Name – Hudy Racing Arena Club – Private Track Country – Slovakia Location – Trencin (120 km North East of Bratislava) Direction – Anti-clockwise Surface – Carpet Previous key events hosted – 2013 Euro Touring Series Finale
With the Euro Touring Series having made a hugely successful trip to the Hudy Arena last July, this weekend the Euro Offroad Series make its first visit to what can unquestionably be described as the world’s greatest RC facility. Like with the ETS, the massive 25,000 square metre facility, which also includes the factory of both Xray and Hudy, has exceeded the expectations of racers with ‘super impressive’ being a commonly used word to describe the place. Having conducted a factory tour yesterday, Xray being one of the few true r/c car manufacturers in the world, defending EOS Champion Joern Neumann was more than impressed by the set-up, also getting a chance to see for the first time the part of the factory that produces full inhouse the FX Engines he is running in 1:8 Offroad this season.
Built over the Hudy Arena’s indoor asphalt track, the carpet track created just for the event is one of the Series’ toughest yet with Round 2 2WD winner Naoto Matsukura describing it as ‘super difficult’. The key elements that are causing drivers difficulty are the centre table, it featuring a dip in the centre of the table, and the double in front of the drivers stand, the tapered jumps also proving tricky to master. Kyosho’s David Ronnefalk said while the track is ‘prett hard’ it is really fun and the Swede is a particular fan of the curbing that dont normally feature on such an offroad track. He also feel the track has some features that will seperate the drivers. A driver who know ths place better than most, as he and team-mate Renaud Savoya spend much time here testing, Martin Bayer said the track is different and more offroad like compared to what racers ran on at Round 2 in Berlin. With ‘way more jumps’ he said ‘it seems difficult but that’s the challenge of offroad.’
One driver that came to the Hudy Arena in advance of the EOS to test, Team C’s Hupo Honigl said that getting the timing of the jumps right is difficult. Describing the track as about 20% different to that he tested on, he said in 2WD getting the balance in terms of power right is very important. With only a set level of mechanical grip available from the handout Pro-Line front tyres he said the on power sweepers mean you have to reduce rear traction but that can then hamper you for the many jumps. For 2WD lap times are expected to run at 24-second mark.
Although the majority of drivers took advantage of a day of open practice at the Hudy Arena yesterday, today is officially the first day of the third round of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia. The schedule will start off with 2WD with 1 round of free practice followed by 2 timed practices. With the fastest 3 consecutive laps of each driver determining the seeding for the heats, it is then 2 of the 4 rounds of qualifying for 2WD. After this is completed things will switch to 4WD, with again one free practice followed by 2 timed practice runs that will bring Day 1 to a close at 19:00 local time.
There is an air of high anticipation ahead of the third round of the Euro Offroad Series as the 1:10 electric offroad championship travels for the first time to the Hudy Arena in Slovakia this weekend (7-9 March). Widely reputed as the greatest r/c venue in the world by anyone who has had the opportunity to visit the 25,000 square metre facility which is also home to the Xray factory, over 260 drivers will get the opportunity to be part of what is only the second major international event to be hosted at the Hudy Arena, the first being last season’s Euro Touring Series finale.
Round 2 of the series in Berlin saw wins for both Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura in 2WD and defending champion Joern Neumann in 4WD. Only Matsukura’s second appearance in the championship the Japanese ace will be looking to keep his 100% winning record intact this week as will Neumann who in 3 seasons of EOS has never been out qualified or beaten in 4WD. This weekend the Team Durango driver chases his 10th consecutive TQ and win.
While a completely new indoor track layout has been prepared just for the EOS visit, the Hudy Arena is where Team Xray has carried out the majority of the development work on the XB4 platform. With Martin Bayer knocking on the door of a first EOS win for both the European Champion and Xray in Berlin, this weekend should see the strongest challenge yet from the team. While Bayer, who sits second in the current championship standings behind Neumann, says a win at the home track would be special he also feels it might take away from that first win as rivals will see it as having been down to home advantage. Neumann, is not concerned about it being Bayer’s home race saying there is more pressure on the Czech driver than there is on him to maintain his unbeaten record but the German is confident he can take his winning tally to double digits.
