Chassis: Yokomo B-Max4 III Motor: Yokomo ESC: Yokomo Batteries: Yokomo Radio/Servo: Sanwa Remarks – Despite being noticeably faster than his competitors on the Polish carpet, the 2WD season opener winner is running a pretty stock car, the only options used being the new Yokomo springs, longer rear wishbones and the optional Yokomo wing. He is also using a thicker swaybar in the rear end of the car.
A clean sweep of the opening three qualifiers at the Euro Offroad Series season opener in Poland this morning have secured Naoto Matsukura an early overall TQ for 4WD. The Yokomo driver secured his second ever EOS pole position in the 4WD class, having TQ’d last season’s final round, by topping Q3 ahead of defending champion Joern Nuemann having also beaten the German in Q2. A repeat of the Q2 Top 3 Lee Martin would again post the third fastest time.
Changing to a lighter shock oil on his B-Max4, Matsukura said with a more stable car he was able to run a clean Q2 in which he was the only driver to run 17-laps. Despite a mistake in Q3 at the crossover which lost him over a second the Japanese ace ran a faster time again being the only one to manage 17-laps. Clearly the quickest driver, setting the fastest lap in each of the qualifying rounds, he said ‘car is good, me not good’. Having been unable to get the win when he TQ’d in Austria last season due to too many driver errors, the Vice-World Champion said this time round his approach would be to just put together two ‘safe’ 5-minutes of driving.
Another driver not happy with his driving is Neumann. The 10-time EOS 4WD race winner and 3-time consecutive champion said his Durango DEX410 is good and the problem is ‘just the driver’. In Q2 mistakes lost the German 6-seconds while in Q3, while overall a better run, he again made errors which cost him over 2-seconds. Playing the tyre strategy game, drivers allowed 3 sets of Schumacher tyres for qualifying and an extra set for the A-Main, he is confident that come the final on new tyres he can match Matsukura.
Changing the diffs and adding boost to his speedo for Q2, Martin said his B-Max4 was ‘a little faster and still consistent but it still needs more’. Still losing drive for Q4 he will make a rear roll centre change as well as trying a different rear shock spring. Describing team-mate Matsukura as being ‘up the road’ in terms of his pace and Neumann as being ‘a little faster’ he said over the remaining two qualifiers he hoped to be able to catch up and be ready for the finals.
Top Qualifier in 2WD yesterday, Carson Wernimont enjoyed his best 4WD run in Q3 setting the 4th fastest time. Having made diff changes to his CAT K1 Aero after Q1, he said this improved the car on acceleration but a number of ‘dumb mistakes’ meant he would only post 7th for the round. Leaving the car the same for Q3 he said in terms of the set-up it now very close and he ‘just need(s) to drive it’.
Martin Bayer, who finished runner-up to Neumann in last season’s championship, said changes made for Q2 improved his Xray but he still has to find a way to make it more aggressive. On target for a Top 3 time in the second qualifier, contact with Team Durango’s Michal Orlowski on lap 10 would lose him over 2.5 seconds and drop him to 15th. Describing Q3 as ‘good’, the former European Champion would set the 5th fastest time but with a set-up change planned for Q4 he hopes to close the gap to the Top 3. Team-mate Martin Wollanka, who was second fastest in seeding practice, posted his best round in Q3 with P6.
After a good start to 4WD with second in Q1, Orlowski has two tough rounds. In Q2 he had ‘too many mistakes’ and ended up 12th while in Q3 while on Top 4 pace the wiring to his motor came undone at the speedo with a minute to go.
Winner of 2WD yesterday, Naoto Matsukura got 4WD underway this morning at the Euro Offroad Series underway in Poland with a TQ run in the opening round of qualifying. Having set the pace in Friday’s practice, the Yokomo driver survived two mistakes over the 5-minutes to just pip Team Durango’s Michal Orlowski by 4/10ths of a second. Completing the Top 3 for the first of the five scheduled qualifiers was Lee Martin with defending champion Joern Neumann posting the fifth fastest time.
Setting the fastest lap, Matsukura said while his car was fast it was difficult to drive but his mistakes, one of which cost him 6-seconds, were simply down to driver error. With the jumps having all been revised last night following the 2WD action, the Japanese ace said the new launch angle was a big improvement with the cars now more predictable over them. Looking to make his B-Max4 more stable he will make a set-up change for Q2.
