Lee Martin won the opening 2WD A-Main at the EOS in Berlin this afternoon after seeing off a strong challenge from David Ronnefalk. Top Qualifier for the second round of the championship, the Yokomo driver led from start to finish with a late mistake from Ronnefalk allowing him to cruise to a 1.7-seconds winning margin. Making the race their own, behind them it was Joern Neumann who completed the Top 3 after contact from Martin Wollanka on lap 4 dropped him back down the order.
‘I just tried to stay out in front and I hope I keep doing that’, was how Martin summed up the race. Saying he was under no more pressure than anyone would be with a car running behind him he said he also ‘knew David was not stupid’ so once he kept his line he would be ok. The 2WD Vice World Champion did have two moments during the race but said while it allowed Ronnefalk to close in they were never enough for him to be able to pull off a pass. His first moment was in the chicane where he got his YZ-2 out of shape half way into the race while the second saw him run a very wide line at the end of the straight. Commenting on them both he said throughout the race he ‘kept missing his line through the chicane’ and at the end of the straight he just got offline but with his brake setting ‘not super high’ it made it hard to get it stopped.
Ronnefalk said he took it easy for the first few laps as he didn’t want to crash. While losing a bit of ground on the leader once Neumann dropped back following his incident he then was able to up his pace and make back ground. Able to close in on Martin, the HB driver setting the fastest lap of the race, he said with passing on the track hard he just stayed behind Martin waiting for a mistake. Although he made ‘small mistakes’, Ronnefalk said he was not close enough to benefit and then he made a mistake of his own in the centre of the track which required is Team C to be marshalled. After that he said he settled for second as Neumann was back up to third. Seeing only two passing points on the track both of which needed the driver ahead to get offline he said the plan is to follow Martin and just hope he makes bigger errors this time.
Neumann said ‘Wollanka took me out’ and ‘I had ‘no chance after that’. Admitting that even without his incident both Martin & Ronnefalk had a bit of an edge he said ‘being realistic’ he needs them to have mistakes to have a chance at winning. Behind Neumann Martin Bayer would get ahead of Xray team-mate Wollanka to finish 4th with Norwegian teenager Joakim Nicolaisen completing the Top 6 for Team Associated.
David Ronnefalk has gifted Lee Martin the overall TQ honours at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin. Looking on target for his first pole position start in the championship, the Swede would make an error on the wall section on his final lap with the timing loop just one corner away. Holding more than a 2-second advantage over Martin, the Yokomo driver having suffered a mistake of his own early in the run, the Swede would end up crossing the finish with a half second deficit to Martin who claimed a third TQ run of the day to secure his second ever EOS pole position. Behind Ronnefalk and Martin, the pair having a slight edge over the rest of the field, Joern Neumann, despite another disappointing qualifier, will start third.
Securing a debut TQ for defending Champion Yokomo’s all new YZ-2, Martin said ‘It didn’t look like it was going to happen but his error on the last lap was just enough’. Having set the pace in practice and then backed it up with TQ runs in the opening two qualifiers, it was a super fast TQ run from Ronnefalk which set the stage for the showdown in the final qualifier. Laying down the early pace until a ‘stupid mistake’ on lap 4 when he ‘blinked and messed up the chicane’, this allowed Ronnefalk to take charge. With nothing to lose Martin knew the only chance he had of denying Ronnefalk was to push and hopefully by reducing the deficit, the Swede now running ahead of him on track having started behind him, and forcing an error. Asked about the final Martin, who has 1 EOS win to his credit back when he was a Tamiya driver, said ‘its going to be a dog fight’
Setting the fastest lap of the round, a slightly mystified Ronnefalk said ‘I just turned in too soon on the wall, hit the track marker and the car was on its roof’. The 18-year-old, who is having his most competitive 2WD outing in the EOS this weekend, knew Martin was pushing hard and that it was going to be close on the last lap so he couldn’t afford to let up. Describing his Team C, the same won he used to win the recent DHI Cup from Joern Neumann, as really good he said he has the speed adding ‘they are going to be exciting finals’.
