With the third round of the Euro Offroad Series switching over to 4WD, it was Bruno Coelho who set the pace in practice. The Xray driver topped the times for the two rounds of controlled practice in Daun ahead of the Schumacher of reigning champion Michal Orlowski. Next up was the Xray of the weekend’s 2WD runner-up Daniel Kobbevik with former multiple champion Joern Neumann stopping the clock with the fourth fastest time – a lap of the track so long that instead of counting the usual 3-consecutive laps only 2 being counted with the best pace 44.2. Another of the 2WD podium finishers, Joona Haatanen was 5th fastest ahead of David Ronnefalk while 2WD winner Lee Martin will carry the number 9 for qualifying.
‘All perfect so far but qualifying hasn’t started’, joked Coelho after setting the fastest time in by almost 3/10th from Orlowski. The former World Champion continued, ‘the car is working well and I am just trying to drive it without mistakes’. Asked if the track which caught out most drivers in 2WD suited the 4WD better, the Portuguese driver replied, ‘I prefer 4WD to 2WD so I feel more comfortable with 4WD but I think the track is difficult in 4WD. It is super fast and wide open so we are going a lot faster and there are a couple of spots where because of the speed it will be easy to destroy the car’.
Winner of the opening two rounds of the championship in 4WD, Orlowski said, ‘Practice went well. We played around with some stuff but made no major changes to the car. We will go back to how we ran the car in the first practice for Q1’. Top Qualifier in 2WD but ending up P4, the Pole continued, ‘I had a good rhythm in the last practice and could run clean laps so everything looks good for qualifying’.
‘It was ok in the end’, was Kobbevik’s thoughts on practice. The teenager explained, ‘the car felt ok but it was just not fast enough, we changed the shock oil and shock position and it was better’. Planning no further changes to the car for Q1, the opening two qualifiers taking place this evening, he said he was happy with his time as he was driving the practice like a qualifier and it felt safe to drive.
Three time champion Neumann summed up his practice with ‘it was ok’. The German continued, ‘In the beginning I was very fast but the others improved slightly the last one. I need to improve also’. The Schumacher driver added, ‘I don’t think 2-laps is so important because I think in 4WD there will be a lot of crashes. Given 2WD is normally a lot more clean but here there was a lot of crashes I think it’s going to be difficult in qualifying’. On making changes to his car for Q1 he said, ‘the car is good. It’s just missing 2, 3 tenths but maybe I just need to improve my lines in some spots on the track’.
Commenting on his practice, Haatanen said, ‘my car was pretty good. There was a few things wrong with the set-up in the first practice but we went to the same set-up we ran at the last race and it was good so I was just getting used to the car’. Asked if he enjoyed the track more in 4WD, the Associated driver replied, ‘ The jumps are easier and the car lands much better than my 2WD’.