Bayer fastest in 4WD Practice

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Martin Bayer has set the pace in 4WD practice at EOS Round 3, the Team Xray driver running the fastest 3-consecutive laps in both timed runs which brought official proceedings on Day 1 of the Slovakian event to a close.  Chasing his first EOS victory, the European Champion topped the times at his home track over the Yokomos of Lee Martin and Naoto Matsukura and will be top seed for tomorrow’s four rounds of qualifying.  Having had a disappointing day in 2WD, reigning 4WD EOS Champion Joern Neumann’s day didn’t improve much, the unbeaten driver who is chasing win number 10 this weekend ending up only 11th fastest.

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‘Really awesome’ was how Bayer described his 3-lap time which left him 9/10th of a second clear of his nearest rival.  While pleased to top the times the Czech ace said in terms of his LRP powered XB4′s set-up the buggy is ‘not really easy to drive’.  Happy that the speed is there he will work on a better set-up for tomorrow to make the buggy more comfortable for a 5-minute run but overall he added he is feeling ‘pretty confident for tomorrow’.

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Martin described his B-Max 4 performance over the two practices as ‘pretty good’ saying today the buggy was working.  Having availed of yesterday’s open practice day at the Hudy Arena, the British driver said they started out with a completely wrong set-up.  Not finding a really good solution over the day, he said it was only changes made today just ahead of the official practice that they found a good way with the buggy.  With the buggy ‘good now’ he said thats all that matters and he is happy to run it as is for the morning’s opening qualifier.

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Matsukura, who started off the day with a TQ run in the opening 2WD Buggy Qualifier, was only a tenth of a second off his team-mate with his first timed practice time.  Changing his set-up for the second run he said it didn’t work so well.  Struggling with the buggy bottoming out on the bigger landings he said he must make changes for tomorrow but he first wants to discuss his options with his mechanic and the teams head of development Shin Adachi.

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Having posted the 7th fastest time in second round of 2WD qualifying having only built his 2WD Buggy overnight and ran it for the first time this morning, top Portuguese racer Miguel Matias was back in familiar territory with his 4WD.  Joining Xray for the 2014 season, he described his practice having gone ‘very good’.  Setting his best time in first practice, he changed to a lighter front diff oil for the second and while it was ‘maybe faster’ it was ‘not as consistent’.  Planning to go back up for Q1 he also plans to try a different shock geometry.

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Feeling this is the best prepared he has come into an EOS event, having been able to test with the championships hand out Pro-Line tyres back in Sweden, David Ronnefalk was pleased with his practice. Posting the fourth fastest time the Kyosho driver said his prototype buggy felt good although by the end of the run he did have an issue with it going soft. Planning to go up in his shock oil for tomorrow he said he is feeling pretty confident & looking forward to qualifying getting underway.

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Running an identical set-up to his older brother, Ales Bayer posted the 6th fastest time.  Struggling to find his rhythm in the first practice, he said he was ‘very very happy’ with how the second run went.  Looking to tomorrow he plans to make a small change to his shock set-up but overall he said he is very happy with where he is currently at.

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Another driver to improve in the second practice was fellow Xray driver Renaud Savoya. Suffering a broken rear diff in the first run, the French ace went for a heavy oil then fitted a new diff but he said it was a little too much.  Happy with the balance of his Orion powered XB4 he said going up in oil had created oversteer on power.  While reverting back to a lighter oil will give less traction he said overall it should give a better feeling with the steering.

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Team C’s Hupo Honigl, who TQ’d Q2 of 2WD Buggy, posted the 8th fastest time followed by the Schumacher of Tom Cockerill and the Tamiya of former European Champion Marc Rheinard.  Normally the man to beat from the first lap of 4WD, Neumann said he struggled for traction.  Running used tyres on his DEX410 he said he struggles even though the tyres pins still look perfectly good.  Not sure why this is he said for the opening qualifier he will run new tyres on which he knows the buggy has no problems being competitive.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

Honigl TQ’s second EOS qualifier

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Hupo Honigl has TQ’d the second round of 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, the Team C driver being the only driver to run 13 laps of the difficult Hudy Arena the second time of asking.  Improving on his Q1 time by over 4-seconds, the Austrian topped the round from Q1 pace setter Naoto Matsukura with an improved run from the Japanese driver’s team-mate Lee Martin seeing him complete the Top 3.

