Team Durango’s Hupo Honigl put in a clean 5-minutes of driving to the win the opening main of 2WD at the Euro Offroad series in Poland this morning. Starting from second on the grid the Austrian took an early lead when Top Qualifier Tom Cockerill got it wrong second time through the track’s most demanding element, the risky double. Holding on to his lead Honigl would see off challenges from team-mate Joern Neumann, who would finish second, and Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk who completed the Top 3. Both drivers challenge for the lead came undone at the double.
Admitting to come close to a heart attack every time he did the double, former European Champion Honigl said he won simply because he made no mistakes. Describing the race as ‘difficult’, adding that his main rivals were ultimately faster, he said he came close a couple of times to putting his DEX210 on its roof but luck was on his side for once. Having never won an EOS event, he said he hopes he can repeat his steady run in Leg 2.
With a fastest lap that was almost a full second quicker than Honigl, Neumann said at the start he struggled on new tyres. Dropping to third after a mistake at the double on lap 6, he said once the tyres came in his DEX210 was good highlighted by his lap times, the German the only one to run 22-second lap times. Closing to within 4/10ths of Honigl by the finish, the defending champion said the problem is that his tyres are now too worn to run in Leg 2 to so he will have to start with a new set which again will leave him with a difficult buggy at the start.
Coming from 9th on the grid to finish third, Ronnefalk said he cant be too unhappy with the result. Adding that he got a little lucky, Cockerill pulling up after 2-laps and the No.5 buggy of Patrick Hornum not making the start after breaking in the warm-up, he said the biggest mistake he made was to settle for second. Running second behind Honigl, the Swede said he decided to play safe but this led to him making a mistake at the double with his RB6 needing to be marshalled allowing Neumann through to second. Admitting he needs ‘something special’ to happen on the first lap he said its tough to go the race distance without any mistakes so anything is possible.
After a promising opening lap for Schumacher’s Cockerill it all went wrong on lap 2, getting it wrong at the double allowing five cars through he then got it wrong at the crossover leaving him last. At the disadvantage to his rivals of only having one new set of Proline controlled tyres for the finals, the British driver decided to pull up and save then for the remaining two legs when he said he ‘needs to play it safe’.
Having run second for 2-laps, 12-year-old Polish star Michal Orlowski would bring his Durango home fourth. Unfortunately for 15-year-old Dutch racer Bryan van Bijnberk the race lasted just a few metres as his Yokomo shutdown due to a faulty power switch.
1.(2) Hupo Hönigl (AT) – Team Durango – 14/5:16.399
2.(3) Jörn Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 14/5:16.816
3.(9) David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 14/5:19.693
4.(4) Michal Orlowski (PL) – Team Durango – 13/5:02.460
5.(7) Benni Gröschel (DE) – Team Durango – 13/5:03.426
6.(8) Nicolas Risser (BE) – Team C – 13/5:04.512
7.(6) Oliver Scholz (DE) – Team C – 13/5:06.268
8.(1) Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 2/0:34.006
9.(5) Patrick Hornum (DK) – Team C – 0:00.000
10.(10)Bryan van Bijnberk (NL) – Yokomo – 0:00.000
Back to back defending Champion Joern Neumann saw off one of the most hotly contested 4WD qualifyings to claim the overall TQ honours at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland this evening. One of five drivers who went into the fourth & final qualifier in contention for the honour of Top Qualifier, the Team Durango driver claimed his second TQ run of the day, again over Martin Bayer. Posting the fastest 5-minute run around the busy track, the result maintains the German’s 100% record of pole position starts since the creation of the EOS which is now in its third season.
A driver that likes do most of his talking on the track, the World Championship Top Qualifier said he was happy to claim his 8th consecutive EOS TQ. Neumann said this was by far the most challenging qualifying yet adding that the top drivers here this weekend are ‘pretty close’. Having run the final qualifier on used tyres and therefore saving one set of tyres for the final he believes he is well positioned for the finals. Looking to get more steering when on used tyres he said should it arise that he needs to run used tyres he might make changes to his set-up.
Finishing 1.3-seconds off Neumann in Q4, Bayer initially looked like he might end his rivals reign of the 4WD class but a mistake on lap 5 cost the Czech driver 3.5 crucial seconds. This same mistake also cost Hupo Honigl a chance at finally getting the better of his team-mate. Coming together with the out of shape Xray, the Austrian lost a similar amount of time ending the round a slightly frustrated 3rd which is where he will line up on the grid. Honigl said his Durango was again better on used tyres and this was endorsed by his fastest lap of the round. For Renaud Savoya an early mistake put the Xray driver of of contention for the overall TQ and he will start 4th in front of Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill. Backing up his strong 2WD qualifying performance Poland’s Michal Orlowski will start sixth.
The fifth of the TQ contenders David Ronnefalk would not finish Q4. Starting the round on the same set of tyres he ran in the opening three qualifiers, him retiring half way through Q1, he said his Kyosho felt great at the start. Admitting that he would have needed new tyres to go for the TQ as the tyre wear would have been too much, the Swede said he still could have put in a good run but a driver error lead to him braking a rear arm. Getting 7th on the grid, the 17-year said he was disappointed not to be starting higher but added that he has a good buggy and three new sets of Proline tyres for the finals.
4WD A-Main Grid
1. Jörn Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 310
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray – 308
3. Hupo Hönigl (AT) – Team Durango – 307
4. Reno Savoya (FR) – Xray – 304
5. Tom Cockerill (GB) – Schumacher – 303
6. Michal Orlowski (PL) – Team Durango – 298
7. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho – 297
8. Benni Gröschel (DE) – Team Durango – 296
9. Jiri Mara (CZ) – Xray – 295
10.Nicolas Risser (BE) – Kyosho – 292
Current European Champion Martin Bayer is racing a pretty stock Xray XB4 and according to the Czech driver the setup he is using isn’t much different from the stock carpet setup provided when you purchase the car. Martin has given a lot of attention to the handout Pro-Line tires on his LRP powered buggy deciding to cut the outer line of pins and to glue the outside of the tires to make them stiffer.