Despite serving a Stop & Go penalty for early contact with Top Qualifier Carson Wernimont and needing to be marshalled later in the race, Naoto Matsukura won the first leg of the A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland. The defending champion took the win over Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin with Michal Orlowski completing the Top 3. After dropping out of contention for a strong finish after being spun out Wernimont would pull up after 5 laps with third position starter Joern Neumann also opting to save his tyres after just 2-laps having led the race very briefly.
Clearly the fastest man on the track, Matsukura said after rebuilding the shocks on his B-Max2 he had a very good feeling with his buggy during the first of the three finals. Asked about his contact with Wernimont on the wall just as they came around to complete lap 2, the Japanese driver said it was a case of him going for the inside and the American going for the ‘outside’. Waiting on the Schumacher driver and then serving a penalty for the incident, he would finally move to the front on lap 10 of 16. Waiting patiently behind his team-mate Martin, who started 4th, a little mistake was enough for him to get down the inside. Making a couple of mistakes including one on the penultimate lap that cost him over 2-seconds he would hold on to win.
Finishing second Martin said he knew Matsukura was faster and that there was little point in fighting him for 3-minutes. On making his bobble he said he let him through with the plan being to wait for a mistake from his team-mate. Unfortunately having made a mistake of his own a lap earlier when the expected mistake did come he was too far back to capitalise. Starting the race on used tyres, the Vice-World Champion said at the end of the 5-minutes they were getting past their best and with new tyres for A2 he expects to be stronger.
‘Perfect’ was how 13-year-old Orlowski summed up his race to 3rd from 6th on the grid. Admitting he got lucky from others crashing he said he could haven’t asked for much more from his own driving. Letting the faster Matsukura through he said he just did his own race and that was his game plan again for A2.
Getting ‘tagged’ by Matsukura, Wernimont said it was a ‘racing deal’ and he was ‘not mad with Naoto’. Getting off to a ‘good start’ the American said he was a ‘little slow & cautious’. Dropping to 7th after the contact, he said after getting back one place he got hit from behind by that same car. After the marshal ‘fumbled’ with his car he decided it was better to pull off and save tyres.
Taking the lead for ‘about 1-second’ after the contact on the wall and the reaction it caused, Neumann said on the jump after the loop his Durango just went ‘fully nose down’ causing him to crash. Having to be marshalled and last the German said there as little point in continuing and he would save his tyres for A2.
Carson Wernimont has become the first American to TQ a round of the European high profile Euro Offroad Series, the Schumacher driver securing pole position for the season opener in Poland from reigning champion Naoto Matsukura. Going into the final qualifier in a three way shootout for the honour of Top Qualifier with Yokomo pairing Matsukura and Lee Martin, third behind Joern Neumann and Jesper Rasmussen was enough for Wernimont to achieve something his fellow countrymen Ryan Cavalieri, Dustin Evans and Mike Truhe failed to do.
‘Super pumped with that’ was how Wernimont summed up the result. Repeating the TQ that team-mate Tom Cockerill achieved last year for the British manufacturer, the 17-year-old said the final qualifier didn’t go to plan but still he was able to salvage a third out of it. With the 5-minute qualifier having ‘started off quick’ he said he pushed too hard leading to a ‘dumb mistake’ but ‘luckily everyone else did too’. Looking to finals he said he would ‘reign things back and go for a safe race’.
Having started out the day perfectly with two TQ runs in the first two qualifiers, once again Matsukura suffered ‘too many mistakes’. Predicting a ‘hard’ race with passing set to be difficult without mistakes from the driver in front, the Japanese driver said he hopes for a clean & good fight with his aim to force Wernimont into an error.
Neumann said he ‘might not have been the fastest’ but he kept the run clean. ‘OK’ with securing third on the grid he said he hopes to capitalise should the two ahead of him tangle. Like Martin, the championship’s most winning driver expects the jumps to cause problems as due to the flat landings the cars bounce out of line which is sure to cause problems in a closely bunched pack.
