Lee Martin has topped the second round of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series season opener at the Nurburgring. After a close 2nd behind Michal Orlowski in Q1, the Yokomo driver got the better of the reigning champion the second time round becoming the first driver to do 19-laps of the short tight track. Behind, Vice-Champion Neil Cragg improved on his opening attempt to set the third fastest time in front of the Xray’s of Daniel Kobbevik and Bruno Coelho with Jörn Neumann completing the Top 6.
‘That was better’ was Martin’s reaction to his TQ run. The EOS’ second most successful 2WD racer with 5 wins & 5 TQs to his credit, he continued, ‘Me and Michal are pretty close. We both made a small mistake on the same lap. It was a car race’. Having reported his shocks pressurised in Q1, he said, ‘my car felt much better this time. We just redone the shocks but we also found the front bulkhead was cracked and it was effecting things so we changed it. The car feels both consistent and fast’.
Orlowski said, ‘I started out quite fast because I was on second run tyres but then I had an error on the double and rolled over and lost 1-second’. Winner of three races on the way to his title last season, he continued, ‘After this I was on the back foot and Lee had closed on me. In traffic the gap went up and down but on the last lap I knew I had to push hard but made a mistake in the middle of the track. 2nd is still good and I now have a tyre gain so I’m happy to take it’.
Describing his P3 run, Cragg said, ‘It was a steady run. No heroics’. Coming away with a P6 for Q1, on that the Team Associated driver said, ‘the first one was terrible. Everyone had a terrible first one. It’s tough out there. The track is too small for 11 cars’. A driver who made the break through onto the EOS’ winners roll of honour last season, on his car’s performance he said, ‘we still need to find a couple of tenths. It is not as supple as last year. It’s fast but no good enough to win at the moment and we are here to win. He concluded, ‘I might as well get this excuse out there now while I’m at it but this is also my first time back on carpet for a few months’.
A podium finisher last season, Kobbevik was pleased with his fourth for the round especially after a tough start to qualifying. The Norwegian said, ‘I had a big mistake on the first lap in Q1 and the rear spring cup came off. This time I had just a few small mistakes and otherwise it was a smooth run. This run I was surprised I had no traffic’. On his Xray XB2C, he said, ‘the car was pretty good after first practice so we have done nothing to it.’
Having crashed out in Q1 thus having to start at the back of the 11 car field, Coelho said, ‘I had a bad start with traffic’. The newly crowned Touring Car World Champion added, ‘The track is very small and it is easy to make a mistake. There were two guys ahead of me and they both made mistakes which cost me more time. I had one mistake at the end myself but the rest of the race the issue was traffic.’