April 26, 2014

Matsukura is Top Qualifier for EOS Finale

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Team Yokomo’s Naoto Matsukura is Top Qualifier for the title deciding season finale of the Euro Offroad Series.  The Japanese ace secured the 2WD pole position for the Modelbau Wels event in Austria with a second TQ run in the final qualifier with his Q3 time giving him the tie breaker over Hupo Honigl who took Q1 & 2.  Honigl will start second on the grid with the third of the title contenders & defending champion Joern Nuemann set to start in the number 3 spot.

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His third TQ of Season #3, Matsukura was understandably pleased to secure the honour maintaining his record of starting every EOS race he has attended from pole position in the championship’s premiere class.  Again not a fully clean round, the 20-year-old making one mistake that cost him almost 3-seconds & dropped him to fourth, he said he was ‘super happy’ to be leading away the grid.  Missing the opening race of the season, where Honigl took his win, Matsukura said although his aim for this evening is to take the win he has to be conscious of the points scenario as unlike his rivals he must count today’s result as 3 from 4 rounds are counted.  Chasing his third EOS race win, he knows he doesn’t need a victory to become only the second driver to be crowned EOS champion ending Neumann’s reign.  With all drivers set to start off the finals with new Pro-Line tyres, the rules allowing them to get two new sets for the triple A-Main, Matsukura said that will be the only change to his car for A1 with him confident his car works well on new tyres.

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‘I gave everything but he was a hair faster’, that was how Honigl summed up the final qualifier.  The Team C driver pushed Matsukura right to the finish, how hard he was trying coming to light when he crashed on landing four corners from the finish with his buggy needing to be marshalled.  One of the instigators of the EOS, the multiple European Champion said ‘still second on the grid is fine’ and for the finals he will be on ‘full attack’.

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Neumann said while he tried his best for a TQ run his tyres were too far gone.  In with an outside chance of retaining his title for a third season, the German said with a fresh set of tyres for A1 he was going for nothing less than the win with his Orion powered DEX210 ‘really good’ on new rubber.

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Having a poor final qualifier, ending up only 29th fastest, Lee Martin starts fourth on the grid right in front of Martin Bayer.  The British ace said his chances for the race would depend on what work he could get done on the set-up of his Yokomo during the 1-hour free practice session between qualifying and the start of the finals.  Planning to swap cars with Shin Adachi, who lines up 7th for the final, during the practice he hopes by the Yokomo’s head of development driving his car and him driving the Japanese drivers car they can find something that allows him to mix it with the three title contenders starting ahead of him.

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Bayer, who backed up his improved Q3 performance with another 3rd fastest time in the final qualifier, said they continue to make progress with the prototype XB4-2 but said being realistic he doesn’t believe he is yet in a position to challenge a podium adding the ‘Top 3 are really fast’.

2WD Buggy A-Main Grid
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 310 pts
2. Hupo Hoingl – Team C – 310
3. Joern Neumann – Durango – 305
4. Lee Martin – Yokomo – 304
5. Martin Bayer – Xray – 304
6. Tom Cockerill – Schumacher – 302
7. Shin Adachi – Yokomo – 300
8. Michal Orlowski – Durango – 299
9. Juho Levanen – Associated – 297
10.Peter Pinisch – Associated – 295

2WD Buggy Qualifying Round 4 – Top 10 times
1. Naoto Matsukura – Yokomo – 15/5:17.760
2. Hupo Hoingl – Team C – 15/5:22.424
3. Martin Bayer – Xray – 14/5:01.263
4. Joern Neumann – Durango – 14/5:04.660
5. Michal Orlowski – Durango – 14/5:04.856
6. Juho Levanen – Associated – 14/5:05.294
7. Peter Pinisch – Associated – 14/5:06.584
8. Oskar Levin – Team C – 14/5:07.000
9. Carson Wernimont – Schumacher – 14/5:08.095
10.Ronald Volker – Yokomo – 14/5:08.325

View complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.



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