Michal Orlowski is the 4WD Top Qualifier for the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series at the Nurburgring. The Schumacher driver claimed only his second ever 4WD TQ when he topped qualifying for the third time in Germany this morning despite it been a rough 5-minutes by the Pole. With a fastest lap that was 3/10th faster than his closest rival, the reigning champion lost 6-seconds with two significant errors but still had enough in hand to top the times from fellow teenagers Daniel Kobbevik and Joona Haatanen. Behind them Martin Bayer would enjoy his best run so far collecting a P4 for his efforts but for team-mate Bruno Coelho the promising P2 he produced in Q2 last night came to little as he retired after losing a wheel, the same issue hampering him also in Q1. Running in the second fastest heat Kája Novotný posted the fifth fastest time with the Sworkz of Micha Widmaier completing the Top 6 ahead of Lee Martin.
‘It wasn’t a good run. All of us were having bobbles and made mistakes’, was Orlowski’s reaction to his Q3 performance adding, ‘My time was 6-seconds slower than my Q2 (TQ) time and I even had a mistake on that run’. He continued, ‘That was my 3rd run on the same tyres and while the car is going good so far we might use the last heat to do some changes as we have some ideas to improve the car’. Asked about starting from the TQ, he replied, ‘we’ve been there before last season and it didn’t start out a good race. We will concentrate on trying to get the full championship points from the race’. Claiming his debut TQ in 4WD last season in Austria at the end of the finals he only came away with a 4th place.
Kobbevik said, ‘it was a good run overall. I was a decent clean run until I had a big mistake at the last minute’. The 13-year-old continued, ‘I’m looking good for the front of the grid. I think already I am safe for the Top 3’. On his car, the Xray driver said, ‘it is pretty good to drive and it is fast so I will make no changes, just put on new tyres for the next one’.
Winner of 2WD, Haatanen said, ‘at the beginning my own mistakes caused a couple of crashes but I still got 3rd out of it. I was stupid because without the mistakes it could have been a TQ’. The 15-year-old Team Associated driver added, ‘the car feels like so much steering at the start but by the end it gets comfortable and feels easy to drive. I need to be more calm at the beginning of the next one’. Asked if he planned to change his car for the final qualifier he replied, ‘I will keep it the same and just get more comfortable with it for the finals’.
Bayer described the penultimate qualifier as ‘a good run with no mistakes’ adding ‘I surprised myself I didn’t crash’. The Xray team manager continued, ‘My car is very easy to drive and I am able to drive with no mistakes. I just had two bobbles’. Holding fifth on the grid going into the final qualifier he concluded, ‘I have secured the A-Main so I’m happy’.