April 20, 2018

Neumann is Top Qualifier for first outdoor EOS encounter

Having TQ’d the inaugural round of the Euro Offroad Series 6-years ago, Joern Neumann has repeated the feat at the championship’s first ever outdoor race this weekend at Arena33 in Germany. After a lean number of the season’s in the championship he once dominated, the German came out top of an exciting conclusion to 2WD qualifying taking the fourth & final qualifier by 0.031 from Neil Cragg to secure his first pole position start in 4 seasons.  Joining Schumacher at the start of 2018, the TQ is a significant one for his new team as it helps team-mate Michal Orlowski’s title hopes by denying rival Cragg from leading away the grid in tomorrow’s title deciding triple A-Mains.  Instead Cragg will start third behind his own team-mate Joona Haatanen with Orlowski, who wouldn’t complete Q4, starting 4th.

‘I just did the same as Round 3. I didn’t crash and drove a clean 5-minutes’, was Neumann’s description of his second TQ run of the day.  The former multiple champion who still holds the all times record for the most EOS wins, continued, ‘I knew others were on new tyres so I tried to be very clean. I was on used tyres so I knew I could not afford even small mistakes and it worked out.  It also means I saved tyres for the final.’  On the finals he said, ‘I just need to make no mistakes.  Its going to be hard to pass and everyone has the same speed but you never know. You could get stuck to the pipe pretty easily’, before concluding, ‘It definitely feels good to be with the top guys again.’

Having a rough final qualifier, Haatanen said, ‘I don’t know what I did. I had too many crashes from the start to the end’.  Setting the fastest of lap of the day in Q4, he added, ‘at least I know I have a good car.  The car is dialled so it should be good in the final. I will just try to drive without mistakes’.

Frustrated at how close he came to the TQ, Cragg said, ‘I tried everything then. I crashed at the end of the straight and after that I was Maifielding it. My inner Maifield came out. I’m gutted not to TQ but I’m happy with the car’. Looking to the A-Main, when he must win to take Team Associated’s first ever EOS title he said, ‘I think we are looking good for the finals tomorrow. I’m still in it.  I just have to win’.  He added, ‘the racing on carpet is a bit crazy but it should be alright here because the astro has a little more give which should allow for more door to door racing’.

Securing his EOS title at Arena33 last season, that race on carpet, Orlowski struggled with his car in Q4.  The Pole said, ‘we made a change to the car and went with thinner diff oil but it was too aggressive’.  He continued, ‘That Joern TQ’d is good for me and I feel pretty good with the car I had before so we will just go back to that for tomorrow.  I also have 2 good sets of tyres to my advantage for the finals’.  He concluded, ‘I don’t think starting P4 is a disadvantage because there are some places you go different lines to avoid bumps and its easy to make mistakes so I think we will see some racing and maybe some chaos’.  Behind Orlowski, Yokomo’s Lee Martin completes the top half of the grid ahead of Bruno Coelho.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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