Joern Neumann has won the second leg of the 2WD Buggy A-Main at the Euro Offroad series setting the stage for a three way battle for the overall win in Berlin going into the third Main. The Team Durango driver took the win ahead of Team C’s Hupo Honigl and Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura, benefiting from a mistake by the latter on lap 3 that dropped the A1 winner from the lead to fifth.
Running used tyres today on his Orion powered DEX210, defending series champion Neumann said while his buggy was better he put his improved performance down his own driving being better today. Having been unable to do anything about Matsukura who easily pulled clear of the field in yesterday’s race, the German said he pushed ‘over the limit’ this time round to try and keep with the Top Qualifier and pressure him into a mistake. Posting a fractionally faster race time than that of A1, this could prove crucial for Neumann should a tie break end up deciding the overall winner.
‘Happy with second’ was how Honigl summed up his performance. The winner of Round 1 of the series in Poland, the Austrian said he ‘tried really hard’ to take the fight to Neumann who he said was a lot faster today than he was in the opening leg. Confident he had the pace to attempt a move on his former team-mate he made a mistake and although he was able to start catching back up to the leader he ‘ran out of time’. Really happy with the performance of his TM2 V2, he said its that good he would not know what set-up changes to make to improve it and with the race ‘still wide open’ it is just down to him making the most of it.
Winner of his only previous EOS outing, also in Germany, Matsukura said he got his line in the lead up to the double too tight and clipped the pipping which unsettled the car causing him to come short on the jump. Lacking the same level of steering he had in A1, he will change the set-up for A3 making the front end of his B-Max 2 softer. Team-mate Lee Martin could only manage 6th in the race. The British ace ran a fresh set of tyres which he said just took too long to come good.
Running in a strong Top 3 position but eventually finishing fourth Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp was happy with his speed but clearly upset with the driving standards of Matsukura who twice made contact with his RB6. Closing in on 2nd placed Hupo, the German said his race was ruined when ‘Naoto just jumped on (his car)’ for ‘no reason’. An EOS podium finisher and ETS race winner he said his car is really good and he hopes in A3 he will get to enjoy a clean race.
Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer would again finish seventh having been holding second half way into the race. The Czech driver who quailified third, said his development XB4-2 was ‘pretty difficult’ to drive. A ‘work in progress’ with the car featuring a number new parts this weekend he said the car has too much chassis flex making it ‘twitchy’. Needing to ‘work a little on the car’ he said he was happy to post the fatest lap as it shows the speed is there.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(2) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 15/5:03.036
2.(4) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 15/5:05.072
3.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:07.785
4.(7) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:10.226
5.(6) Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 15/5:13.169
6.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 15/5:14.970
7.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 15/5:15.612
8.(9) Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 15/5:15.894
9.(10)Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 15/5:20.758
10.(8)David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 15/5:21.282
It is the third & final day at the second round of the Euro Offroad Series with things kicking off with the continuation of last night’s opening round of 2WD Finals. With two rounds of finals to be run this morning, following the 2WD podium presentations the afternoon’s action will switch to 4WD with three rounds of finals for each of the record entry the Berlin event has attracted.
Naoto Matsukura took a tone to tone victory in the first A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin but the Japanese ace almost threw it away in what was a clearly dominant performance. Top Qualifier for the 2WD Buggy encounter, the Team Yokomo driver had a commanding lead over the No.2 starting Durango of Joern Neumann but with three laps to go he made a mistake that required marshaling. However such was his lead over the three way battle for second place that even with the loss of 4-seconds he was able to hold on to take albeit a narrow 6/10ths of a second win over Neumann with Hupo Honigl third and Lee Martin fourth.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, Matsukura broke clear of the high quality field but as the attention focused on the battle behind him he said his right eye watered up leading to his error as he struggled to see. Relieved to have gotten away with the incident, he said lowering the rear camber link on his B-Max 2 for the final cured the understeer he had in the final qualifier. Very comfortable with the speed and consistency of the car he is confident going into tomorrow second A-Main when he hopes to wrap up his second EOS win in as many appearances in the championship.
‘I tried my best’ was how Neumann summed up the race. Saying he almost got lucky with Matsukura’s mistake he admitted there was nothing he could do to keep up with Matsukura. Also admitting former team-mate Honigl was faster than him he said the Austrian just couldn’t find a way passed. Running a fresh set of the series’ handout Pro-Line tyres the German said this was maybe not the best option. Able to match Matsukura on outright speed, his fastest lap being a 21.095 compared to the 1:12 World Champions 21.087, he said he just lacked overall consistency.
Honigl clearly enjoyed his race but was a little frustrated at not being able to get by Neumann. The Austrian said the three different brands of cars in the battle for second had advantages on different sections with his DualSky TM2 V2 so much faster than Neumann’s DEX210 in the fast corners. Really happy with the set-up of his Team C chassis the winner of the EOS season opener said he will leave it as is and just hope tomorrow he can find some way to get passed Neumann.