Sixth in final qualifier, Neumann’s response to the run was ‘I crashed again’. Struggling in practice leaving him in the B heat, the European Champion luckily opened the day well with a third in Q1 and second in Q2 these ending up being his two counting rounds to secure third on the grid. The championship’s most winning driver said he is still looking for more steering and for the final will try some ideas given to him by Yokomo engineer Shin Adachi as he has ‘nothing to lose’. Asked if he felt he could challenge for the win he said ‘I’m a little slower than Lee & David’.
Ending qualifying strong with two Top 3 runs Martin Wollanka will start fourth with team-mate Martin Bayer fifth. Running the all new purpose designed 2WD platform, the XB2, both drivers said for a first outing they were very much encouraged by the performance of the car which only came into existance two days before the event. Also debuting a new car this weekend, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski completes the Top 6 on the grid after an anti-squat change on his new Cougar KF2 gave him a very competitive car for Q4 with him taking the 5th fastest time despite being held up by Bayer and crashing with the Czech driver which lost him 3-seconds on the last lap.
Chassis: Associated B5M Motor: Reedy ESC: Reedy Batteries: Reedy Radio/Servo: Sanwa/XP Remarks – The Norwegian AE driver is running an interesting example of the B5M chassis here in Berlin. The front arms and shock tower are from the rear motor version of the car, in order to obtain a different suspension ratio. The buggy sports a brass front bulkhead, titanium screws and a number of aluminum bits, such as the steering rack, the front hinge pin holder and the rear camber link mounts. Joakim opted for a 4-gear transmission, and decided to use a rear swaybar to better suit the track conditions. His car also features JConcepts wing and Silencer bodyshell.
David Ronnefalk denied Lee Martin an early overall TQ at the second round of qualifying at the EOS in Germany when the HB driver set a new fastest time in the penultimate round of 2WD qualifying. Having finished second to Martin in Q1 and then 3rd in Q2 after a number of crashes, Ronnefalk would drive a faultless third qualifier to run the first 16-lap qualifier at the Berlin event. With Ronnefalk and Martin running a very similar pace swapping position at the top of the timing screens it was a late mistake from Martin, who took the opening two qualifiers, that would end his chances of putting the overall TQ beyond the reach of his rivals. Martin Wollanka would enjoy his best run so far to complete the Top 3 for the round while Joern Neumann having posted the second fastest time in previous round would crash leaving the former champion only 9th quickest.
Starting the round with a new set of the championship pre-glued Schumacher hand out tyres, Ronnefalk said he was surprised at how good his Team C ran especially compared with Martin’s Yokomo which was on second run tyres. Having crashed 3-times in Q2 as a result of pushing too hard after an early mistake, the 18-year-old said he backed it down a little for Q3 helped by the fact he could run with Martin without having to push. Having the speed to follow Martin, who as top seed lead away the heat, he said his car was super consistent and they were both ‘super close’ on pace until Martin’s late mistake. The winner of the DHI Cup earlier this month, the 1:8 European Champion said he now hopes he can do another TQ as he has the tie break advantage due to the pace of his Q3 run.
Running a pace just faster than Ronnefalk, Martin said it was all going good until he ‘popped a wheelie’ at the table top having just posted the fastest lap of the round. Landing offline out in the dust he said that was the start of him falling behind Ronnefalk. Pushing to try make back up the tenths lost he said he ‘drove a little too hard’ and ‘started clipping pipes touring car style’ until his YZ-2 got stuck against one on his last lap losing him over 2-seconds.
Having changed the set-up on his all new XB2 chassis, Xray’s Wollanka said his buggy was ‘really good’. Changing his shock package the Austrian said this left him with a more stable rear end as well as giving him more steering. Set to make more minor changes for the final qualifier he said ‘with just a little more steering it (the car) will be perfect’. Behind Wollanka, team-mate Martin Bayer took his example to the fifth fastest time.
