October 18, 2013

Neumann tops 2WD Practice at EOS Season opener

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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