January 30, 2015

Neumann tops 4WD seeding at EOS

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Defending champion Joern Neumann will be the top seed for Sunday’s 4WD action at Round 2 of Euro Offroad Series with the German topping timed practice from 2WD top seed Lee Martin who also set the early 4WD pace.  Fastest in the first timed practice Neumann further improved his 3-consecutive lap pace in the closing round as did Martin, the pair separated by just 0.047 of a second.  Making his EOS debut for Team C, Robert Batlle completed a good first day as he backed up his 3rd in 2WD practice also with a Top 3 in 4WD.

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Running this weekend as a privateer in terms of chassis, Neumann opted to run the last practice with a used set of tyres joking he ‘didn’t want to have to pay for another new set’.  Instead adjusting his Durango by moving the shocks in a hole on the arm so as to increase steering he said the car worked as expected.  Set to go back out with the shock position for Q1, as he will have new tyres, he said he is confident that the fresh tyres will further improve the car.  Happy with his 4WD he said with the Berlin event now switching back to 2WD, tomorrow being made up of four qualifiers and triple finals, he said he hopes he can turn things around saying most of his problems was down to poor driving.

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‘Always trust in Shin (Adachi)’ was how Martin summed up his final practice.  Having made many changes to his B-Max 4, he said they reverted back to the first set-up the ran and the car was really good allowing to him to improve his time by 3/10th between the two rounds.  Describing the car’s set-up as ‘pretty close now’, the Yokomo lead driver said the plan for Round 1 of qualifying is to ‘just charge the batteries’.

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Also moving the front shock in one position on the arm, Batlle said he found the steering he was looking for although for the first few laps the car was a little tricky to drive. Happy with his day, the Spaniard plans to go up in the diffs oils in preparation for the first qualifier.

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Ending up the highest seeded driver not to improve on his opening time, Martin Bayer still declared himself quite happy with how practice had gone.  The Xray driver said his pace was effected by his tyres which he was running for a third time but having improved the car’s steering with a front shock position and removing the sway bar the Czech driver thinks on new tyres all will be good for qualifying.

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Fifth fastest Hupo Honigl said he ‘tried to push too hard all day’ and he ‘need(s) to calm down’.  Also suffering from a head cold, the new Serpent signing said his Durango set-up is good and the improvement needs to come from him.

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Completing the Top 6 ahead of Martin Wollanka and fellow Swede Oskar Levin, HB’s David Ronnefalk was pleased with his performance.  Running behind Neumann for the start of the run he said he was happy that he was able to run with the champion. Losing contact with the German after a mistake at the double half way through the 5-minutes he said with 3-fast laps to his credit he used the rest of the run to see how hard he could push resulting in the 18-second lap time.  Running on new tyres he said he was surprised at how comfortable his D413 was and having some quick drivers to follow for the first qualifier he was pleased with his start to the weekend.

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January 30, 2015

Form continues for Martin in 4WD practice

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Having topped 2WD practice at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin earlier in the day, Lee Martin carried that form through to 4WD with the Yokomo driver setting the pace in the classes free practice.  Setting his best 3-consecutive laps in the second of the 3 rounds, the British driver set the pace from defending champion Joern Neumann although the gap between them was just 0.006 of a second.  2/10ths off them, Hupo Honigl completed the Top 3 followed by Robert Battle, David Ronnefalk and Martin Bayer.

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Having made little changes to his new YZ-2 during practice, it was opposite in 4WD with Martin making significant changes to his B-MAX 4 for each run.  Changing diffs, shocks and the steering set-up, he said they all brought benefits but so far they are ‘not marrying up right yet’.  Getting good steering in the car for the last round he said the rear end became the problem and they have yet to get a good balance front to rear.  Planning to go back on the diff changes, add more toe, and adjust the front shock position for the first of the two timed practice which will determine the order for the qualifying heats, he hopes this will give him the car he is looking for.

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Running a standard kit version Durango DEX410, Neumann, who uncharacteristically struggled in 2WD, summed up his performance with ‘4WD is good’.  Making only a small front roll bar change, the German’s only concern is the high tyre wear, something he said is being caused by the carpets low traction.  Other than fit new tyres for timed practice the 3-time back to back champion will leave the car unchanged.

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Running a DEX410 from when he was team-mate to Neumann at Durango which having loaned to a friend he had to get back for his participation in last weeks Reedy Race as he doesn’t yet have a 4WD from new team Serpent, Honigl was pleased with his runs.  Hoping to get his first SRX-4 once the four pre-production cars that exist are finished with at the Nurnberg Toy Fair, he said the Durango is a car he knows works and so there were no surprises.  Having started out with a modified rear end that worked well on the dirt at OCRC as the batteries sit wider apart he said it doesn’t suit the carpet and for the second practice he reverted back to the standard chassis.  The change gave the car less roll as well as better rotation in the corners.  For the first timed practice the Austrian will test gluing up his tyre side walls.

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Having had a good run in 2WD practice, former 1:8 Offroad World Champion Batlle described his 4WD pace as ‘not bad’.  Like in 2WD, the factory Team C driver said his 4WD was also pushing a little on the front but having made small changes over the three runs the car was at it best in the third run.  With his tyres pin well worn going into the last free practice he said he is hopeful a fresh set of tyres for timed practice will cure the slight understeer.

