February 10, 2012

EOS jumps into life as practice gets underway in Czech Republic

After months of preparation and planning Scotty Ernst & Uwe Rheinard watched their newest race series jump into life this morning in the Czech Republic as drivers from 13 countries took to the indoor carpet track in Hrotovice for Day 1 of the opening round of the exciting new TLR/Spektrum Euro Offroad Series presented by Horizon Hobby.  With six round of practice making up today’s schedule the focus of attention is going to be on the head to head battle between the full factory squads of Team Losi Racing and Team Durango.

As title sponsors of the EOS, TLR have flown over American ace Mike Truhe who will also travel to rounds 2 & 3 in Belgium and Germany. While he is one of the worlds top offroad racers, the 2010 US National Champion faces an all new challenge this weekend as he samples offroad racing on carpet for the very first time.  Having never seen an offroad carpet track before his arrival in Eastern Europe, Truhe said it was a lot better to drive on than he had expected and he was relishing the chance to learn the ‘European’s Game’ this weekend.  Expecting the carpet to offer higher traction he is finding the mixture of surfaces used on the track, with a number of different wood finishes being used in the construction of some of the jumps, is taking the most getting used too but overall he is happy with his early practice pace.

Having returned to TLR for the 2012 season, former European 1:8 Offroad Champion and World finalist Miguel Matias has recently made 1:10 comeback after a 10 year absence.  Enjoying success in his native Portuguese Indoor Off-Road Series, he has more experience than his US team-mate on carpet surface and although he is still learning about both his TLR22 and XXX4 he is happy with his opening practice runs this morning.  Also in the TLR camp Swedish National Champions Oskar Levin, one of the stars of last year’s EOS Pilot Race, & Otto Ausfelt can be expected to be in the mix over the next three days.

Fresh from becoming the first European to win the Reedy International Race of Champions in California, beating the Americans in their own backyard, Joern Nuemann heads the Team Durango effort and on paper is going to be the man to beat this weekend.  The hugely talented German has already notched up two big wins on carpet this year dominating both the Petit Race and the DHI Cup which were both held in January.  Describing the track layout as ‘good’ the 4WD Vice-World Champion said the grip is pretty low for carpet and feels pretty close to the clay surface at WCRC where he took his historic Reedy Race win.

Durango team-mate Hupo Honigl, who has done a lot of behind the scene work helping make the EOS a reality, is pleased with his early practice runs and says he is looking forward to a weekend of close racing.  Joining Nuemann & Honigl is British team driver Adam Skelding who along with racing has made the trip to provide support for dBoots who are the official controlled tyres for the EOS.

Today’s schedule will be made up of six rounds of practice with the fastest 3-consecutive laps from the final P5 & P6 determining a reseed for tomorrow’s five round of qualifying, the best two of which will decide the grid for Sunday’s triple main finals.

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