Bruno Coelho extended his advantage over his rivals in the final round of practice at the Nurburgring to secure the top seeding for 4WD at the Euro Offroad Series season opener. Having set an impressive pace in CP1, topping that run from Michal Orlowski, the Xray driver would go over 2/10ths quicker extending his gap over the Schumacher driver, who didn’t improve, to over 6/10th over 3-laps. Summing up his commanding start to the weekend, the reigning champion said ‘it’s all perfect’. Behind Orlowski, Lee Martin would improve to the third quickest time ahead of Coelho’s team-mate Martin Wollanka with Marc Rheinard, another who failed to improve dropping from 3rd to 5th.
For Orlowski an early incident with a rolling car would prevent him from improving on his time. In the impact the front rollbar carrier would break leaving it redundant. Commenting on the run, the 15-year-old said, ‘I felt the car was not right but I was trying to get a better time but then I could see it was doing weird things so I pulled off and then we saw the problem. It’s a pity as the car was working really good in the warm-up’.
Changing to a different front spring Martin said his improvement came from his Yokomo landing better. The British driver added his ‘laps are ok given (he is) not pushing hard’ and ‘the important thing is the car is good for a 5-minute time’.
Having made an error in the first controlled practice resulting in him breaking a front drive shaft, Wollanka said changes to his XB4 had made it ‘better but still not perfect’. The Austrian who finished third overall in last year’s championship said he still can’t push hard as when he gets on the throttle the car is rolling too much and lifting a front wheel. For the opening qualifier which takes place tomorrow night after the completion of the 2WD finals, he said he will try a rear roll centre change.
Chassis: Xray XB4 2016 Motor: Hobbywing Xerun 5.5T ESC: Hobbywing Xerun XR 10pro Batteries: EZ Power 4600mAh Shorty Radio/Servo: Sanwa Remarks – Reigning EOS and World Champion, Bruno Coelho us running the 2016 version of the XB4 here in Germany. His car features a graphite stiffener applied on the rear chassis brace, and is also equipped with graphite arms and aluminium uprights as well as an aluminium ackermann plate. The Portuguese driver is also using steel differential gears and front ECS driveshafts.
Bruno Coelho has topped the times for the first round of 4WD controlled practice at the Euro Offroad Series season opener. Back at the Nurburgring where he made his EOS debut 12-months ago before going on to be champion, the Xray driver had almost a 4/10ths advantage over his rivals over the 3-consecutive lap times that will determine the seeding for qualifying. Closest to the winner of the last three 4WD EOS encounters would be Michal Orlowski, the Schumacher driver the only one able to match Coelho’s 18-second fastest lap pace. A sizeable gap back, Yokomo’s Marc Rheinard would complete the Top 3 followed by team-mate Lee Martin and Xray’s Martin Bayer.
While Coelho said his car was ‘going very well’, he added ‘the track is super difficult’. The World Champion is having issue with the Associated step-up step-down which he said you arrive into super fast and it leads to you breaking your rhythm. In terms of his XB4 he said it was not as fast as they were expecting in the first practice and they have been making small changes each run to improve. Adding they are ‘now getting there’ he will rebuild his diffs for the final practice adding they still need to try to get the car more consistent.
Orlowski said he knew from the first practice they had good pace but they just needed to get 3-laps. The former European Champion said they had too much rotation in the car but lowering the rear camber link by 1mm made the rear more stable. The Polish teenager said while the track is more difficult that any of the tracks on last years calendar he thinks he’s strong in terms of putting in a 5-minute run saying the biggest issue of the stacked practices heats was not crashing himself but avoiding other cars. Happy with how is car is working he plans to leave it unchanged for CP2 and instead plans to help the rest of the team with getting their cars better.
Describing his YZ4 as ‘actually pretty ok’, Rheinard said as in 2WD he was ‘still struggling with the step down landing’. The German continued, ‘the car feels ok and its all going to come down to no mistakes’ adding ‘it is better to go a little slower and try for a safe run’. In terms of changes to his car after free practice, he would change to gullwing front arms but also changing to a bigger Muchmore motor having lacked punch out of the corners he said while the car was better he wasn’t sure how much of that came from the arm change.
‘Not too bad, feels pretty easy to drive’ was Martin’s reaction when asked how his car was in CP1. The former 4WD Champion said the suspension felt strange with the front of the car bouncing up on the landings so he didn’t have the confidence to push it. As he stated during 2WD practice, he said “I’m not going for 3-laps and I think our 5-minute pace is OK’. Doing the double at last year’s season opener he added, ‘We are a little lacking compared to Bruno and Orlowski is looking pretty good too but we’ll get there’.
