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Race report by Martin Bayer
The EOS series is one of the most competitive off-road series since not only all the European best drivers are present but various factory team drivers from overseas come to the race so the competition level is extremely high, almost like World championship series on carpet. With our team we did a lot of work and progress since we released the XB4 and the 2WD version and we continuously worked and improve from a race to the next race. We continue to work on the smallest details, tune our set-ups to an absolute perfection and do a lot of testing, many times crazy stuff which either moves us in front a little bit again or are not worth at all in other cases. Simply the entire team has been working very hard as the competition pushes the envelope further all the time as well.

The third round of EOS was going to be special for me as it was to be run at the amazing Hudy Arena in Trencin which is something like home track for me. This was a real challenge for me as I had real motivation to take the win at my home track but at the same time it put a kind of pressure on me. Despite we have been testing with the XRAY team at the Arena, this time the track was just before the event completely rebuilt with an all new carpet and a changed layout which was much more challenging and a little bit more difficult but for me with some funny jumps that I really liked. Comparing to all previous indoor tracks this was finally one that is a real off-road track, challenging but one to enjoy. In the last EOS races I was always very close to the win but was missing the good luck. I was hoping that I can collect my good luck this time.

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I have travelled to Trencin already on Wednesday afternoon to meet with Reno and Lorenzo at the hotel to take a nice dinner and to relax a little. The show started early on Thursday with free practice the whole day. I worked most of the time to adjust my set-up to the new track conditions but those changes were really only some small details and the practice was for me more used to adapt from nitro racing style back to the electric one.

On Friday we had 3 rounds of timed practice with counted 3 best laps which would set the starting grid for the qualifiers. I did not change my set-up to record the 3 best laps but prepared my qualifiers set-up which was for 5 minutes run but still I was able to achieve the fastest 3 laps time which set me on pace.

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The first 2 qualifiers in 2WD class were on schedule the same day in which I was able to finish 2nd and 3rd which was a solid start for me as I secured an A main position which gave me confidence to go more on the edge for the remaining qualifiers on Saturday. Followed by 4WD timed practice I had some more track time and the change from 2WD to 4WD was very fast for me and was able to record the fastest lap times which would put me on the qualifiers grid in first place.

Saturday started with 4 rounds of qualifiers in 4WD qualifiers and since I was very confident in the car I was very relaxed and won the first qualifiers easily. I do not know why, probably because of the pressure, I was a little nervous in second qualifiers where I made several mistakes. I fully concentrated for the last qualifiers which I won with a large gap in front of Naoto Matsukura in 2nd place who was one of the most competitive driver this weekend. With the TQ position in 4WD class I could finally relax a little bit which gave me also a comfort for the upcoming last two qualifiers in 2WD class. The whole team was working very hard from qualifiers to qualifiers and we managed to get 3 cars in the 4WD A main final including Reno and Miguel Matias which was a very nice result and gave us higher chances for good final results.

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Saturday afternoon the last two qualifiers in 2WD were on schedule and for me to take the TQ I would have to win both, a difficult task but still not impossible. In the third qualifiers I took the win and to secure the overall TQ I would have to win the last one as well which went pretty good until I made a small mistake which Naoto used and took the win and overall TQ for him while I finished 2nd overall. Miguel Matias and Martin Wollanka did the blistering qualifiers as well which put them on the A main starting grid as well and we had 3 cars in the A main which is a very great result. Reno was this time unlucky with the same tie points he got BQ and I missed my homie in the final.

The first 2WD final was on schedule still on Saturday evening. I had a perfect start when I made an amazing pass over leading Matsukura in the first lap but then made a huge mistake that dropped me way back and I lost ? of the lap over the first cars. As I had nothing to lose I pushed this time very hard and was able to work my way back to the front in 3rd place but could not reach on the leading two cars so finished 3rd. Though the car was working flawlessly which hold my confidence for Sunday finals.

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The last day at Hudy Arena had all the finals on schedule and we started early in the morning. In the 2WD class I won the second final which brought me back in the game and I could still take the overall win if I win the last final. I knew I need to fully concentrate and just keep no mistake driving and I can take the win. After the start of last final I took over Naoto and with no mistake at all I was able to cruise for a safe victory which brought me and XRAY team the first win in the 2WD class at the EOS series. The very hard work of the entire team has finally worked out.

Winning the very competitive 2WD class gave me the personal confidence in myself and I was fully relaxed for the 4WD finals. In the first final I jumped the first double very safely and rather let Naoto to go just to pass him in a short time later on to take back the lead and did not give chance to anyone else until the end of the race. The car was working so well that I was sure if I do not make any huge mistake in the next final I can win that one also but I did not want to underestimate anything. We have checked before the next final again everything on the car and I went to the second final well prepared. The atmosphere was incredible and all the people encouraging me was a huge motivation for me to push the car but to keep it on the safe side and I took start-finish win fairly easily which secured me the overall win in the 4WD class as well.

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This weekend was extremely successful for me and the entire XRAY team. I am very happy that the huge amount of work and effort we put in between the races on testing and development has paid off and that we finally grabbed wins in both categories at the same time. Finally my dream came true and I am very happy that I could win this race at our home track.

I would like to thanks to all my sponsors for big support from them! Especially I would like to thanks to XRAY and to Juraj personally as they give me maximum comfort during weekend! Very special thanks goes to entire Hudy family for making this race possible at this amazing facility! Thanks to everyone in the team for their very hard and dedicated work during the entire weekend including Reno Savoya, Miguel Matias, Lorenzo Crolla, Nuno Rebelo, Martin Wollanka, David Kukla, Ales Bayer, Igor Liptak, Malin Karlsen, Andreas Myrberg, Martin Hudy, Juraj Hudy and of course everyone else in the tam. Being very proud being member of this team.

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4WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Martin Bayer (CZ) - XRAY XB4
2. Lee Martin (UK)
3. Naoto Matsukura (JP)
4. Joern Neumann (DE)
5. David Ronnefalk (SE)
6. Hupo Honigl (AT)
7. Renaud Savoya (FR) - XRAY XB4
8. Oskar Levin (SE)
9. Miguel Matias (PT) - XRAY XB4
10.Robert Batlle (ES)

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2WD Buggy Overall Result
1. Martin Bayer (CZ) - XRAY XB4 2WD
2. Naoto Matsukura (JP)
3. Hupo Hönigl (AT)
4. Tom Cockerill (GB)
5. David Ronnefalk (SE)
6. Miguel Matias (PT) - XRAY XB4 2WD
7. Lee Martin (GB)
8. Peter Pinisch (AT)
9. Martin Wollanka (AT) - XRAY XB4 2WD
10.Joern Neumann (DE)



2WD - A-main - 1

2WD - A-main - 2

2WD - A-main - 3

4WD - A-main - 1

4WD - A-main - 2

Gallery
Full gallery at https://www.facebook.com/HudyArena/photos_stream.

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