April 21, 2017

Coelho takes Q2 in Austria

After a DNF in the opening 2WD qualifier at the EOS Season finale in Austria, Bruno Coelho came back to TQ the second round. Starting at the back of the field due to his Q1 retirement, Coelho would swap times with Q1 pace setter Ryan Maifield until an error from the American in the closing minute.  Finishing exactly a second off Coelho, Maifield would still finish second with a comfortable advantage over Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin.  Neil Cragg would take fourth for Associated with Marc Rheinard completing the Top 5, 3/10ths of a second back.

Commenting on his TQ run, which was 4/10ths faster than the Q1 pace, Coelho said, ‘everything was ok, before I was leading too but I made my own mistake and broke the servo’. With a new servo fitted and leaving his XB2 unchanged he said, ‘it is easy to drive. Ok its not perfect but its there (on pace) so we will again keep it the same and see how it goes in the next one’.

‘It a lot of fun if your stuff is working’ was Maifield’s reaction after Q2, the American appearing to be enjoying his first EOS outing.  Running the same tyres he ran in Q1, he said, ‘I came out of the start really fast but then the (pace of the) tyre fell off’. Setting the fastest lap of the round, he continued, ‘we made a set-up change to the car and it responded well but I’d still like to have a slightly sharper steering feel so we’ll bolt on new tyres for the next one and see’.  Surviving a roll, his YZ-2 landing back on its wheels, he said traffic was a bit of an issue and this ‘probably cost me about half a second’.

With small mistakes 3 corners in a row on his opening lap causing him to lose touch with Maifield, Martin said, ‘It wasn’t the best run to honest’.   Describing his car as ‘edgy on old tyres’ he said this made it ‘less predictable’ and for the next qualifier they will go ‘a couple of steps back’ with their set-up changes they have made especially when it comes to running the car on used tyres’.  Running a ‘pretty clean’ qualifier, Rheinard also noted a difference on used tyres saying, ‘normally they feel better on the second run but now it was a bit edgy.  The German said while overall his car was ‘still good’ he will make a change to the set-up.

‘Steady away again’ was Cragg’s summary of Q2.  He continued, ‘it started off good but a little crash set me back and then I ran out of tyres.  Tyres wear is a bit of an issue today and I finished on bald eagles’.  Concluding his first full EOS campaign this weekend, the former World Champion said the track at Modellbau Wels Hobby Show is his ‘favourite track’ of the season. On his Reedy powered B6, he said ‘As always Craig (Drescher) thinks I am down on top speed so we have changed a few things on the speedo’ joking ‘they will probably cause me to wheelie off the track’. On the car set-up he said while he is ‘overall pretty happy’ with it, Drescher will add a shim to increase the rear width to get more rotation.

View complete event results here.

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April 21, 2017

Chassis Focus – Ryan Maifield

Chassis: Yokomo YZ2
Motor: Orion 5.5T
ESC: Orion R10.1 Pro
Batteries: Orion 3800mAh
Radio/Servo: Sanwa/MKS
Tires: Schumacher (handout)
Body/Wing: JConcepts S2/JConcepts Aero
Remarks – Top US Yokomo driver Ryan Maifield is making his carpet and EOS debut this weekend in Wels, Austria and in preparation has spent several days testing with the Yokomo team at another track in Austria. Arriving with the setup obtained from that test, he has since made a lot of changes as the EOS track is much bigger and faster than the track they had been testing on. Looking for more on power steering he has made changes to the roll centres, shock locations and sway bars and now with the car close to where he wants it he will make a change for the next qualifier to find more steering, having gotten the rear of the car to his liking.

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April 21, 2017

Maifield TQ’s opening qualifier at EOS

It might be his first time racing on Europe’s indoor carpet style tracks, but Ryan Maifield has got his Euro Offroad Series debut off to a strong start be TQ’ing the opening round of 2WD qualifying in Austria.  Sixth fastest in seeding practice, the American was to lead a Yokomo 1-2 as Lee Martin took his YZ-2 to the second fastest time.  Behind them Neil Cragg would complete the Top 3 but for Team Associated team-mate Joona Haatanen it would be a DNF.  Having set the pace in controlled practice, the teenager would run wide coming onto the main straight with the contact with the boards causing the screw which mounts the shock to the rear arm to sheer off.  Another front runner failing to finish Q1 was Bruno Coelho.  Three laps into the qualifier a mistake at the end of the straight led to heavy contact with boards resulting in a broken servo.

