March 18, 2017

Martin wins A2 ahead of lucky Coelho

Lee Martin has won the second A-Main encounter at the Euro Offroad Series at Arena33, the Yokomo driver maximising on two unlucky incidents for early race leader Bruno Coelho.  With an early mistake putting Top Qualifier & A1 winner Joona Haatanen out of contention, it was 2nd place qualifier Coelho who took control. Building up a gap over Martin, that was to be greatly reduced as a marshal put Xray team-mate Martin Wollanka in his path causing the two to make contact. With Martin now within striking distance, Coelho’s bad luck would continue and two laps later the Portuguese driver got caught up in an error by Joakim Nicolaisen. Collecting the out of shape Associated, Coelho would also get driven over by Martin’s Yokomo which was barely hampered.  Eager to regain his position Coelho would lose control of his XB2 giving Martin the breathing space he needed to take home the win, Coelho trailing by 7/10ths of a second with Neil Cragg a distant 3rd.

Commenting on his A2 win, which all be it faintly keeps his title hopes alive, Martin said, ‘I changed motor from a 5.5 to a 6 and it felt way softer.  I had also changed the slipper and diff but the car felt like the battery was going flat so I started questioning myself as to whether I had charged it. It was fine in the end but I was thinking it is going to die before the end.’  Also making a suspension change to his YZ2, which he said was better, the reigning champion said overall he didn’t have good race pace despite being able to set a faster lap than he managed in A1.  The lack of pace he put down to his slipper being set too loose.  In terms of his battle with Coelho he said, ‘I didn’t know what was going on with him and Nicolaisen but thought now is my chance.  It was unlucky for him and never nice to win because of someone elses bad luck but its onto the third one and I should have a much better car’.

‘Maximum unlucky’, was how Coelho described A2, adding, ‘twice I got caught up in other people’s mistakes’.   The reigning 4WD Champion, who claimed his first EOS podium finish at the previous round in Slovakia, said, ‘I had a good gap over Lee and was just trying to finish but got crashed twice and finished second’. Another driver to improve on his fastest lap of A1, he said this was down to finding ‘something broken’ on the car that had led to flying off the track in A1 and ending up with a DNF. He said with the problem fixed, his Hobbywing powered XB2 was ‘improved a little bit’.

Definitely the crowd favourite, receiving a huge cheer during the driver introductions, Haatanen said while a new set of tyres made his B6 ‘edgy’, he had a bad race due to his own driving.  After his early mistake, he looked like he might recover as he got back to third and closed in on Martin but further mistakes quickly dropped him down the order with him finishing 6th.  With Associated’s two young guns having a troubled race after a strong A1, Neil Cragg would end up the top AE driver in third finishing ahead of Joern Neumann who had a good race coming through from last on the grid.

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