which he needs to find some slow speed steering as the car is pushing. Orlowski said while his car feels OK it is slow. Suffering from too much rear traction he said this is preventing him from being able to push. Planning to go for a bigger (Heavier) battery and move the rear links higher he said with less rear grip it should make it easier to drive.
For Xray, Martin Bayer would be the fastest XB2 Xray in 7th just one position ahead of new team-mate Hupo Honigl. Having had a lean 12-months in the EOS with Serpent, the Austrian is very upbeat about the weekend ahead. ‘From the first time I ran the cars they have felt really good and I am enjoying racing again’. Asked about his XB2 over the two practice runs the former 2WD race winner said ‘its pretty good so I didn’t change anything’. Giving his thoughts on the track, he said the roller off the main straight is an area that he struggling with, adding he needs to improve himself and the car there’. Behind him team-mates Lorenzo Crolla and Martin Wollanka completed the Top 10.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2 CA Motor: RC Concept 6.5T ESC: RC Concept SC120 Batteries: RC Concept 4500 mah Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Making his EOS debut with the new RC Concept electrics, top Yokomo factory driver Lee Martin is running the soon-to-be-delivered CA (Carpet & Astro) version of the Japanese 2WD buggy. The car sports a new 3-gear transmission that will also be available for purchase to upgrade the existing YZ-2 kit. Equipped with Yatabe shock springs, an LMR under LiPo weight and titanium screws and turnbuckles, it also features pre-production rear aluminium hubs with a different offset. The aerodynamics is taken care of by a LMR rear and PL front wing.