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Having felt his car would be better on its second run on the controlled Pro-Line tyres, the winner of the season opener in Poland said the difference was ‘ridiculous’.  Making one mistake early on in the heat which cost him about 2-seconds, he said he was forced to push hard but with his rivals making more mistakes for the second half of the qualifier he was able to let off somewhat.  ‘Super happy’ with his Dual Sky powered TM2 V2 he said with confidence he wont be touching the set-up for tomorrow’s remaining two qualifiers, the action now switching over to 4WD practice for the remainder of today’s schedule.

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Matsukura, who is this weekend chasing three overall wins & TQ’s from three EOS appearances, summed up Q2 with ‘me not good’.  Winner of Round 2 in Berlin in January, he had a ‘bad first 2-minute’ but getting his act together he was pleased with his pace for the rest of the run when he again posted the fastest lap of the round.  While the track will see a lot of 4WD action before Q3, he said he doesn’t plan to change his B-Max 2 set-up as it had the speed and he just needs to stop crashing.

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Having got Shin Adachi to rebuild his shocks for Q2, Martin said the run started off good with him managing to run the TQ pace just before the halfway mark.  Believing new o-rings had helped with his understeer issues of practice & Q1 he said as the freshly built shocks settled during the run his Viper powered B-Max 2 dropped in ride height making it difficult for the second part of the heat.  For now the multiple European Champion said the only change he plans for Q3 is to readjust his ride height.

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Another good run from Martin Wollanka saw him post the fourth fastest time be top Xray ahead of team-mates Renaud Savoya, Martin Bayer and the EOS returning Miguel Matias.  Savoya said other than an early bobble when he had to check-up to avoid hitting the rear of Bayer he was happy with his run.  Admitting that he doesn’t have high expectations for 2WD, 4WD being the 3-time 1:8 European Champion’s preferred class, he said he would be really happy with another such run as this would lock him into his first ever EOS 2WD A-Main.  Bayer said his 5th fastest time was down to ‘just me’ as he started the run with ‘too many stupid mistakes’.

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Elsewhere David Ronnefalk once again threw away a potential TQ run.  The Kyosho driver was on the TQ pace for three laps before he ‘screwed it up again’, a mistake on lap-7 which the marshal was slow to notice costing him 4-seconds.  Following this up with three further single lap crashes he ended up 11th behind fellow countryman Oskar Levin.  Describing his car as ‘amazing’ and unlike the previous rounds having had the chance to test on the controlled Pro-Line tyre he said the speed is there and he just needs to ‘keep it clean’ for the full 5-minutes.

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Having broke three times, defending champion Joern Neumann finally completed a run albeit in only the 12th fastest time just ahead of Team Associated team-mates Juho Levanen and Peter Pinisch.  While Pinisch is building one of Associated’s new B5M chassis, Levanen’s having arrived in Finland just after he left for Slovakia, the former European Champion is unlikely to run it due to having no gear diff or spare parts.

2WD Buggy Q2 times
1. Hupo Hönigl – Team C – 13/5:20.003
2. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 12/5:01.042
3. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 12/5:02.588
4. Martin Wollanka – Xray – 12/5:02.884
5. Renaud Savoya – Xray – 12/5:02.932
6. Martin Bayer – Xray – 12/5:05.760
7. Miguel Matias – Xray – 12/5:07.110
8. Torben Højfeldt – Team C – 12/5:07.622
9. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 12/5:10.648
10.Oskar Levin – Team C – 12/5:11.084

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

Video – 2wd Qualifying Rd1

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Matsukura takes Q1 at EOS in Slovakia

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Team Yokomo driver Naoto Matsukura has taken the opening round of 2WD Buggy qualifying at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series.  A two time Top Qualifier and race winner, the Japanese driver topped Q1 at the Hudy Arena by 2-seconds over practice pace setting Martin Bayer. The round saw four drivers go top of the time screens over the 5-minutes but they would all make significant mistakes Hupo Honigl eventually claiming third and David Ronnefalk fourth as the only other drivers to run 13 laps of the tough track.  Having had a troubled practice, breaking on both his runs, defending champion Joern Neumann’s event didn’t improve as he retired with a broke rear stub axle 3-minutes into the qualifier.

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Matsukura was pleased to take the opening qualifier but said it was not perfect.  Having predicted after practice that running 5-minutes without a mistake was going to be near impossible due to the tracks tough jumps, Matsukura was right as his run include three mistakes.  Pleased with his B-Max 2 set-up, he said he will leave it the same for Q2 and instead try to ‘reduce the number of errors’ adding reduce was the key word as a totally clean run was too tall an order.

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Laying down the pace for the first 5-laps, Bayer said the run ‘started good’ but his Xray developed understeer which in turn led him to over drive and make mistakes. Struggling by the end of the 5-minutes, he said a set-up change after practice had for the opening laps given him the little steering he was lacking earlier but it was not consistent and by the end he was struggling with ‘push, push, push’. Despite this the Czech ace said second for the opening round was good to have.