Summing up his TQ run, Maifield said, ‘I changed a bunch of stuff but had no idea how or even if it would be good, so at the start I just cruised around.  Then I heard from Scotty (Ernst) that I was in the lead so I just tried to keep the tempo up and I finished strong’.  He continued, ‘the car was easy to drive and predictable but for the next we’ll make one change to try get more on power steering’.   In addition to the set-up change, the Arizona driver said his focus now was on learning ‘what to do with the tyres’, drivers getting 2 sets of race tyres with A-Main drivers getting an extra set for the triple Mains.

Reverting back to his ‘original steering set-up’ having not liked changes made for the final practice, Martin said his car was ‘easy to drive but now maybe too safe’. With Maifield running a different rear toe in and liking it, he said, ‘I’ll try that but other than that its good to go again for Q2’.  Please with the teams 1-2 result he added, ‘it should have been a one, two, three if Marc didn’t crash on the first lap’.  Setting the fastest lap of Q1, Rheinard would end up 7th fastest, the German saying his lap 1 error was only one of many he would have.

‘I’m pretty happy with that round. It was a steady run everywhere’, was Cragg’s reaction after the first qualifier.  The European Champion continued, ‘the car is super easy to drive and I’m driving pretty well’ adding ‘I thought I’d be all over the track because I was racing 1:8 for the last month but its going really good’.

Setting the fourth fastest time after struggling in practice, Martin Wollanka put his improvement down to running ‘consistent laps without mistakes’.  Running in the second fastest heat, the Xray driver added, ‘after practice it didn’t look like this and if I can get one more like this I should be ok’.  Behind the Austrian, Xray team manager Martin Bayer would post the fifth quickest time with Associated’s Karri Salmela completing the Top 6.

View complete event results here.

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April 21, 2017

Haatanen Top Seed at EOS finale

Joona Haatanen will go into the 2WD qualifying at the season finale of the Euro Offroad Series as the top seed.  Unable to better his opening time in the second & final controlled practice in Austria, the Associated driver will lead away the first qualifier ahead of Lee Martin who also failed to better his opening time. Having failed to post a time in CP1, Neil Cragg would be the biggest improvement in CP2 with the Associated driver posting the 3rd fastest time. With Bruno Coelho unable to improve his time, this pushed the Xray driver back to fourth ahead of Marc Rheinard who was the only driver in the Top 5 after CP1 to improve on their time. Rheinard’s improvement moved him ahead of Yokomo team-mate Ryan Maifield.

‘Too aggressive out of the corner’ was how Haatanen described his B6 after the final controlled practice.  Having made changes to his car to try to get more steering, the Finnish talent said, ‘we will go back to what he had before for qualifying.  The car was easier to drive and the steering I was looking for is not a big issue to work around’.  Planning for a safe first qualifier if it goes well he said, then we will try something after Q1 (to improve the steering)’.

Setting the second fastest 3-consecutive laps of CP2 behind fellow countryman Cragg, Martin ‘tried a different steering arrangement and didn’t like it’. He added, ‘time wise it was not terrible but I’ll go back to what we had before’.  With the third fastest time of the final practice and sightly quicker than his own CP1 pace, Rheinard said his YZ2 was a little easier to drive after refreshing the diffs and shocks but felt the car had less forward bit.  Putting this down to his tyres being on their second run, he plans to leave the car unchanged for the first of the four qualifiers with his target ‘a clean run’.

Not even completing a lap in the first controlled practice, Cragg was pleased to put his B6 into the top heat.  Hitting the track’s unloved end of the straight bump on his opening lap, it ‘caught (him) out’ sending him flying off into the barriers and out on the spot with a broken car.   He said, ‘it put me under pressure for the last one but the car has been pretty good all day.  We found a good set-up at the last round and since I put it down on the track here it feels like I could drive this pace all day’.