Describing his Q6 attempt as ‘shit’ with the driver, the used tyres and his car all not good, Martin will start fourth on the grid. Predicting the finals to be ‘a crash fest’ he said the winner is going to be the driver who crashes less with the jumps set to be at the centre of most incidents. In terms of his car he will revert to his Q5 set-up as well as running a fresh set of tyres which he said should give hime a good package again for the finals.
A day that has seen a lot of young stars shine, Michal Orlowski will start 5th with emerging Scandinavan talents booking their first EOS A-Main appearances. Putting his P2 in Q6 down to his ‘first clean run’, 15-year old Team Associated supported driver Jesper Rasmussen booked 9th on the grid with the result. Behind him 11-year-old Finn Joona Haatanen, also driving a B5M completes the 10 car grid with the other two starters being last year’s Top Qualifier Tom Cockerill (8th) and Team C’s Oliver Scholtz (7th).
American talent Carson Wernimont has made a break through in terms of racing on European style indoor tracks by claiming an impressive TQ run double at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland. Having shown strongly in practice yesterday for what is only his second time to race on carpet, he finally put his Schumacher at the top the time sheets in Q4 going on to back that up in Q5 with a second TQ run. The result puts 17-year-old old in contention alongside defending Champion Naoto Matsukura and Lee Martin for the overall 2WD TQ going into the sixth & final qualifier at the EOS #4 season opener.
Having stiffened up his shock package after posting the third fastest time in Q3, with his Cougar KF jumping and landing better Wernimont would secure his first TQ run ahead of last year’s race winner Hupo Honigl. Further improving his car for Q5, making up a front wing that improved high speed steering, he would take that round ahead of former race winner Martin. ‘Way more satisfied with these result than Austria’, him making his EOS debut at last season’s final round, he said he was starting to adapt to the carpet something which is very different to anything he has raced on back in the United States. Looking to give Schumacher a repeat for the TQ they took at the Poznan event last year, he said with his buggy now ‘pretty good’ he would leave it as is for last qualifier into which he goes as the current points leader of the qualification ranking.
Sitting third in the ranking with one round to go, Martin was on a TQ run in Q5 before he clipped his back wheel off a jump and spun his Yokomo under the crossover with two laps to go. Getting second for the round he said his B-Max2 felt OK and he would leave it as is for the overall TQ deciding round. Having topped Q3, the British driver said other than Matsukura, who is ‘slightly faster’ gaining his advantage over the ‘silly single jumps’, the rest of the field had the same pace and all he could do for the last one was ‘just try to TQ it’.
Having TQ’d Q1 & 2, Matsukura has struggled with costly crashes ever since. Pulling a rear corner off his B-Max2 in Q4, in Q5 he would post the 4th fastest time. The Japanese ace, again the fastest driver on outright lap times, said new tyres left him struggling for the first 2-minutes with his car ‘twitchy’. After that he said the car was ‘super fast’ and preferring used tyres he said everything is there now to take the last round & overall TQ if he can just manage to cut out the mistakes.
‘Finally’ eliminating his mistakes to post the second fastest time in Q4 and third in Q5, Honigl said the latest run was his best. Benefiting from others crashes in the fourth round he said with a potential TQ on offer to him he ended up pushing too hard towards the end and he crashed too. Set to start fourth and having not wanted to ‘waste’ a run by making a set-up change, for Q6 he will as he looks to better how his car lands. Describing his TM2 V2 as normally very good on landing he said on this track it could be better and he will use the last qualifier to try to improve it for this evening’s upcoming triple leg finals.
Elsewhere Joern Nuemann who was third quickest in Q4 would pull a front arm off his Durango. The two time 2WD Champion said running on used tyre they were done and the car was difficult to drive leading him to connect with the track piping and braking a front left arm.
Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KF Motor: Reedy ESC: Reedy Batteries: Reedy Radio/Servo: Futaba Remarks – Making the trip over to Europe, US driver Carson Wernimont is attending the season opener running a pretty stock Cougar KF buggy. His car sports some option parts, such as aluminum rear bulkhead and suspension mounts as well as a rear swaybar and he has also fit some aftermarket shocks springs from Core-RC. With his focus on aerodynamics he has made a front spoiler to increase the steering of his buggy.