Remarks: David Ronnefalk’s Orion powered D413 is fairly standard, although it features some interesting option parts, such as the new aluminium shock caps and the carbon fibre arm stiffeners. Using the LMR Avior wing, David also chose to mount it as low as possible on the car. He is also using Yatabe springs and testing some thicker swaybars.
Lee Martin is on target for a clean sweep at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Wels, Austria, with the Yokomo driver locking up the overall TQ in 4WD with one round still to run. Having started off the 4WD action at the ‘Modellbau Wels’ Hobby Show event by taking the opening qualifier, yesterday’s 2WD winner backed that up with two more TQ runs to claim his first Top Qualifier honours in 4WD. Behind, it was Martin Bayer who again was the British driver’s closest rival in Q2 while in Q3 David Ronnefalk was second fastest with Martin declaring that for the finals he is most worried about the potential challenge of the Swede.
With track conditions catching out most drivers in the opening qualifier, traction being much higher than when they ran practice Friday evening Martin was happier, with his B-Max III better suited after a slipper adjustment and the removal of pins from the tyres. Running a fresh set of tyres for Q3, this expectedly made the buggy a little edgy to drive but overall it didn’t present any major problems. Suffering a roll in Q1, he said both the second and third qualifiers were ‘pretty clean’ adding a shock rebuild for the last one made the buggy land the jumps better. Planning no changes for the final qualifier and although he already has secured the overall TQ, he said his aim was to try and TQ all four.
Setting the fastest lap for each of the three rounds of qualifying. Ronnefalk would set the pace in Q3 but coming up on Yokomo’s Shin Adachi would tangle with the Japanese driver losing a few tenths and on the next lap he would ‘almost traction roll’ losing further time that dropped him back behind Martin. With his D413 having ‘a lot of steering’ especially on new tyres, he has been making small set-up tweaks to reduce this but added for new tyres he still thinks he needs to do a little more.
Enjoying his best run in Q3 setting the third fastest time, Martin Wollanka said a change to softer front and heavier rear shock oil on his Xray improved the balance of the XB4. Having changed very little in terms of his set-up throughout 2WD qualifying, the Austrian said he has decided to make changes every run in 4WD which then should allow him to piece together the best elements for a good set-up for the finals.
One of the stars of 2WD yesterday only to suffer some cruel luck while leading the opening final, Michal Orlowski would post the 3rd and 4th fastest times in Q2 & 3 respectively after a cautious Q1 run. The Polish driver, who was only in the C-Main in Berlin, declared himself happy with his pace saying today’s high traction is causing problems for his CAT’s new carbon chassis. Featuring a more forward mounted motor, he said the carbon has too much flex in today’s high bite conditions and considering this he believes Top 3 is his ‘maximum pace’ but he is hopeful Schumacher can have an alloy option of the new configuration for the season finale in Slovakia should that race also have high traction conditions.
Having had a mysterious rear end breakage following a normal landing in Q1 while on a very strong run, Patrick Hofer laid down the 5th fastest time in Q3. Having to run a safe Q2 after his earlier retirement, claiming 7th, the Swiss driver was able to push harder in the third round. Very happy with how is B44.3 is working, the Berlin finalist will run it unchanged for the final qualifier adding he will try pushing it even more now that he had two solid rounds in place. Behind Hofer, Yokomo touring car star Yannic Prumper completed the Top 6 for Q3.
Newly crowned 2WD Euro Offroad Series champion Lee Martin got the 4WD action underway at Round 3 in Wels, Austria, in the best way possible this morning as he TQ’d the opening round of qualifying. Having took the 2WD win yesterday and with it the 2014/15 title, the Yokomo driver topped the times by 3.8 seconds from Xray’s Martin Bayer with the HB of qualifying top seed David Ronnefalk completing the Top 3, a further half a second off. For defending champion Joern Neumann, who is making his Serpent debut in the championship this weekend the opening qualifier looked set to net him a Top 3 run but a mistake right on his last lap right before the timing loop dropped the German to 7th.
Asked about his run, Martin responded ‘the track changed a lot from practice and it was very edgy to drive’. Suffering a mistake at the corner table top which dropped him from the lead back to sixth as his B-Max III rolled due to the extra high traction, Martin said after that he just drive steady for the remainder of the run. Working his way back to the top of the timing screens helped by almost everyone suffering errors due to the difficult track conditions Martin said it was a good start and with some set-up improvements for Q2 he hoped to be able to build on it. Due to the high traction Martin said his slipper was set too loose and he will also cut further pins from the championship’s controlled Schumacher tyres.
Happy to open qualifying with a second, Bayer said his XB4 felt good at the beginning of the run but then got twitchy leading to a number of small mistakes and one at the corner table top that lost him over 2-seconds. Having to drive ‘very careful’ for the rest of the run, for Q2 the Czech driver will go up in his diff oils.