Slightly frustrated by a mistake on the wall section on the penultimate lap which cost him the TQ, Orlowski said his DEX410 was perfect. Running on a new set of Schumacher tyres, the 13-year-old said he really liked the feeling of the car on fresh tyres and other than his ‘small error’ his plan for Q2 was just to try and repeat the otherwise clean run.
‘Consistent but I lost a little drive so I couldn’t go any faster’, that was Martin’s summary of the opening qualifier. Finishing 2.2-seconds of Yokomo team-mate Matsukura, the British driver will change both diffs in his B-Max4 for Q2 as well as adding boost to his speedo having run none so far. Also commenting on the improved jumps he said the landings however were still terrible.
Setting the fifth fastest time Martin Bayer said his run was ‘OK’. The only driver to beat Neumann in 4WD in the 4 year history of the EOS, he said his XB4 was ‘super easy to drive’ and as a result his ‘average lap time was too slow’. Planning to make the car more aggressive for Q2, the Czech ace will make a change to the front geometry.
Neumann said his DEX410 was good and so were the first 2/3 minutes of the run until he just ‘drove bad’. Starting the heat 3rd, he said once he caught Matsukura after his crash he just tried to stay behind his rival but he too ended up crashing while on the TQ pace. Happier too with the jumps today having struggled with his 2WD nose diving in 2WD, he said for Q2 he would run his car as is and instead just try to improve his driving.
Completing the Top 6 one-second up on Team C’s Hupo Honigl, Carson Wernimont said ‘things were going pretty decent until the last lap’. At the crossover the Schumacher driver jumped offline and ended up landing on the pipping costing him about 2-seconds. Describing his CAT as ‘pretty good’, the American teenager who yesterday TQ’d 2WD said he could do with getting a little more drive out of the car and for Q2 he will ‘make some diff changes’.
Naoto Matsukura got his 2WD title defence in the Euro Offroad Series off to the perfect start in Poznan, Poland, as he took the overall win at Round 1 of the championship’s fourth season. Having survived making contact with Top Qualifier Carson Wernimont in A1, the Yokomo driver wrapped up the win in A2 with a more straight forward pass on the American to win by 10-seconds. Taking the win in A3 ahead of Lee Martin, Joern Neumann would claim second overall with Martin completing the podium, his first in 2WD for Yokomo.
Despite his considerable winning margin in A2, a pleased Matsukura said today’s victory was ‘not easy’. With Wernimont catching the dots through the sweeper at the end of the straight causing his Schumacher to run wide, this allowed Matsukura to pass on the inside for the lead. Describing A2 as being his best 5-minutes on the track in terms of mistakes, the 4-time electric onroad World Champion managed his first error free round of the weekend, the 21-year-old said it was a good start to the championship and he hopes for the same tomorrow as he chases his first ever 4WD victory of the EOS. Very happy with the feeling he had with his Nosram powered B-Max 2 in the finals he wished to thank his Yokomo team and in particular his mechanic Naoya Kitagawa with whom he last season became the first driver to deny Neumann an EOS buggy title.
Getting passed Wernimont on lap 6 of 16 after a mistake by the American, Neumann was happy with 2nd adding Matsukura was the fastest driver and deserved the win. Describing his DEX210 as good for the final A-Main as he ran a new set of Schumacher tyres, the German said with the next race not till February they have time to improve their game to the Japanese driver. Hoping also for better carpet at Round 2, he said this would make tyre wear ‘not so big a problem ‘ for him.
Declaring himself ‘happy enough’ with his first podium, this still being his first year with Yokomo, Martin said he had the pace to be second overall. In A3 he said having got by Wernimont he tried to catch Neumann continuing that maybe if the race had been 1-minute longer he would have been able to do so as in the time he had he couldn’t push too hard as ‘the track would just throw you off’.
Missing out on a podium, Wernimont said A3 ‘didn’t go to plan’. Catching the dots in A2 with his Cougar KF getting up on ‘a bike’ (two wheels) and him having to run wide to save it, he said for A3 he ‘just tried to drive around clean’ but ended up crashing. Describing his car as feeling ‘awesome’, the 17-year-old said in the end it was a ‘couple of mental mistakes that cost him a podium’. Still with 4WD to look forward to tomorrow he said he just has to ‘gather it up and get ready’ for that now. Having battled with Wernimont for P2 in A2 before crashing on the run to the loop, Polish star Michal Orlowski would finish 5th overall with Tom Cockerill completing the Top 6.