Fresh from his win in 2WD yesterday Lee Martin has topped the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin. The Yokomo driver was one of the few drivers to complete an error free 5-minutes to top the times from Team Associated’s Patrick Hofer and his Yokomo engineer Shin Adachi by a clear 6.8-seconds. For defending champion Joern Neumann, who struggled in 2WD, it was not the start the German was looking for as he struggled with the high traction to end up only 25th fastest.
Asked about his run Martin said, ‘My car wasn’t brilliant to be fair as it was a little difficult to drive but seemingly no more than everybody else’s’. While he said he expected to have more steering in the morning his MuchMore powered B-Max 4 wanted to oversteer and while the track normally changes over the day he said he would be asking Adachi to tweak the set-up for the next one.
Running in the B heat, Hofer summed up how pleased he was with his opening qualifier by describing it as ‘a good morning’. The Swiss National Champion said ‘I just ran a clean heat with no mistakes’. In terms of his B44.3, the 22-year-old said the rear was being a little loose and for Q2 he will go up in the diff oils.
Just missing out on making it a Yokomo 1-2 on the time sheets by 0.004, Adachi said he ‘just drove easy and got lucky’. Having run his car with just one set of pins removed, the Japanese driver said based on the steering he had in 2WD A-Main yesterday he knew traction had come up since Friday and so he removed a second row for Q1.
Setting the fourth fastest time, Xray’s Martin Wollanka described the opening qualifier as ‘difficult’ as his XB4 had ‘lots of steering’ due to the high traction the track has developed since practice. Having to drive safe he was ‘very happy’ with his result but said for Q2 he will have to try to make the car easier to drive.
Feeling under the weather due to a head cold, Serpent’s Hupo Honigl described his run as ‘too safe’ adding he ‘drove too careful & slow mainly because I am not feeling well’. Expecting ‘super high traction’, the Austrian changed the set-up on his Durango, him running the DEX410 as he waits on Serpent’s new SRX4, but went too much leaving him with understeer. He will go back to his practice set-up for Q2.
Completing the Top 6, HB’s David Ronnefalk said his D413 was really good at the start but got ‘more difficult’ towards the end of the run. Running a Top 3 pace, half way in he would make a mistake resulting in a loss of 6-seconds. Putting the drop off in performance down to his diff oils going soft as the run progressed he will go up with them for Q2 saying ‘hopefully that will make it better’.
Martin Bayer would take his Xray to the 7th fastest time. Having enjoyed a successful debut in 2WD yesterday when he took his team’s new XB2 to a podium finish, the Czech driver having been very happy with his 4WD on Friday, this morning it had way too much steering. Not expecting the track to change so much as it didn’t feel to have done so in 2WD, Bayer ran an ‘aggressive set-up’ on his LRP powered XB4 but says he needs to change that for Q2.
Having topped seeding practice Neumann said his Durango was ‘very edgy’ leading to two mistakes one of which the marshal didn’t see costing him over 10-seconds. He said the problem was down to fresh tyres and the change of carpet around the track. Describing the grey carpet as having no traction he said the black, a piece of which is located at the end of the straight, has ‘super high grip’. For Q2 he will glue the side walls of his front tyres.