February 5, 2017

Coelho opens final day of EOS Slovakia with TQ run

Bruno Coelho has continued the Xray domination of the 4WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia by taking the third round of qualifying this morning at the Hudy Arena.  Again it was Coelho and team-mate Martin Bayer who set the pace until a late mistake by the latter cost him the chance to repeat last night’s Q2 TQ run. Dropping to third this allowed Coelho to take his second TQ of the event with team-mate Martin Wollanka also benefiting to get second out of the round.  The result means it will be either Coelho or Bayer who will be the overall Top Qualifier, Bayer needing to take the last round in a faster time than Coelho set in Q3.  Again it was Yokomo’s Lee Martin who was best of the rest as he posted the 4th fastest time with Joern Neumann’s Serpent the next best in P7.  Expected to break up the Xrays at the top of the time screens, 2WD winner Michal Orlowski would crash resulting in a broken front rollbar meaning his run lasting less than a minute. Running new tyres on his new Associated B64, Neil Cragg found the car very aggressive ending up 10th fastest but the team will make a number of changes to car for the final qualifier feeling they have been too conservative with changes so far.

After a run with ‘too many mistakes’ and ‘3 mistakes on one jump’ last night, Coelho said this morning his driving was much better. Aiming to ‘drive without mistakes’, the Portuguese driver said, ‘I still had two mistakes but the car landed on its wheels’ and it was only Bayer’s mistakes that allowed him take the TQ. One issue the reigning champion said he is having is with servos. He said the servo he normally runs was not strong enough for the high speed corners on the track layout and changing to a different servo the feeling is different which is an extra difficulty to contend with on an already difficult track.  Still not happy with the feeling he will fit another different servo for Q4.

‘It was a nice run, I had no mistakes’ was how Wollanka summed up the penultimate qualifier.  Having changed the front flex on his XB4, the Austrian said the result was the car ‘drivers smoother but the lap times are not as fast’. Asked if he would make further changes for the final qualifier he replied, ‘I will go back (with the set-up), I need the lap times’.

Commenting on his latest qualifier Bayer said, ‘It was a better run than last night almost. But I had two small errors’.  The head of development for Xray’s offroad platforms, the Czech driver and two time winner of the EOS at the Hudy Arena said, ‘the car is really good and really consistent and I had a comfortable lead but I threw it away with those 2-mistakes’.  With a chance of taking the TQ from his team-mate Coelho he said the car was there to do the job and it was ‘just a matter of driving it without mistakes’.

‘I had a 2-second error which realistically cost me second’, was Martin’s view of his run.  The former champion continued, ‘I still feel I need to find a few more seconds’.  Asked where he felt he was losing time to the Xrays he said, ‘landing the jumps as it takes a split second for the car to settle and this is were they can get away’.  He concluded, ‘If we can find a way around that we have a chance’.

View complete event results here.

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