Lee Martin opened the final day’s action at the Euro Offroad Series with a TQ run in the penultimate round of 4WD qualifying, the Yokomo driver benefiting from a last lap incident with traffic for Bruno Coelho. Having taken both opening qualifiers last night in Germany, Coelho was on target to wrap up the overall TQ until getting caught up in a last lap mistake by Xray team-mate Nico Risser while lapping the Belgian. As a result Martin would top the round by 6/10ths of a second from Coelho with Martin Wollanka completing the Top 3.
‘I got lucky to TQ the round but it was still an OK run’ was how Martin summed up his improved performance. Having struggled in the opening two qualifiers, the reigning champion would make a steering set-up change to his YZ-4 for his third attempt. While making the car feel lazier, the British driver said as he got used to it the lap times came down with him setting the fastest lap of the round. Now in with a chance for the overall TQ, the winner of the season opener who shares the current championship standings lead with Coelho will add more turbo to his speedo setting as well as make a set-up change to get more rotation from the car.
Coelho, who stamped his authority on Q1 & 2, wasn’t impressed that he was prevented from taking an early second overall TQ of the season going to race director Scotty Ernst directly after the qualifier. Reacting to the incident, the World Champion said ‘my car was super good again but on the last lap I hit a backmarker. I caught him with 2-laps to go and he would not open up and then on the last lap he hit the curb and I collected him’.
Runner-up to his team-mate at Round 2, Wollanka said his qualifier ‘was OK but missing a bit’. The Austrian said his first lap was too slow and the 10ths lost were enough to cost him positions and that is something he needs to improve for the final round. Behind Wollanka, compatriot Hupo Honigl would set the fourth fastest time followed by Xray Offroad team-manager Martin Bayer. Honigl said he can feel his car is good but he ‘need(s) to drive it better’ the run having ‘way too many mistakes’. Bayer said he was ‘not slow and not super fast but still in the game’. Still using his first set of tyres, the multiple EOS race winner said they were now done and he will change to a new set for Q4.
Setting the 5th fastest time, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski would also struggle with old tyres. Second fastest in Q2, the Polish driver said the fourth run set of tyres left his CAT K2 ‘difficult and slow’ to drive. With the result locking him into the A-Main, him missing the cut in Slovakia, the 14-year-old said he is very happy with the improvements they have been able to make with the car in getting it now good on carpet too. The reigning European Champion will fit new tyres for Q4 saying while they will make the car a little edgy for the qualifier it means they should be good for the Mains. Behind Orlowski, 17-year-old Finn Joel Valander would complete the Top 6.