Finding his D413 edgy to drive due to his fresh set of tyres, Ronnefalk said third was a good start. Having too much steering for the first few laps he said it improved considerably as the run progressed higlighted by him posting the fastest lap of the round on lap 12 of 16. Running behind Martin following a mistake after the first minute he said he was happy with how he could run with the British driver. A mistake on the last lap at the right side table top would cost him a P2 for the round but the Swede said he knows he has the speed and he is looking forward to improvement in Q2.
Yokomo’s Shin Adachi would post the fourth fastest time, the Yokomo engineer reporting the same feedback about the track and his car as Martin. Having been BQ at Round 2 in Berlin, the Japanese driver said 4th was a very good start and he hoped to be able to repeat another such run. For the ‘big difference in track conditions’ he will also tighten his slipper and reduce the pins on his tyres.
Giving Serpent’s new 4WD buggy it first EOS outing, Hupo Honigl set the fifth fastest time. The Austrian said to drive the buggy felt slow but the lap times were ‘pretty ok’. Considering the lack of carpet testing he said so far his and Neumann’s pace this weekend is ‘ok’ and as they get work on finding a better set-up things should only improve. Suffering a motor fan failure just before the start he said he didn’t ‘punch’ it too much but still the motor ran a little hot. Fitting a new one for Q2 he said he hopes due to this alone he can improve his pace.
Xray’s Martin Wollanka completed the Top 6. Having changed his shock pistons and position for Q1, the Austrian was happy with how his XB4 felt adding it was now landing a lot better than in practice. Suffering a few ‘little mistakes’, for Q2 he will again adjust the position of the shocks as well as making a swaybar adjustment.
Lee Martin has claimed his first Euro Offroad Series title with victory at the penultimate round of the championship today in Wels, Austria. Driving for defending 2WD champions Yokomo, the British driver secured his second win of Season #4 when he took a tone to tone win in A2 putting the 2014/15 EOS title beyond the reach of his rivals. Top Qualifier just as he was at Round 2 in Berlin, Martin’s win maintain’s Yokomo’s domination of the championship with outgoing champion Naoto Matsukura having won for the Japanese manufacturer at the season opener in Poland. Behind Martin a win in A3 would see HB’s David Ronnefalk finish second with Joern Neumann marking his EOS debut with Serpent by completing the 2WD podium.
‘I’m really chuffed for me and Yokomo’, was Martin’s reaction to his championship success. The multiple European Champion & World Championship runner-up, added this is one of the titles I have always wanted to win but never thought I would because I’m shit on carpet’. ‘It is awesome to defend the title for Yokomo and today’s race win also means our new car is still undefeated in the EOS’. Commenting on A2, having been handed the A1 win when Michal Orlowski’s Schumacher had an electric shutdown, Martin said his buggy was a joy to drive. Changing nothing he said ‘everything felt just right that time’. He said while there is pressure with every race from ‘the young lads’ once they made a few mistakes he was able to control the pace of the race through to the finish. Thanking Shin Adachi and Naoya Kitagawa for their support throughout his EOS campaign, he said also added the YZ-2 has been a huge step forward for the team both in terms of quality and how easy it is to drive and he is already looking to defending his EOS title next season.
Making it two podium finishes from 2 races, the Swede missing the season opener due to his pending switch from Kyosho to HB, Ronnefalk said considering how things started out in A1 he was very happy with finish second overall. Claiming a 3rd in A2, he opted to gamble on running a new set of the championship pre-mounted Schumacher tyres for A3. Leading away the field, Martin sitting out the leg, he said he was a little nervous due to the new tyres but his Red Workshop B52 Associated conversion would turn out to be the best it had been all weekend. Helped by the rapid No.3 starting Schumacher of Michal Orlowski dropping back at the first corner due to a mistake, the 1:8 European Champion said he was able to run his own race with him particularly pleased that he ran the fastest time of the three finals. Having used a Team C in Berlin and the Red Workshop conversion here in Wels, he said he might use the EOS finale at the Hudy Arena to try another car to build up knowledge as he waits on HB’s 2WD buggy, hinting at the use of a Yokomo.
A driver used to winning EOS races having a combined 2WD & 4WD tally of 17 race wins, Neumann was ‘really happy’ with his third. Having contested Round 2 with a Durango as a privateer, the European Champion who only last month signed for Serpent said today’s podium was ‘the maximum result they could have expected’. Having had little time to test on carpet due to a busy racing schedule he said for a normal mid motor car and its first race on carpet the car ran really good. He said with some testing he is confident they can improve their pace by finding a better set-up for the configuration they have but added they may also need to take a look at producing an alloy chassis for the car.
Justing missing out on the podium having finished tied on points with Neumann, Simon Moss would finish fourth as the top Schumacher driver with the British manufacturer having a very good showing getting three cars in the A-Main. Unfortunately for Orlowski, 5th overall was a disappointing reflection of what started out as such a promising encounter for the 13-year-old. A bad start to A3 and then two clashes with Xray’s Martin Bayer as he tried to work his way back to the front ended his quest for his first podium finish of the season with him finishing the leg 4th behind team-mate Moss. Behind the two Schumachers, touring car ace Yannic Prumper would complete the Top 6 overall.