February 4, 2017

Orlowski pulls off impressive Hudy Arena win to extend EOS lead

Michal Orlowski has pulled off an impressive 2WD victory at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia to extend his lead in the Euro Offroad Series. Coming into the third round on the back of his EOS Poland and DHI Cup wins, the Schumacher driver’s weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts as he struggled in seeding ending up only 21st fastest. The opening round of qualifying didn’t bring much improvement either but from Q2 the Polish ace would turn things around eventually qualifying his LRP powered Cougar KC 3rd behind Top Qualifier Lee Martin and Bruno Coelho. With marshalling dramas writing off a good A1 result, Orlowski again put himself back in the game with an A2 win but he was to save his best for last. First making light work of Coelho and then capitalising on Martin running wide, the Yokomo driver coming back at him 2-laps later only for the pair to tangle, he would take A3 and with it his third 2WD EOS win at the very same venue where he took a breakthrough first international win 2-years ago. Winner of the event last year, reigning champion Martin would finish 3rd in the decider behind Neil Cragg to take 2nd overall, his season still void of a win. With his A3 challenge ending on the first proper run down the straight as he flew off the track, Coelho completed the podium In Slovakia, this weekend still ending up one the 4WD World Champion’s best 2WD performances.

‘At the beginning I had planned something different. I was prepared to wait for mistakes but when Bruno went wide I thought to go for it’, was how Orlowski described his attacking approach to the race. The 15-year-old continued, ‘Lee had a small mistake and I got by and then I just wanted to do what I did in A2 and get a gap.  Then we got together but Lee showed good sportsmanship.’  With Joona Haatanen and Neil Cragg joining the battle after the contact, Orlowski said this helped him pull away from Martin but he continued to ‘push harder’ looking to have a big enough lead should he have a mistake himself.  He added, ‘in the end everything worked out’.  Describing it as a ‘really up & down weekend’, he said, ‘the end result was very good for our new car which was only released a couple of weeks ago and to give it its first win especially here I’m really pleased’.  He added, ‘I didn’t get the TQ, I felt I could have, but still I extended my lead (in the championship) and I’m looking forward to the next race.  My aim there will be to seal up the championship.’

‘I drove one good race, he drove two’, was how a disappointed Martin summed up today’s outcome.  Complimenting his rival saying, ‘he drove good’, he continued, ‘my car was great and my biggest excuse for not winning was I ran out of tyres’. Describing his RC Concept powered YZ2 as ‘great on new tyres’ he said, ‘unfortunately it was a little harder on used tyres’.  Admitting to being ‘a little gutted’ to win out on win he concluded,  ‘When the car is that good I normally drive better in the finals but it’s hard to settle into a rhythm when you have 9 buzzing bees chasing you.  My luck will turn soon’.

Coelho said while he ‘had a bad start again’ in A3 he was pleased to end up on the podium in a class he publicly admits is his weakest. The defending 4WD EOS Champion, he said, ‘I race 6 classes and this is my worst, 2WD (driving) style is not my style but we are focusing more on it now and have done a lot of work on the car.  The last races we had 2 cars in the final and now we have 3 with one on the podium so we are getting there. The reason we didn’t challenge more for the win is because of my mistakes and not the car but I am learning the style needed every race. I will try to be better for the next round’.  Behind Coelho, team-mate Martin Bayer would finish fourth ahead of Team Associated’s Neil Cragg. Having got his EOS campaign off to the perfect start with a win at the Nurburgring, which would be his home race, Marc Rheinard would end up sixth, the Yokomo driver as in Poland unable again unable to find his form.

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