March 29, 2015

Martin kicks off 4WD with TQ run

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Newly crowned 2WD Euro Offroad Series champion Lee Martin got the 4WD action underway at Round 3 in Wels, Austria, in the best way possible this morning as he TQ’d the opening round of qualifying.  Having took the 2WD win yesterday and with it the 2014/15 title, the Yokomo driver topped the times by 3.8 seconds from Xray’s Martin Bayer with the HB of qualifying top seed David Ronnefalk completing the Top 3, a further half a second off.  For defending champion Joern Neumann, who is making his Serpent debut in the championship this weekend the opening qualifier looked set to net him a Top 3 run but a mistake right on his last lap right before the timing loop dropped the German to 7th.

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Asked about his run, Martin responded ‘the track changed a lot from practice and it was very edgy to drive’.  Suffering a mistake at the corner table top which dropped him from the lead back to sixth as his B-Max III rolled due to the extra high traction, Martin said after that he just drive steady for the remainder of the run.  Working his way back to the top of the timing screens helped by almost everyone suffering errors due to the difficult track conditions Martin said it was a good start and with some set-up improvements for Q2 he hoped to be able to build on it.  Due to the high traction Martin said his slipper was set too loose and he will also cut further pins from the championship’s controlled Schumacher tyres.

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Happy to open qualifying with a second, Bayer said his XB4 felt good at the beginning of the run but then got twitchy leading to a number of small mistakes and one at the corner table top that lost him over 2-seconds.  Having to drive ‘very careful’ for the rest of the run, for Q2 the Czech driver will go up in his diff oils.

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Finding his D413 edgy to drive due to his fresh set of tyres, Ronnefalk said third was a good start.  Having too much steering for the first few laps he said it improved considerably as the run progressed higlighted by him posting the fastest lap of the round on lap 12 of 16.  Running behind Martin following a mistake after the first minute he said he was happy with how he could run with the British driver.  A mistake on the last lap at the right side table top would cost him a P2 for the round but the Swede said he knows he has the speed and he is looking forward to improvement in Q2.

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Yokomo’s Shin Adachi would post the fourth fastest time, the Yokomo engineer reporting the same feedback about the track and his car as Martin.  Having been BQ at Round 2 in Berlin, the Japanese driver said 4th was a very good start and he hoped to be able to repeat another such run.  For the ‘big difference in track conditions’ he will also tighten his slipper and reduce the pins on his tyres.

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Giving Serpent’s new 4WD buggy it first EOS outing, Hupo Honigl set the fifth fastest time.  The Austrian said to drive the buggy felt slow but the lap times were ‘pretty ok’.  Considering the lack of carpet testing he said so far his and Neumann’s pace this weekend is ‘ok’ and as they get work on finding a better set-up things should only improve. Suffering a motor fan failure just before the start he said he didn’t ‘punch’ it too much but still the motor ran a little hot.  Fitting a new one for Q2 he said he hopes due to this alone he can improve his pace.

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Xray’s Martin Wollanka completed the Top 6. Having changed his shock pistons and position for Q1, the Austrian was happy with how his XB4 felt adding it was now landing a lot better than in practice.  Suffering a few ‘little mistakes’, for Q2 he will again adjust the position of the shocks as well as making a swaybar adjustment.

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