Having moved more into his role as Xray’s Offroad team-manager and taken more of a back seat as a leading team driver, Bayer’s reaction to his P5 time was ‘I’m having fun’. The former EOS race winner, who recently married long time partner Tereza, said a lack of time has meant that his XB4 is straight off the track from doing the Euros in Spain with only enough time to rebuild the diffs. Focused on supporting Xray drivers, the Czech driver said it was nice to still be able to put his car near the top the time sheets adding ‘myself and Hupo (Honigl) are having good fun battling each other to be faster but its starting to get serious now’. Honigl would post the seventh fastest time, Xray’s Kaja Novotny separating the two experienced racers.
Chassis: Team Associated B6 Motor: Reedy Sonic 6.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: Reedy 3900mAh Shorty Radio/Servo: KO Propo/Reedy Remarks – British ace and current 2wd European Champion Neil Cragg is starting his 16/17 EOS campaign here at the Nurburgring with the Team Associated B6. His Reedy/LRP powered buggy is equipped with a number of aluminium parts, such as the front bulkhead, steering bell cranks and rear arms mounts and he is also using steel chassis weights.
Chassis: Xray XB2 2017 Motor: LRP X20 6.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: LRP 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Austrian ace Martin Wollanka topped the sheets in 2WD controlled practice here at the Nurburgring with a pre-production 2017 version of the XB2, the car meant to be released shortly. With this latest car sporting a new 3 gear transmission, Martin is also using aluminium uprights, a brass front weight, a graphite battery strap and aluminium servo saver arms.
Martin Wollanka will be the top seed for tomorrow’s 2WD qualifying at the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series at the Nurburgring. The Xray driver would be the only driver to complete 3-consecutive laps in 58-seconds when he went fastest in the final round of practice outpacing reigning champion Lee Martin by 2/10ths. Having set the pace in the first of the two controlled practices runs, Michal Orlowski would fail to improve on his time which was still good enough for third. Making the biggest improvement of CP2, Marc Rheinard would jump from 7th in the first round to post P4 as the other three drivers who made up the Top 6 in the first practice were unable to better their times.
While Wollanka would improve his pace by 2/10ths per lap, the Austrian was quick to admit that after a diff oil change on his XB2 for the final practice while it was faster it had left it ‘not so good for 5-minutes’. Making the car ‘more aggressive’, he said it was ‘maybe too much’ adding the car was now ‘not as easy to drive’. Set to carry the No.1 in the top heat of the 137 strong 2WD entry tomorrow, last year’s podium finisher concluded, ‘I need something in between these two (diff set-ups)’.
Improving his pace by 2/10ths over the 3-laps, Martin was pleased with his pace feeling he has a good car for the 5-minutes. The British driver, who kicked off his successful title defence here last year with victory, said, ‘I started out the run as a 5-minute qualifier but started to push at the end which caused a few mistakes. My three laps were when I wasn’t trying anything crazy for quick laps so I think we are looking good for qualifying’.
While Orlowski would be half a second off his opening CP pace, the Schumacher driver said ‘the car felt better but I just didn’t get three laps’. Able to match his fastest lap time of CP1, the Polish teenager added, ‘I think the 5-minute pace is there’. Changing to a lighter diff oil for CP2, he said this made the car slightly slower in the corners and with his engineer Tristram Neal using CP2 to run 10K oil in the diff of his own car, Orlowski will on his advice do the same for Q1.
‘Not too bad’ was how Rheinard summed up practice. The Yokomo driver said the big thing for him is he is ‘still trying to learn the track a bit’. Pleased with how his YZ-2CA is working, the multiple onroad World Champion is having trouble with his timing on the jumps and needs to improve his landings. He is also having problems at the Team Associated step-up step-down, saying ‘I’m still shit there’. The German said he keeps dropping the noise of the car on the step down instead of using the power to launch the car off it.
Trying a front shock oil/spring change for CP2 but fitting a new set of the Schumacher hand out tyres, Neil Cragg said his B6 was ‘not quite there’. The former World Champion who dropped to P5 after being unable to better his opening time admitted he also ‘didn’t drive very good’. While his fastest lap was good he said there was ‘just not enough of them’ and for qualifying they need to ‘go in between the two set-ups for the first one’. Behind Cragg, Xray’s Hupo Honigl would drop to sixth followed by Joona Haatanen with an improvement from Bruno Coelho leaving the 4WD Champion P8 and in the top heat along with Christopher Krapp and Nico Risser.
Chassis: Serpent Prototype Motor: Orion VST2 Pro 5.0T ESC: Orion Vortex R10.1 Pro Batteries: Orion 3800mAh Xs Radio/Servo: Sanwa/K-Power Remarks – Former EOS Champion Joern Neumann is running a prototype buggy here at the Nurburgring. With a new Serpent 4WD designed in cooperation between Gerd Strenge and Michael Salven coming soon, Jorn is using that same car, which features a shaft driven transmission, but with a different, prototype 2WD front end.