Bruno Coelho has won 4WD at the fourth round of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia. Having concluded the first half of the season last month in Daun with the first win of his campaign, the Xray driver today opened the second half of the season with victory when he wrapped things up in A2. Similar to A1, Coelho’s only challenger would be Michal Orlowski but this time the Schumacher driver came undone on his own when he got it wrong at the table top on lap 3. Dropping down the order, he would eventually pull off as team-mate Joern Neumann took advantage of other’s mistakes to finish second, 6-seconds down on Coelho. With the prospect of a repeat of the double win he took at the Hudy Arena last year gone, Michal would manage to win A3 which would with his P4 from A1 at least see the reigning champion make the podium in 3rd place. Having to defend greatly finishing A3 in second just ahead of Joona Haatanen and Jörn Neumann, it would be Martin Bayer who would claim the second step on the podium for an Xray 1-2. Neumann ended the event in 4th position ahead of Haatanen and with Lee Martin completing the Top 6.
Reacting to his A2 win, Coelho said, ‘I had a fight with Orlowski for the first two laps but then he made a mistake at the table top and that gave me space to breath and I pulled away slowly’. His 10th EOS 4WD career win, moving him to within 1 win off the championship’s most winning driver Neumann, the Season #6 champion was happy with his full points all from today but aired caution about the rest of the championship in terms of battling for the title. ‘We got the win today but time has started to work hard for the next EOS because it is on astro. I have not practiced on astro since the last EOS race last season’. He continued, ‘I really have little experience of it and last year we struggled so we have a lot to do and need to work on finding a set-up for astro. The season is still open’. With just a single round on Astro last year at Arena 33 in Germany, host of the next round, this proved tough for Coelho. While he qualified 3rd he came away with 10th in the final. This year the extended 6 round championship included a trip to ERT Steyregg in Austria for the season finale with this also an astro surface track.
‘A defending race’, was Bayer’s reaction after the closing final. Missing out on the podium last year having started his home race from the TQ, the Xray designer said, ‘I felt I was not driving like I should but I was defending my starting place and got 2nd overall which is a good result for the the team so I am happy for this’.
Summing up his finals Orlowski said, ‘At least I made the podium. Bruno deserved to win this weekend’. Last year’s double winner in Xray’s backyard, the Pole continued, ‘the car felt great at the start of 4WD but after Q3 I wasn’t feeling good with it’. He explained, ‘In A2 I had the same issue as in Q3. I’m not sure if it was the car or me but nothing felt good for me and I made a lot of mistakes. We always knew it was going to be hard to beat Xray at their test track but we are still alive in both Championships and the next round is astro turf which I feel very confident racing on. Last year Xray struggled. I’m sure they will prepare more this time but I still think we will have a small advantage’.
In the Mod Stadium truck class, Neumann would take both the TQ and win ahead of EOS Daun winner Max Götzl with Joona Haatanen completing the podium. In the new for Season #8 4WD 10.5 class, the win went to Tim Kunz ahead of Jan Zalewski and 2WD 13.5 class winner Pawel Ntkovca.