Bruno Coelho is the 4WD Top Qualifier at the fourth round of the Euro Offroad Series. The Portuguese driver secured a home pole position for Xray when he topped the final round of qualifying in Slovakia from team-mate Daniel Kobbevik and Lee Martin. Having not had the best of starts to qualifying with the first two rounds going to Michal Orlowski, Coelho admitted himself that Q4 had gone better than expected as his time gave him the tie break over Orlowski who will start P2. Behind the duo, whose pace is one level above the rest of the field here at Hudy Arena, last year’s Top Qualifier Martin Bayer will start third ahead of Kobbevik, Martin and Joern Neumann.
Reacting to his Q4 time, which was 1.9-seconds quickest than Orlowski’s best time set in Q2, Coelho said, ‘That was better than expected given I was on new tyres. As I explained before our car is aggressive on new tyres so I started off very slow and even still I was on two wheels 2 or 3 times. Michal was making a few mistakes in front so I was catching him and then the car started to get better and better. At the end everything went perfect and we managed the TQ’. Looking to the finals, the EOS Daun winner said, ‘Orlowski is strong and is going to force a lot. Our pace is similar so I will try to defend my position’.
Commenting on this final qualifier, Orlowski, who won here last year from second on the grid, said, ‘After Q3 we found a small problem on the car with the shock which was probably caused by a crash I had in the warm-up. With that fixed I went with new tyres. The car didn’t feel as good as yesterday so we will refresh everything for the finals’. Looking to those finals he continued, ‘I will try to keep up with Bruno and put pressure on him and see how it goes. We are a little quicker than the rest so we should be able to break away which will make it easier to fight for the win’.
Bayer was pleased to be quickest behind Coelho and Orlowski and is confident he can fight to join them on the podium. On Q4 he said, ‘I was breaking in my tyres for the final because for me new tyres are very aggressive’. A former double winner at his team’s home track, the Czech continued, ‘I feel I have good pace in the second group and I can fight for 3rd. I have the best starting position for that, it will be a good fight’.
Having enjoyed a podium double at the previous EOS encounter in Germany last month, Kobbevik was happy to secure fourth with a strong P2 finish to qualifying. The Norwegian teenager explained, ‘we made the car more the same as Bruno’s set-up and it was good. Before it was super easy to drive but not fast’. He concluded, ‘I have a good car for the final and I will try to stay clean as usual’.