Day 1 of the second round of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, Germany, ended with TQ runs in 4WD Buggy for Naoto Matsukura and Joern Neumann. Yokomo’s Matsakura looked on for a second TQ run until he lost a front wheel off his B-Max 4 handing Durango’s Neumann, who was 3rd fastest in Q1, the round ahead of Team Xray’s Martin Bayer who was also second in the opening qualifier. Having had similar wheel nut issues to his team-mate in the first round, new Yokomo signing Lee Martin completed the Top 3 in Q2.
Holding the overnight provisional TQ honours, defending champion Neumann said he got lucky in the second qualifier but overall he felt his Orion powered DEX410 was ‘good’. Looking for more steering in the tight corners the German changed from a 1.5 to a 1.3mm front swaybar between qualifying runs which he said was an improvement. Chasing a 9th unbeaten run of 4WD Buggy wins in the EOS this weekend, for tomorrow morning’s third qualifier the World Championship Top Qualifier said he will leave everything as is and just try to put in a clean run.
One of the few drivers to have beaten Neumann in 2WD and having come close to beating him in 4WD on his EOS debut last season, Matsukura was happy with the performance of his car in both rounds. Following the problem suffered by Martin in Q1 which was originally put down to a problem with the cars hex and the Proline wheel they were using not meshing correctly the team switched over to an Associated B44 wheel. While this looked to have cured the issue of the front wheel loosening under breaking for Martin it didn’t for the Japanese driver. Subsequent checks of the World Championship Runner-ups car indicate the problem was infact caused by bad front hub bearings. Happy with the performance of his buggy, Matsukura said he made no changes to his set-up between runs and other than fit new bearings will run it as is tomorrow morning.
Following his DNF in Q1, Martin was pleased to be able to rack up some good points with his third in the second round. Making his Yokomo debut this weekend after a long run with Tamiya, the former European Champion said his buggy was a little under powered and for Q3 he will switch from a 6T to 5.5T motor. Suffering from understeer he will also change to a softer front end set-up copying what Matsukura is running.
Current European Champion Martin Bayer was happy with his first day of 4WD qualifying. The Czech ace said his first run was pretty good with just one small mistake. Improving his XB4-2 by changing the bump steer for Q2, he said the second one was also going good until he crashed. As a marshal went to attend to Matsukura’s three wheeled buggy, Bayer was unsighted resulting in him crashing. Asked about tomorrow he said the plan for now was to go ‘have a good dinner’ and ‘get a good sleep’ and then see in the morning what is the best plan. Team-mate Renaud Savoya posted the 12th and 6th fastest times respectively in his two qualifiers. The 3-time 1:8 Offroad European Champion said he was on for a Top 5 time in Q1 until a mistake. Reducing the power in his Orion speedo setting every run he said this has made the car less aggressive with him liking how it felt in the days final run. Getting more and more confident with it he said for tomorrow the plan is to start pushing a little harder.
Failing to start Q2 after suffering a drive shaft failure on his warm-up laps, new Team C signing Hupo Honigl was fourth in Q1. The Austrian said the car was good but he overdrove. His first big race with the car he said he hopes to make a few set-up changes to further improve the car which he said is still a work in progress project. Top Qualifier in 2WD on his international Team C debut at last weekend’s DHI Cup, Honigl’s new team-mate Oskar Levin also said his car was good but the driving was not. The 19-year-old Swede who posted the 7th fastest time in Q1 said for the remaining two qualifiers he just plans to go for safe runs adding he hopes that is enough for a Top 10 position.
A driver regularly found topping the times in the Euro Touring Series, Yokomo’s Ronald Volker said he ‘can’t believe how well the day went’. Despite having last raced 4WD buggy competitively around 20-years ago, the German opened qualifying with the 9th fastest time and then a very impressive 4th in Q2. Thanking Mibosport’s Michal Bok, who traveled from the Czech Republic just to be his mechanic for the weekend, he said Bok has changed the car every run and it just gets better and better and now its down to him to just drive it to its potential.
Posting the 5th and 8th fastest times over his two qualifiers, reigning 1:8 World Champion Robert Batlle summed his performance as ‘not bad’. The Spaniard said his B-Max 4 was a little tricky in Q1 but curing that for Q2 he now feels it is underpowered. Running a 7.5T motor he will switch to a 6.5T for Q3.
After a terrible opening qualifying ending up only 27th fastest, Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill posted the 5th fastest time in Q2. The British driver said he just drove badly in the first one. Reverting to the set-up he ran in the second of the three practice runs, second time around he said he just kept the run clean which paid off. Admitting to struggling to find a set-up for his K1 Aero he said there is room for improvement tomorrow.
