October 20, 2017

Coelho Top Qualifier at EOS Poland heading Xray 1-2

Bruno Coelho has racked up the first championship point of Season #7 of the Euro Offroad Series by taking the overall TQ at the season opener in Warsaw, Poland.  Having TQ’d Q2 & 3, the Xray driver went into the fourth & final qualifier with only home star Michal Orlowski able to deny him pole for tomorrow’s finals but last year’s double winner couldn’t rise to the challenge with his run, having too many mistakes.  Coelho looked on target for a third TQ of the day but late in the run had a mistake that allowed team-mate Martin Bayer to go to the top and TQ to compound Orlowski bad run as he demoted the reigning champion to third on the grid.  Having been closest to the Xrays in the previous two qualifiers Lee Martin wouldn’t have a good finish to the day with Q4 proving his worst run and so the Yokomo driver lines up fourth.  Completing the top half of the A-Main grid Joona Haatanen will start ahead of HB Racing’s David Ronnefalk while a P5 in the final round to go with his P3 from Q1 ensures EOS debutant Ty Tessmann lines up on the A-Main grid tomorrow carrying the number 7.

‘It is a surprise for me as well, it’s not normal’, was Coelho’s reaction to becoming the Top Qualifier.  Joking that 2WD is ‘still not my favourite class’, he put his competitiveness in the original 1:10 EP Offroad class down to the new 2018 chassis.  He added, the car has improved a lot from last year.  Before I fight to be second but now I am first even with many mistakes’. Asked on his approach for tomorrow’s triple finals on what all drivers agree is a difficult and challenging track, he said, ‘I will try to not make any mistakes and drive careful. Everything thing is on my side with the car and the electrics so we will see tomorrow what happens’.

Bayer summed up qualifying 2nd on the grid as ‘an amazing start to the EOS’ adding, ‘I just hope tomorrow for no bad luck’. With a best result of a 4th in 2WD last season, the Czech driver said, ‘everything is good for a podium tomorrow, the car is working amazing so I really hop nothing bad will happen tomorrow. He added, ‘It’s hard to push on this track so just one touch and your race is finished. It is going to be a hard final’.

‘That was not so good, too many mistakes’ was how Orlowski summed up his final qualifying attempt.  Ending up with a P6, the Schumacher driver continued, ‘the strategy in the last qualifier means I now start third but the car felt good so it should be ok for the final as I had two sets of tyres ready’. Ask about the track layout in terms of being able to race for position tomorrow the 3 time 2WD EOS race winner replied, ‘I not sure I will be able to challenge Bruno but we will see. It will be difficult to race but anything is possible I guess’.

Opting for a radical set-up change for the final qualifier, Lee Martin said, ‘It didn’t really help. It made the landings worse which is where I was struggling so unfortunately we are back to where we were before’. Qualifying and finishing second behind Orlowski last time in Warsaw, Martin said, ‘on this track anything can happen. We will see what happens up front and hopefully I can make up a place or two or 3 if I am super lucky’.

Have to run on new tyres for the final qualifier having got the last out of his first set in Q3, Haatanen said his Associated felt more nervous on the landings as a result but added, ‘I knew going into the qualifier I would be able to improve on my starting position.  Top Qualifier at Arena 33 last year, the young Finn said, ‘everyone is making mistakes so I will try to drive smooth without mistakes and hopefully I can pick up places’. Haatanen’s AE team-mate Neil Cragg will complete the 10 car A-Main line up behind Hupo Hönigl (9th) and Kája Novotný (8th) after scraping in with a P9 from the final qualifier.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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