Marc Rheinard took an easy win in the opening 2WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Seres in Germany. Having claimed his first TQ of the championships earlier in the morning, the Yokomo driver would take a tone to tone win over team-mate Lee Martin, a brushing with the piping on the first lap the German’s only blemish in an otherwise perfect race. Behind the two Yokomo’s, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski would benefit from crashes by Hupo Honigl and Neil Cragg to complete the Top 3 from fifth on the grid.
Commenting on his win, Rheinard said, ‘Lee had a rough lap at the beginning that let me pull out a gap. After that I could drive a controlled the race’. While Martin would make a late charge getting to within 9/10th by the finish, the 4-time onroad World Champion said ‘Lee was getting close at the end as he was pushing but he never got close even for me to need to take any risks so all was OK.’ Asked about his early moment he said, referring to the roller after the main straight, ‘that jump is scary. Its not straight so it tricky but I survived’.
Getting his RC Concept powered YZ-2 on two wheels on the second lap, Martin said he couldn’t do anything about his team-mate after that. The British ace said ‘our cars are so evenly matched you can’t make back the time and we were just turning laps together’ his best lap a 19.234 compared to Rheinard’s 19.289. With the jump that almost caught out Rheinard at the start, and which he himself had trouble with in qualifying, was the only place he said it was possible to make any time but even taking that risk ‘it still wasn’t enough’.
‘A good first final’ was how Orlowski summed up his 3rd place finish. Starting behind Honigl, he said he knew he needed to get by the Austrian early if he was to stick with the leaders. This was made all the easier when on lap 2 Honigl crashed on the corner table table. Now chasing Cragg a mistake by the former World Champion on the next lap would promote the European Champion to 3rd. Next lap around however Orloski would made a mistake himself and while he didn’t lose position he said the time lost ended any chance of challenging Martin and he drove the rest of the race safe to maintain his third.
Behind Orlowski, 12-year-old Joona Haatanen would have a great race. Starting 10th on the grid, Team Associated’s rising star would go on to finish 4th ahead of Honigl and Round 2 podium finisher Martin Wollanka. For Haatanen’s senior team-mate Cragg it was a rough first EOS final as he finished 9th after starting 3rd. Having motored up to a 6.5T motor, the former World Champion said the extra power made his B5M too aggressive in areas with the car also struggling for brakes. Making front end set-up changes, he said that also didn’t work out and he will go back to his final qualifying set-up for A2.