Having ran a Top 6 time in Q2, Joakim Nicolaisen would back it up with a 5th in Q3. Leaving his B5M unchanged, the 18-year-old Team Associated backed driver said he was a little more consistent and the result was ‘better than (his) expectations’. Other than a minor incident with a back marker, the Norwegian running in the B Heat, he said the rest of the run was clean. Looking to the final qualifier he said ‘4th would be cool in the next one’. Behind Nicolaisen, AE team-mate & Swiss National Champion Patrick Hofer completed the Top 6.
Having recovered from a below par performance in practice yesterday to take Top 3 finishes in the opening two qualifiers, Neumann would make a diff change on his Yokomo YZ-2 for the round but the results weren’t an improvement. Switching from a gear to a ball diff the German said it made the car ‘too easy to drive’ and combined with a third run set of tyres he was slow even before he hit the piping at the end of the straight and rolled. He will revert to a gear diff for Q4.
Top seed for qualifying at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series after topping practice yesterday, Lee Martin got 2WD qualifying underway this morning in Berlin by taking the opening round of 2WD qualifying. The Yokomo driver ran 15 laps in a time of 5:02.497 which was 4-seconds clear of David Ronnefalk while a much improved Joern Neumann completed the Top 3 just a further 4/10ths off.
Describing the opening qualifier as always being his least favourite as switching back from running 4WD and having no practice to open the day it’s ‘in at the deep end’, Martin was happy to kick things off with a TQ run. The British ace said his new YZ-2 felt good and was ‘easy to drive’ although it was slow compared to 4WD. Having initially been followed by both Ronnefalk and Robert Batlle before they both made mistakes, he said towards the end of the 5-minutes he started to get a little nervous as he didn’t have anyone to gauge his pace off leading to a few less than perfect laps. With Q1 out of the way and happy with how his equipment is running he said he will ‘continue as is for Q2’.
Ronnefalk was overall very happy with both his car and his own driving with just one mistake over the 5-minutes. Jumping short on table top while matching the pace of Martin and having just set his fastest lap, this lost the Swede almost 3-seconds. Towards the end of the run the HB team driver, who is running a Team C in 2WD, said the TM2 got loose in the rear and to cure that for Q2 he will go up in the geardiff oil.
Having struggled for pace in 2WD practice yesterday leaving him to start mid pack in the B heat, Neumann opted to run the Yokomo YZ-2 in Q1 having also ran a Team C in practice. The German said while he changed the car’s ackermann back to the standard kit set-up as well as running lighter oil in the diff, the improvement in form came mainly from his driving. Having driven ‘way too aggressive’ yesterday, the former champion said he found a good rhythm this morning and planning to leave the car unchanged he is more confident for Q2. The currently teamless driver could have been second were it not for traffic, a marshalled car being placed in his line causing a spin at the wall which cost him 2-seconds.
Running Schumacher’s new Cougar KF2, Michal Orlowski set the fourth fastest time and while ‘a good result’ the Polish driver said his car was ‘not very good to drive’. Lacking rear grip, the 13-year-old said it was very hard to drive and it was thanks to the fact he made no mistakes rather than pace that he got his time. Unsure what to change he said ‘for sure we have to try something’ with him planning to discuss his options with team-mate Simon Moss, the British driver taking 8th for the round.
Also debuting a new car this weekend, Martin Bayer took the Xray XB2 to the fifth fastest time just ahead of team-mate Martin Wollanka. The Czech ace said his run was fine except for a ‘stupid mistake’ on lap 2. Over jumping the table top his car ended up rolling out of lane to another section of track and needing to be marshalled back to the right piece of track he lost over 4-seconds. In terms of his car he said he had a good feeling with it and it was easy to drive however for Q2 he will make a small change to try and get a little more rotation in the corners.
Having run a Top 3 pace for most of the run, Batlle would end up 7th fastest after clipping the piping through the chicane on the penultimate lap costing him 4-seconds. The new Team C signing said his TM2 felt a little stiff and for Q2 he will switch to a lighter shock oil. Behind Batlle the Top 10 was completed by Moss, Miguel Matias and Team Associated’s Craig Drescher.