Day 2 action at the Euro Offroad Series gets underway with the first of the four rounds of 4WD qualifying before switching back to the final two rounds of 2WD qualifying, the first two rounds having been run yesterday. With the main table top causing the major difficulty in 2WD, once 4WD is completed the Hudy Arena staff will amend the jump to remove the dip in the centre that is catching out both the clubman driver and the Pros. Following 2WD qualifying the day will conclude the opening leg of 2WD Finals, all drivers getting to run triple Mains.
Martin Bayer has set the pace in 4WD practice at EOS Round 3, the Team Xray driver running the fastest 3-consecutive laps in both timed runs which brought official proceedings on Day 1 of the Slovakian event to a close. Chasing his first EOS victory, the European Champion topped the times at his home track over the Yokomos of Lee Martin and Naoto Matsukura and will be top seed for tomorrow’s four rounds of qualifying. Having had a disappointing day in 2WD, reigning 4WD EOS Champion Joern Neumann’s day didn’t improve much, the unbeaten driver who is chasing win number 10 this weekend ending up only 11th fastest.
‘Really awesome’ was how Bayer described his 3-lap time which left him 9/10th of a second clear of his nearest rival. While pleased to top the times the Czech ace said in terms of his LRP powered XB4’s set-up the buggy is ‘not really easy to drive’. Happy that the speed is there he will work on a better set-up for tomorrow to make the buggy more comfortable for a 5-minute run but overall he added he is feeling ‘pretty confident for tomorrow’.
Martin described his B-Max 4 performance over the two practices as ‘pretty good’ saying today the buggy was working. Having availed of yesterday’s open practice day at the Hudy Arena, the British driver said they started out with a completely wrong set-up. Not finding a really good solution over the day, he said it was only changes made today just ahead of the official practice that they found a good way with the buggy. With the buggy ‘good now’ he said thats all that matters and he is happy to run it as is for the morning’s opening qualifier.
Matsukura, who started off the day with a TQ run in the opening 2WD Buggy Qualifier, was only a tenth of a second off his team-mate with his first timed practice time. Changing his set-up for the second run he said it didn’t work so well. Struggling with the buggy bottoming out on the bigger landings he said he must make changes for tomorrow but he first wants to discuss his options with his mechanic and the teams head of development Shin Adachi.
Having posted the 7th fastest time in second round of 2WD qualifying having only built his 2WD Buggy overnight and ran it for the first time this morning, top Portuguese racer Miguel Matias was back in familiar territory with his 4WD. Joining Xray for the 2014 season, he described his practice having gone ‘very good’. Setting his best time in first practice, he changed to a lighter front diff oil for the second and while it was ‘maybe faster’ it was ‘not as consistent’. Planning to go back up for Q1 he also plans to try a different shock geometry.
Feeling this is the best prepared he has come into an EOS event, having been able to test with the championships hand out Pro-Line tyres back in Sweden, David Ronnefalk was pleased with his practice. Posting the fourth fastest time the Kyosho driver said his prototype buggy felt good although by the end of the run he did have an issue with it going soft. Planning to go up in his shock oil for tomorrow he said he is feeling pretty confident & looking forward to qualifying getting underway.
Running an identical set-up to his older brother, Ales Bayer posted the 6th fastest time. Struggling to find his rhythm in the first practice, he said he was ‘very very happy’ with how the second run went. Looking to tomorrow he plans to make a small change to his shock set-up but overall he said he is very happy with where he is currently at.
Another driver to improve in the second practice was fellow Xray driver Renaud Savoya. Suffering a broken rear diff in the first run, the French ace went for a heavy oil then fitted a new diff but he said it was a little too much. Happy with the balance of his Orion powered XB4 he said going up in oil had created oversteer on power. While reverting back to a lighter oil will give less traction he said overall it should give a better feeling with the steering.
Team C’s Hupo Honigl, who TQ’d Q2 of 2WD Buggy, posted the 8th fastest time followed by the Schumacher of Tom Cockerill and the Tamiya of former European Champion Marc Rheinard. Normally the man to beat from the first lap of 4WD, Neumann said he struggled for traction. Running used tyres on his DEX410 he said he struggles even though the tyres pins still look perfectly good. Not sure why this is he said for the opening qualifier he will run new tyres on which he knows the buggy has no problems being competitive.
Hupo Honigl has TQ’d the second round of 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, the Team C driver being the only driver to run 13 laps of the difficult Hudy Arena the second time of asking. Improving on his Q1 time by over 4-seconds, the Austrian topped the round from Q1 pace setter Naoto Matsukura with an improved run from the Japanese driver’s team-mate Lee Martin seeing him complete the Top 3.
Having felt his car would be better on its second run on the controlled Pro-Line tyres, the winner of the season opener in Poland said the difference was ‘ridiculous’. Making one mistake early on in the heat which cost him about 2-seconds, he said he was forced to push hard but with his rivals making more mistakes for the second half of the qualifier he was able to let off somewhat. ‘Super happy’ with his Dual Sky powered TM2 V2 he said with confidence he wont be touching the set-up for tomorrow’s remaining two qualifiers, the action now switching over to 4WD practice for the remainder of today’s schedule.