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Ronnefalk described his D413 as ‘really good’ adding ‘it was actually better than I though it would be’.  Debuting the car on carpet at the DHI Cup and struggling a little with it, the Swede has since been able to make a few improvements and now he is a lot more comfortable with the car.  Having changed to a stiffer shock set-up during practice he said for timed practice his only plan was to fit a new set of the pre-glued handout Schumacher Mini pin tyres.

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One of the championship only three winners in 4WD, Bayer said he came into the event expecting more traction and so he still working on getting a set-up he is comfortable with.  With the Top 6 covered by 7/10th over 3-laps, Martin’s time being a 57.971, the Xray driver said its very close and if he can find more steering through the 180 degree corner,s pointing out the track has many, he should be right in the mix at the front.  Behind Bayer, team-mate Martin Wollanka set the 8th fastest time followed by Yokomo’s Shin Adachi and Team C’s Nicolas Risser.

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January 30, 2015

Chassis Focus – Michal Orlowski

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Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KF2
Motor: Speed Passion
ESC: Speed Passion
Batteries: NVision
Radio/Servo: Sanwa/KO Propo
Remarks – Young polish driver Michal Orlowski is running the brand new Cougar KF2 from Schumacher for the very first time here in Berlin. The car features an all new motor mount, paired with a new transmission housing. The rear arms are now held in place by a pivot system, and the slipper now features three pads. The front top deck has been removed – although it is still available as an option part – and the new alu chassis is strengthened with two side stiffeners. Michal was using the “shorty” battery pack conversion but the stock car would normally use saddle packs.

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January 30, 2015

Martin maintains pace to top seeding practice

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Lee Martin maintained his early pace at the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin, with the Yokomo driver topping both rounds of timed practice to become the top seed for 2WD qualifying tomorrow as drivers now switch over to 4WD practice.  Behind the British driver, it was David Ronnefalk who was second fastest with Robert Batlle, also driving a Team C TM2, completing the Top 3. While up front the order had no surprises it was the lack of pace from both Hupo Honigl and Joern Neumann that was the biggest surprise with their fastest 3-consecutive laps only good enough for 13th and 16th fastest times respectively.

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Other than adjusting the front link on his new Muchmore powered YZ-2, Martin said he hasn’t felt the need to change his set-up as it is working really well from the first lap out on the track.  Focusing on evaluating the difference between new and used tyres he said everything has been ‘pretty consistent’.  The only driver to run regular 19-seconds laps with his 3-consecutive lap time the only one under 1-minute, he declared himself ‘happy with it’ adding ‘everything feels good’.  Looking to qualifying he said ‘everyone knows racing is different but at least going into it we are at a good place’.

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Almost 6/10ths off Martin’s pace, Ronnefalk was content with his pace.  Having ran with Martin for the first part of the final practice, he said halfway through the 5-minutes his tyres which were on their third run faded.  This caused him to lose grip out of the corners on the carpet but gain grip on the wood sections. Having set out to see if three runs where possible he said now he knows for qualifying that 2-runs is the optimum per set.  Describing the car ‘good’, the DHI Cup Champion said he will have brand new tyres for Q1, which, while tricky on the wood for the first couple of laps, should be an improvement.

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Batlle was pleased with his ever improving pace but felt he was losing time in the corners due to lacking a little steering.  Describing his TM2V2 as ‘quite quick’, the Spaniard hopes an adjustment to less rear toe in might improve the steering but he is also concerned about tyre wear which he said was ‘high’.

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Failing to improve on his time from the first timed practice, Xray’s Martin Bayer ended up 4th.  Running the Slovakian manufacturer’s still under wraps new XB2 chassis, the Czech driver made a change for the final practice but said afterwards it made it too easy to drive.  Declaring himself ‘happy’ and ‘feeling (he) has the speed’ he will revert back to his free practice set-up which makes the buggy rotate better.

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Behind Bayer was Xray team-mate Martin Wollanka with the Austrian saying he ‘can’t believe how easy the new car is to drive’.  ‘Trying stuff every round as the car is so new’, he said with a fresh set of tyres for Q1 his pace should be even better.  The third of the Xray’s factory team drivers, Miguel Matias is not having as good at start with the new car.  Having to build the car with no manual, the Portuguese driver has only completed one full practice run due to ‘little problems’ but said he was ‘getting it figured out’.

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Completing the Top 6 with team-mate Simon Moss taking his example to the 8th fastest time, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski said he ‘overall very positive’ with his KF2 with this morning his first time to put laps on the new car.  His only issue with the car is on power traction but having added weight to try cure this in his second timed run he said this resulted in the car stopping in the corner.  Set to remove the weight, the Polish youngster said he has some other ideas he will try for Q1.

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Here to support Martin and build up as much set-up data as possible for Yokomo’s latest 2WD chassis release, Shin Adachi still managed the 7th fastest time.  The accomplished Japanese driver said ‘I’m just here to learn not to win, thats up to Lee’.  Describing there being a ‘huge difference’ between the new car and its predecessor he said he was very happy with how Day 1 had gone for the team.

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Usually right in the mix, Neumann said ‘doesnt matter which car I drive I am too slow’.  Using the Yokomo in the first timed run and then switching over to the Team C, the European Champion said the YZ-2 has understeer while the TM2 has no rear grip.  Also not entirely happy with the way he is driving on his return to carpet having raced on dirt at the Reedy Race of Champions last week he said maybe after 4WD practice he will be better able to drive his 2WD and find some pace.

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Having made the switch from Team C to Serpent since Round 1 of the championship, Honigl said his Serpent feels ok going around the track but it is ‘too lazy’ with the Austrian adding he ‘need(s) 50% more steering’.

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