October 25, 2014

Martin tops 2WD Q3 at EOS

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Lee Martin topped the third round of 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland.  With Yokomo team-mate Naoto Matusukra setting the pace in the opening two qualifiers at the Poznan event, a mistake by the defending champion allowed Martin to go top of the timing screens to take take the round by one & a half seconds from Team Durango’s Joern Neumann.  After struggling in Q2, Schumacher’s Carson Wernimont completed the Top 3 while further mistakes from Matsukura would see him end up 14th fastest.

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Having been on a good pace in Q2 only to lose 8-seconds when a small error was made bigger by the marshall throwing his B-Max2 back on track on its roof, Martin was pleased to get the job done in Q3.  Starting the run on new tyres, the British ace said they took a while to come in but able to get by Matsukura, the car which lead away the top heat making a mistake, he was able to keep a good pace and stay up front.  Tweaking the car’s suspension and ride height for each runs, the factory Yokomo driver admitting that Shin Adachi was doing pretty much all the work on his cars this weekend, he said overall the car is working well and he is ready to take the battle to his team-mate over the remaining three qualifiers.

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Again the only driver to manage an 19-second lap of the 158 metre long track, Matsukura, who took Q1 & 2 convincingly, said a ride height change to his buggy left the rear end ‘too bouncy’.  Planning to ‘test another change’ for Q4, he said he also pushed too hard leading to four slow laps one of which was 25-seconds.

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Having had problems with his Durango nose diving, describing the car as ‘hard to drive’ in Q2, a serious of changes left Neumann much happier with his DEX210.  Switching to a shortie battery and changing from a ‘heavy bulkhead’ to the standard plastic version he said the car jumped a lot better.  With the car also ‘easier to drive’ he said he could push harder too.

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Having tried a change that while was ‘in the right direction but not enough’, Wernimont said his Cougar KF was ‘too hard to drive’ in Q2.  Adapting team-mate Tom Cockerill’s set-up for Q3 going from a shorty to a saddle pack the American teenager said this made the car a lot easier to drive.  Looking to now make the car land better for Q4 he will ‘make a few shock changes’.

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After a great start to qualifying with a P2 in Round 1, ‘too many mistakes’ in Q2 meant Michal Orlowski was only 23rd fastest.  Running a used tyres for Q3, the young Polish driver said the car was faster and other than two small mistakes he was again to run like he had done in Q1.  Leaving his Durango unchanged over the three qualifiers, he said the difference between new and used tyres is quite big with used faster as you can drift the rear end of the car while new offer more consistency and make the car more stable to drive.

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Behind Orlowski was another promising further prospect in Joona Haatanen.  Only 11-years-old and racing on carpet for just the second time, his first having been during last season EOS round in Berlin, the Finn put his performance of both Q2 & 3 down to used tyres and improved driving.  Sixth fastest in the second qualifier and 5th on his lastest run, he said he is comfortable with his Team Associated B5M when it slides around on used tyres.  Used to racing on a polished surface in his home country, he plans now to save his first set of tyres for the finals and so doesn’t expect a strong Q4 as he will be on brand new tyres.

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Completing the Top 6, having got a ‘lucky’ P2 in the second qualifier, Cockerill said his latest run was alright.  Reseeded into the second heat as the 11 car groups run in Q1 resulted in issues with traffic, last year’s 2WD Top Qualifier said his diff gets a little loose towards the end of the run and for the next one he will go up in the oil.  Other than that he said it was now a ‘tyre game’. Saying worn is better, he said who was running what each round would play a part in the result.

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Setting the 7th fastest time ahead of Team C team-mate Nicolas Risser, Hupo Honigl said ‘three crashes out of three (rounds) not so good’.  Trying for a safe run a mistake at the double after the main straight would lead to him getting marshalled out in front of team-mate Oliver Scholz leading the two to touch in the air at the crossover and land on their roofs.  Happy how his TM2 V2 is running, last year’s race winner said ‘its time for a clean run’.  Completing the Top 10 for the round was Bjorn Prumper and Scholtz.

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October 25, 2014

Chassis Focus – Naoto Matsukura

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Chassis: Yokomo B-Max2
Motor: Yokomo
ESC: Yokomo
Batteries: Yokomo
Radio/Servo: Sanwa
Remarks – Reigning 2WD EOS Champion, Naoto Matsukura is running some new items on his B-Max2 here at the opening round of the EOS season in Poland. Up front are new aluminium 0° caster C-hubs, while all round are new shock springs which were developed on the famous Yatabe Arena’s astroturf track and also proving to be very fast on carpet too. The transmission cover features some handmade holes for cooling and lowering weight and there is even aerodynamic updates, with Naoto using an handmade spoiler on the front of his bodyshell.

