January 31, 2015

Martin takes significant first Yokomo win at EOS

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Lee Martin took a significant first major victory for Yokomo today at the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, the British ace winning 2WD from David Ronnefalk and Joern Neumann with wins in the opening two A-Mains.  A previous EOS race winner with former team Tamiya, the win is an important one, not just as the team debuted their all new YZ-2 at the German event but also as its the team’s first outing since the shock departure of reigning champion & Round 1 double winner Naoto Matsukura. Taking maximum points for the round, as he also collected the Top Qualifier bonus point, the win places the World Championship runner-up as a major contention to help Yokomo retain it’s title in the increasingly competitive championship.  Today’s A-Main was the first time drivers from 10 different nationalities lined up to race for the win.

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Having had his shocks rebuilt by Yokomo engineer/team-mate Shin Adachi, who also put his YZ-2 in the A-Main, Martin said he had a better car for the second leg.  Chased initially by Ronnefalk, the only driver to challenge his domination of the weekend, once the Swede made a mistake on lap 7 of 16 he said he knew he could control the race for his first international win a year.  The perfect way to mark a year on from when he signed with the Japanese manufacturer, he said on a personal level the win was good way ‘to silence all the doubters’.  With it ‘now all to play for’ in terms of the championship title he continued ‘why win one when you can win 2’.

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Winning A3 easily to take the overall runners-up spot Ronnefalk said while he came here for the win having taken the Team C to victory at the DHI Cup he was still happy as the race marks his best ever EOS finish.  Matching Martin in terms of pace, the 18-year-old, who hopes to contest at least one of the remaining two rounds of the championship with a 2WD chassis from his new HB team, said he made a couple of mistakes too many.  Highlighting in particular his last lap error in Q4 with cost him the overall TQ, he said starting from pole position would have made for a different story.  Still the 1:8 European Champions said ‘Lee drove really well and deserves the win’.

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Having qualified 5th on the grid, Martin Bayer was clearly delighted with his podium finish. ‘I’m super happy, it feels like a win’.   The result came to the Czech ace when he got by Neumann in A3 to finish the leg second. A previous winner in the class he said to race a car that had only come out of the production machines 70-hours ago and be be able to fight for the podium was ‘amazing’.  Having taken his previous win with an adapted 4WD chassis, the XB4-2, this weekend Xray debuted their first built 2WD creation, the XB2, and ‘having been out of contention in 2WD’ he was ‘hugely motivated’ by the potential of the new car.  Xray had two XB2s in the Main with Martin Wollanka taking his example to 5th overall.

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Crashing on his own in A2 while running second leading to his Yokomo getting collected by another car resulting in broken servo, Neumann would also lose out on second in A3 with a mistake, this time at the wall section.  Allowing Bayer to pass this would cost the German a podium finish.  Summing up his 2WD performance, the 6-time race winner it was not his weekend and struggling from the start with a lack of steering his biggest issue causing him to drive too aggressively.  Putting the 2WD result behind him he said ‘4WD will for sure be better’.

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View the complete event results here.

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