Matsukura, who is this weekend chasing three overall wins & TQ’s from three EOS appearances, summed up Q2 with ‘me not good’. Winner of Round 2 in Berlin in January, he had a ‘bad first 2-minute’ but getting his act together he was pleased with his pace for the rest of the run when he again posted the fastest lap of the round. While the track will see a lot of 4WD action before Q3, he said he doesn’t plan to change his B-Max 2 set-up as it had the speed and he just needs to stop crashing.
Having got Shin Adachi to rebuild his shocks for Q2, Martin said the run started off good with him managing to run the TQ pace just before the halfway mark. Believing new o-rings had helped with his understeer issues of practice & Q1 he said as the freshly built shocks settled during the run his Viper powered B-Max 2 dropped in ride height making it difficult for the second part of the heat. For now the multiple European Champion said the only change he plans for Q3 is to readjust his ride height.
Another good run from Martin Wollanka saw him post the fourth fastest time be top Xray ahead of team-mates Renaud Savoya, Martin Bayer and the EOS returning Miguel Matias. Savoya said other than an early bobble when he had to check-up to avoid hitting the rear of Bayer he was happy with his run. Admitting that he doesn’t have high expectations for 2WD, 4WD being the 3-time 1:8 European Champion’s preferred class, he said he would be really happy with another such run as this would lock him into his first ever EOS 2WD A-Main. Bayer said his 5th fastest time was down to ‘just me’ as he started the run with ‘too many stupid mistakes’.
Elsewhere David Ronnefalk once again threw away a potential TQ run. The Kyosho driver was on the TQ pace for three laps before he ‘screwed it up again’, a mistake on lap-7 which the marshal was slow to notice costing him 4-seconds. Following this up with three further single lap crashes he ended up 11th behind fellow countryman Oskar Levin. Describing his car as ‘amazing’ and unlike the previous rounds having had the chance to test on the controlled Pro-Line tyre he said the speed is there and he just needs to ‘keep it clean’ for the full 5-minutes.
Having broke three times, defending champion Joern Neumann finally completed a run albeit in only the 12th fastest time just ahead of Team Associated team-mates Juho Levanen and Peter Pinisch. While Pinisch is building one of Associated’s new B5M chassis, Levanen’s having arrived in Finland just after he left for Slovakia, the former European Champion is unlikely to run it due to having no gear diff or spare parts.
2WD Buggy Q2 times
1. Hupo Hönigl – Team C – 13/5:20.003
2. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 12/5:01.042
3. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 12/5:02.588
4. Martin Wollanka – Xray – 12/5:02.884
5. Renaud Savoya – Xray – 12/5:02.932
6. Martin Bayer – Xray – 12/5:05.760
7. Miguel Matias – Xray – 12/5:07.110
8. Torben Højfeldt – Team C – 12/5:07.622
9. Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 12/5:10.648
10.Oskar Levin – Team C – 12/5:11.084
Team Yokomo driver Naoto Matsukura has taken the opening round of 2WD Buggy qualifying at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series. A two time Top Qualifier and race winner, the Japanese driver topped Q1 at the Hudy Arena by 2-seconds over practice pace setting Martin Bayer. The round saw four drivers go top of the time screens over the 5-minutes but they would all make significant mistakes Hupo Honigl eventually claiming third and David Ronnefalk fourth as the only other drivers to run 13 laps of the tough track. Having had a troubled practice, breaking on both his runs, defending champion Joern Neumann’s event didn’t improve as he retired with a broke rear stub axle 3-minutes into the qualifier.
Matsukura was pleased to take the opening qualifier but said it was not perfect. Having predicted after practice that running 5-minutes without a mistake was going to be near impossible due to the tracks tough jumps, Matsukura was right as his run include three mistakes. Pleased with his B-Max 2 set-up, he said he will leave it the same for Q2 and instead try to ‘reduce the number of errors’ adding reduce was the key word as a totally clean run was too tall an order.
Laying down the pace for the first 5-laps, Bayer said the run ‘started good’ but his Xray developed understeer which in turn led him to over drive and make mistakes. Struggling by the end of the 5-minutes, he said a set-up change after practice had for the opening laps given him the little steering he was lacking earlier but it was not consistent and by the end he was struggling with ‘push, push, push’. Despite this the Czech ace said second for the opening round was good to have.
Honigl was somewhat disappointed with 3rd saying it was ‘OK’ but the Austrian felt his driving was not good. Running a fresh set of Pro-Line’s controlled Wedge-Squared front and Pin Point rear on his Team C, he said the buggy is better second time round on the tyres so he is looking forward to a better Q2 performance both from the car and the driver.
‘Good for a long while’ was how Ronnefalk summed up his 4th for the round the Swede having been on target for a TQ run until the last minute. With his Orion powered Kyosho leading the way, the 1:8 Offroad European Champion said on hearing the 1-minute to go announcement he decided to ‘take it easy’ but this ‘was a bad idea’. Casing a jump it resulted in a crash that cost him almost 3-seconds. Dropping to fourth he would lose a further 6 second with a last lap error. Changing the ride height and droop on his RB6 after practice, the 17-year-old said his buggy was much better on the jumps and he will leave it the same for Q2.
