Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series would turn out to be a fairy tale weekend for Michal Orlowski, as the young Polish RC star did the double in his home city of Warsaw. With Poland making a return to the championship after being left off last season’s calendar, the Schumacher driver took a not so unexpected 2WD win on Saturday in front of a huge crowd at Warsaw Moto Show, the host of the race. After a troubled start to 4WD qualifying on Friday and Xray looking dominant, the 15-year-old himself was at best targeting just making the main. However topping the last 4WD qualifier this morning to line up second on the grid, there was a new glimmer that a podium could be possible. Capitalising on a mistake by Top Qualifier Coelho to win A1, that prospect of a double grew strong although a lap one error in A2 was to be a set back. Not phased the Pole said ahead of the third & deciding leg he would be ‘going to go for it’ and that’s just what he did helped by yet another mistake from Coelho. Once in front Orlowski made the race his own to pull off his first 4WD win and become only the 4th driver to do the double in the six seasons of the EOS. Behind the home hero, Coelho would secure second which along with his TQ bonus point see him still leading the championship while Bayer made his first podium appearance for over a season.
‘I absolutely didn’t expect the 4WD win. Xray are very strong in this class but somehow we did it’, was Orlowski’s reaction to his win. He continued, ‘It was a great atmosphere here and I was spurred on by the support of the crowd’. On his winning A3 performance he said, ‘Like before I was trying to keep with Bruno so if he made a mistake I would be there to capitalise and he did. After he made another mistake I concentrated more to make sure I didn’t make a mistake myself and could keep the race lead’. Schumacher’s first 4WD win of the EOS, the British manufacturer making big improvements since the season opener Orlowski said, ‘we will continue to work hard for sure on our 4WD but for sure the next race will be difficult as it’s their track. For Xray the Hudy Arena will feel like here did for me’. Acknowledging his father and engineer Tristram Neal’s hard work in getting the CAT K2 to where it is, he added, ‘I have to thank all my sponsors for making all of this possible in particular Schumacher and LRP’.
‘One more mistake’ was how Coelho put simply the chance of making it five EOS wins in a row. He continued, ‘I touched the board at the chicane and after this it was impossible’. Complimenting Orlowski on his win, the World Champion said, ‘Michal had impressive pace this weekend and to win at home is a great result’. On his own result he said, ‘the result is still positive and the TQ was very important, ok I was not able to make 1st again but there is 3 more race to go so it’s no problem’.
A ‘super happy’ Bayer said, ‘It was great again to be fighting for the podium after more than a year. All weekend was really good and only 1 time (Q3) I didn’t finish in the Top 3′. On the EOS’ exclusive list of double winners, the Czech driver added ‘it’s a shame there is such a big break to the next round’ joking ‘I’m on form now’. In with a chance of the overall win going into A3, needing to win it in a new fastest time, he said ‘I planned to let Bruno go to Orlowski in the hope the would delay each other and maybe I could be there but he (Bruno) came too fast and we crashed too much’. With essentially his office the host of Round 3 in February, the Xray offroad team manager said, ‘Now that I live in Trencin it will be cool having the EOS at the Hudy Arena as it will be the first time I’ve had a home race’.
Missing out a podium double at an EOS for the first time since Season #4, this being the first time Yokomo’s YZ4 has missed the podium since its debut, Martin said, ‘I’m gutted to miss the podium but the three guys were genuinely faster’. Hoping for ‘a sneaky podium’ with a good result in A3 to go with his P3 in A2, the fourth place qualifier said, ‘I got it wrong coming out of the corner before the triple which caused me to case it and then I was last. I couldn’t have matched the Top 3 pace anyway’. Summing up the team’s 4WD performance on what was a much tighter track than normal for the EOS, the 2WD Champion said ‘for the tighter tracks we need to improve the car. On the more open tracks it’s good but we have a bit of work to do for this type of layout’. Behind Martin Hupo Hönigl would claim 5th overall with his Xray team-mate Kája Novotný completing the Top 6 ahead of former multiple champion Joern Neumann.
While it took three laps before he crashed out of the lead of A1 of the Euro Offroad Series, in the second encounter Bruno Coelho would get it wrong on the opening lap, only this time the Top Qualifier was able to get back to the front and deliver a win. Getting it wrong on the first run through the quad allowing Martin Bayer and Lee Martin to pass, A1 winner Michal Orlowski crashing out of second earlier in the lap, Coelho would take 8-laps to first get by Martin and then Bayer with a great pass around the outside at the quad. Again the only driver to run a 17-second lap time, once the winner of the season opener got back to the front he would stay there managing an extra lap over team-mate Bayer who saw off a strong challenge from Martin. Having recovered to 3rd and setting about a move on Bayer, a mistake with 3-laps to go would drop Orlowski back to 4th.
