Having set the pace in 2WD Buggy practice at the Euro Offroad Series earlier in the day, Joern Neumann repeated the feat in 4WD this evening in Poland. Taking his Durango to the fastest 3-consecutive laps in the fourth & final practice, the German will be the top seed for qualifying ahead of Xray’s Martin Bayer. Hupo Honigl posted the third fastest time while unable to improve on his P3 time Renaud Savoya end the day fourth ahead of Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk and Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill.
Neumann said driving his 4WD it didn’t feel like carpet racing but more like racing outdoor on dirt. Describing his DEX410 as ‘loose’, the 4WD World Championship Top Qualifier said he has had to adapt his driving to the ‘weird feeling’. While very different to what he is used to for carpet racing, he said overall its not a huge problem and for tomorrow he plans to just check over his buggy for the opening qualifier.
Bayer was happy with his XB4 describing it as ‘pretty good’. Together with team-mate Renaud Savoya who set the fastest lap of practice, the Xray pairing were the only drivers to run 20-second laps of the track. Looking for more steering in the slow corners the European Champion said they should be able to figure that out for the opening qualifier. Savoya said for P4 he didn’t have a proper feeling with his XB4 after he tried running a shorter wheelbase. The 3-time 1:8 Offroad European Champion, who is a relative newcomer to 1:10 electric offroad, said he will revert to his P3 set-up which should leave him good again for tomorrow.
Running Kyosho’s prototype 4WD chassis which made its debut at the Worlds in Chico last month, Ronnefalk said the buggy has the speed and he just needs to stay consistent without mistakes. Fitting a new set of tyres for the final practice, the 17-year-old said the first few laps where difficult but once the tyre bedded in the rest of the run was ok, him running a number of laps alongside Bayer.
Completing the Top 6, Cockerill said he struggled to get a good tyre balance in the early practices with his CAT having loads of steering yet not grip rolling. Feeling he improved his set-up in the first two runs, he said having used just the one set of tyres for the four rounds this left him with a lack of overall traction. Looking forward to qualifying he said with a fresh set of tyres on his buggy he ‘hopes’ all should be fine.
Behind the British driver young Polish talent Michal Orlowski took his Durango to the seventh fastest time followed by Team C’s Oliver Scholz. Also driving a Durango, young Czech racer Kaja Novotny was ninth with British driver David Poulter completing the Top 10 to book his place in the top heat of qualifying.
Defending Champion Joern Neumann set the pace in 2WD practice at the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series which is taking place in Poznan, Poland. The Team Durango driver set the fastest three consecutive laps to top the reseed for qualifying ahead of team-mate Hupo Honigl and Xray’s Martin Bayer third with Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk fourth.
Declaring himself happy with his final practice run in which managed a time of 1:10.303, he said the only big change he made over the four practice rounds was to his shocks. Starting off with his ‘regular shock set-up’, the German tried a different set-up for his next outing. Reverting back to what he ran in the morning he said combined with a fresh set of the new Proline tyres, this season’s official controlled tyre, he said his Orion powered DEX210 felt much more comfortable to drive. Asked about the track the European Champion said the layout, which had to be altered after the first practice round due to issues with drivers seeing their buggies go under the crossover section, he said it was good. Commenting on the double he said it was ‘not so easy’ adding that 95% of the time he was able to execute it.
Honigl was pleased with his final round as he posted a time of 1:10.448 over three laps. Switching to a short servo on his DEX210 which allowed him to add more weight to the front, the Austrian said it improved the handling a lot. Also playing around with the width to which he cut his front rims, he felt he found a good a good solution which optimised the performance of the controlled Proline Wedge front tyres.
Running Xray’s soon to be released XB4 2WD, Bayer said considering they only started their indoor testing this week he was happy with his practice pace of 1:11.272. Together with his French team-mate Renaud Savoya, the Czech ace has been at the Xray factory since Monday testing before making the 8-hour driver yesterday to Poland for the EOS. Commenting on the double, Bayer said with new tyres he was able to pull it off every lap but due to the wood surface of the jump faces on used tyres it was much harder. Posting the 10th fastest time, Savoya said he got better and better each run. Admitting he doesn’t have the same outright pace of his rivals he said over 5-minutes he is able to run without any crashes. Describing the test track Xray built for the testing this week as very tough he said the track he now seems easy although the double has caused him trouble. Going for it in the first two practices he broke his buggy on both occasions.
Ronnefalk said his day started off terrible as he had the wrong set-up on his RB6. Changing to the same swaybar set-up that he ran when he made the final at the recent World Championships, he said he was happy with where he was at for the final practice. In the previous run he broke on the warm-up lap losing out on valuable track time. Described the track as ‘really good’, the Swede believes the layout will make for good racing.
Yokomo driver Bjorn Prumper set the 5th fastest time. The older brother of touring car ace Yannic Prumper, he said at the beginning of the day his B-Max 2 felt strange to drive. Making a few small set-up adjustments, the 23-year-old said these worked well and the buggy was now to his liking. Asked about the double he said he did manage it but not every lap and so for the first 2 qualifiers he will play it safe by going single single. If those runs prove successful he said for Q3 & 4 he might go for the riskier option.
Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill said his prototype Cougar, which is due for release by Christmas, was really good. The British ace ended up 6th at the end of practice after he broke at steering block trying to do the double in the final round. Describing the jump as ‘big risk, big reward’, he really likes the track layout ATA have come up with adding its got a nice flow to it with plenty going on. Like Ronnefalk he feels it should make for good racing come the finals.
Driving his Team C buggy for the very first time today, newly crowned Belgian National champion Nicolas Risser set the 7th fastest time. Describing the Poznan track as the EOS’ best yet, the 17-year-old declared himself very happy with his new buggy making just a spring change over the 4 practice rounds.
Fellow Team C driver Oliver Scholz was next fastest with the eight best 3-consecutive laps. Breaking a rear arm in the last practice after a ‘driver error’, the German National Champion said he focused mainly on front tyre inserts and rim widths today. Getting better steering from running cut rims he said overall he was happy with how the buggy is working. Feeling there is too much risk doing the double he said for qualifying he will start off with the safe option but for the finals he said at the start there will be no option but to go for the double.
Drivers will now switch their attentions for the rest of the day to the 4WD buggies again with the 3rd and 4th rounds being used to determine the seeding for qualifying.
Host – ATA Country – Poland Location – Poznan Track type – Temporary Surface – Carpet/Wood Jumps Direction – Anti-Clockwise Previous key events hosted – EOS/ETS
The third season of the Euro Offroad Series returns to the city of Poznan in Poland where once again the event is part of the ‘Hobby’ event being held at the vast Miedzynarodowe Targi Poznanskie exhibition centre. This is the third time that race hosts ATA have managed to get an international r/c event held at the MTP venue. In 2012 a round of the the Euro Touring Series ran as part of a major motorshow while later that year the EOS made its debut at the ‘Hobby’ event which covers all aspects of r/c and model building. Proving a huge success with show goers last year, the track has moved to a different hall where it is now the central attraction of the show. The construction of the track itself features a new system by a Polish company called AzetX. Still in prototype form, around 50% of the track has been constructed from the click together system which AzetX plans to market to clubs & race organisers as a complete temporary track building solution. Race Director Scotty Ernst believes the track is the nicest EOS track yet. Describing it as technical and challenging he said the double section is the key to the track. Faster to double, the margin for getting it right is very small. Also featuring a ‘Xray’ wall section a lap of the track is 164 metres with early lap times for 2WD being in the 23 seconds.
The third season of the Euro Offroad Series kicks off this weekend (18-20th Oct) in Poland, where Europe’s best offroad racers will do battle in front of a crowd of up to 40,000 show goers. For the second year running, the opening race on the calendar of the four round championship for 1:10 electric offroad will take place in the city of Poznan as part of the ‘HOBBY Model Making and Games Exhibition’. Providing the perfect platform to showcase the sport, the entry for the three day event will be headed by Team Durango’s Joern Neumann.
The back to back EOS Champion of both 2WD and 4WD Buggy, the German will be looking to get his campaign to claim a hat trick of titles off to the perfect start but he faces some tough opposition in the class he has made his own. Top Qualifier at the World Championships in California last month, Neumann has yet to be beaten in 4WD Buggy with a 100% winning record over past two season’s of the Euro Offroad Series. Seeking an 8th consecutive win this weekend, his biggest challenger is set to be Xray’s Martin Bayer. Last July, the Czech driver ended Neumann’s two year reign as European 4WD Champion and on two of the three EOS outings he made last season was a podium finisher.
The 2013/14 season will mark Xray’s first full EOS campaign, their first electric buggy the XB4 having not been on the market 12-months ago. Bayer’s team-mate Renaud Savoya is also set to be in the mix for securing the Slovakian manufacturer’s first win in the series. Making his electric offroad debut last year at the EOS in Austria and also contesting the season finale at Dortmund, the French ace travels to Poland having extensively tested and built up knowledge of the high traction conditions of indoor offroad racing.
Another team to commit to a full EOS campaign this season is Kyosho. The Japanese company will be counting on David Ronnefalk to bring them success. The Swedish ace made a strong impression on his two EOS outings last season, claiming podium finishes in 4WD in Austria and 2WD in Germany. The 17-year-old has since then gone on to claim his first major title becoming the European 1:8 Offroad Champion and last month was a finalist in 2WD at the Electric Buggy World Championships.
Others set to feature in Poland include Neumann’s Durango team-mates Hupo Honigl and Michal Orlowski. Last year Orlowski was on the 2WD podium in Poznan alongside Neumann and TLR’s Dustin Evans and the 12-year-old Polish talent will be hoping to again put in a strong performance in front of the large home crowd attending the Hobby exhibition. Just missing the 2WD podium in Poznan last year finishing fourth, Schumacher’s Tom Cockerill will be looking to go at least one better this year for the British manufacturer. Making his first trip to Poland, back to back German 2WD National Champion Oliver Scholz should show strongly for the factory Team C team together with Dortmund 2WD finalist Tom Maquel.
Attracting backing from offroad racing’s biggest brands, with Horizon Hobby, Pro-Line, Xray, Team Durango, Team Associated and Kyosho all primary sponsors of the upcoming season, the biggest change for season #3 is the new tyre partnership with Pro-Line. Working with the famous American tyre manufacturer, they will use the series to showcase their new line of competition tyres designed specifically for offroad carpet racing with the Pin Point and Wedge tyre, in the all-new Z3 compound, the new controlled tyre for the series.