April 22, 2017

Maifield takes A3 but tiebreaker decides Coelho winner

The season finale of the Euro Offroad Series at the Modellbau Wels in Austria provided thrilling entertainment for show goers with the 2WD A-Main coming down to the tiebreaker after a dramatic A3. With Joona Haatanen winning A1 and Bruno Coelho taking the second encounter, the race for the overall win was wide opening going into third leg.  Like in A1 it looked like Top Qualifier Coelho was in control but a mistake entering the kicker turned the race on its head opening the door for EOS debutant Ryan Maifield to have a shot at a maiden victory. With the crowd behind the American, the excitement looked to be short lived as a lap later the Yokomo driver went off the track at the end of the straight but Coelho had another mistake in his system and with three laps to go Maifield pressured it out of the Xray driver to go to the front with 3-laps to go.  Taking a hugely popular win, Maifield’s crash was to be the undoing of a debut EOS win as Coelho took the tiebreaker with his A2 winning time which was 1.5-seconds quicker, Maifield’s crash costing him over 2-seconds.  While a mistake in A3 would leave Haatanen with a P5, the Team Associated driver had done enough in the previous two legs to see him complete the podium for the fifth round.

‘Everything was perfect for 3-minutes’ joked Coelho after A3.  He continued, ‘I had more than a second of a lead and then lose everything and have to fight with Maifield’.  Falling off the side of the kicker on entry, he said, ‘I lose the rear of the car because I took the corner tight but the carpet on the inside had less traction’.  He added, ‘Luckily for me then he had a mistake so I knew then all I needed was second because he was not going to get a better time’.  Claiming back to back wins in 2WD, a class the 4WD Champion openly admits is not one of his favourites, he said, ‘Our car starting working in the middle of the season.  It started off not so good but we get a good set-up and after finishing 5th last season and now second this is very good’.

‘I shouldn’t have even had a shot at the win because Bruno comes out of the gate swinging’ was Maifield reaction after A3.  He added, ‘I took me a couple of minutes to get into it but then when he made a mistake I was thinking ok lets have a go’.  On his flip at the end of the straight he said, ‘that was the first time my car even considered that but it cost me the win.  Its a little frustrating but I’m cool with this because I have never been (to an EOS) before’.   Hinting at a desire to return to the EOS in the new season he concluded, ‘we did a lot with our set-up on this trip and have a few things we need to improve but I’m sure the team will get it figured out more and hopefully once they have I can come back’.

Compensating for doing A3 on third run tyres by going up in his diff oil, Haatanen said the outcome of the leg was not decided by the car’s performance but his ‘own driving mistake’.  Delighted to back up his Arena 33 podium with another 3rd place finish, the Team Associated young gun said, ‘the last two rounds have been super good for me and I am already looking forward to next season’.

Finishing 4th overall ahead of compatriot Lee Martin, Haatanen’s AE team-mate Cragg said, ‘I’m disappointed to not make the podium but that’s carpet racing’.  He continued, ‘I tried to catch Maifield but crashed and thought thats done it but then on the next lap Bruno crashed which made my mistake even more frustrating.  A podium would have been nice.’  Still finishing A3 in third, he summed up Wels as his ‘best EOS Race so far’ because he had been ‘consistent all the way through’.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.



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