Xray’s Bruno Coelho took an easy win the opening A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series third round in Slovakia, the Top Qualifier even having enough pace to fit in a rollover during the race. It was to be advantage Coelho from the start as No.2 starter Martin Bayer got it wrong in the first run through the main double double section allowing a slightly slow starting Martin Wollanka to take up second followed by Joern Neumann which was how they would stay till the end. Dropping to 10th place, Bayer would never recover, eventually retiring when a wheel parted company with the car on his penultimate lap.
Having discovered his car had a bent chassis just before the final qualifier but only having enough time to change it after the completion of qualifying, Coelho said his Hobbywing powered XB4 was ‘much better’ and now ‘easier to drive’. He continued, ‘Martin’s mistake on the first lap made it a lot easier, you can drive much better without pressure’. Admitting he got lucky that his car landed on its wheels following his bad landing at the tabletop, he said the approach for A2 will be to ‘try to do the same the next time but without the mistake’.
Wollanka said while it was a good race he was ‘losing too much time at the start’. Finishing just over 2-seconds behind his team-mate, the Austrian continued, ‘I was on new tyres and had to be careful for a few laps’. Once they broke in he said he was happy he was able to match Coelho’s pace but the gap was too much’. Set to use the same set for A2 he said now the plan is to ‘push harder from the start’.
Finishing almost 9-seconds back on Wollanka, Neumann said given he was on a 3rd run set of tyres the result was the maximum he could have got. After making ‘a good start’ running directly behind Wollanka he said the Xray driver ‘seemed to be struggling but once he found his speed I couldn’t keep up and settled for third’. With new tyres for A2, the German is confident of a good result saying ‘on new tyres is when the car is best’ and asked if he felt a podium was possible the former Champion replied ‘I drive for the win, we’ll see what happens’. Behind Neumann, Hupo Honigl would finish fourth followed by Kája Novotný with Lee Martin completing the Top 6 after a number of errors.