Michal Orlowski has taken the overall 4WD victory at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany. The Schumacher driver claimed only his second ever 4WD win when he once again took advantage of a mistake from Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho in the second of the A-Main encounters. Taking the win from Coelho in A1 following a late mistake from the reigning champion, this time the mistake came on the opening lap allowing Orlowski to lead at the end of the first lap, a lead he wouldn’t relinquish despite Coelho’s best efforts. Posting the fastest lap of the race by 3/10th over Orlowski’s best, three more errors from Coelho prevented him from catching his rival. With the large track at the new venue seeing no one manufacturer having a distinct advantage, like the result in 2WD, the podium was made up of drivers representing all different manufacturers with Yokomo’s Lee Martin filling the final step in Daun.
‘No words’, was Orlowski’s reaction to what is his fifth EOS win, three of which the reigning 2WD Champion took in 2WD. He continued, ‘I was fast all weekend but qualifying didn’t start like I wanted and I was worried I might not even make the A-Main. I got my confidence this morning (final two qualifiers) and my strategy for the final was to just stay behind Bruno. I remembered from Warsaw (last season) that he can make mistakes’. Orlowski’s maiden 4WD win came at his home race in 2016 when he also started behind Coelho who had taken the TQ but made mistakes in the finals. Running a prototype CAT, the 16-year-old said, ‘using 3D printed parts with the big jumps here was risky but the car worked all weekend. I am so happy to show the car works and to win after 2WD being so close is great. It was almost a double, maybe next time’.
Finally managing a win in A3, Coelho summed up his 4WD performance, ‘the track was quite difficult this weekend and we struggled a little with the car. Yes I made many mistakes but these came from how the car was. All the time I was forcing to be on the top and pushing led to mistakes that cost me many seconds on the track. Orlowski was one step higher than both me and Lee (Martin) here. Our car was not on point this weekend and we need to work harder for the next one’. Retaining his lead in the championship standings, on his A3 performance, having lost the lead in A1 and A2 through mistakes, he said, ‘it was a good final. I made no mistakes. Lee forced a little but I was able to pull away’.
‘That was the most fun race I had all weekend’, said Martin on finishing 2nd in A3 to secure his first podium of the season. The former Champion continued, ‘I was just starting to catch Bruno a little and then messed up in the triple. I took too long to get going at the start so that let him get away and he drove well out front but I’m still happy because I think we now have a good set-up for the next round’. Summing up the weekend, he said, ‘Obviously I want to win but I’m happy get back onto the podium having missed it at the last round. The car is still new and it only the 4th time to race it on carpet so we are learning all the time’. Behind Martin and also having his best race in A3, David Ronnefalk would finish 4th ahead of Hupo Honigl and Joern Nuemann.
Chassis: Team Yokomo YZ-4 SF Motor: Scorpion 4.5T ESC: Scorpion Vanguard Batteries: Scorpion Prototype Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Standard Remarks – British ace Lee Martin is running the Japanese company’s YZ-4 SF with a small number of option parts, such as aluminium bell cranks, titanium turnbuckles and titanium screws. In terms of electrics, his Vanguard speedo is equipped with an aluminium fan. Lee is also using a prototype Scorpion battery, LMR battery post and LMR 27 wing.
Michal Orlowski has won the opening A-Main of 4WD at Euro Offroad Series in Daun. Starting from second on the grid the Schumacher driver went to the front following a mistake from Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho in the final 2-minutes of the race. Holding a comfortable 1-second advantage over Orlowski, entering the wall section Coelho’s Xray would get stuck in the corner allowing the Schumacher driver to go through and come out with a 1-second advantage. Coelho would try to chase down the Pole but made a number of mistakes in the process allowing Orlowski to cross the finish line 1.5-second clear. In a distant third Lee Martin would complete the Top 3, team-mate Marc Rheinard, who started ahead of him, dropping down the order after an error on the opening lap eventually finishing 10th.
Summing up A1 Orlowski said, ‘It started not so good as I had a couple of mistakes at the beginning but we still had a big gap on third. I was 1-second behind trying to keep up with Bruno and then he made a mistake at the end of the straight. I tried to keep the gap to him but he made a few mistakes so in the last few laps I could take it easy and get to the finish’. Having planned to be patient behind Coelho going into A1, asked about A2 Orlowski said, ‘I will do the same strategy and do my best and see what happens’.
Coelho said, ‘It started really good but then I touched the barrier and let Orlowski go by. Having just laid down the fastest lap of the race the lap prior to his mistake he said, ‘I pushed really hard but wasn’t able to catch Orlowski. For the next one I will try to put in a clean race’.
‘A solitary, lonely 3rd place’, was how Martin summed up his race. Finishing over 4.6-second off the winner, the Yokomo driver continued, ‘I was faster than guys behind me a little bit and slower than the guys ahead a little bit. I need to find more speed’. Asked what changes he planned for this the former Champion replied, ‘I will tweak something but haven’t decided what yet’.
Bruno Coelho is Top Qualifier for the second round of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Xray driver return to his dominant 4WD form after a difficult 2WD race at the new Sporthotel & Resort Grafenwald venue. Winner of the season from the TQ, the reigning champion clinched his 12th EOS career TQ when he made it three from three in the third round of qualifying with Michal Orlowski once again his closest rival. Topping the fourth & final qualifier, Orlowski will start second with Marc Rheinard making it three different manufacturers at the front of the grid ahead of his Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin with Hupo Honigl completing the top half of the grid.
Commenting on the Q3 run than put the TQ beyond the reach of his rivals, Coelho said, ‘I was able to make no mistakes that time, the only trouble I had was contact with other drivers’. Finishing only 10th in 2WD having dominated the season opener in Poland, he continued, ‘Its not easy here because the car is not perfect like the last races so we are still working to improve the car’. Popping a camber link off his XB4 in Q4, he added, ‘this track is about no mistakes so I will just try to start clean. Orlowski is going to make a lot of pressure in the final so it will be a difficult race for sure. Until now though things are going much better than in 2WD but I don’t know how it will finish’.
Again missing out on the TQ as he did in 2WD to Neil Cragg, on his Q4 run Orlowski said, ‘It started off good. I was new tyres and had a big mistake at the hairpin but got marshalled pretty quick. I pushed to get back to the front and when Bruno broke I just kept doing my laps’. On the finals, the Polish teenager said, ‘I am going to use the same car, the same set-up. I will try to make no mistakes and be patient behind Bruno and I hope for the best. I know I am quick’.
Taking a somewhat surprise 3rd on the grid thanks to a second in the final qualifier, Rheinard said, ‘All my qualifiers were good. I was on new tyres for the last one so it was twitchy. I had some bad laps at the beginning but towards the end I was pretty quick’. Asked his thoughts on the track, the 4 time Onroad World Champion back here in the same venue for next weekend’s Euro Touring Series second round, he said, ‘It challenging but it has some nice jump combinations. The one after the wall is tough.’ On the finals the German said, ‘everyone is doing mistakes so its going to be interesting finals, hectic for sure’.
Demoted to 4th by Rheinard after a tough final qualifier, Martin said, ‘I just crashed too much’. The former champion continued, ‘the finals are going to be just mayhem’. The Brit said ‘I’m feeling groggy today’, concluding, ‘I’m just going to drive around and see how it goes’.