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October 25, 2014

Matsukura TQs opening EOS qualifier

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Defending 2WD champion Naoto Matsukura TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series season opener in Poznan, Poland, this morning. The Yokomo driver took the first of the six qualifiers by over 3.5 seconds from Team Durango’s Michal Orlowski with Yokomo team-mate & practice pace setter Lee Martin completing the Top 3.

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Describing the track as having ‘low traction’ and ‘loose’ compared to yesterday’s practice, Matsukura said his B-Max2 had a ‘good feeling so (it was) no problem’.  Happy to open qualifying with a TQ run and the only driver to run a 19-second lap, the Japanese ace said while he went for a safe run he had ‘many mistakes’ but he was ‘still able to keep it going’.  Asked if he planned to push in Q2, the newly crowned Touring Car World Champion said the track didn’t reward such driving and he would just try to repeat his Q1 drive but with a few less mistakes.

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‘Very good’ was how Orlowski summed up his run to second.  Describing the setup of his DEX210 as ‘perfect’, the 13-year-old said while he was not the fastest he was able to run very consistent and without any mistakes.  Adding that Martin without crashes is faster, the Polish talent said for Q2 he would just leave everything the same and try to repeat a clean 5-minutes.

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Like Matsukura, Martin described the track as ‘a little loose’ especially the wooden sections.  The 2WD Buggy World Championship Runner-up said he drove a little conservatively with further time lost to a mistake. Planning to redo the oil in his shocks, saying in Q1 they ‘felt like they needed doing’, for him apart from that for the second qualifier it was just a case of ‘go again’.

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Setting the fourth fastest time, Carson Wernimont was content with his opening run saying it was a ‘decent run’ adding it was ‘nice & safe I guess’.  Running his Cougar KF the same as he ran it in the final practice, the American said while overall it felt pretty good it was a little loose on exiting the corners.  Running a P2 time for a while before getting held up as he caught a pack of drivers, he plans to make a few changes for Q2 to try and improve the car’s forward drive.

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Apologising to Joern Neumann for an early coming together with the European Champion, Oliver Scholtz said other than this unfortunate mistake he was happy with the rest of the run.  Leaving his Team C unchanged from practice other than fitting a new set of Schumacher’s handout Mini Pin tyres, the 19-year-old said he planned to continue with the car as is for the next qualifier.

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Sixth fastest Hupo Honigl said his Team C was good but he just made a ‘stupid mistake’.  Catching traffic he said he got impatient and tried a pass that resulted in him crashing and losing 3-seconds.  Without the mistake the winner of this event last year said his TM2 V2 is easily good enough for ‘Top 3 minimum’ runs.

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British EOS regular David Poulter would take his Schumacher to seventh just ahead of the cars designer Tom Cockerill.  Having ‘got lost yesterday’ with his set-up, after making a lot of changes for qualifying Poulter said ‘they clearly seemed to work’.  Originally thinking of making a few changes for Q2 he said based on his result he will hold off and instead play safe and try to go for another strong result in Q2.

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‘A lot better than yesterday, I turned up for a race meeting today’ was Cockerill’s reaction to his run.  Having not made the Top 10 in practice, last year’s Top Qualifier said the big improvement was mainly from the driver but he also improved his car by reverting to his ‘standard carpet set-up’.  Having ran the same low grip conversion set-up as Wernimont yesterday, which moves the motor back 21mm in the car, he said it didn’t suit his driving.  Having ‘binned it’ once during the qualifier he said his car was ‘now pretty decent’ and he hoped to build on his improved performance over the remaining five qualifiers.

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With the Top 10 completed by Team C’s Tom Maquel and Xray’s Martin Wollanka, the round would see Neumann pull up after 8-laps.  The German said his DEX210 felt good but after getting collected by Scholtz at the crossover and then crashing again later on the same lap his run was done.  A driver who himself admits he suffers from ‘crazy tyre wear’ he said with only 3-set of tyres for the six qualifiers and a big difference between new and used he opted to pull off to save the tyres for another run.

