February 1, 2015

Neumann ends Durango partnership with EOS win

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Making his final appearance at the controls of a Durango at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series, Joern Neumann signed off on the ultra successful partnership by taking the 4WD win in Berlin.  With an announcement on which manufacturer the German ace will join imminent, the win brings his total of wins from the 13 EOS races run since its creation in 2012 to a very impressive 11.  Having racked up his 10th TQ in qualifying, Neumann sewed up the overall victory with a win in A2 over Lee Martin putting the 3-time back to back champion top of the points table.  Second overall in the German capital would go to the weekend’s 2WD winner Martin and A3 winner while David Ronnefalk’s debut for HB would see him complete the podium.

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Having been somewhat lucky to get away with a last lap error in A1 to take that leg, the second A-Main was a more straight forward race for Neumann although he did again have his moments at the table top.  Running a set of third run tyres, he said the first three & a half minutes were very good but then his Orion powered DEX410 started to develop understeer allowing Martin, who was on second run tyres, to close the gap.  With new tyres making for an edgy car, Neumann made his tyre choice on the grounds of having a safe car was better than speed as they still had to get by him on the track where overtaking was very difficult.  Finishing second to Naoto Matsukura at the season opener, the Japanese ace’s new programme with Kyosho not yet fully known, Neumann said today’s win was very important for the championship hinting that he would need some time to get his new team’s cars upto their full potential.  Having enjoyed all his EOS success, with Durango, he was also happy to finish his last race using the car with a win.

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Taking an easy win in A3 after Ronnefalk caught the corner on the step up, Martin declared himself ‘pretty happy’ with his overall 4WD performance over the weekend.  Describing A3 as a ‘nice tone to tone win’, he said ‘I had the pace to fight with Joern for the win and thats something I haven’t had up to this race so we have made good steps with the car’.  Equalling his previous best 4WD finish he said ‘we will be stronger next time’.

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His first EOS appearance with his new chassis sponsor HB, Ronnefalk was very happy to finish on the podium.  The 18-year-old said his D413 had the speed but added he also ‘knew it was going to be impossible to pass without a mistake from Lee’.  Waiting for the British driver to make that mistake he said it didn’t happen and instead he made a mistake of his own half way into the encounter.  Pleased with the improvements he made since the DHI Cup earlier in the month,  the Swede said he would now report back to the car’s designer Torrance Deguzman and use the knowledge gained from the weekend to be even stronger for Round 3 in Wels, Austria.

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Recording his best EOS finish and also making a debut for a new manufacturer, Robert Batlle said his car was super good in the third A-Main.  Having got a slightly lucky second in A1, the Spaniard went into the closing race with a chance of a podium finish but a mistake on lap 7 allowed Patrick Hofer by and despite numerous attempts to get back by the Associated driver he couldn’t, eventually pulling off in final minute after further mistakes.  Having struggled for forward traction throughout the day, he finally cured this for A3 by going up in the oil in the centre diff in the TM4 summing up the weekend as one in which he ‘did a lot of learning’.  He hopes to pull everything he discovered about his new cars to got use at the next round with the 2012 1:8 World Champion setting himself the target of a podium finish in 4WD and a Top 5 in 2WD.

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Behind the four full time Pro drivers, Patrick Hofer would finish a very strong weekend with 5th position overall. Having also made the A-Main in Saturday’s 2WD action, the Swiss driver had a great run in A3 to finish third ahead of Xray’s Martin Wollanka and Serpent’s Hupo Honigl, the latter completing the Top 6 in the overall results.

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