In the Kyosho camp, David Ronnefalk posted the better run with 6th in Q1 but Christopher Krapp was the more consistent and ends the day best placed overall. Ronnefalk was setting the overall fastest pace in practice after reverting to using two coke bottle lids to replace the standard spring preload nut thus allowing his prototype 4WD buggy to run lower. Feeling his short rear drive shafts could pop out for Q1 he changed to lower ones which he said he couldn’t believe how much they changed the reactions of the car. Setting the sixth fastest time he said the front outer wheel was up in the air out of corners. Changing back to the short drive shafts for the final run of the day he said his 3am start to get from Sweden to Berlin this morning caught up with him and he didn’t drive well ending the run 13th fastest. Krapp, who posted the 8th & 7th fastest time, said it as a pretty solid day but added there was way more room for improvement. Setting himself the goal of trying to beat touring car rival Volker he said they are still learning how to best set-up the prototype car but he is hopeful of going quicker tomorrow.
4WD Buggy Q1 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 15/5:10.598
2. Martin Bayer – Team Xray – 15/5:10.683
3. Jörn Neumann – Team Durango – 15/5:12.523
4. Hupo Honigl – Team C – 15 5:15.711
5. Robert Batlle – Yokomo – 15/5:16.390
6. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 15/5:16.592
7. Oskar Levin – Team C – 15/5:16.895
8. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 15/5:18.790
9. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 15/5:19.337
10.Ales Bayer – Team Xray – 14/5:00.976
4WD Buggy Q2 times
1. Jörn Neumann – Team Durango – 15/5:06.846
2. Martin Bayer – Team Xray – 15/5:10.136
3. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 15/5:12.818
4. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 15/5:15.206
5. Tom Cokerill – Schumacher – 15/5:16.050
6. Reno Savoya – Team Xray – 15/5:16.174
7. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 15/5:16.620
8. Robert Batlle – Yokomo – 15/5:18.355
9. Benni Gröschel – Kyosho – 15/5:18.508
10.Peter Pinisch – Associated – 15/5:20.238
Joern Neumann has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at a highly competitive second round of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, Germany. The Team Durango driver was the only one to record 15-laps of the 21-second average lap track in the 2WD qualifier with new Yokomo signing Lee Martin, who topped the morning’s three rounds of practice, second fastest. Making a return to the series having finished runner-up at year’s season finale, Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp completed the Top 3 ahead of Round 1 winner Hupo Honigl.
Coming off the back of finishing runner-up in 2WD Buggy at last weekend’s DHI Cup where he struggled to get to grips with the low traction, Neumann was pleased with how his DEX210 V2 is running on the high traction saying he is getting more and more comfortable with each run. Complimenting Proline on the new ‘Wedge Squared’ hand out tyre design they have created for this weekend following driver feedback from the opening round of the series, the German ace said he still needs to improve his buggy. Running a hard shock set up to give the buggy good stability in the fast high traction corners he said this is resulting in it not being very good on the flat landings which need a softer shock to absorb the impact of landing. For Q2, which takes place tomorrow as drivers have now switched over to 4WD for 3 rounds of practice, he said he will change his rear shock set-up and try to find a better balance between the two ends of the spectrum he needs.
Making his debut for Team Yokomo, Martin described his first qualifier as ‘not bad’. The British ace, and one of only three drivers to have denied Neumann victory at an EOS event, he said the B-Max 2 felt pretty good. Really happy with its slow corner speed he said at high speed it suffered a little understeer but he is confident he can sort that for Q2 and take the fight to the ‘carpet guy’. This being a reference to Neumann. After a ‘tentative start’ to the 5-minute qualifier leading him to not hit his lines perfectly Martin said once he settled down everything was fine. Making the comment that the track so far doesn’t seem to give an extra advantage to the ‘front motor cars’, he is confident about the weekend ahead.
‘Really good’ was how Krapp summed up his opening qualifier. The German said he did a lot of testing prior to the event and other than changing from the angled rear arms to the straight versions he has done nothing to his RB6 since arriving. Not expecting to be as fast as he was having hit traffic in the last 2-minutes of his qualifier he said for Q2 the plan was to just leave the buggy set-up as is and just ‘push a lot harder’.
A total rejuvenated Honigl, said he was ‘pretty happy’ with his Q1 run, him running in the second fastest heat. The Austrian is really pleased with his new TM2 V2 buggy saying he has touched nothing since putting it on the track this morning. Suffering one bad lap which broke his concentration he said it was good to know he has the pace to run at the top of the most competitive EOS field yet and he is very confident for the rest of the record entry event.
