January 27, 2018

Coelho back in business as 4WD qualifying gets underway

After a disastrous result in 2WD, coming into the weekend as points leader but finishing up 10th, Bruno Coelho is back in business as Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series switched to 4WD with the Xray driver taking the opening qualifier. Second fastest in seeding the reigning champion would top the times from Lee Martin and Hupo Honigl with a number of drivers hitting problems in the first of the four qualifiers.  Having just secured his first EOS win earlier in the evening, Neil Cragg was on a TQ pace in the second fastest heat when he took a corner off his car.  At the start of the top heat, Marc Rheinard never left the line due to a dead speedo, while David Ronnefalk suffered a thermal shut down and Michal Orlowski lost drive with a minute to go while in the mix for the TQ.

‘I’m actually surprised because I had so many small mistakes trying to get used to 4WD again after 2WD’, was Coelho’s reaction to his TQ.  Top Qualifier and winner of the season opener, he continued, ‘for sure it’s a good start after how 2WD went but the car is not perfect. It is very difficult to drive and I think Orlowski is faster.  We will work on it for the next one to get it better’.

Summing up his opening run to the second fastest time Martin was frank with his thoughts saying, ‘It felt like an animal.  The front tyres are still shit, they are still not a stagger. The cars are super twitchy to drive and it always wants to go up on two wheels’.  The Season #4 Champion continued, ‘A 2nd is good but I don’t think anyone is racing the track, they are just trying not to crash’.

Honigl was happy with his P3 saying, ‘I knew there was going to be a lot crashes so I just tried to get my head down and make no mistakes.  When I got into my rhythm I was able to push and still with no mistakes so I’m really happy’.  Asked about the switch from 2WD to 4WD, he said, ‘My car (4WD) is really easy to drive. I set it up to be easy instead of fast in practice’.

Posting the fourth fastest time, Honigl’s team-mate Martin Bayer described his XB4 as ‘edgy’ adding ‘sometimes it was on two wheels’.  Fresh from finishing on the podium in 2WD, he said, ‘I saw others making mistakes so I drove slow and made no mistakes’.  On his car he said while it was ‘quick in the corners’ it was ‘too difficult to drive’ and he will make changes for Q2 to make it easier.  Behind Bayer, young team-mate and Round 1 podium finisher Daniel Kobbevik would post the 5th fastest time.

Completing the Top 6, Joern Neumann described his run as ‘OK’.  The new Schumacher signing said, ‘I need to get used to 4WD again.  2WD you can push hard but in 4WD you have to be careful because you have so much steering’.  He added, ‘I was good towards the end (of the heat) so the next one should be better’.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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