‘You try to make it perfect and you make it worse’ was how Coelho summed up coming up short at the quad on the opening lap. The World Champion continued, ‘After this I pushed hard as I had nothing to lose and thankfully I was able to win’. Surviving contact with Bayer on the wall as they fought for the lead, he said, ‘he got on two wheels and I crashed him but luckily we both landed on our wheels’. With Orlowski needing a win in A3 or Bayer needing a win in a new fastest time to prevent Coelho his fifth consecutive EOS win, he concluded, ‘I will try to do what all the time I am telling myself, to not crash’.
‘It was a run without mistakes, I was running for the points to secure a podium finish’, was Bayer’s view of A2. The Czech driver who is a double 4WD EOS race winner continued, ‘Lee in the end was faster but I just kept calm and was able to bring in second’. On his moment on the wall, the former European Champion said, ‘I got up on 2-wheel and tried to go right to save it but Bruno was there. Luckily nothing happened and we both continued’.
Having crashed out of contention on the opening lap of A1, on the second encounter Martin said, ‘I just cruised around to be honest. I was up to second but Bruno got by, he could turn a lot tighter in the hairpins’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I tried hard but nothing crazy. I don’t have the pace of Bruno’. Summing up the result the British ace said, ‘3rd is not too bad and if I stick in a sneak 1 or 2 in the last one we might be able to get a sneaky podium’.
Orlowski put his race error down to taking a nap before the race. ‘I had a short nap before the race but woke up too late and I wasn’t sharp for the race’. After his crash he said he got ‘stuck behind slower drivers’ and because of this it took too long to get back to the front. For the deciding final he said, ‘I’m going to go for it (the win)’. Behind the Schumacher driver Jörn Neumann would take Serpent to 5th ahead of Marc Rheinard.
Chassis: Schumacher CAT K2 Motor: LRP X20 5.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: LRP 4000mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa Remarks – After winning 2WD yesterday here at the Moto Show in his native city of Warsaw, Michal Orlowski got back behind the wheel of his CAT K2 in style TQing Q4 to secure second on the grid for the 4WD final. With his Nurburgring car proving a good base to work on for the Polish track, Michal’s engineer Tristram Neal said they only worked on stiffening the front top deck in order to obtain more steering. In terms of option parts, he is using the newly released shorter steering arms and a 2mm chassis.
Michal Orlowski has won the opening 4WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland. Starting from second the grid, the Schumacher driver would go to the front when Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho crashed coming off the wall on the second lap, a mistake he would repeat again two laps later. With Martin Bayer up to second, the Czech driver looked like he was about to challenge Orlowski for the lead but he too made a mistake. Setting the fastest lap of the race, the only driver to break in 17-seconds, Coelho would set about closing down Orlowski but with four laps to go an error at the quad ended the reigning champion’s chances leaving yesterday’s 2WD winner to win with a lap in hand. With fourth place starter Lee Martin crashing out of contention on the opening lap, Orlowski wasn’t immune from errors but such was his early advantage and good marshalling by team-mate Peter Pinisch he could survive a mistake on lap six. Coelho would go on to finish 2nd with Bayer third, followed by Hupo Honigl.
‘I think I used up all my bad luck on Friday’ was Orlowski’s reaction after taking A1. In an admission that he got lucky that both Coelho and Bayer made mistakes he continued, ‘it would have been difficult to defend if they they did not make mistakes’. ‘Very surprised by Bruno’s mistake at the beginning’, the former European Champion said ‘I wasn’t driving good laps myself after that but got more concentrated at the end’. On his own mistakes he said, ‘I think everything went my way, I got lucky with Peter (Pinisch) being where he was’ – marshalling the jump after the straight.
Coelho understandably had little to say on his race, ‘I just touched the curb at the wall and it caused my mistake and then when I got passed Bayer I had another mistake at the triple. The car was OK, I just need to cut out the mistakes for the next one’.
Surprised himself at how competitive he is this weekend, Bayer’s reaction after the opening encounter was, ‘it was good, the race was super tight’. He continued, ‘unfortunately I had some small mistakes but the speed is there and I will try to keep away from the boards in the next one’.