David Ronnefalk took an easy win in A1 of 2WD Buggy at the DHI Cup this morning. The Top Qualifier’s race was made all the easier when his only true challenger for the win Joern Neumann crashed on the second lap. This allowed third place starter Michal Orlowski up to second where he would stay until the end while up front Ronnefalk stretch his lead to almost 10 seconds while Neumann had to settle for third.
Ronnefalk, who set the fastest lap of the race, being the only driver to break into the 18-seconds, joked ‘that was probably the best I have driven this year’. For sure the Swede’s cleanest 5-minutes around the carpet surface track all weekend, he said once Neumann, also at the controls of Team C TM2, crashed it was ‘a pretty easy race’ after that.
13-year-old Orlowski described the race as his slowest of the weekend but said once he got by Neumann his only aim was to keep out of trouble and maintain position. Admitting he lacks the outright pace to match both Ronnefalk and Neumann, the Polish talent said it was always his plan to wait for mistakes from the two ahead of him and that worked out for him. Not wanting to risk the second position he inherited from Neumann he said trying to catch up Ronnefalk never entered his mind.
‘Bad driving, too many mistakes’, was Neumann straight up summary of his A1 performance. Having finished up yesterday dominating 4WD qualifying, the German said his mistake was down to him being too cautious with his use of throttle into the back double. Very easy to over jump in 4WD he said he just didn’t give his Orion powered TM2 enough power. Having applied pressure on Ronnefalk for the first lap he said with better driving in A2 he is confident as the car is really good. Behind Neumann last year’s Top Qualifier and podium finish Oskar Levin took his Team C to fourth.
Joern Neumann pulled off a clean sweep of 4WD Buggy qualifying at the DHI Cup taking his now privately run Durango to TQ runs in all four qualifiers. The German will start his quest for a fourth consecutive win at the Danish event ahead of Xray’s Martin Bayer and David Ronnefalk who will make his HB race debut from 3rd on the grid.
Running his standard DEX410, saving his prototype Worlds TQ car he ran in practice for the upcoming Reedy Race of Champions in the US, the German was pleased to take the overall TQ but said despite his four TQ runs it ‘was not easy’. Describing his Orion powered DEX410 as ‘fast as always’ and very easy to drive he said his results were down to him making less mistakes than his two main rivals, Bayer and Ronnefalk. Fitting Arrowmax’s new double jointed drive shafts to his car for Q3 he found this made the buggy even easier to drive. Wrapping up the overall TQ in Q3, for the final heat he fitted a front wing to the buggy but said he couldn’t notice any difference with having it.
Having been frustrated by ‘stupid’ driver errors in the opening two qualifiers Bayer was pleased to run clean rounds in Q3 & 4 finishing second to Neumann in both. Describing those performances as ‘pretty good’ and encouraged at how easy he could drive his XB4 and keep Ronnefalk at bay he said he still needs to find some tenths if he was to challenge Neumann in the final. Expecting to make a set-up change he said he would not do anything until after the 2WD Finals so he could better gauge the level of traction on the track.
Having went up in rear diff oil weight of his D413 for Q3, Ronnefalk said this made the buggy easier to drive but a driver error on lap 3 meant he couldn’t challenge for a TQ despite a consistent run for the remainder of the heat. A good start to Q4 had the Swede on a TQ pace but twice on the wall section he caught the cone losing him 5-seconds. Having prepared a new set of tyres for Q4 but noticing one of the wheels was buckled just before the start he had to make a quick switch to a set with three runs on them. While good at the start he said towards the end they went off. Having run a fresh set in Q3 he said tyre wise he is good for A1 but after that he will have to decide on his options. With himself, Bayer and Neumann all very close on lap times he said he expects the finals to provide close racing and he’s looking forward to it.
Behind the three race favourites Team Associated’s Niclas Mansson will start fourth ahead of the Yokomo of Frederik Hovgaard. The second half of the grid is made up of the Team Cs of Kim Nielsen & Tom Maquel, last year podium finish Jesper Rasmussen, Jonas Kaerup and Oskar Levin.
Defending champion Ronald Volker will aim for a sixth DHI Cup victory from pole position tomorrow after the Yokomo driver secured the overall TQ in Denmark this evening. Going head to head with team-mate Yannic Prumper in the fourth & final qualifier, Volker would claim his third TQ run just 0.547 seconds ahead of Tamiya’s Marc Rheinard. Struggling with understeer Prumper could only manage 3rd for the round, almost 2-seconds off the TQ pace but still managed to make it a 1-2 for Yokomo. Rheinard good finish to qualifying allowed him to secure third ahead Xray’s Alexander Hagberg while Freddy Sudhoff, debuting his new HB, completes the top half of the grid for the 15th running of famous season opening event.
Make changes to his tyre prep and set-up for the final qualifier, Volker said he felt a big difference in the balance of his LRP powered BD7 which he said compared to Q3 was ‘easy to drive’. Again while unable to match the pace of his rival’s fastest laps, a slightly resurgent Marc Rheinard posting the quickest lap of 18.034 seconds, Volker said he knew if he kept his run free of mistakes his overall pace would give him another TQ run and he focused on that. Aware of Rheinard closing the gap as the 5-minute came to a conclusion he said by the end of the run he was on ‘maximum push’ as highlighted by his last lap being his fastest of the qualifier. While he knew only Prumper could deny him the overall TQ he was aware that should Rheinard top the last round it would put his arch rival second on the grid ahead of Prumper this in itself a motivating factor for him to TQ the round. ‘Happy to start out another year at the DHI Cup with the overall TQ’, he said for the final they will make a very small change to give him a feeling somewhere in between what he had in Q3 and Q4 adding he wanted to have just a little more outright pace in reserve for the finals should he need it.
