April 23, 2017

Coelho redeems himself to head Xray 1-2-3 in Q2

Having broke his car in the opening 4WD qualifier last night, Bruno Coelho redeemed himself this morning by leading an Xray 1-2-3 in Q2 at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria. The back to back EOS Champion, topped the times by over 4-seconds from Q1 pace setter Martin Bayer who is running in the second fastest heat.  Also running in that heat, Kája Novotný would complete the Top 3, a further second back.  With the Xray’s the dominant force the honour of best of the rest would fall to Neil Cragg, the Associated driver finishing a frustrated fourth feeling he had the pace for at least a Top 3 finish.  Behind him Marc Rheinard led the Yokomo challenge with 5th for the round.

‘Yesterday I was doing some crash testing.  It was a rookie mistake, I had quite a comfortable lead but went and hit the board on landing but today there was no mistakes so it was a perfect run’, said Coelho after the second of the four qualifiers.  Aiming for a back to back double having won 2WD yesterday at Modellbau Wels hosted season finale he said, ‘the car is working pretty good as always so I will just try to put in another clean run’.  The only driver to run a 17-second lap time, when asked about tyre wear which is something of an issue in 2WD, he said, ‘the wear is nothing like 2WD, my 4WD tyres are still like new’.

The man responsible for Xray offroad programme, Bayer said, ‘our 4WD is so good, you just need to drive without mistakes’. Posting a somewhat surprise TQ in Q1 after being only 12th fastest in practice, he continued, ‘I had no expectations for the first heat, just drive.  Today I had a mistake but still got second.  To have a 1 and a 2 after two rounds is very good’.  Having already booked a spot in the A-Main, the Czech driver said, ‘I think the next one I will test something’.

‘Perfect, the car is super good’, was how Novotný’s summed up his second qualifier.  The 20-year-old Czech National Champion explained, ‘for Q1 we rebuilt the car fully but forgot to tighten the clutch but we fixed that for today and it was a lot better’.

‘I’m really frustrated to be honest’ was Cragg’s reaction to Q2.  He continued, ‘I was in a solid second and didn’t want to get caught up with Wollanka so I just cruised around happy to get a second for the round but it definitely cost me 3rd, maybe even second’.  On his B64 he said, ‘the car is good, I’m into the A-Main after two rounds so I’m pretty pleased with that.  Making his first 4WD A-Main at the previous EOS encounter at Arena 33 and finishing 6th he said ‘the aim here is to finish in the Top 5’.

Rheinard said, ‘I just drove around as fast as I could. It felt a little slower than yesterday but its still a good result’.  Sixth in Q1, the Touring car ace said, ‘I’m thinking about tyres for the next.  Not sure whether to run new or do one more run on this set’ – which now have two runs on them.  Behind Rheinard, Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin would complete the Top 6 while EOS debutant Ryan Maifield had a number of errors on his run and ended up 11th fastest.  Having completely changed the set-up of his YZ-4, the American, who had a DNF in the first round, is hoping for a better performance over the final two qualifiers.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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