Lee Martin cruised to victory this morning in the opening A-Main of the 2WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia. Top Qualifier at the third round of the championship, the Yokomo driver was handed a comfortable lead when his closest challenger Bruno Coelho made an error half way into the race that required him to be marshalled. With this setting up a battle for second between Michal Orlowski and Coelho, up front Martin had the track all to himself eventually crossing the line with a wining margin of almost 2.5-seconds. Also benefiting from Coelho’s mistake, Orlowski looked on target for 2nd but with three laps to go he too would make a mistake only in his case poor marshalling meant he lost a massive 8-seconds. Allowing Martin Bayer to go by, Orlowski would try to salvage a Top 3 at the the last corner as he dived down the inside of Bayer but he would roll dropping a further place as Marc Rheinard got by for 4th.
‘It’s never easy just because you have a bit of a lead, it takes just one mistake to give it away again’, was Martin’s reaction adding, ‘Its never easy either with Bruno behind’. Pushed hard early on by Coelho, the reigning 2WD Champion said, ‘There was never an opportunity for him to make a move and then after his mistake I got a bit of breathing space which meant I could cruise for the last few laps. I quite enjoyed the race as it’s a really good track when you find your rhythm’. The winner of Xray’s home event last season, he said for the plan for A2 was simple to ‘try again’.
‘I was just waiting for a mistake from Lee but ended up touching the tube which flipped my car’, said Coelho after the race. The Xray ace continued, ‘then I had a small fight with Orlowski but he also had a mistake but by then there was no chance to catch Martin’. Describing his XB2 as ‘working super well’, the 4WD World Champion said, ‘I never particularly liked 2WD and always had to force the car before to keep up but now I don’t have to. It’s a huge improvement”. Setting the fastest lap of the race as the only driver to break into the 21-second lap times, he will be hoping to make Martin work harder for the win in A2.
Bayer was pleased to get third from 5th on the grid, the Czech driver who recently moved to Trencin saying with this like a home race he was that nervous at the start that his hands where shaking. Although he would make ‘a good start’, ‘small bobbles’ would drop him back the order after which he said he just focused on trying to ‘stay on four wheels’. Admitting he got lucky with the ‘bad marshalling for Orlowski’, the Xray Offroad Team Manager and former EOS race winner was happy to take away a third for the leg.