Lee Martin holds the overnight TQ at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany after posting a second TQ run in the third & penultimate round of qualifying. The Yokomo driver can now only be denied from becoming 2WD Top Qualifier for a second time this season by team-mate Marc Rheinard. Having taken the second qualifier in Muelheim-Kaerlich, Rheinard had a bad Q3 after opening his run with mistakes on the first two laps ending up 8th. Behind Martin it was season opening Nurburgring Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho who would be second fastest with a rejuvenated Hupo Honigl third. Having started the run on TQ pace, Neil Cragg would end up fourth after losing three & a half seconds when he rolled his Associated on the fifth lap.
Describing his YZ-2 as ‘really good’, while Martin was happy to add a second TQ he was frustrated at losing out on the doing so in the fastest time. On the penultimate lap the British ace, in an attempt to avoid a crashed car, ended up hitting a marshal’s foot resulting in the loss of almost 2-seconds with his time ending up being 1.4 off Rheinard’s Q2 topping pace. A 5-time 2WD race winner, Martin said losing out on the time ‘could be shit tomorrow’. With the advantage of the fastest time, a TQ run tomorrow irrespective of his time would give Rheinard his first overall EOS TQ. Rheinard said while he had a bad Q3, the important thing was that Cragg didn’t TQ the round meaning Yokomo is guaranteed pole for the Final. Feeling he is still adapting to the feel of running the soon to be released 3-gear transmission in his car, Martin said you can push it harder and drive it more on the throttle with his 19.3 fastest lap set in Q3 proof he is getting more from the pending YZ-2 CA edition kit release – CA standing for Carpet Astro.
Completely changing the set-up on his XB2, Coelho said this led to a very big improvement in the car. Easy to drive in the previous qualifier, he said while more difficult to drive after the changes it was now ‘quite fast’ so overall ‘much better’. Having to run a safe Q2 after ending up 19th in the opening qualifier, the Portuguese driver said even with one mistake he could now finish second with him feeling confident that tomorrow’s final qualifier can help him greatly improve his grid position.
‘A very good day’ was Honigl’s reaction to his third qualifier, the Austrian running in the second fastest heat. Describing Q3 as a ‘super clean run’ he said racing was now ‘so much more fun than before’ with his confidence growing with every run he puts on his new Xray. Changing his set-up ‘quite a bit’ and liking the improvement he also ran new tyres which he said are traditionally better on their second run which he said should give him the chance of a very strong final qualifier.
‘One big crash again’, that was Cragg’s reaction to Q3. The English driver said ‘it was pretty close at the start but then I picked a bad place to crash. I took the corner too tight and hit the dot which rolled me over’. Needing to be marshalled the English driver, who is having his first EOS outing this weekend, said at least the 4th puts him in the A-Main. Very happy with the performance of his 3-gear transmission fitted B5M, he said the aim for the final qualifier is to ‘try for 3rd on the grid and go from there’.
Coming into Round 3 of the EOS having finished second to Martin in the opening two rounds, Q3 would see Michal Orlowski lay down his best run with a P5. The 14-year-old Schumacher driver, who last week raced at the Reedy Race of Champions, said it had been a frustrating day. Struggling with jet-lag, he said he had a car capable of the TQ each round but made mistakes due to being over tired. Happy to at least end the day with a 5th he said hopefully with a good night’s sleep he can get a Top 3 in the final qualifier and put himself high enough up the grid to be able to fight for the win. Behind the Polish driver, Martin Wollanka completed the Top 6. Running in the same heat as former team-mate Honigl, Serpent’s Joern Nuemann was looking on target for a potential Top 3 time until he suffered a battery failure over the final laps, the battery swelling up inside in the car leaving him with a P7.