March 29, 2015

Martin cruises to A1 win in Austria

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Lee Martin cruised to an easy unchallenged win in the opening 4WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria this afternoon but behind the Yokomo driver there was plenty of action to entertain the large crowd of onlookers.  Starting from pole position, Martin quickly established a lead as behind a slow starting David Ronnefalk came under pressure from the Xray of Martin Bayer.  In the battle the two would make contact which would also hold up Martin Wollanka allowing the Schumacher of Michal Orlowski to slip through to second place, where he would stay till the finish with Bayer to complete the Top 3 1.1-seconds back.  Starting from the back of the grid Serpent’s Joern Neumann would enjoy a great race to finish fourth after seeing off the challenge of Team Associated’s Patrick Hofer.

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Having dominated qualifying taking all four rounds, newly crowned 2WD Champion Martin said while no race is ever easy that was a pretty straight forward win. Chasing a first 4WD victory in the EOS he said the biggest problem during the race was him getting distracted by trying to watch the battles happening behind him.  Half way through the 5-minute encounter he said he started to mess up a few corners as a result and he had to regain his focus on his own race.  Looking to A2 he said the idea is to try and put the overall win to bed early just as he did yesterday in 2WD.

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Having suffered cruel luck in 2WD when his electrics shut down while he was leading A1, Orlowski said it was nice to have a bit of luck on his side today.  Starting from 5th on the grid, the 13-year-old was able to catch up the three car battle for second ahead of him but admitted he has no idea how he managed to get through unscathed when there was contact at the hairpin after the table top.  With his carbon chassis’d CAT K1 Aero edgy to drive in the high traction conditions, but working better due to his tyres being on their second run, he said once in second he just drove ‘very safe’ to maintain his position.  Struggling on new tyres he will run the same set for a third time in A2 in the hope of securing another good result, two of the three Mains counting for the overall result.

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Bayer said he was pleased with the speed he had for the opening final and it was unfortunate to get tangled with Ronnefalk in what he described as ‘just a racing incident’, a sentiment also shared by Ronnefalk.  Although he was able to close the gap to Orlowski he said he never got close enough to challenge him for second.  Happy with his ORCA powered XB4 he will leave it unchanged for A2.

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Defending champion Neumann was clearly happy to finish fourth having just scrapped into the A-Main, the German even managing to bust out a smile as he left the drivers stand.  Benefiting from some early incidents ahead of him he found himself in 5th and then battling with Wollanka he eventually got by when the Austrian made a mistake.  Making the result more impressive was the fact that Neumann was struggling with getting the power down and then getting the buggy to stop under braking due to a clicker issue.  With no spare disk available he said he had no choice but to work with the damaged one. Admitting to coming under pressure from Hofer he said he got lucky when the Associated driver had a moment on the penultimate lap.

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Having had a crash with Hupo Honigl early in the race that left him 10th, Hofer was delighted get a 5th out of the race.  The Swiss National Champion said it was a lot of fun battling with Neumann but he hopes with a better start in A2 he can have an even better race as the speed of his B44.3 is ‘very good’.

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Finishing 6th Ronnefalk said his ‘not so good start’ cost him a chance of the win.  Having to protect his position from the two Xrays he said the battle that followed allowed Martin to pull clear.  Describing his tangle with Bayer as ‘unlucky’, he said it was his own mistakes that dropped him to 6th but hoping for a better start in A2 he is confident he has the speed to take the decider to A3.

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