Despite facing by far his toughest opposition yet at a Euro Offroad Series race, Team Durango’s Joern Neumann remains unbeaten in 4WD Buggy after he secured win #9 at Round 2 of the series today in Berlin. Taking a relatively easy win in A1, the German faced intense pressure second time round from Team Xray’s Martin Bayer but a last lap coming together allowed him to take the Leg and with it the overall win.
‘Next time 10’ was Neumann’s reaction to what he said was by far the most pressure he has come under since he began his reign as the 4WD master of carpet surface tracks which are the norm for indoor racing in Europe. Top Qualifier for the race, he said like at last weekend’s DHI Cup where he took a third consecutive win Bayer and himself had the same speed. Commenting that Bayer’s Xray ‘seemed to have a little more steering’ than he had but his DEX410 was very easy to drive.
‘Very close but second’ was how Bayer summed up the entertaining 5-minute encounter. Getting passed the No.2 starting Yokomo of Lee Martin at the second corner, the driver who took the European Championship title off Neumann last Summer, said it was really good to be able to battle with his rival from the first lap. Descibing it as an ‘amazing race’, the Czech ace said the track this weekend made it really difficult to pass and that was why he went large at the Durango Double. Unfortunately he collided with the rear of the Durango in mid air and had to wait to allow Neumann to resume the lead which he would hang on to over the remainig half a lap of the race.
Starting from 5th on the grid Naoto Matuskura finished both legs third. The Japanese ace who took the overall 2WD buggy win earlier in the day, said his starting position left him too much to do to try and battle for the lead. Posting the fastest lap of the race, the World Championship runner-up said he also needs to improve his B-Max 4 which he feels is lacking pace in the low speed corners.
Yokomo team-mate Martin who fell back to 5th and 4th respectively in the opening two legs said he ‘can’t get the sweet spot’ in terms of set-up. His first time with the B-Max 4 on a high grip track he said he needs more time to work on set-up and find something that will give the car a better balance between front and rear.
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(1) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 16/5:10.170
2.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 16/5:12.099
3.(5) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 16/5:12.594
4.(2) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 16/5:15.014
5.(6) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 16/5:16.057
6.(9) Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 16/5:16.474
7.(4) Ronald Volker (DE) – Yokomo – 16/5:20.700
6.(7) Renaud Savoya (FR) – Team Xray – 16/5:29.142
7.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:03.260
8.(10)Peter Pinisch (AT) – Team Associated – 8/2:42.019
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 16/5:09.311
2.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 16/5:10.341
3.(5) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 16/5:15.315
4.(6) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 16/5:18.692
5.(2) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 16/5:23.417
6.(7) Renaud Savoya (FR) – Team Xray – 15/5:01.635
7.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:03.684
8.(10)Peter Pinisch (AT) – Team Associated – 15/5:04.033
9.(4) Ronald Volker (DE) – Yokomo – 15/5:04.962
10.(9)Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 15/5:11.603
Naoto Matsukura has taken overall victory in 2WD Buggy at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, Germany. Only his second appearance in the series, the Team Yokomo driver took the EOS victory after a last lap mistake in A3 by Round 1 winner Hupo Honigl, the Austrian looking to have been on target for a repeat of his Polish victory. Taking the win by less than half a second over Honigl to back up his A1 victory, the Japanese ace was joined on the podium by defending Champion Joern Neumann, winner of A2, with Honigl completing the Top 3.
‘Lucky’ was how Matsukura summed up his win. Having suffered from understeer in A2 changes to the set-up of his B-Max 2 had made it more difficult to drive. This resulted in an early mistake that dropped the 3 x time 1:12 World Champion back to fourth. Having to adjust his driving style, his recovery was impressive with him putting in a blisteringly 20.666 second fastest lap of the race. Getting passed Lee Martin and Neumann, he set about closing the gap to race leader Honigl but then looked to throw it away when he got out of shape coming off the wall with just three laps to go. Still he was again able to close in on Honigl forcing the Austrian into an error at the Xray corner table top. Trying to defend the corner Honigl cut it too much and his Team C buggy got hooked up and spun allowing the Yokomo to slip through. Commenting on his win Matsukura said his first error was a result of him getting caught out by his buggy having a lot more steering adding his moment on the wall was due to a ‘little too much throttle’. Repeating again how lucky he was with Honigl’s mistake he was very happy at achieving ‘2 wins from 2 races’.
‘Second again’ was Neumann response after the race. Taking over the race lead after Matsukura’s error, the Team Durango driver would lead for four laps before an error of his own resulted in him getting hit by former team-mate Honigl. Describing the race as ‘super close’, he said he clipped the pipe which slowed his DEX210 and Honigl had nowhere to go. Not apportioning any blame on Honigl he said his race was over after the contact. He would rejoin in fourth but drop to sixth on the final lap his 3rd in A1 and win in A2 securing him second overall.
A driver who has been totally rejuvenated since his Round 1 EOS win and switch to Team C, Honigl said it ‘hurt’ to hit Neumann but when he clipped the pipe he was already on the power and had no way to back out of it. Coming so close to a debut international win for Team C, he said he knew that the ever spectacular Matsukura would make a move at the table top and the only way to prevent that would be to keep as tight to the the corner as possible. Unfortunately he went too tight. With a second in A2 and needing to win A3 in a faster time than the previous two winning times what was more frustrating for the former European Champion was that even with his last lap moment his time was quicker.
Making his first race appearance for new team Yokomo, Lee Martin had a strong run to third in A3 but missed out on the podium claiming 4th overall. Learning a lot about his new cars this weekend, the British ace is sure to be right in the mix when he travels to the Hudy Arena for Round 3 of the EOS in early March.
2WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 2 pts
2. Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 3
3. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 4
4. Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 7
5. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 9
6. Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 10
7. Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 12
8. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14
9. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 18
10.Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 18
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 3 Result
1.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:02.486
2.(4) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 15/5:02.960
3.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 15/5:03.720
4.(9) Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 15/5:13.269
5.(7) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:13.633
6.(2) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 15/5:20.733
7.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 14/4:53.654
8.(8) David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:11.960
9.(10)Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 14/5:27.632
10.(6)Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 8/2:49.257
Making his race debut with his new ride, Hupo has declared himself very satisfied with the performances of the TM2 V2 having only tested for a couple days back home prior to coming to Berlin. The buggy he is using is pretty stock apart from the addition of some weight to the front end. Compared to the previous version, the V2 has more steering in the faster corners as well as more forward traction.