Season #4 of the Euro Offroad Series reaches a climax this weekend in Slovakia with the Hudy Racing Arena playing host to the season finale where attention will focus on the 4WD title showdown. With Team Yokomo’s Lee Martin securing his first EOS title when he successfully defended the Japanese manufacturer’s 2WD crown at Round 3 in Austria, the British driver will this weekend attempt to do the double. The only driver to have ever done the double Joern Nuemann is his title rival, the now Serpent team driver having held reign of the 4WD class since the championship was first started in 2011. With the previous three rounds producing three different winners, on current form it is Martin, winner last time out who looks strongest as Neumann, a dominant force with Team Durango, still gets to terms with his new Serpent.
While Neumann and Martin’s focus will be on their title battle, the race has attracted a world class entry with a number of drivers using the event as preparations for the World Championships that will take place in Japan later this year on an indoor artificial track surface. Team Associated’s core offroad team will make the trip from the US with multiple World Champion Ryan Cavalieri and the team’s new up & coming star Carson Wernimont. Joined too by designer Kody Numedahl and team manager Brent Thielke, both accomplished racers, this will be Cavalieri’s second time to race in the EOS having experienced the European carpet style tracks during Season #2. Wernimont has had more recent EOS outings and at this season’s opening race while driving for Schumacher he became the first American to TQ a round when he topped 2WD qualifying in Poland.
The race will mark two interesting new team driver debuts as Naoto Matsukura, winner of the season opener with Yokomo makes his return to the series with Kyosho. His Tamiya touring car team-mate Marc Rheinard rejoins former TRF offroad team-mate Lee Martin at Yokomo. Matsukura took a podium in Trencin last year but for Rheinard this will be his first experience of offroad at the Hudy Arena.
The home of the Xray team, last year saw Martin Bayer do the double, winning both 2WD and 4WD at the event. The Czech driver, who went into the Season#3 finale in Austria with a chance of the title, has not enjoyed the same level of competitiveness this season but will be determined to put that right this weekend. The Hudy Arena, famed for its attention to detail, have made a major investment in new carpet specifically for the hosting of the EOS. The carpet tiles are similar to those used at the last EOS encounter held at the Wels Hobby Show in Austria with the durable surface proving very popular with racers.