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’.