Heading the Team Xray Challenge was Martin Bayer who would take his XB4-2 to the 5th fastest time. The Czech ace, who is a lot more at home driving 4WD Buggy, called it was a ‘solid run’ adding it was ‘good start’ against so many drivers. For Q2 he said he needs to find a little more speed from the buggy and will focus his attentions on changing the front end set-up. Team-mate Renaud Savoya could only manage the 36th fastest time. The French star described his Q1 as ‘terrible’ adding he ‘could not do one lap without crashing’. Having had understeer in practice he said he changed set-up for qualifying but it made the buggy worse. For his next qualifier he will revert to his practice set-up along with running less weight in the rear.
Better known as one of the worlds fastest electric touring car drivers, Yannic Prumper completed the Top 6 times. Describing his qualifier as ‘pretty good for offroad’, it could have been even better but for a late mistake by the 2 time ETS race winner. Asked if he would make any changes to his Yokomo for Q2 he said the plan was to ‘just drive it as is’. Fellow touring car ace and Yokomo team-mate Ronald Volker took his example to the 17th fastest time.
Yokomo have by far the most talent laden team this weekend and while Q1 went well for Martin his main offroad team-mates hit problems. Winner of the second round of the EOS last season, Japanese ace Naoto Matsukura failed to finish Q1 after he broke the rear shock tower off his buggy. He said prior to that the buggy was ‘working pretty good’ and so he plans to stay with the same set-up for his next outing. 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle was also happy with his buggy until the steering servo came loose and he started to lose steering. Posting the 15th fastest time despite this, the Spaniard said he should be ok when 2WD qualifying resumes tomorrow.
Fresh from his win at the DHI Cup, Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill posted the 7th fastest time. The British company’s designer, who TQ’d the EOS season opener in Poland, said he was caught out by the amount of grip he had, adding it was taking time to get the car sorted for that. Only 5 seconds off fellow Brit Martin’s pace he said it will be a lot better for the next one.
Making the UK the best represented nation in the Top 10, EOS debutant Kev Lee took his Team C to the 8th fastest time. He said his TM2 ‘would not naturally turn’ but apart from that the run was ‘alright’. For Q2 he will add weight to the front which he said should help improve his steering.
Having missed the opening practice round 1:8 Offroad European Champion David Ronnefalk would end up 9th fastest. The Swede was unable to travel to German yesterday due to a driving lesson, which if cancelled would have taken 3-months to rebook, and so flew into Berlin this morning. Despite just 10-minutes to set-up his Kyosho he said his buggy was easy to drive. One mistake lost him a number of positions but running a ball diff as he did at Round 1 of the series, the teenager said with more 180 degree corners this weekend he will most likely change to a gear diff for tomorrow’s resumption of 2WD qualifying.
2WD Buggy Q1 times
1. Joern Neumann – Team Durango – 15/5:21.005
2. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 14/5:01.882
3. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 14/5:03.506
4. Hupo Honigl – Team C – 14/5:04.349
5. Martin Bayer – Team Xray – 14/5:05.051
6. Yanic Prumper – Yokomo – 14/5:05.699
7. Tom Cockerill – Schumacher – 14/5:07.064
8. Kev Lee – Team C – 14/5:08.570
9. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 14/5:09.312
10.Benni Groschel – Kyosho – 14/5:10.757
Host – MSV06 Berlin Country – Germany Location – Berlin Track type – Temporary Surface – Carpet/Wood Jumps Direction – Anti-Clockwise Previous key events hosted – None
Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series brings the growing series to an all new location after the very small MSV06 club rose to the challenge when asked late last year by series organiser Uwe Rheinard if they thought a venue to bring the EOS to the capital city of Berlin could be found. Consisting of a mere 8 members, the club made inquiries with city officials. Keen to support an event that would bring international visitors to the city, over 20 nationalities represented this weekend, they gave approval to the club to use a sports hall next to their onroad track which is located outside in the carpark area. Located in the city borough of Lichterfelde, together with support from other clubs in the area the hall has been converted into one of the best looking temporary indoor offroad tracks the series has seen yet.
Having being used to build part of the track used at the opening round of the series in Poland, here the track is completely built using the new PVC construction modular system from Polish company AzetX. This has been possible thanks to the addition of new bendable sections for making curved corners. Experienced at using the click together track, having worked with it on a number of events in Poland, EOS Round 1 hosts ATA provided the man power for the building of the track yesterday. With the EOS organised by the same people who put on the ETS, they have just confirmed that they have purchased a complete AzetX set-up for use at all future indoor events for the touring car series.
In terms of the track to drive on Race Director Scotty Ernst described the layout, which features a crossover and a wall section, as difficult and technical adding that it is ‘very easy to overdrive’. In terms of lap times a fast one for 2WD Buggy will be around the 21-second mark.
