Having won 2WD earlier in the day at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, Michal Orlowski is the top seed for 4WD qualifying after he topped the two rounds of timed practice. Having had some issues in free practice, with him only totalling 11-laps, the Schumacher driver would top both timed runs with almost identical times for his fastest 2-consecutive laps, the final practice slightly quicker by 0.018 of a second. Behind, it was Martin Bayer who was closest to Orlowski improving from 5th fastest to 2nd overall between practice. The Top 3 would be completed by Marc Rheinard ahead of Jörn Neumann and Round 1 podium finisher Daniel Kobbevik as Rheinard’s Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin could only manage the 9th quickest time.
Summing up practice Orlowski said, ‘we had some problems in the first practice. Screws coming loose and parts coming out’. The ETS Daun winner continued, ‘we are not there yet with the car set-up but in the last practice I was able to drive more consistent’. Asked what needed improving in the car’s set-up he replied, ‘we need to more stability in the corner. I looks like it is going to roll over’.
‘I finally had a better run than before’ was Bayer’s reaction to his P2 pace in the final practice. Winner of the race last season, the Xray driver added, ‘It is a struggle with the front tyres and what is the best way to cut the pins. There are hundreds of options. One will be good at the start and not good at the end (of the run) but for the last practice I found a good one. Now we have the tyre cut the way I like we can start working on the car set-up’.
Having struggled in 2WD, finishing 9th overall, Rheinard said, ‘I was more comfortable with my 4WD already from the first practice’. The German continued, ‘my pace is not bad but the car is still hard to drive with no mistake but for everyone it is the same problem’. Asked about changes he made over the four practice runs he said, ‘the set-up is pretty much the same as we had in Daun and we haven’t really had to make any changes. For qualifying I will try to keep the car on the track and make some good runs’.
‘It’s going well, fourth is pretty good’, was how Neumann summed up practice. The Schumacher driver continued, ‘of course 5-minute will be different but the car has the speed and it’s down to the driver now’. Drivers will run two of the four scheduled qualifiers this evening.