March 19, 2017

No surprises in Germany as Coelho claims TQ

With the final day of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany opening with the penultimate round of qualifying, there were no surprises as Bruno Coelho again set the pace to claimed his third TQ of the season.  Having taken both of yesterday’s 4WD qualifiers, the Xray driver became the Top Qualifier by again setting the pace over team-mate Martin Wollanka with over 4-seconds in hand.  Behind them, again it was Lee Martin who was best of the rest, the Yokomo driver having at one stage been at the top of the timing screens but ended up third with two mistakes over the 5-minutes.

Happy to take the TQ point and move closer to successfully defending his 4WD title, Coelho said, ‘I was on new tyres now and it was not the perfect choice.  I had super traction and it wanted to traction roll.  Used tyres give a better feeling’.  Overcoming an early mistake, as the tyres broke in the car was more comfortable to drive with him setting a new fastest lap of qualifying 3-laps from the end. With Q4 having only the possibility of affecting who will start behind him, that currently being Wollanka, looking to this afternoon’s finals at Arena33, he said, ‘the speed is there so my focus will be to try and make no mistakes’.

Describing his XB4 as ‘working very well’, the only thing Wollanka had to report was an error at the double before the straight on his opening lap.  The Austrian said he had to single single it to avoid crashing but other than that it was a good run.  With two P2 runs he said he hoped to be able hold second on the grid with the aim for the final to ‘just to drive around behind Bruno’.

Top Qualifier at the season opener but losing out on the win to Coelho, Martin said, ‘I made a bad start but then Bruno made a mistake and I tried to keep with him.  I lose most time at the steps but behind him I was through there tighter and tighter each lap but then went too tight’.  Overall he said, ‘we’re not a million miles away’ and to hopefully close that gap further for Q4 he will make a caster change as well as fit new arms to his YZ4 due to the current set having ‘a lot of play’.

Setting the fourth fastest time, Joona Haatanen declared the run as ‘good’.  Yesterday’s 2WD Top Qualifier, the Team Associated driver said, ‘this was my third run on the same set of tyres but they still worked good but for the last one I will have to run a new set’.  In terms of his new B64, the Finn said, ‘I think it’s good enough to drive 5-minutes so so other than tyres I will leave it the same for the last heat’.  Suffering a roll in Q3 and needing to be marshalled losing him over 2.5-seconds, he hopes to wrap up qualifying with a clean run and improve his starting position for his first A-Main appearance with the B64.

Behind Haatanen was team-mate Neil Cragg. Asked how he was getting on with his B64, he replied, ‘we’re doing aright actually’.  Debuting the car at the previous round of the EOS but missing the A-Main, he continued, ‘we are changing the car and its getting better and better which is better than the last EOS when we ended up getting lost’. In terms of its performance he said, It’s good but not yet 100%. I can push hard but still have to be cautious’.  He concluded, ‘we are in the A-Main which was the main aim coming here and overall it is just getting better & better’.

Posting his first Top 6 time, when asked how qualifying was going newly crowned 2WD champion Michal Orlowski replied, ‘Not so good I would say’.  The Schumacher driver said, ‘I tried to get around for 5-minutes without a mistake’ adding ‘the steps is a big issue as I never know how the car will react there’.  With only a P11 to go with his 6th, he said, ‘I need one more good run’ to make the A-Main and to try give him a better car to achieve this they will stand up the rear shocks so the car jumps better.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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