Having but in a below par performance that was full of errors in the opening qualifier at EOS Poland, Bruno Coelho made amends leading an Xray 1-2 in the second and third rounds. Fastest in practice but only managing a P12 in Q1, Coelho drove much cleaner in Q2 topping his team-mate Martin Bayer by 1.6-seconds. Further improving his driving for the penultimate qualifier he took that one by over 5-seconds with the final qualifier in Warsaw set to decide whether he or Q1 pace setter Michal Orlowski will claim the first championship point of Season #7 of the Euro Offroad Series for securing the overall 2WD TQ. Behind the Xrays, it was Lee Martin who gave best chase, the Yokomo driver completing the Top 3 ahead of David Ronnefalk in Q2 and Orlowski Q3.
Summing up the three qualifiers completed, Coelho said, ‘Like I said after practice it would be important to make no mistakes which is completely the opposite to what I did. I crashed many times. I was forcing too hard maybe’. Describing his driving in Q2 as ‘safer’, the Portuguese driver added, ‘but I still had mistakes’. Able to ‘improve more’ for his third attempt, the reigning 4WD Champion said, ‘this time last year we were not able to fight for the win but now with the 2018 XB2 we are right there. We have 5 cars in the Top 10 so far so it is looking very good’. Holding the advantage of the fastest TQ time so far meaning Orlowski must TQ the last round in a faster time to deny him the TQ, Coelho said his aim for the decider is to ‘keep smooth’ and ‘don’t do stupid mistakes’.
‘I’m very happy to be fighting for the Top 5 on the grid’, was Bayer’s reaction to posting a second P2 run in the third qualifier. Having been delayed by Coelho’s mistakes in Q1, Bayer said he had one small mistake of his own doing in Q2 and a similar 1-second mistake in the third but overall he was pleased to have ‘good pace’. Responsible for heading up Xray’s Offroad programme, the former European Champion said, ‘the new car is very good. I didn’t change anything since getting here. It very comfortable to drive’. Unfortunately for Ty Tessmann, having been the lead Xray with a P3 in the opening qualifier, Q2 and Q3 have proven more challenging with the Canadian suffering a DNF in the second and a mistake filled third attempt that left him with a P16.
‘It could have been better but I crashed’ was how Martin summed up his latest two qualifiers. The former back to back 2WD Champion continued, ‘I just didn’t drive amazing. I was leading Q2 and crashed and in Q3 I crashed early on but was able to catch back up to 3rd’. While not overly pleased with his driving, the Brit was more positive about progress made to his YZ-2 set-up saying, ‘we improved the car for that last one so thats a step forward’. Looking to the fourth & final qualifier he said, ‘we will try a more radical set-up to go for a TQ run and be ready for the finals’.
Top Qualifier at his home event last year, Orlowski said, ‘the second one was a rough round and in the third round I was coming back from a crash but crashed again’. Running new tyres in Q3, the Polish teenager said now he has two good sets of tyres for the finals tomorrow and his target is that he will be starting on pole. Happy he has the car to deny Coelho the overall TQ, he said, ‘I just need to eliminate the crashes and then I can challenge Bruno’.
Also having a rough Q2, Joona Haatanen said, ‘I had too many mistakes but now (for Q3) we changed the (shock) pistons and the car is much better on the landings’. Getting a P5 for his efforts, locking himself into the A-Main thanks to his P2 in the first qualifier, the Finn said the set of tyre he’s been using are done and so he will have to run the final qualifier on a new set of the championship’s hand out Schumacher tyre. With this meaning his car will be difficult to drive the teen said the positive to this was that he would have a set of tyres race ready for the finals.
While he didn’t fair well in the times in practice, ending up only 9th quickest, Michal Orlowski hit the top in the first qualifier of Season #7 of the Euro Offroad Series posting a TQ run in Q1 of 2WD in Warsaw. Double winner of last year’s Polish EOS encounter, the Schumacher driver topped the first of the four qualifiers from Joona Haatanen after recovering from a crash with Hupo Honigl with 2-minutes remaining. Behind the two teenagers, Ty Tessmann continued his strong EOS debut with a P3 run ahead of Lee Martin, Martin Bayer and Neil Cragg. Having topped practice Bruno Coelho would set the early pace as he lead away the field but then had a number of mistakes that would slightly delay both Tessmann and Bayer.
‘I really enjoyed the run’ was Orlowski’s reaction after Q1. The reigning 2WD Champion added, ‘I was confident after practice. We made a small change to the car and I had broken in tyres for Q1 so it was really good’. ‘I was just trying to keep the gap between me and Joona but then got caught up with Hupo. It was my fault. I had to push as hard as I had to make back up the time but I got it at the end’, the separation only half a second. Looking to Q2, he said, ‘we might make some changes for the next one but I don’t want to ruin the car. I would like a little more steering but the car still feels pretty good’.
