May 15, 2015

Martin sets early practice pace at EOS


Newly crowned Euro Offroad Series 2WD Champion Lee Martin has set the early pace at season finale at the Hudy Racing Arena. With the first official day of the event getting underway with three rounds of free practice, Martin’s Yokomo topped the times from the Kyosho of former team-mate & champion Naoto Matsukura.  Winner of the Slovakian round last year, when the race was the third on the four round calendar, Team Xray’s Martin Bayer would post the third fastest 3-consecutive lap time.


‘So far so good’ was how Martin summed up his early performance, the British driver having a 6/10th of a second advantage over Matsukura.  With his YZ-2 running a ‘very similar set-up to Wels’, where he claimed the win and his first EOS title, the British ace said the biggest focus here was the lack of jump landings which he added meant the shock set-up needs to be ‘more precise’.  Planning to keep his buggy the same for the first of the two timed practice, he said having dumped on the last lap of his last run he would just check that he fully charges his battery.


His first EOS outing since he shock departure from Yokomo, with who he dominated this season’s opening round in Poland, Matsukura said his RB6 felt good.  His first time to drive the buggy on carpet he said it is quite different to the Yokomo but having had a full day of open practice yesterday he has fully adapted his driving so ‘no problem’.  Looking for more steering he will change the car for the first timed practice but said he would leave that change to make to his Japanese mechanic.


Describing the track as ‘pretty challenging’, Bayer continued ‘many drivers have the same speed so its going to make for a competitive weekend’.  Running the same prototype XB2 as he raced in Wels, the set-up also pretty much the same,  the Czech driver said ‘so far everything with the car is good’ adding that improvement in pace are going to more likely come from how he drives it.  Team-mate Martin Wollanka took his example to the 8th fastest time.  The Austrian is also ‘happy with the car’ and when asked about how he was driving replied, ‘there is always room for improvement with my driving’.


Schumacher’s Simon Moss, the first time Hudy Racing Arena visitor blown away by the facility, would record the 4th fastest time.  The Round 3 fourth place finisher declared his free practice as having gone ‘really well’.  Very complimentary of the new carpet having managed eight runs on the same set of the championship handout Schumacher tyres in open practice yesterday, he said the only set-up change he has made is to his diff oil.  Going up to 20k this has helped give his KF2 more low end drive.  Team-mate Michal Orlowski, star of Wels before a speedo issue cost him the win in A1, would post the 6th fastest time.  The Polish driver said having found he had too much grip yesterday he ‘made a lot of small changes’.  Also changing his diff oil from 10 to 15k, he said he was now happy with the car and the plan was too ‘now just drive it’.


Making the trip over from the US, multiple World Champion Ryan Cavalieri posted the 5th fastest time.  The Team Associated driver, who is running a B5M with an after market gearbox that allows the motor to sit more forward in the buggy, said he ‘finally picked up the pace a little in the last one’.  Having just focused on getting in a lot of driving on the carpet surface yesterday, today he has worked on tuning his set-up.  Describing the track as ‘pretty challenging’ he said he likes the layout particularly the fast corners and the 180s.  ‘Just a couple of tenths off’, he said they need to get the balance of the car, which sports a non-standard rear shock tower, better and once they sort that he said the consistency is there to mix it at the front.


AE team-mate Carson Wernimont ended the free practice 7th fastest.  His third EOS race appearance, the American said the grip is completely different to what he experienced previously. With ‘way more grip’, he said it was ‘super edgy to drive, (and) the car is everywhere’.  Looking to try and keep the car ‘flat on the track’, the EOS round 1 2WD Top Qualifier said they still have work to do with the chassis set-up.  Team-mate and Associated designer Kody Numedahl, who was 11th fastest, said he is ‘just not pushing like the others’ who he added are ‘attacking the jumps more’ but said that was normal for him in practice.  Commenting on his pace he said while he wouldn’t be striving for it 11th would probably be ‘a blessing in disguise’ as it would seed him in the second fastest qualifying heat.


Making his Yokomo offroad team debut, Marc Rheinard said ‘the pace is good but I need to get 3 proper laps together’.  His first time to run the car yesterday he said the YZ-2 which he ran with a set-up from Lee Martin was good and since then the only changes he has made have been playing around with the battery position.  Behind him Serpent’s Joern Neumann completed the Top 10.  The German described his buggy as ‘medium’  adding its ‘too lazy and needs more steering’.

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