Prumper said he was ‘slightly too slow’ and he compounded the lack of pace with a mistake. Making no changes to his car, he said for some reason the car started to ‘push’. Running heavier oil in his rear shocks for tomorrow he will make the front and rear the same with a lighter oil than he was running in the front. Asked about challenging his team-mate in the finals he said the track offered a number of passing spots and he would ‘for sure push Ronald for the win’.
A much more inspired Rheinard said he was ‘surprised’ at how well the switch to Protoform’s new Dodge Dart bodyshell had worked out. Also running a softer shock set-up, the front and rear now filled with the same weight oil, he said the body made his car more stable while giving him the same level of steering as before. Fitting a new diff to the car he said having not bench run it it took a while to come in losing him some time early on. Describing the car as fast but still really hard to drive on power he said Q4 was the best its been and he will stick with everything the same for A1. Asked if he could pressure the two Yokomos, the 1:12 World Champion said ‘I just hope Yannic can put pressure on Ronald’.
Hagberg said his T4 was again good at the start but continues to drop off pace towards the end of the 5-minutes. Able to run a TQ pace he said the drop off lost him too much time and with the drivers much closer on pace this time round that left him 4th costing him 3rd on the grid. While a little better than it was in Q3, the Nitro Touring Car World Champion said he needs to figure out something for tomorrow adding he will be making some sort of set-up change having already gone down the route of changing his tyre prep.
Changing the roll bars on his LRP powered PRO5, Sudhoff said the car was really good and he was able to push much harder, as highlighted by his fastest lap time which as just 0.034 off Rheinard’s, but ultimately he ended up pushing too much and over doing it leading to a number mistakes. With limited amount of spares he said he took the decision to pull off before he broke anything. ‘Really happy’ with fifth on the grid he said in terms of the car he has no plans to change anything but instead drive it within its limits although he might try a different tyre prep, something he will decide nearer to the time of A1.
Completing the Top 6 on the grid will be Serpent’s Marc Fischer, a strong start to qualifying fading out over the final two qualifiers with him pulling off in Q4 after a number of mistakes. Behind him the rest of the grid is made up of Martin Lissau, Martin Hudy, last year podium finisher Viljami Kutvonen and the Tamiya of Danish driver Patrick Folman.
In Super Stock, Marek Cerny secured the overall TQ for Xray with three TQ runs from team-mate and Q3 pace setter Jan Ratheisky. Making it an Xray Top 3 on the grid Danish driver Mike Gosvig took his T4 to third with the Serpent of 1:8 Onroad racer Merlin Depta set to line up fourth.
Chassis – Xray T4 ’15 Motor – ORCA 5.0T ESC – ORCA Battery – ORCA 6200mAh Radio/Servos – Sanwa Body – Protoform Speed6 Remarks – Fastest representative of the Xray team here in Odense, the Swede is running an version of the T4 ’15 equipped with both an aluminum chassis and a 1.6mm top deck. His car also features the characteristic white low friction belts together with a full AVID ceramic bearing set. To reduce the weight, Alexander is using a HiroSeiko screw set.
Defending Champion Joern Neumann got 4WD Buggy qualifying at the DHI Cup underway in the best way possible by posting two TQ runs in the opening two rounds at the Danish event. Chasing a fourth consecutive win of the title, offroad being introduced at the famous touring car event in 2012, Neumann would headed an unchanged Top 3 on both occasions with HB’s David Ronnefalk claiming a pair of 2nd places ahead of Xray’s Martin Bayer.
Pleased with his performance, having struggled a little in 2WD qualifying, Neumann said in the opening qualifier he found his now privately run standard kit Durango to be a little edgy. Putting this down to running on new tyres and adjusting his driving back from having run the four rounds of 2WD qualifying he said leaving the car unchanged for Q2 it was ‘good’ second time round. Happy with how the car with which he took the overall TQ at the 2013 World Championship is performing he said he had no plans to make any changes. However having received some new double jointed driveshafts which Arrowmax have made for the DEX410 the German said he might use them in Q3 to alleviate issues he is having with the standard shafts on full steering.
Making no changes to his new D413 between qualifiers mistakes were the biggest problem for new HB signing Ronnefalk. The 18-year-old said after early mistakes in Q1 he managed to keep it clean for the rest of the heat to salvage good qual points getting second on the last lap after Bayer crashed. Overall a better Q2, setting the fastest lap, he said on hearing it was very close between himself and Neumann he ‘went for it on the last lap’ but ‘got a bit too excited’ leading to a crash that cost him over 3-seconds. Looking to make his Orion powered buggy a little easier to drive for Q3 he plans to go up in the oil in the rear diff.
‘Speed OK, car feels good, just doing stupid stupid mistakes’, that was Martin Bayer’s straight up summary of where he was at. The former European Champion who was Neumann’s main challenger for the win here in Odense last year said he has the equipment to again challenge and its simply bad driving that is letting him down. Making just a gear ratio change between heats he said his focus is now just on improving his driving.
Behind the three race contenders it was former European Touring Car Champion Jonas Kaerup who was best of the rest in Q1 while Team Associated team-mate Niclas Mansson who was fourth in Q2 ahead of Dane’s Frederik Hovgaard and last year podium finish Jesper Rasmussen.