Bruno Coelho is Top Qualifier for the second round of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Xray driver return to his dominant 4WD form after a difficult 2WD race at the new Sporthotel & Resort Grafenwald venue. Winner of the season from the TQ, the reigning champion clinched his 12th EOS career TQ when he made it three from three in the third round of qualifying with Michal Orlowski once again his closest rival. Topping the fourth & final qualifier, Orlowski will start second with Marc Rheinard making it three different manufacturers at the front of the grid ahead of his Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin with Hupo Honigl completing the top half of the grid.
Commenting on the Q3 run than put the TQ beyond the reach of his rivals, Coelho said, ‘I was able to make no mistakes that time, the only trouble I had was contact with other drivers’. Finishing only 10th in 2WD having dominated the season opener in Poland, he continued, ‘Its not easy here because the car is not perfect like the last races so we are still working to improve the car’. Popping a camber link off his XB4 in Q4, he added, ‘this track is about no mistakes so I will just try to start clean. Orlowski is going to make a lot of pressure in the final so it will be a difficult race for sure. Until now though things are going much better than in 2WD but I don’t know how it will finish’.
Again missing out on the TQ as he did in 2WD to Neil Cragg, on his Q4 run Orlowski said, ‘It started off good. I was new tyres and had a big mistake at the hairpin but got marshalled pretty quick. I pushed to get back to the front and when Bruno broke I just kept doing my laps’. On the finals, the Polish teenager said, ‘I am going to use the same car, the same set-up. I will try to make no mistakes and be patient behind Bruno and I hope for the best. I know I am quick’.
Taking a somewhat surprise 3rd on the grid thanks to a second in the final qualifier, Rheinard said, ‘All my qualifiers were good. I was on new tyres for the last one so it was twitchy. I had some bad laps at the beginning but towards the end I was pretty quick’. Asked his thoughts on the track, the 4 time Onroad World Champion back here in the same venue for next weekend’s Euro Touring Series second round, he said, ‘It challenging but it has some nice jump combinations. The one after the wall is tough.’ On the finals the German said, ‘everyone is doing mistakes so its going to be interesting finals, hectic for sure’.
Demoted to 4th by Rheinard after a tough final qualifier, Martin said, ‘I just crashed too much’. The former champion continued, ‘the finals are going to be just mayhem’. The Brit said ‘I’m feeling groggy today’, concluding, ‘I’m just going to drive around and see how it goes’.