Michal Orlowski is clearly looking on target for another double this weekend at the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series, the Schumacher driver capping off his 2WD winning day with a TQ run in the opening 4WD qualifying. Top Seed for qualifying, he would top the first of the four qualifiers ahead of Bruno Coelho, the Xray driver having a costly mistake 5-laps into the heat. Behind, Daniel Kobbevik completed the Top 3 ahead of Joern Neumann and the weekend’s 2WD Top Qualifier Neil Cragg.
Laying down the fastest lap on his run, Orlowski said, ‘I had a rough start. My first 1 or 2 laps were not the best but once I concentrated a bit more it was good’. He continued, ‘I’m very happy with the car. It was the same as we ran it in practice and I am having fun out there with it’. Asked about his 21-second lap late in the run he replied, ‘when I heard I’d done a 19.2 lap I got a bit too excited and landed side ways after the triple and rolled which cost me about 2-seconds’.
‘It was an OK round but I flipped one time which cost me 2 or 3-seconds, I had to be marshalled’, was how Coelho described the first 4WD qualifier. The reigning champion said, ‘everything is super tight but Orlowski is super fast and it will be difficult for sure to beat him. We need to work on our car for tomorrow to try and catch him’.
Team-mate Kobbevik said it was ‘a good first round’ but added his car was ‘a bit difficult to drive’. Putting the more difficult car compared to practice down to new tyres and the later timing of the run making for a colder track, the EOS Poland podium finisher said he just ‘tried to stay clean’ and while the run contained ‘a few small mistakes but nothing major’. Looking to Q2, he said, ‘I think I will leave the car the same’.
‘It was a good run only I crashed twice’, said Neumann after Q1. The multiple former champion continued, ‘and still I got 4th place which shows the car has very good speed’. Planning to run his Schumacher unchanged for the morning, he said his car has so much traction on new tyres and because of his aggressive driving style he is not getting the best out of it were as Orlowski’s smoother driving style allow him to get 100% from new tyres. He plans to look a a possible change to the set-up for the next run on new tyres but he is confident of a good Q2 on used tyres saying ‘I will try to make another good run and secure a good starting position for the final then maybe we can do changes in Q3 & 4 to test’.
Summing up his somewhat surprise 5th, Cragg said, ‘It was a pretty decent run, thats all I can say about it really’. The Associated driver went on to say, ‘5th in the round was about the best I could have done because I feel years behind the others. I felt all of my 34-years in that run. We have improved the car a little bit again so we are getting there. Making the A-Main would be good result to leave with’.