January 31, 2015

Ronnefalk gifts Martin Berlin TQ with last lap error


David Ronnefalk has gifted Lee Martin the overall TQ honours at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin.  Looking on target for his first pole position start in the championship, the Swede would make an error on the wall section on his final lap with the timing loop just one corner away.  Holding more than a 2-second advantage over Martin, the Yokomo driver having suffered a mistake of his own early in the run, the Swede would end up crossing the finish with a half second deficit to Martin who claimed a third TQ run of the day to secure his second ever EOS pole position.  Behind Ronnefalk and Martin, the pair having a slight edge over the rest of the field, Joern Neumann, despite another disappointing qualifier, will start third.


Securing a debut TQ for defending Champion Yokomo’s all new YZ-2, Martin said ‘It didn’t look like it was going to happen but his error on the last lap was just enough’.  Having set the pace in practice and then backed it up with TQ runs in the opening two qualifiers, it was a super fast TQ run from Ronnefalk which set the stage for the showdown in the final qualifier.  Laying down the early pace until a ‘stupid mistake’ on lap 4 when he ‘blinked and messed up the chicane’, this allowed Ronnefalk to take charge.  With nothing to lose Martin knew the only chance he had of denying Ronnefalk was to push and hopefully by reducing the deficit, the Swede now running ahead of him on track having started behind him, and forcing an error.  Asked about the final Martin, who has 1 EOS win to his credit back when he was a Tamiya driver, said ‘its going to be a dog fight’


Setting the fastest lap of the round, a slightly mystified Ronnefalk said ‘I just turned in too soon on the wall, hit the track marker and the car was on its roof’.  The 18-year-old, who is having his most competitive 2WD outing in the EOS this weekend, knew Martin was pushing hard and that it was going to be close on the last lap so he couldn’t afford to let up.  Describing his Team C, the same won he used to win the recent DHI Cup from Joern Neumann, as really good he said he has the speed adding ‘they are going to be exciting finals’.


Sixth in final qualifier, Neumann’s response to the run was ‘I crashed again’.  Struggling in practice leaving him in the B heat, the European Champion luckily opened the day well with a third in Q1 and second in Q2 these ending up being his two counting rounds to secure third on the grid.  The championship’s most winning driver said he is still looking for more steering and for the final will try some ideas given to him by Yokomo engineer Shin Adachi as he has ‘nothing to lose’.  Asked if he felt he could challenge for the win he said ‘I’m a little slower than Lee & David’.


Ending qualifying strong with two Top 3 runs Martin Wollanka will start fourth with team-mate Martin Bayer fifth.  Running the all new purpose designed 2WD platform, the XB2, both drivers said for a first outing they were very much encouraged by the performance of the car which only came into existance two days before the event.  Also debuting a new car this weekend, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski completes the Top 6 on the grid after an anti-squat change on his new Cougar KF2 gave him a very competitive car for Q4 with him taking the 5th fastest time despite being held up by Bayer and crashing with the Czech driver which lost him 3-seconds on the last lap.


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