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Honigl was somewhat disappointed with 3rd saying it was ‘OK’ but the Austrian felt his driving was not good.  Running a fresh set of Pro-Line’s controlled Wedge-Squared front and Pin Point rear on his Team C, he said the buggy is better second time round on the tyres so he is looking forward to a better Q2 performance both from the car and the driver.

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‘Good for a long while’ was how Ronnefalk summed up his 4th for the round the Swede having been on target for a TQ run until the last minute.  With his Orion powered Kyosho leading the way, the 1:8 Offroad European Champion said on hearing the 1-minute to go announcement he decided to ‘take it easy’ but this ‘was a bad idea’.   Casing a jump it resulted in a crash that cost him almost 3-seconds. Dropping to fourth he would lose a further 6 second with a last lap error.  Changing the ride height and droop on his RB6 after practice, the 17-year-old said his buggy was much better on the jumps and he will leave it the same for Q2.

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Running 12-laps, Austrian Martin Wollanka was fifth fastest.  Running in the top heat, the Xray driver was pleased with his run but for Q2 plans to make some changes to his XB4-2.  Looking to make the buggy more stable he will change to a heavier front shock oil and to try and keep steering he will run the wheelbase shorter.

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‘Just kept crashing’, that was the response of Lee Martin to how his run had gone.  The Vice-World Champion said dropping the front link on his Yokomo as well as fitting a front wing to the bodyshell had made little difference to the level of understeer he is suffering.  While the British ace said it wasn’t a huge issue he just cannot carry the same corner speed as the ‘front motored’ cars.  For Q2 he will discuss set-up options with Yokomo’s new head of offroad development Shin Adachi.  Racing himself in the event, his first time doing offroad on carpet, Adachi said the racing is a very different experience to anything he has done before.

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Behind Martin with the 7th fastest time was former team-mate Marc Rheinard.  The Tamiya driver, who is running in the 3rd fastest heat,  said it was a steady run adding he just took a caustious approach to the table top.  Admitting he is nowhere near fast enough he said considering the car they have for 2WD and the fact that they only have the option of running a ball diff it was pretty ‘OK’.

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Setting the eighth fastest time in the first of the four scheduled qualifiers was Team C’s Torben Hojifeldt, the Dane followed by the Yokomo’s of 1:8 World Champion Robert Batlle and Yannic Prumper. who completed the Top 10.

2WD Buggy Q1 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 13/5:17.721
2. Martin Bayer – Xray – 13/5:19.766
3. Hupo Hönigl – Team C – 13/5:24.467
4. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 13/5:28.940
5. Martin Wollanka – Xray – 12/5:01.157
6. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 12/5:03.349
7. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya – 12/5:04.833
8. Torben Højfeldt – Team C – 12/5:05.489
9. Robert Battlle – Yokomo – 12/5:06.748
10.Yannic Prümper – Yokomo – 12/5:11.173

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

Bayer tops 2WD practice at Hudy Arena

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Martin Bayer is the top seed for 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series third round taking place at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia.  The Xray driver set the fastest 3-consecutive laps around a difficult track to outpace Round 2 winner Naoto Matsukura who in turn was quicker than Round 1 winner Hupo Honigl.  Breaking his buggy in each of the two timed practice runs, defending champion Joern Neumann posted the 5th fastest time.

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Essentially the home event for Bayer, the Czech ace doing the vast majority of his EOS preparations at the Arena, he described both his practices as ‘solid runs’.  Making small adjustments to his XB4-2 each run he said his focus was on consistency over 5-minute rather than outright pace and so he was particularly happy to top the times.  Really confident for the event, he said the buggy is easy to drive and ‘pretty fast’ although it ‘pushes a little more than (he) wants’.  For Q1 he said the plan is to continue with just small adjustments to the set-up in the hope of gradually finding the little steering he is lacking.

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Matsukura, who didn’t have the best start to the day when he got some superglue in his eye, described his practice run as ‘good’.   Pleased with the performance of his Yokomo he said ‘car is good, track is difficult’.  Planning to leave his set-up the same for Q1, only fitting a new set of the rear controlled Pro-Line Pin Point tyres, he said the biggest challenge for qualifying is going to be to avoid crashing, something he expects is going to be ‘hard’ to achieve.

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Running his car ’99% the same’ as he did in Berlin where he came so close to securing a second win of the season, Honigl described his TM2 V2 as ‘very good’.  In the second practice the Austrian broke just before 3-minutes when he pulled off a ball cup, but he is confident about his car’s pace going into the first qualifier.

