Martin Bayer has pulled off the double at the Euro Offroad Series third round in Slovakia, the Xray driver backing up his & Team Xray’s first ever EOS win in the morning’s 2WD Main by wrapping up the overall 4WD honours early with a convincing victory in A2. With his 2WD victory somewhat unexpected, his 4WD victory has been on the cards all season and for the Czech driver this was the one he wanted most, ending Joern Neumann & Team Durango’s reign as the championship’s only 4WD winners, a record that until today stood for 9 races over 3-seasons.
Having taken a relatively easy win in A1, the second 5-minute encounter would prove even more straight forward for Bayer with him again the only driver to go 14 laps of the difficult Hudy Arena track. Leading from start to finish this time round he would take the A2 win from Naoto Matusuka with Joern Neumann crossing the finish line third. ‘So so happy to finally become the first person to beat Joern’, was Bayer’s reaction to the win which now puts him in contention to also become the first driver to beat the German to the overall EOS championship title. Commenting on the race, the European Champion said he was ‘a bit lucky’ at the start as he went a little short on the first double and his LRP powered XB4 cased the second jump but he would get away with it. Surviving that he said after the first few laps he was able to cruise the rest of the race adding that it was ‘so special to win at his home race’, his father, brother and girlfriend all on hand to watch him take the win that has eluded so many other drivers. Still letting today’s success sink in Bayer said he hasn’t given the championship title much thought but added he is already high motivated for the season finale which takes place in Austria at the end of next month.
Having had his 100% winning record in 2WD ended by Bayer today, Matsukura said ‘Martin was just to fast this weekend’. The 4WD Vice World Champion said he pushed as hard as he could, setting the fastest lap of the race but he just couldn’t close the gap. Set to battle it out for second overall with Neumann in the third A-Main, he said he is confident he can beat the World Championship Top Qualifier, a result Bayer, who will sit out A3, will be hoping he gets to see.
Having held second for 9 of the 13 laps he ran in the second Main, Neumann said he was obviously disappointed to see his unbroken run of wins come to an end but vowed to bounce back and take his 10th win at the season finale. The 3-time back to back EOS Champion said he pushed as hard as he could but admitted even without his flip which dropped him back behind Matsukura he was no match for Bayer.
Fourth in A1, David Ronnefalk again managed to repeat the result second time of asking from 8th on the grid. The 1:8 Offroad European Champion, declared himself ‘pretty happy’ with his pace in the finals saying this is the most competitive he has been in 4WD in the EOS. Having had the opportunity to test for the first time back in Sweden ahead of this weekend with the championship control Pro-Line tyres the 17-year-old said they have made good progress with the prototype car. Feeling there is still a little homework to be done to improve how the buggy lands, he said although he only has an outside chance of an podium today, this evening he will go for it adding that this track has shown that anything can happen.
4WD Buggy A-Main Leg 2 Result
1.(1) Martin Bayer – Xray – 14/5:21.116
2.(2) Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 13/5:02.476
3.(3) Joern Neumann – Durango – 13/5:03.639
4.(8) David Ronnefalk – Kyosho – 13/5:08.476
5.(4) Lee Martin – Yokomo – 13/5:11.096
6.(9) Oskar Levin – Team C – 13/5:13.536
7.(6) Hupo Honigl – Team C – 13/5:13.966
8.(10)Robert Batlle – Yokomo – 13/5:15.659
9.(5) Renaud Savoya – Xray – 13/5:16.201
10.(7)Miguel Matias – Xray – 13/5:18.861