Having secured his first overall EOS TQ at the penultimate round last season, Haatanen was happy to kick off the new season mixing it with the champion and his close friend for a TQ run. The Finn said having run a rear swaybar in the last practice they removed it for Q1 and his Associated was ‘way easier to drive’. Feeling he made a slow start, trying to avoid making any mistakes, he said he then started to ‘run more consistent times’ after that. On his car set-up, he said, ‘I think I will leave it the same and then if I get another good run I can look at trying something different’. Asked what he would like to improve he replied, ‘it a little pushing in the corners’.
‘I just basically drove around so as not to crash’ was how Tessmann summed up his first ever EOS qualifier. The former 1:8 World Champion continued, ‘I had new tyres on so I knew it was going to be difficult to drive. I was surprised when they announced I was leading but I just tried keep doing what I was doing’. Describing the heat as ‘a bit chaotic’, he said ‘Bruno crashed in front of me which I saw but then I had to avoid the marshal. I also touched the pipe once but I don’t know how much that cost me’. The Canadian concluded, ‘for my first qualifier I’m pretty happy with how that went’.
Martin summed up his opening qualifying performance as ‘average’ adding, ‘I didn’t really get into it’. The Yokomo driver added, ‘It’s not easy out there. I had a few little bobbles and it seemed like a long race’. In contention for a TQ run he said, ‘I could see where Ty, Bruno and Bayer were and based off that was not pushing too hard but I had no idea where Jonna or Orlowski were and it seems they were quicker than before’. In terms of his car, the 5 time 2WD race winner said while they improved the feel of the car in the corners he ‘still needs a bit more’ in terms of corner speed.
Reacting to Q1, Bayer said, ‘I made a really good start but lost time when Bruno crashed in front of me’. The Xray designer continued, ‘this caused me to lose places and speed but I picked it up again at the end’. Describing his XB2 as working ‘really good’, the Czech driver is upbeat about his own performance saying, ‘the speed is there and I made no mistakes of my own’.
Bruno Coelho has set the pace in practice at the season opening round of the Euro Offroad Series in Warsaw, Poland. The Xray driver was fastest over the two seeding rounds setting the fastest 3-consecutive laps ahead of team-mate Martin Bayer. Breaking up the Xrays, Yokomo’s Lee Martin set the third fastest time ahead of EOS debutant Ty Tessmann, the Canadian getting his weekend off to a solid start given his lack of carpet track experience. Neil Cragg would take his Team Associated to the fifth fastest time ahead of David Ronnefalk, the reigning 1:8 World Champion returning to the championship after a two year absence. Home favourite and double winner in Warsaw last year, Michal Orlowski would mange only the 9th fastest time.
Summing up his practice, drivers having started the day with two rounds of free practice, Coelho said, ‘I have changed nothing on the car. It works amazing so I just focus on driving making sure to try and put the car on the right parts of the track’. The reigning 4WD Champion and winner of last season’s concluding two rounds in 2WD, he continued, ‘the time doesn’t mean anything, it’s only 3-laps and it’s 5-minutes that count. The track is super difficult so making no mistakes is going to be the key and also a big challenge’.
Bayer admitted the track layout is testing his patience. The Czech driver said, ‘I like more high speed tracks and this is low speed. It is very tricky and you need to be very patient’. Describing his 3-lap pace as ‘pretty good’, like Coelho he said it’s what you can do over the full 5-minutes that is going to count adding ‘it is going to be very hard’ to do a full run with no mistakes due to the nature of the track layout.
Martin was content with his practice form saying, ‘We need a little more corner speed but on the jumps the car feels pretty good’. Describing the track as ‘very tight and technical’ he said, ‘just clipping stuff turns into a big mistakes because there is no margin for error’. In terms of improving his YZ-2’s corner speed, the former back to back Champion plans to ‘loosen the rear end up a bit’. Winner of last year’s season opener, Martin’s team-mate Marc Rheinard would set the 8th fastest time with Atsushi Hara recording the 18th quickest time on his EOS debut.
‘Alright, I broke the car pretty early in the first (controlled practice) so had to go for a safe second run’, was how Tessmann summed up seeding’. Having travelled to the Hudy Arena to test with the rest of the Xray team ahead of travelling to Poland, he continued, ‘I’m running the same set-up as I had at the Hudy Arena and have just been getting used to the track’ He said, ‘It’s definitely challenging and very different to what I am used to. Getting used to the driving style is the hardest thing’.
Commenting on his P5 pace Cragg said, ‘we are making improvements all the way through and I’m getting used to carpet racing again’. The Brit continued, ‘the car is quite safe out there, it’s not the fastest but we are doing OK’. Making a change to his front shocks for CP2, he said while he likes a ‘low rider’ the front was ‘a little low’ and so for the first qualifier he will ‘raise it a smidge’.
Reacting to setting the sixth fastest time, Ronnefalk said, ‘It’s going good but we are still trying stuff’. Running a prototype car, the Swede continued, ‘the carpet must be new as there feels to be a lot of grip and the layout is a bit small so we have had to change a few things compared to what I was running at home’. While suffering a crash in the second run resulting in a broken rear arm, he said, ‘the car felt fast and easy to drive’ but he was keen to highlight he was ‘here to learn’ and there was ‘no pressure for a result after a 2-year break’ before adding ‘but of course I want to be up there’.