Running 12-laps, Austrian Martin Wollanka was fifth fastest. Running in the top heat, the Xray driver was pleased with his run but for Q2 plans to make some changes to his XB4-2. Looking to make the buggy more stable he will change to a heavier front shock oil and to try and keep steering he will run the wheelbase shorter.
‘Just kept crashing’, that was the response of Lee Martin to how his run had gone. The Vice-World Champion said dropping the front link on his Yokomo as well as fitting a front wing to the bodyshell had made little difference to the level of understeer he is suffering. While the British ace said it wasn’t a huge issue he just cannot carry the same corner speed as the ‘front motored’ cars. For Q2 he will discuss set-up options with Yokomo’s new head of offroad development Shin Adachi. Racing himself in the event, his first time doing offroad on carpet, Adachi said the racing is a very different experience to anything he has done before.
Behind Martin with the 7th fastest time was former team-mate Marc Rheinard. The Tamiya driver, who is running in the 3rd fastest heat, said it was a steady run adding he just took a caustious approach to the table top. Admitting he is nowhere near fast enough he said considering the car they have for 2WD and the fact that they only have the option of running a ball diff it was pretty ‘OK’.
Setting the eighth fastest time in the first of the four scheduled qualifiers was Team C’s Torben Hojifeldt, the Dane followed by the Yokomo’s of 1:8 World Champion Robert Batlle and Yannic Prumper. who completed the Top 10.
2WD Buggy Q1 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 13/5:17.721
2. Martin Bayer – Xray – 13/5:19.766
3. Hupo Hönigl – Team C – 13/5:24.467
4. David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 13/5:28.940
5. Martin Wollanka – Xray – 12/5:01.157
6. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 12/5:03.349
7. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya – 12/5:04.833
8. Torben Højfeldt – Team C – 12/5:05.489
9. Robert Battlle – Yokomo – 12/5:06.748
10.Yannic Prümper – Yokomo – 12/5:11.173
Martin Bayer is the top seed for 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series third round taking place at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia. The Xray driver set the fastest 3-consecutive laps around a difficult track to outpace Round 2 winner Naoto Matsukura who in turn was quicker than Round 1 winner Hupo Honigl. Breaking his buggy in each of the two timed practice runs, defending champion Joern Neumann posted the 5th fastest time.
Essentially the home event for Bayer, the Czech ace doing the vast majority of his EOS preparations at the Arena, he described both his practices as ‘solid runs’. Making small adjustments to his XB4-2 each run he said his focus was on consistency over 5-minute rather than outright pace and so he was particularly happy to top the times. Really confident for the event, he said the buggy is easy to drive and ‘pretty fast’ although it ‘pushes a little more than (he) wants’. For Q1 he said the plan is to continue with just small adjustments to the set-up in the hope of gradually finding the little steering he is lacking.
Matsukura, who didn’t have the best start to the day when he got some superglue in his eye, described his practice run as ‘good’. Pleased with the performance of his Yokomo he said ‘car is good, track is difficult’. Planning to leave his set-up the same for Q1, only fitting a new set of the rear controlled Pro-Line Pin Point tyres, he said the biggest challenge for qualifying is going to be to avoid crashing, something he expects is going to be ‘hard’ to achieve.
Running his car ‘99% the same’ as he did in Berlin where he came so close to securing a second win of the season, Honigl described his TM2 V2 as ‘very good’. In the second practice the Austrian broke just before 3-minutes when he pulled off a ball cup, but he is confident about his car’s pace going into the first qualifier.
Team C had a strong showing in practice with Oskar Levin posting the fourth fastest time and Torben Hojifeldt completing the Top 6. Levin said he had nothing to complain about and he was just enjoying driving on what he described as a ‘fun track’. The 19-year-old Swede has done little by way of set-up change saying like team mate Honigl that his TM2 V2 is pretty much the same as he ran it in Berlin.
Hojifeldt said the biggest change he made in practice was motoring down from a 6.5 to 7.5 T motor. The Danish driver said this made the buggy much smoother to drive and also reduced wheel spin. Having ‘basically touched nothing else on the buggy’ and just focused on his driving he said he is ‘pretty comfortable’ with the track including the centre table top that is causing many drivers issues.
Breaking a C-Hub in the first timed practice and pulling a screw from his servo arm in the second, Nuemann said when his Durango was on the track it was ‘OK’. Suffering ‘a little understeer’, the German said he would like to improve this for qualifying but with the steering at is maximum mechanically he isn’t sure what he can change but overall he said its not a major issue.
Posting the 7th fastest time Lee Martin also reported understeer but for the Yokomo driver its seems more of an issue. Running an ‘almost same set-up’ as Matsukura, who is not experiencing the problem, the British driver said he doesnt have an specific cure for the lack of steering but has a few ideas he will try for Q1. He added one of the main reasons for both drivers experiencing a different level of steering from the same set-up is mostly down to their driving style with him describing his Japanese team-mate as having a ‘harder driving style’.