October 21, 2017

Bayer TQs opening 4WD qualifier at EOS Poland

Picking up where they left off last season, Xray have dominated the first round of 4WD qualifying at the season opener of the Euro Offroad Series in Poland. Fresh from their impressive 2WD podium sweep earlier in the day, it was Martin Bayer who topped the first of the four 4WD qualifiers followed by Ty Tessmann and Bruno Coelho who set the initial TQ pace before the first of two mistakes. As in 2WD, it was Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski who was best of the rest as he posted the fourth fastest with Team Associated’s Joona Haatanen and Yokomo’s Lee Martin completing the Top 6.

‘Again amazing’ was Bayer’s reaction to taking Q1.  Winner of the concluding round of the championship last season, the former European Champion continued, ‘I am not a big fan of the new tyres.  The combination of the new tyre and the (track) layout make it very hard to go 5-minutes without a mistake’.  Having improved his XB4 set-up over the four rounds of practice, ending controlled practice second fastest to Coelho, he said, ‘we now have found a good set-up and the car is very easy to drive and that is how it was possible to do Q1 with no mistake but we will look to make it a little more aggressive for Q2 but still keep it comfortable to 5-minutes’.

Tessmann said, ‘I was on new tyres so I knew it would be a little hard to drive so I just wanted to get a good clean first run. I had a couple of double steers over the run but otherwise it was clean’. Asked how he was finding 4WD compared to 2WD, he replied, ‘Usually 4WD is easier to drive on don’t but that’s not the case on carpet.  I don’t have a preference for one or the other yet’.  In terms of his XB4 set he plans to leave the car unchanged for Q2, the final run of the day, saying ‘it should be better now the tyres are broken in’.

‘The car is working well but I did make a mistake after the double in front of the driver stand and when I tried to come back I had another mistake’, was Coelho’s summary of Q1. The reigning champion added, ‘I will go for a clean round in the next one’.  Asked about the new handout tyre for this season, he said, ‘they have a lot more grip so we need more time to work on what to do with the front tyre. People are trying many different things so we need to work to see what is the best way’.

Orlowski called his Q1 performance ‘an ok run’ adding ‘it was nothing special’.  Winner of EOS Poland last season, he continued, ‘the car feels pretty good but I had a few bobbles. I was able to save it and keep it on four wheels’.  Looking to his next qualifier, the teenager said, ‘I think we will do some changes to the car and hopefully then we will be able to compete in the Top 3’.

‘I was thinking it was going to be very hard to drive with the new front tyre but it wasn’t’, was Haatanen’s thoughts on Q1.  The added, ‘In practice I was not that fast but now the car is easy to drive and pretty fast too’.  Echoing other drivers, he said, ‘we are still learning about the front tyres but it seems everyone is pretty close with what they are doing’.  Having run a centre diff in his B64 he will change to a slipper for Q2. While preferring the diff set-up, the landings are damaging the teeth and having already gone through two diffs they will go to the slipper to be safe.

Running Yokomo’s latest 4WD offering Martin said, ‘This is the first real test with the car.  It is easy to drive but we need to make it faster in the turns.  Overall it feels good but we still have to find more from the set-up.’  Asked about his thoughts on the tyres, the Season #4 champion said, ‘we are testing a few things with the tyre to make the car most settled and I see that’s what Bayer used to TQ so I’ll take credit for that’ – the popular choice being the removal of the centre pins from the front tyre.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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