Breaking his Schumacher in the first controlled practice, Orlowski said, ‘it was not the best start but we made a lot of changes to the car and it felt good’. On his time he said, ‘I didn’t get get my fast laps in my 3-consecutive laps but the car feels good so it looks good for qualifying’. The EOS running a new rear tyre, the Pole added, ‘the new tyres are a big improvement on last season’.
Venue – Ptak Warsaw Expo Race Hosts – ATA Country – Poland Location – Warsaw Direction – Anti-clockwise Surface – Carpet No. of EOS Races hosted – 1
After a successful return to the Euro Offroad Series calendar last year, Poland is back as the destination for the opening round of the indoor carpet offroad championship. The fifth time the country has hosted the EOS, this is the fourth occasion it has kicked off a new season and as with each previous Polish visit it again provides the opportunity for RC Racing to showcase itself to the public. With ATA’s Niko Triandafilidis managing to secure a slot at the Warsaw Moto Show last year, held at biggest Exhibition and Congress Centre in Central Europe, Ptak Warsaw Expo, racing will again take place at the same impressive venue, this time as part of the World Travel Show which is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors. Situated in a different one of the venue’s six halls this year’s track has a reverse orientation to last year with the driver’s stand on the opposite side. The other noticeable difference is that instead of being in a hall full of cars, this year racers find themselves surrounded by campers and caravans.
In terms of this year’s track layout, the track is now running anti-clockwise with the KIA wall again its standout feature. Double winner of his home event last year, reigning champion Michal Orlwski said of the 30 X 24 metre layout, ‘It looks easy but you have to get everything right for a fast lap, it’s hard but I like it’. The reigning 2WD Champion added, ‘its important to get the down slopes right and not over jump especially the singles’. Asked what he felt was the most difficult part of the track he said, ‘the section under the driver stand. You have to get the first double landing right, you need a good rhythm for the single section and then you have a tricky double into a hairpin’. 4WD Champion Bruno Coelho described the track as ‘super difficult’. He added, ‘You have to be very smooth, not aggressive. It has many difficult points so mistakes are easy. You can have one great lap and then crash the next one so easy’. Like Orlowski, he too feels the section in front of the driver’s stand is the most challenging but also added that the chicanes ‘are really difficult’ because you can end up hitting the boards.
Season #7 of the Euro Offroad Series kicks off this weekend (20-22 Oct) in Warsaw, Poland, with reigning 2WD Champion Michal Orlowski aiming for a repeat of his last performance on home soil. The Schumacher driver, who lives in the Polish capital city, did the double last year when Warsaw hosted the second round of the indoor carpet offroad championship going on to claim his inaugural EOS title win. With Poland returning as the opening race of the championship, Orlowski will be looking to capitalise on the energy of the race’s large show crowd to get his title defence off to a winning start. Running as part of the World Travel Show, which is expected to be attended by over 30,000 visitors, the teenager knows that as champion he is the one everyone is out to beat. While already facing tough competition from Xray, Yokomo and Team Associated established driver line-ups, this weekend will see the high level of competition further bolstered by the additions of former 1:8 Offroad World Champions Ty Tessmann and Atsushi Hara as they make their EOS debuts.
As the driver who lost his back to back title reign to Orloswki, Lee Martin will be looking to come back from a somewhat disappointing Season #6 campaign and start strong. While the second most winning driver of all time in 2WD, the British driver failed to win last season with the Yokomo team’s only victory coming from Marc Rheinard when he won the season opener at the Nurburgring. Joining Martin & Rheinard at Yokomo this weekend will be all round RC legend Atsushi Hara. Having tested in the UK together with Martin and Yokomo engineer Shin Adachi prior to flying out to Poland, Hara will be hoping he can impress on his first EOS appearance.
As back to back 4WD Champions, Xray showed at the back end of last season that they have made huge inroads with their 2WD programme with Bruno Coelho taking the TQ and win at the season finale. The reigning 4WD Champion and openly not the greatest fan of racing 2WD, Coelho now has two seasons of 2WD experience to work off and would very much like to add a 2WD title to his already impressive list of achievements. At the beginning of the month he did the E series triple crown adding the ENS title to his ETS and EOS titles, winning 2WD is one of the few challenges thats has so far defeated him. Alongside Coelho, Martin Bayer showed somewhat of a resurgence in form last season and capped off the season with a win in 4WD. This weekend however a lot of the interest in the race is going to be on Ty Tessmann. The Slovakian manufacturer has brought over the Canadian and with a few days of testing at the Hudy Arena to prepare for his EOS debut it will be expected that he will be mixing it with the regulars at the front.
Team Associated are backing experience and youth in the form of former World Champion Neil Cragg and rising star Joona Haatanen. Finishing 5th and 4th respectively in the 2WD standings last season, they will be targeting better results this year. Cragg has a full season of EOS under his belt now and Haatanen laid down a marker at the penultimate round when he took the 2WD TQ at Arena 33.