8/100ths slower than his CP1 pace, Coelho said, ‘my car was a little better now’.  He added, ‘It was more consistent and easier to drive and we will see now over 5-minutes how it goes’.  Having reported a lack of speed in the 180 corners after the first controlled practice, he said it was now better but it wasn’t sure if that was all down to running new tyres, having run used in CP1, or due to changes to his set-up.  Set to run on a new set of the handout Schumacher tyres again in Q1, he said after that then they will then see what to do.

Summing up his final practice, Maifield said, ‘It was OK.  We tried to make it faster but it was slower’.  The US Offroad star added, ‘overall I had to drive too hard to go fast’.  He continued, ‘we have a new theory on what to do so we are going to go down that rabbit hole’.

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April 21, 2017

Haatanen tops first controlled practice at EOS

Joona Haatanen has set the early pace at the Euro Offroad Series season finale in Wels, Austria.  In the first of the controlled rounds of practice, the Team Associated driver set the fastest three consecutive laps by 0.029 of a second over Yokomo’s Lee Martin.  Taking his first 2WD win at the previous round in Germany,  Bruno Coelho would complete the Top 3.  Making his EOS debut Ryan Maifield set the 4th fastest time, with the Yokomo driver calling the carpet surface track ‘a lot of fun’.

Coming into the weekend on the back of his best EOS performance in which he claimed his first EOS career TQ, Haatanen summed up the first controlled practice as having gone ‘very good’.   Suffering from understeer in free practice, he said adding swaybars to his B6 had made it ‘better’.  Looking to find a little more steering, the Finn will change the steering block arms to give the car more ackermann. In terms the track, the 14-year-old said ‘I don’t like the jumps, they don’t flow like at Arena 33 but I will get used to it so then it wont be too bad’.

‘Not bad’ was how Martin summed up his performance.  Winner last time the EOS came to Wels, he said the track layout was one on which it was ‘going to be difficult to be ultimately faster than anyone else’ adding ‘the hardest part was the bump at the end of the straight’. Caused by a cable tunnel in the exhibition hall floor, it is right on the turning in point at the end of the main straight with most drivers reporting it as an annoyance. On the track, the former champion also said the grey carpet is ‘a little loose’ compared to the black but he ‘kind of like(s) it’ but added ‘you can forget there is a difference and then end up with the car coming around on you’.  Spending yesterday testing at an indoor track in Salzburg along with the rest of Yokomo team,  Martin joked for him the test ‘provided he can’t see very well in the dark’, the track lighting not very strong. Having just switched to new electronics sponsor Scorpion Power ahead of the race, he said the test was a good opportunity to get familiar with his new speedo, motors and batteries.

‘Very good but missing steering off power in the 180 corners’ was how Coelho described his CP1 performance. The back to back 4WD Champion continued, ‘the car is stable and easy to drive but its not fast in the 180 corners’. A driver who also highlighted the bump at the end of the straight as the biggest challenge of the track, when asked about changes to improve his XB2’s corner speed he replied, ‘all the team are trying different things in the next run so we should find a solution from that’.

Maifield was particularly surprised by his first experience on EOS carpet saying, ‘I have never run on the carpet before and its much better than the astro turf in Japan’.  His only previous experience on a non dirt based track being the 2015 1:10 World Championships at Yatabe Arena.  The American continued, ‘this is a lot more fun.  The car is predictable and you can feel set-up changes’.  In terms of his YZ-2, he said it was ‘missing a little steering but the comfort level is good’. Half a second off Haatanen’s pace, he said ‘I will go for a speed set-up for the next one and see what it does’.

Setting the 5th fastest time, Marc Rheinard summed up practice as ‘not too bad’ but the German added ‘for the controlled practice it felt like it pushed too much’. He continued ‘if we can find a little steering it should be OK’.  Apart from the ‘stupid bump’, the winner of the season opener said the track is ‘nice but the double double not easy’.  Behind Rheinard, Martin Bayer would complete the Top 6.

View the event image gallery here.