July 23, 2011

Neumann fastest in Q3

Joern Neumann

Team Durango’s Joern Neumann has TQ’d the third round of qualifying at the World Championships in Finland denying Team Associated’s Ryan Maifield from becoming an early Top Qualifier of the event.  The German ran a new fastest time of 13 lap in 5:11.213 to take the round from Q1 & 2 winner Maifield by 4.3 seconds with Jared Tebo third a further 4.3 seconds behind his fellow American.

A finalist at the Worlds in Japan in 2007, Neumann said he made no mistakes describing it as the ‘perfect’ run.  Starting the qualifying off with non-start due to a radio binding problem, the former European Champion has made no changes to the set-up on his Speed Passion powered DEX410 and after running a TQ round he said he is really comfortable with the buggy.

Ryan Maifield

Expecting Neumann to be a contender having seen him in action at the Warm-up race back in May, Maifield said himself and the German were really evenly matched in Q3 but a mistake on lap 10 ended his chances of locking up overall TQ honours. One of the biggest names in offroad despite not yet having a World title to his credit, Maifield said he is confident he can get the job done this evening in the penultimate qualifier.  Feeling the rear diff was slipping a little in the run he will rebuild it for his final run of the day.

Neil Cragg

Fourth fastest just a second off Tebo’s time, Neil Cragg said he is driving his ‘balls off’ but feels he is not fast enough.  The Top Qualifier in 2WD, the British driver said his B44.1 is dialled but 2WD was always going to be his stronger class here this week in Vaasa.  After a non finish in Q1, Cragg is conscious of the fact he still needs another good run to get himself inside the all important Top 10 of the qualification ranking.

Hupo Honigl

Setting the fifth fastest time Hupo Honigl is looking good to make his first ever Buggy World Championship A-Main.  The former European Champion has only made very slight changes to his LRP powered version of the DEX410 saying his team-mate Neumann had just shown how good the buggy is.  With three Top 10 finishes in the books, the Austrian said he can now afford to drive with a little more aggression in the final two qualifiers.  Team-mate Billy Fischer managed his first Top 10 time of the week as he set the 10th fastest time for Q3.  The American said the pace came mainly from the driver but it was ‘too bad its come 3/4 the way through the week’.

Completing the Top 6 Britian’s Lee Martin said he is ‘driving it as fast as it will go’.  The Tamiya driver said the TRF511 is too easy to drive and they cant get it aggressive enough for the track. Having changed rollbars he is still struggling with direction change through the fast sections, something he says is key to being fast around the track here.

Kohta Akimoto

Elsewhere Kohta Akimoto ran the seventh fastest time at the controls of his Kyosho ahead of fellow Japanese racer Naoto Matsukura who managed his first Top 10 time.  Two poor opening laps for newly crowned 2WD World Champion Ryan Cavalieri saw him record his slowest run of the day ending up 9th for Q3.  After strong performances in Q1 & 2 Team Losi Racing had a tough third round.  Third fastest in Q2, Dakotah Phend struggled with a loose slipper to finish best placed TLR driver in 14th, one position ahead of Dustin Evans.

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