April 20, 2024

Neumann takes Q2 at Philippine Masters

Day 2 of qualifying at the Philippine Masters kicked off with another of this year’s event rookies posting a TQ run as Sworkz’ Joern Neumann topped the second of the four qualifiers from Q1 pace setter Alex Bernadzik.  Having seen his Q1 run derailed when he collected another buggy that was on its roof and dropping him back to a P6, the German would have a similar scare in Q2 as he came upon a broken buggy towards the end of the qualifier but this time he got round it without much delay.  At the finish he had 1.7-seconds from a very quick Bernadzik who put in a strong recovery drive following his copybook mistake to the one he survived at the end of his Q1 run yesterday to hang on to the TQ.  Backing up his P2 from yesterday, Atsushi Hara would complete the Top 3 followed by defending Philippine Masters Champion Davide Ongaro, the double World Champion still yet to find his rhythm here in Manila.  The two Ryan’s completed the Top 6, Lutz finishing ahead of Pavidis.

Clearly pleased with his effort, Neumann said, ‘the car was good yesterday too but I hit a flipped car.  In practice this morning we made one small change and I might go a bit more with that change for the next one but the car is already good enough so the main focus is just to try and repeat what we did in Q2.  His first time to the Circulo Verde track he said, ‘It is really nice to drive.  They say last year’s track layout was more difficult but I still feel this is difficult so having a really good car is a big help’.

Asked about his run, the Australian taking his Team Associated to the only 35-second lap of the track in Q2, Bernadzik said, ‘I had the same crash as the first qualifier, I again went too hard over the the big mound and traction rolled’.  Happening on the opening lap and dropping him to last, he said, ‘the car came on really good towards the end’ a statement that was backed up by his impressive fastest lap coming on his final lap.  Only changing to a slight thicker rear sway bar for Q2, he said he plans to keep everything the same for the penultimate round of qualifying.

‘Not bad for an old man’ was how Hara summed up his P3 time.  The legend of the sport continued, ‘the car is really good, it is better than me, I am not consistent enough.’  His first major international 1:8 Buggy race in a number of years, he is really enjoying being back in the thick of it saying, ‘I have the feeling of racing I had at Worlds, I am so enjoying this’.  Asked if he planned any changes for Q3, the former Philippine Masters winner said, ‘I changed nothing from yesterday, I’m on the same tyres, engine, everything, I just need to work on my consistency not the car.’

Ongaro’s reaction after Q2 was, ‘we are struggling a lot’.  The Italian explained, ‘I think the wheels are too soft.  At the start it is ok then every lap it is more slow’.  With a one hour long final deciding the Philippine Masters tomorrow in some pretty hot and tough conditions, he has not choice but to change wheels saying, ‘we will change wheels for the next one and see if this fixes the problem.’

Summing up his run to P5 as ‘decent’, Lutz added, ‘It was a clean run overall’.  One of the drivers who is part of the Invisible Speed car set-up courses, the Kyosho driver said it is time to ‘put the book into practice’ with Invisible Speed founder JQ also offering advise on how to work around what the Finn said is the American ‘not having the right tyres with him’.  Asked what his issue is, Lutz said, ‘I need to find a way to carry more corner speed’.

Having freed up the rear on his Sparko buggy for Q2, Pavidis said while it felt better the lap times were not good.  Losing over 5-seconds with a mistake on his second last lap when he landed hard and ended out in the dust leading to his crash, he said he is ‘not sure what to do for the next one’ to improve his car.   He concluded, ‘I will probably make it a bit more safe so I can push.’


If you republish any elements from this page on another website, including text, original pictures or results please be sure to add a link back to this page as the source: