February 1, 2015

Neumann survives last lap error to win A1


Joern Neumann survived a last lap error and benefited from great sportsmanship from Lee Martin to win the opening 4WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin.  Top Qualifier for the race, Neumann looked on target to for a tone to tone win despite being shadowed every lap by Martin.  On the final lap however the defending champion would jump short at the table top putting his Durango out of shape on the landing while Martin who had no such issues carried his momentum and ran into the back of the German.  Not at fault for the incident, Martin would still wait to allow Neumann to resume the lead.  This would allow David Ronnefalk to join the battle but two corners later with the three cars covering the same piece of track Martin would land on the rear wing of the Swede’s HB causing it roll but again the British ace waited.  While Neumann continued the second incident gifted Robert Batlle second as Ronnefalk got third leaving Martin fourth.


Commenting in his win, Neumann immediately complimented Martin on his ‘good sportsmanship’ adding ‘I know other guys wouldn’t have waited’.  Moving in on claiming his 11th EOS victory in 4WD, he said the previous 4:50 of the race had gone pretty much to plan with him able to control the gap between himself and Martin.  Clipping his DEX410 off the down ramp of the table top as he went ‘too short’ he said this caused the car to bounce a little but while Martin went for the pass ‘there was no room’.  Hoping to not make the same mistake in A2 he did admit luck was on his side to get away with his A1 error.


Coming in for great praise in the pits after the encounter for his sportsmanship, Martin said Neumann after his mistake came across his line and he couldn’t avoid hitting hom.  ‘With so much controversial hacks recently’ he said he didn’t want to add to it bringing further negativity to the sport so he waited.  Of the second part of the incident he said ‘I gave Batlle a birthday present’.  With all three cars going into the one corner side by side he said on the landing after the single he crashed into the rear of the D413 but there was nothing he could do to avoid it.  Having gone into A1 with the plan of waiting for Neumann to make a mistake, he said A2 he would do the same only ‘hopefully the next mistake doesn’t involve me’.


Ronnefalk said the mistake up front was what he was waiting but unfortunately Martin made contact with him.  Describing the incident as ‘a bummer’ he said having passed the Yokomo driver he then went to make a move on Neumann but his view was blocked by a marshal, something he felt probably also contributed to Martin making contact with him.  Describing his car as ‘really good’ he said unfortunately the layout makes it ‘so hard to pass’ and so his plan for A2 was again going to be to drive his own race and hope for mistakes from the two starting ahead of him.


‘Fishing time’ said a very happy Batlle after the race.  Starting fourth. the Spaniard said starting the final lap he thought that was where he was going to finish but all of sudden he was second.  Having run with the leaders early in the race the Team C driver said he had dropped back as his car is still continuing to lose forward traction as the race progresses.  Believing it could be motor or diff related he will run a smaller pinion for A2 to get the motor to run cooler. If that doesn’t help for A3 he will run a heavier centre diff.


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