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.

View the complete event results here.

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