January 5, 2018

Ronnefalk tops 2WD practice at DHI Cup

David Ronnefalk set the fastest time in 2WD practice at the DHI Cup this morning in Denmark, the HB Racing driver quickest from back to back reigning champion Michal Orlowski.  Winner of the event in 2015, Ronnefalk set a fastest 3-consecutive lap time of 57.514 compared to Orlowski’s 57.597 with the Top 3 completed by 13-year-old Elias Johansson with a time of 57.955. With the event marking 7-time DHI Offroad Champion Joern Neumann’s debut for Schumacher, the German kicked off this new partnership with the 6th fastest time.

With drivers getting four rounds of practice, Ronnefalk said, ‘my car was good from the start but was lacking a little speed in the lap times so I made some changes to make it easier to drive and that brought down the laps times’.  Having changed the rear diff oil and the position of the rear shocks, he plans to keep the prototype car, which is the same car he took to a podium finish at the World Championships in China, the same for the first qualifier which is scheduled for later this evening, following 4WD practice.  The 1:8 World Champion, who is making the move from Sweden to Spain on Tuesday in order to allow him run 1:8 all year round, lead compliments on the switch to EOS carpet by the DHI organisers this year saying,  ‘the carpet is a huge improvement, before the tyre wear was too fast’.

Like Ronnefalk, Orlowski said, ‘the car felt good from the first run, we just changed to a thinner diff oil and lowered the car and after that I was just driving it around’.  Adding the DHI Cup title to his CV in 2016 with 2WD victory, the Pole is chasing three titles in a row and summed up practice performance by saying, ‘Overall I am pretty satisfied with the pace and consistency’.

Team Associated driver Johansson was pleased with his seeding pace.  The Swedish National Championship podium finisher summed up practice as having gone ‘pretty good’ adding he had been able to ‘stick with the same set-up as we arrived with’. A 2017 Finalist, he is a fan of the switch to EOS carpet and the track layout however he did highlight the corner table top as being ‘difficult’.

Former Top Qualifier Oscar Levin would post the fourth fastest time, the HB Racing driver running an Xray chassis due to the limited availability of their prototype 2WD.  The laid back Swede said he was ‘just trying to find my way around and get confident for qualifying’.  Making a shock oil change, he said the only other work over practice was on preparing tyres and overall he is happy with his start to the weekend.

Posting the 5th fastest time, Danish driver Jesper Rasmussen declared practice as ‘pretty good I think’.  The Associated driver said having started out with his basic set-up he changed to a shorter camber link which improved things.  Running the final practice with the front rollbar off he said he will put it back on for Q1 finding the car too nervous with it off.

Having only had one run with his new cars prior to his race debut here in Odense, Neumann said, ‘I’m definitely still getting used to the car’.  Trying both a carbon and alu chassis over the four practices, he has opted to continue with the alu version ‘for now’ having found it ‘easier to drive’.  The inaugural winner of the DHI Offroad titles when it was introduced in 2012, Neumann also made comments on the switch to the EOS but unlike others his main positive of the carpet was the colour. ‘I like it even more then at an EOS.  You can see the car better on the grey.  Maybe the EOS should change from the black’.

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