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Team C had a strong showing in practice with Oskar Levin posting the fourth fastest time and Torben Hojifeldt completing the Top 6.  Levin said he had nothing to complain about and he was just enjoying driving on what he described as a ‘fun track’.  The 19-year-old Swede  has done little by way of set-up change saying like team mate Honigl that his TM2 V2 is pretty much the same as he ran it in Berlin.

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Hojifeldt said the biggest change he made in practice was motoring down from a 6.5 to 7.5 T motor.  The Danish driver said this made the buggy much smoother to drive and also reduced wheel spin.  Having ‘basically touched nothing else on the buggy’ and just focused on his driving he said he is ‘pretty comfortable’ with the track including the centre table top that is causing many drivers issues.

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Breaking a C-Hub in the first timed practice and pulling a screw from his servo arm in the second, Nuemann said when his Durango was on the track it was ‘OK’.  Suffering ‘a little understeer’, the German said he would like to improve this for qualifying but with the steering at is maximum mechanically he isn’t sure what he can change but overall he said its not a major issue.

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Posting the 7th fastest time Lee Martin also reported understeer but for the Yokomo driver its seems more of an issue.  Running an ‘almost same set-up’ as Matsukura, who is not experiencing the problem, the British driver said he doesnt have an specific cure for the lack of steering but has a few ideas he will try for Q1.  He added one of the main reasons for both drivers experiencing a different level of steering from the same set-up is mostly down to their driving style with him describing his Japanese team-mate as having a ‘harder driving style’.

View our event image gallery here.

Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

Track Focus – Hudy Racing Arena

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Name – Hudy Racing Arena
Club – Private Track
Country – Slovakia
Location – Trencin (120 km North East of Bratislava)
Direction – Anti-clockwise
Surface – Carpet
Previous key events hosted
– 2013 Euro Touring Series Finale

With the Euro Touring Series having made a hugely successful trip to the Hudy Arena last July, this weekend the Euro Offroad Series make its first visit to what can unquestionably be described as the world’s greatest RC facility.  Like with the ETS, the massive 25,000 square metre facility, which also includes the factory of both Xray and Hudy, has exceeded the expectations of racers with ‘super impressive’ being a commonly used word to describe the place.  Having conducted a factory tour yesterday, Xray being one of the few true r/c car manufacturers in the world, defending EOS Champion Joern Neumann was more than impressed by the set-up, also getting a chance to see for the first time the part of the factory that produces full inhouse the FX Engines he is running in 1:8 Offroad this season.

Built over the Hudy Arena’s indoor asphalt track, the carpet track created just for the event is one of the Series’ toughest yet with Round 2 2WD winner Naoto Matsukura describing it as ‘super difficult’.  The key elements that are causing drivers difficulty are the centre table, it featuring a dip in the centre of the table, and the double in front of the drivers stand, the tapered jumps also proving tricky to master.  Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk said while the track is ‘prett hard’ it is really fun and the Swede is a particular fan of the curbing that dont normally feature on such an offroad track.  He also feel the track has some features that will seperate the drivers.  A driver who know ths place better than most, as he and team-mate Renaud Savoya spend much time here testing, Martin Bayer said the track is different and more offroad like compared to what racers ran on at Round 2 in Berlin.  With ‘way more jumps’ he said ‘it seems difficult but that’s the challenge of offroad.’

One driver that came to the Hudy Arena in advance of the EOS to test, Team C’s Hupo Honigl said that getting the timing of the jumps right is difficult.  Describing the track as about 20% different to that he tested on, he said in 2WD getting the balance in terms of power right is very important.  With only a set level of mechanical grip available from the handout Pro-Line front tyres he said the on power sweepers mean you have to reduce rear traction but that can then hamper you for the many jumps.  For 2WD lap times are expected to run at 24-second mark.

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Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

‘From Race Control’ – Day 1 Practice/2WD Qualifiying

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Although the majority of drivers took advantage of a day of open practice at the Hudy Arena yesterday, today is officially the first day of the third round of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia.  The schedule will start off with 2WD with 1 round of free practice followed by 2 timed practices.  With the fastest 3 consecutive laps of each driver determining the seeding for the heats, it is then 2 of the 4 rounds of qualifying for 2WD.  After this is completed things will switch to 4WD, with again one free practice followed by 2 timed practice runs that will bring Day 1 to a close at 19:00 local time.

