David Ronnefalk is the new DHI Cup 2WD Buggy Champion. The factory HB driver secured his first victory at the Danish event after seeing off a crowd entertaining challenge from A2 winner & former champion Joern Neumann. Having taken an easy win in A1 with a near perfect drive, in A2 mistakes allowed Neumann to take the win setting the stage for a head to head between the two Pro drivers. Top Qualifier, A3 didn’t get off to a good start for Ronnefalk as he made a first lap mistake at the back double allowing the similar Team C chassis of Neumann to the front but the race was far from decided with the two shadowing each other with young Michal Orlowski in tow. With a minute to go however a mistake from Neumann would give Ronnefalk the break he needed to kick off his 2015 season with a victory.
Having only previously contested the first ever running of offroad at the DHI Cup four years ago and struggling on the carpet surface, on that occasion with a rear motored car, Ronnefalk was pleased to open the 2015 season with a win adding he enjoyed his A3 battle with Neumann. Dropping to fourth after his first lap error, the 18-year-old said that put the pressure on as did his decision to use a set of tyres that already had done two runs. While he would get passed Neumann on lap three he said with the tyres making his Orion powered TM2 slide around it made it extra hard work having the German all over his rear end. After Neumann’s late error, the same incident also delaying a much faster paced Orlowski, Ronnefalk said he was able to control things to the finish.
Running the same chassis, electrics and tyres as Ronnefalk, Neumann was not pleased with his A3 performance. He said his TM2 pushed too much for his driving style adding Ronnefalk’s example look to have the advantage of a little more steering. Asked about his roll at the end of the straight, the European Champion said the car traction rolled and there was little he could do about.
Running with the two race contenders in A3, having played cautious in the opening two encounters, Orlowski was delighted with his performance. With 2nd in A1 and 3rd in A2 securing the 13-year a podium placing, a great way to kick off his new sponsorship with Schumacher, he said he was able to take more risks in A3 as there was always the chance he could take second overall from Neumann. Also using the last A-Main to test a set of pre-glued Schumacher tyres which he will have to use at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Berlin at the end of the month, on his Cougar KF he said was very happy with both his car and his own driving this weekend giving him good confidence for the new season.
Defending DHI Cup Champion Ronald Volker moved in on a sixth title at the Danish event this morning as he cruised to an unchallenged win in the opening A-Main. Expecting a strong challenge from his Yokomo team-mate Yannic Prumper that never materialised as Prumper got out of shape on Lap 2. While Volker pulled clear taking the win by almost 5-seconds, the battle of the race would be for second with Xray’s Alexander Hagberg finding a way passed Prumper. Despite a roll at the first corner, HB’s Freddy Sudhoff would finish fourth just 3/10ths off Prumper.
Volker said right after the start he got lucky as Prumper struggled with his car and ‘something happened’ to the No.3 starting Tamiya of Marc Rheinard. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race, outright pace having evaded the German in qualifying, he said his LRP powered BD7 had a lot of steering with the rear end feeling very loose. While it improved over the 5-minutes, his fastest lap coming on lap 19 of 25, he said he couldn’t push and had circumstance been different in terms of his rivals he said he could have found himself under a lot of pressure. Adding ‘overall I shouldn’t complain as I got what I wanted from the race but for A2 we need to make a small tweak to our tyre prep’.
‘Pretty good’ was Hagberg’s response to how his race had gone. Starting from fourth on the grid, the Swede said his T4 was ‘very good at the start as always’ and having caught up to Prumper he was was able to take advantage of a mistake to get passed. Again having issues with the car’s pace dropping off towards the end of the race he said he knew he was never got to be able to catch up Volker and he declared himself ‘pretty happy’ with second.
Prumper said his ‘car was terrible’. Making a shock change after qualifying he said this left his Muchmore powered BD7 very loose in the rear and this was compound by his rear right tyre having come partly unglued. For A2 the 21-year-old said he will go back to the soft front, harder rear shock oil set-up he ran yesterday.
Sudhoff said he got ‘quite lucky’ in taking fourth. Traction rolling at the first corner dropping to last he said when he arrived at the hairpin it was full of cars on their roofs and he managed to make back up the lost positions. Finding the track conditions very different to yesterday he said his PRO5 was edgy to drive and he plans to make a set-up change as a result for A2.
Not finishing the race, Rheinard said ‘I just messed up’. Hitting the curbing on the first lap he found himself in the middle of the pack and after further incidents he opted to pull over after just 2 laps. Describing his Tamiya TRF419 as feeling ‘not so bad in the warm-up’ the former DHI Cup winner said he could ‘hopefully make a better start to the next one’.
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.