Making his debut for Yokomo at Round 2, 2WD Buggy Vice-World Champion Lee Martin will be aiming to build on his promising first outing, the British ace qualifying 2nd in 4WD and 5th in 2WD. In Slovakia, Martin will have the added benefit of the presence of the team’s new head of offroad development Shin Adachi who is making the trip from Japan. In terms of high profile drivers Yokomo will again have an impressive line up with Martin & Matsukura once again being joined by 1:8 Offroad World Champion Robert Batlle and ETS Champion Ronald Volker, who qualified 4th in Berlin in 4WD, and touring car ace Yannic Prümper.
Having come so close to repeating his season opening 2WD Buggy victory, a last lap mistake in A3 costing him the overall win, Team C’s Hupo Honigl can again be expected to be a major contender this weekend. Finding a new level of motivation since his switch to Team C for the 2014 season, the Austrian has prepared well for Round 3 having already made a trip to the Hudy Arena for pre-race testing.
Kyosho’s challenge for a first EOS will again come from 1:8 Offroad European Champion David Ronnefalk. Showing good pace at Rounds 1 & 2, the 17-year-old Swede was frustrated with his results to date and is determined to make up for that this weekend. Making his first EOS appearance since taking a 2WD podium at the season finale two years ago, Marc Rheinard will travel to Trencin. Struggling for form in the ETS, the 3-time Touring Car world Champion will be hoping the switch to offroad will prove less frustrating than recent touring car outings. Another Touring Car ace who will be in action at the Hudy Arena is Team Associated’s Juho Levanen. Despite feeling under weather on his EOS debut in Berlin, the Finn managed a Top 5 run in the third round of 2WD qualifying and so should be one to watch this weekend.
Participants of the 3rd round of the 2013/14 Euro Offroad Series, that will take place at the Hudy Racing Arena, are invited to take a unique tour through the Xray manufacturing facility. The guided tour takes place on the 6th and 7th of March. If you are interested, simply add yourself to the event on Facebook. Due time limits the entries for this tour are limited and the deadline to sign-up is February 28th.
Team Xray’s Martin Bayer and Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura completed the 4WD Buggy podium after finishing 1-2 in the closing race at Round 2 of the EOS in Berlin. With Team Durango’s Joern Neumann seeing off a strong challenge from Bayer in A2 to wrap up his 9th straight overall win in the series, A3 was all about deciding who would be runner up to the German.
With the No.1 Durango sitting out the final encounter, it was Yokomo’s Lee Martin that led away the high qualilty field but Bayer, starting from 3rd, quickly found a way passed the British driver. Once out front, the Czech driver started to pull clear in what looked like being only a formality in him securing the overall runners-up position. Setting an almost identicial time to Bayer’s fastest lap of the race, Matsukura though would set about a mid race charge pulling in the European Champion and setting the stage for yet another exciting climax to what was an entertaining day of finals. With 1-minute to go the Japanese driver was all over the Xray forcing Bayer to overshoot the run up to the Xray Table top. Coming off side by side they touched with the yellow Yokomo coming off worst allowing Bayer to go on to take the leg by almost 4 seconds.
Just seeing of Euro Touring Series Champion Ronald Volker, Team C’s Hupo Honigl completed the Top 3 for the leg to secure 4th overall ahead of Martin.
In Short Course, Neumann took the 4WD win ahead of Honigl and Denmark’s Torben Højfeldt who earlier wrapped up 2WD in the truck class.
4WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – 2 pts
2. Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 3
3. Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 5
4. Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 7
5. Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 9
6. Ronald Volker (DE) – Yokomo – 11
7. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 12
8. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Team Xray – 12
9. Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 15
10.Peter Pinisch (AT) – Team Associated – 16
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 3 Result
1.(3) Martin Bayer (CZ) – Team Xray – 16/5:09.834
2.(5) Naoto Matsukura (JP) – Yokomo – 16/5:13.783
3.(6) Hupo Honigl (AT) – Team C – 16/5:17.264
4.(4) Ronald Volker (DE) – Yokomo – 16/5:17.348
5.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho – 16/5:18.353
6.(7) Renaud Savoya (FR) – Team Xray – 16/5:19.735
7.(2) Lee Martin (GB) – Yokomo – 16/5:20.637
8.(10)Peter Pinisch (AT) – Team Associated – 15/5:04.206
9.(9) Robert Batlle (ES) – Yokomo – 15/5:06.059
10.(1)Joern Neumann (DE) – Team Durango – DNS