Friday, March 7, 2014 - add a comment

Anticipation high for first EOS visit to Hudy Arena

Anticipation high as EOS makes first visit to Hudy Arena

There is an air of high anticipation ahead of the third round of the Euro Offroad Series as the 1:10 electric offroad championship travels for the first time to the Hudy Arena in Slovakia this weekend (7-9 March). Widely reputed as the greatest r/c venue in the world by anyone who has had the opportunity to visit the 25,000 square metre facility which is also home to the Xray factory, over 260 drivers will get the opportunity to be part of what is only the second major international event to be hosted at the Hudy Arena, the first being last season’s Euro Touring Series finale.

Round 2 of the series in Berlin saw wins for both Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura in 2WD and defending champion Joern Neumann in 4WD. Only Matsukura’s second appearance in the championship the Japanese ace will be looking to keep his 100% winning record intact this week as will Neumann who in 3 seasons of EOS has never been out qualified or beaten in 4WD. This weekend the Team Durango driver chases his 10th consecutive TQ and win.

While a completely new indoor track layout has been prepared just for the EOS visit, the Hudy Arena is where Team Xray has carried out the majority of the development work on the XB4 platform. With Martin Bayer knocking on the door of a first EOS win for both the European Champion and Xray in Berlin, this weekend should see the strongest challenge yet from the team. While Bayer, who sits second in the current championship standings behind Neumann, says a win at the home track would be special he also feels it might take away from that first win as rivals will see it as having been down to home advantage. Neumann, is not concerned about it being Bayer’s home race saying there is more pressure on the Czech driver than there is on him to maintain his unbeaten record but the German is confident he can take his winning tally to double digits.

Making his debut for Yokomo at Round 2, 2WD Buggy Vice-World Champion Lee Martin will be aiming to build on his promising first outing, the British ace qualifying 2nd in 4WD and 5th in 2WD. In Slovakia, Martin will have the added benefit of the presence of the team’s new head of offroad development Shin Adachi who is making the trip from Japan. In terms of high profile drivers Yokomo will again have an impressive line up with Martin & Matsukura once again being joined by 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle and ETS Champion Ronald Volker, who qualified 4th in Berlin in 4WD, and touring car ace Yannic Prümper.

Having come so close to repeating his season opening 2WD Buggy victory, a last lap mistake in A3 costing him the overall win, Team C’s Hupo Honigl can again be expected to be a major contender this weekend. Finding a new level of motivation since his switch to Team C for the 2014 season, the Austrian has prepared well for Round 3 having already made a trip to the Hudy Arena for pre-race testing.

Kyosho’s challenge for a first EOS will again come from 1:8 Offroad European Champion David Ronnefalk. Showing good pace at Rounds 1 & 2, the 17-year-old Swede was frustrated with his results to date and is determined to make up for that this weekend. Making his first EOS appearance since taking a 2WD podium at the season finale two years ago, Marc Rheinard will travel to Trencin. Struggling for form in the ETS, the 3-time Touring Car world Champion will be hoping the switch to offroad will prove less frustrating than recent touring car outings. Another Touring Car ace who will be in action at the Hudy Arena is Team Associated’s Juho Levanen. Despite feeling under weather on his EOS debut in Berlin, the Finn managed a Top 5 run in the third round of 2WD qualifying and so should be one to watch this weekend.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 - add a comment

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2013/14 Championship Standings after Rd3

4wd Buggy Class
1. Neumann Jörn - 312pts
2. Bayer Martin - 309pts
3. Matsukura Naoto - 304pts
4. Martin Lee - 303pts
5. Hönigl Hupo - 302pts
6. Savoya Reno - 300pts
6. Ronnefalk David - 300pts
8. Batlle Robert - 291pts
9. Orlowski Michal - 290pts
10.Bayer Ales - 288pts


2wd Buggy Class
1. Matsukura Naoto - 310pts
2. Hönigl Hupo - 307pts
3. Neumann Jörn - 306pts
4. Bayer Martin - 302pts
4. Cockerill Tom - 302pts
6. Ronnefalk David - 301pts
7. Martin Lee - 299pts
8. Pinisch Peter - 289pts
9. Prümper Yannic - 288pts
10.Gröschel Benni - 287pts


4wd SC Truck Class
1. Neumann Jörn - 312pts
2. Hönigl Hupo - 306pts
3. Novotny Kaja - 304pts
4. Højfeldt Torben - 303pts
5. Malyshko Dmitry - 302pts


2wd SC Truck Class
1. Højfeldt Torben - 312pts
2. Morgenstern Mirko - 308pts
3. Bujara Tom - 306pts
4. Billino Björn - 301pts
5. Malyshko Dmitry - 298pts

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