February 18, 2024

Neumann takes surprise 2WD win at MIBO

Joern Neumann came out the surprise winner of 2WD Buggy at MIBO International, the Sworkz driver having lined up 5th on the grid for the three action packed A-Mains at the Czech Republic race.  With team-mate Micha Widmaier leading the challenge of the Sworkz team in qualifying, holding the overnight TQ and one of four drivers to go into Sunday morning’s fifth & final qualifier in contention for pole position, Neumann was running well under the radar.  The first of the finals changed all that as the multiple European Champion picked up the pieces as those ahead cracked under the pressure and he took the win, even the German himself having a smile of surprise on his face as he went to out marshal afterwards.  A2 was a similarly incident filled race, this time Neumann following home the Xray of fourth place qualifier Martin Bayer to finish P2 helped by late contact between the top 2 qualifiers Daniel Kobbevik and Joona Haatanen.  Top Qualifier Kobbevik would finally deliver in A3 taking his Schumacher to the win ahead of Widmaier but a late incident between Bayer and Haatanen who define the outcome of the podium.  Running second at the time and with a faster winning time than Neumann, the incident cost Bayer the overall win as he finished 3rd on tie break with Kobbevik as Neumann became the Champion of the second edition of the MIBO International.

‘It is important to be first at the end not at the beginning’ joked Neurmann when asked about his victory.  Summing up the finals, he said, ‘A1 I was a little lucky, they all crashed ahead of me and then I was in first.  After that I just tried to manage the gap over Bartek (Zalewski).  A2 I got second after a little chaos but then A3 there was bad luck on my side when another car collided with me but it turned out the luck before was OK to give me the win’.  As about his form this weekend, he said, ‘my car in the end was good but I think everyone was very similar (on pace) at the end on this track’.

Summing up the finals action, Kobbevik said, ‘The mains were tough. A lot happened in all of them so in the end I am happy to win the last main while on the other side I am disappointed not to end the day at the top of the podium’.  On his A3 win, the 19-year-old said, ‘I was fighting for my life in the last main to keep everyone behind me. I worked hard for that one.’

‘It was an unfair game for me’ was Bayer’s response when asked about A3.  The Czech driver elaborated with, ‘I was in 2nd place which was good for the overall (win) but got taken out by Haatanen.  A proper take out, Game Over, and that is very unfair especially when the driver has no regrets.  I know it can happen to anyone but when you go to the driver after and they are OK with what they did it is even more frustrating.’

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