Martin also struggled with the lack of opportunity to overtake saying if he had have made a move he would have taken them out. Even when Neumann clipped the piping forcing Hupo to check up he said he couldn’t avoid making contact with the Team C. Unlike the 3 drivers that finished ahead of him who will not change their set-up for A2, the World Championship runner-up plans to try a softer oil in the shocks of his Viper powered B-Max 2 to make it more reactive.
After a superb performance in Qualifying in which he TQ’d Q3 to secure 3rd on the grid it was a ‘terrible race’ for Team Xray’s Martin Bayer. On the opening lap the Czech driver landed his XB4-2 out of lane and up against the track piping. Losing over 4-seconds and dropping to last he then had issues with the braking on his buggy eventually crossing the finish line seventh.
2WD Buggy A-Main Leg 1 Result
1.(1) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 15/5:03.444
2.(2) Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 15/5:04.099
3.(4) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 15/5:04.612
4.(5) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 15/5:05.779
5.(6) Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 15/5:07.792
6.(7) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 15/5:09.176
7.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 15/5:14.374
8.(9) Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 14/4:56.201
9.(10)Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 14/5:01.019
10.(8)David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 7/2:38.684
Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura is Top Qualifier for 2WD Buggy at the Euro Offroad Series after a ‘safe run’ in the final qualifier became the second TQ run of the day for the Japanese ace. With six drivers in with a chance of claiming pole position for the second round of the championship it was all to play for in Q4 but it was Matsukura who was seeded in the second fastest heat that came out on top. Running in the top heat Hupo Honigl would post the second fastest time ahead of Lee Martin and Joern Neumann. Having TQ’d the opening qualifier yesterday, fourth would help defending champion Neumann to secure second on the grid in a four way tie break with Bayer getting third, Honigl fourth and Martin fifth.
Only his second EOS outing, his first last year resulting in a TQ & win, Matsukura gave a fist pump on the confirmation that he was the overall Top Qualifier. With a non finish in Q1 and a poor Q3, the pressure was on the 19-year-old. Having said the plan for Q4 was to put in a safe run he said that’s exactly what he did with the approach working out better than planned. With his B-Max 2 suffering with a small amount of understeer he said for the first leg of the final he will make a small set-up change.
Neumann, who has only been denied victory in the EOS three times, said while his Durango was better for the final round, it still was not as good as yesterday when he took Q1. Reverting to his opening qualification set-up he said the rear is very loose adding he needs to find something for the finals.
Losing a screw from the steering block on his Xray XB4-2, Bayer was unable to repeat his impressive Q3 topping run finishing 10th for the round. ‘Really happy’, he said to qualify 3rd on the grid was better than he expected for 2WD and he is pretty motivated to push for a good result in the final.
A driver who has found a new lease of life since moving to Team C, Honigl was clearly pleased with his day’s work. The winner of the season opener in Poland, then driving for Durango, he expects three very hard finals. With so many different configurations of cars in the final with each being strong at dfferent parts of the track he said it will be tough to pass. Describing his TM2 V2 as ‘amazing’ through the sweeper he said on his own he can make up time there but stuck behind another brand of buggy he can not make use of that advantage.
‘A little gutted’ was how Martin summed up his 5th place on the grid despite two 2nd fastest time runs. The World Championship runner-up said he had the pace for a TQ run in the last round but threw it away on the very first corner when he rolled his new B-Max 2. With the good run over the rest of the 5-minute run he finished only 9/10ths off his team-mate’s TQ pace. For the finals the previous EOS race winner will make a rear piston change copying the set-up used by Matsukura.
Starting directly behind Martin will be fellow countryman Tom Cockerill. The DHI Cup winner will inturn line up ahead of Kyosho pairing Christopher Krapp and David Ronnefalk. ETS race winner Yannic Prumper lines up 9th giving Yokomo the bragging rights to the most cars in the main event. Unfortunately team-mate Ronald Volker made a mistake in a ‘touring car section’ of the track meaning he ended as BQ. The grid is completed by EOS debutant Kev Lee, the British driver at the controls of a Team C buggy.
2WD Buggy A-Main Grid
1. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 310 pts
2. Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 306
3. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 306
4. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 306
5. Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 306
6. Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 304
7. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 302
8. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 299
9. Yannic Prumper (DE) – Yokomo – 298
10.Kev Lee (GB) – Team C – 295
2WD Buggy Q4 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 14/5:00.713
2. Hupo Honigl – Team C – 14/5:01.674
3. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 14/5:02.081
4. Joern Neumann – Team Durango – 14/5:02.496
5. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 14/5:04.475
6. Yannic Prumper – Yokomo – 14/5:05.149
7. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 14/5:06.876
8. Renaud Savoya – Team Xray – 14/5:07.113
9. Tom Cockerill – Schumacher – 14/5:07.397
10.Martin Bayer – Team Xray – 14/5:08.448
Despite being disappointed with the bad luck he got in Q4 when his buggy collided with Cockerill’s, Martin Bayer declared himself satisfied with his car as he had the speed to top the timesheets. Driving the 2014 version of the Slovakian buggy, he said nothing had changed from EOS Round 1 in Poland. Apart from some tweaks on the setup such as softer shocks and a different bump-steer setup he and his team mate are running what seems to be a very good basic setup that never needs big changes to make the car competitive.