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October 24, 2014

Matsukura sets 4WD pace at EOS Poznan

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Naoto Matsukura made it a good first day for Yokomo at the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series in Poznan, Poland, as he topped 4WD practice with team-mate Lee Martin having set the pace in 2WD earlier in the day.  The Japanese driver, who TQ’d the finale of last season’s EOS, was distinctly quicker than his rival over 3-consecutive laps with Team Xray’s Martin Wollanka 1.4-second off with the second fastest time.  With only 4/10ths of a second covering the next five drivers, defending champion Joern Neumann completed the Top 3 for the two timed practice rounds that will be used to seed the heats for 4WD qualifying which takes place at ‘Hobby’ on Sunday.

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After starting out 4WD practice with his B-MAX4 ‘edgy to drive’, Matsukura said for the final practice it was ‘super easy to drive’.  Improving the car through a series of changes including putting the front shocks in a more upright position, changing to softer oil and gluing up the walls of the handout Schumacher tyres, the 4WD Buggy World Championship runner-up said it was now ‘ready for qualifying’.

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‘Really good’ was how Wollanka summed up his performance in practice.  A driver better known for his 1:8 Offroad exploits which saw him finish runner-up at this year’s European Championships, he said both he and his XB4 got ‘better & better’ every run.  Making a shock position change, adjusting the roll centre and the anti-roll bar he said based on those improvements he had a few more ideas which he believes will further improve the car for Sunday.  Having only got his preparation for the 1:10 indoor season underway this week with testing at the Hudy Arena, the Austrian said he is still adjusting his driving adding that he is finding the track’s centre single single frustrating.  With the jump either side of a kink, at the drivers briefing it was made clear it must not be taken as double as to do so would be deemed a short cut but Wollanka said he keeps wanting to double it.

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Neumann said while his DEX410 was ok on new tyres he needs to find more steering for when he is on used tyres – drivers limited to three sets of tyres for the six rounds of qualifying.  Having made small changes over the five practice runs, the Team Durango ace said he will revert back to his ‘home’ set-up for the first qualifier.  In addition to looking for more overall steering, the undefeated 4WD Champion said he could also improve his line through the centre single single with him lacking consistency through that corner.

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Having set the pace in the first of the two timed practice Martin Bayer would end up 4th fastest with that time.  The Xray driver said having changed very little on his XB4 all day, in the final practice he had ‘big trouble’ at the double after the main straight saying it ‘feels like the jump was broken’.  Inspecting the jump in question with race director Scotty Ernst afterwards along with Xray boss Juraj Hudy they couldn’t find anything obvious wrong with the jump but in preparation for racing, tomorrow all about 2WD, they will add a carpet transition to the jump.  Other than having problems at the jump, Bayer said his car feels good over the rest of the lap.

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Also having consistency issues with the same jump, Hupo Honigl posted the 5th fastest time. The Team C driver, who topped the first round of practice, said he got slower over the day and he has no idea why.  Not a fan of the track layout this weekend, he said it felt even worse in 4WD due to the inconsistency of the jumps and the flat landings.  For qualifying the Austrian will revert his TM4 set-up back to how it was when he arrived for the event.

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Running a worn set of tyres in the first timed practice having not realised open practice was finished, Lee Martin set the sixth fastest time.  With a fresh set of tyres on his Yokomo for the second run he said while it was better he could never manage more than two clean laps without coming across a crashed car.  Feeling his 3-lap pace could have been better he said over 5-minutes he believes he will be fine adding most of his rivals are ‘all in the same ball park’.  Having ran one of Shin Adachi’s cars with the same set-up as Matsukura, he said it drifted too much and drifting was not his style of driving.  On his own car he played around with springs, diffs and a thicker front roll bar with the end set-up improving the car.

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‘Not as good as 2WD’ was Carson Wernimont reaction to ending the seeding 7th fastest. The American said his 4WD set-up was a little off with him making ‘quite a few changes every run’.  With it closer now, he said the big problem was the flat landings as his ‘shock package was too springy’. Managing to dampen that down, he said now he needs to ‘motor down for the straight away’ and he will go from a 6 to a 5.5 turn motor for qualifying.

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Starting out with ‘no grip’ from his Durango, young Polish star Michal Orlowski ended practice 8th fastest. Changing to a softer rear spring on his DEX410 he said this made the car less loose and improved corner speed. While now less stable he said he will try to drive around this issue in qualifying by airing on the side of caution.

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Completing the Top 10 was Team C team-mates Nicolas Risser and Oliver Scholz.  Belgian Champion Risser was very happy with his TM4 in the final practice.  A fan of the track layout, and the switch to Schumacher tyres, the 18-year-old said switching to a stiffer sway bar was the biggest change and improvement he made to the buggy over the day.  Suffering a speedo issue that forced him to fit a new one, he is pleased with were he is at going into qualifying.

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