Day 1 of the record entry second round of the Euro Offroad Series taking place in Berlin will be a busy one for drivers with them taking to the track a total of 9 times. Starting the day with 3 rounds of 2WD practice, this will be followed by the first of 4 qualifiers scheduled per class for the weekend. With the opening 2WD qualifier completed the action will then switch to 4WD with again three rounds of practice followed by 2 rounds of qualifying for the 4WD cars to bring Day 1 of the event to a close at around 19:00.
The Euro Offroad Series travels to Germany this weekend (17-19 Jan) with the second round of the high profile 1:10 electric offroad championship attracting a record 300 strong entry as it makes its first visit to the country’s capital city of Berlin. While set to be the biggest encounter yet in the EOS’ short 8-race history, it is also the most competitive to-date with two reigning World Champions and four current European Champions among the World class field who are set to do battle.
Heading the entry will be reigning back to back EOS Champion Joern Neumann, the German looking to secure a ninth win in 4WD Buggy to maintain his reign as the only driver to win every EOS encounter in the class. The 4WD World Championship Top Qualifier won the season opener in Poland with relative ease and has just kicked off his 2014 season with a win at last weekend’s DHI Cup in Denmark, but in Berlin he will face a much tougher field. Another big change for the German is that he will be without longtime team-mate Hupo Honigl who since winning the season opener in 2WD has switched team. The Austrian’s departure moves highly talented Polish kid Michal Orlowski up to the No.2 position in the team and having taken a podium finish at Round 1 the 12-year-old should be in the mix.
Starting Season #3 back in October with a very popular first EOS win when he won 2WD Buggy, multiple former European Champion Honigl will be looking to build on that success and impress on his EOS debut with Team C. A key driver signing for the relative newcomer to the competition end of the market, Honigl will team up for the first time with the team’s other new signing for 2014, Oskar Levin. The Swede made an impressive international debut last weekend by TQ’ing 2WD Buggy at the DHI Cup. Although the finals did not go as well as he would have wanted, eventually finishing third, the 19-year-old says he learned a lot from the experience. Having TQ’d Round 1 of the EOS but only finished 5th, it was Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill who took the Danish win over Neumann, with the British driver putting the victory down to the experience gained from the EOS adding he is relishing the opportunity of competing against the World Champion field this weekend.
In terms of driver line-up and sheer size Team Yokomo has to be the favourite for at least one victory in Berlin on its return to the series. The team made its official EOS debut in Germany last year with Naoto Matsukura and came away with the 2WD win. This time round the 4WD World Championship Vice-Champion will be joined by the 2WD World Championship Vice-Champion Lee Martin. The team announced one of the biggest signings of the new season when they secured the services of Martin, who is one of only three drivers to have previously denied Neumann victory in the EOS. Also joining the electric offroad aces is reigning 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle. The Spaniard who only took up 1:10 electric offroad racing last season has shown great speed on previous EOS outings but this being his first time to have team-mates to work alongside he should benefit hugely. The race will also see Martin’s young protege Jack Embling make his EOS debut. With the race in Germany, the Yokomo line-up will also include Euro Touring Series aces Ronald Volker and Yannic Prumper.
With both their drivers joining Neumann on the 4WD podium at Round 1, Team Xray will be hoping they can go one better this weekend. 4WD European Champion Martin Bayer came very close to beating Neumann at the DHI Cup with the Czech ace looking better & better on carpet surface tracks every race. Together with his team-mate and fellow nitro ace Renaud Savoya, a driver who never raced electric offroad before making his EOS debut in Austria last season, the hard working duo are spending the days leading up to Berlin testing at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia which should set them up well for the weekend.
Kyosho will be counting on their 1:8 Offroad European Champion David Ronnefalk and touring car star Christopher Krapp for a successful weekend. Ronnefalk had good speed at the opening round but came away with disappointing results and the 17-year will be looking to rectify that this Sunday. Having missed Round 1, Krapp makes his return to the series. Having finished runner-up in 2WD Buggy behind Neumann and ahead of his team-mate at last year’s season finale, the German will be hoping he can put in another strong showing at his home event. Another Touring Car ace who will make his EOS debut is Team Associated’s Juho Levanen. Like Krapp the Finn is a winner in the ETS but he has a lot less offroad experience and will be counting on the experience of Associated’s former European offroad champion Peter Pinisch.
Following driver feedback new tyre partner Pro-Line will supply a new controlled front tyre for the event along with a new compound rear tyre for Round 2. The changes show the high level of commitment the American tyre manufacturer is making to the Euro Offroad Series. Attracting backing from Xray, Team Durango, Team Associated, Kyosho, Horizon Hobby and Pro-Line, all primary sponsors of the 2013/14 season, the Berlin event will commence Friday morning with free practice.