Fresh from taking his first ever 2WD win, Bruno Coelho set the pace in practice as the action switched to 4WD at the penultimate round of the EOS at Arena33. The Xray driver set the fastest 3-consecutive lap time by almost 2/10ths of a second from the Yokomo of Lee Martin with Martin Bayer making it a familiar looking Top 3.
‘Quite strange’ was Coelho response to topping the seeding with his time from the second run. The reigning champion & current points leader continued, ‘normally I never need to change my car but this time we need to, its difficult to drive’. Asked what the problem was, he replied, ‘it has too much overall traction and we’ll need to make it easier to drive’. He added, ‘we expect normally the car to be very good but here it needs changes’. With drivers finding the track layout challenging in 2WD and Race Director Scotty Ernst making a tweak to the layout for 4WD, Coelho said ‘the layout is OK for 4WD’.
‘Its going to be hard work’ was Martin’s reaction after the two rounds of practice adding, ‘there is good grip so its a little edgy’. The former champion said after a ‘pretty good first one’, his YZ4 topping the times, he ‘tried something’ for the second run but ‘it didn’t make any noticeable difference’. Describing the car as ‘not too bad’, he said he would ‘wait until the first qualifier to see where (he) is at over 5-minutes and go from there’. With four qualifiers, drivers will end Day 2 of the event with the second round.
Bayer felt practice ‘was OK’ but added ‘it is quite difficult because of the high traction’. The Xray Offroad team-manager, said removing steering from his XB4 for second practice had made it better ‘but there is still more work to do’ with finding a good set-up. Behind Bayer was team-mate Martin Wollanka. The Austrian said the first practice ‘was good’ but ‘the driver made too many mistakes in the second’ on the ‘difficult track’. Leaving his car unchanged between practice runs he said he will probably try a set-up tweak for Q1.
Setting the fifth fastest time ahead of Marc Rheinard, Joern Neuman summed up his practice by saying, ‘It’s much better than 2WD’. Switching to a lower ride height on his Serpent for the second run, the multiple former EOS Champion said this had made it easier to drive allowing him to better his CP1 time. Looking to make the car even easier to drive for Q1 the German will try a heavier front shock adding ‘other than that the car is fine’. Asked about the track he said, ‘Its less of a challenge for 4WD but it’s still hard and its going to be difficult to run 5-minutes with out crashing’.