Chassis: Xray XB4 ’18 Motor: Hobbywing 5.5T G3 ESC: Hobbywing Xerun XR10 Pro Batteries: Sunpadow 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Savox Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Lightweight Remarks – Xray team driver Bruno Coelho is set to start from pole for today’s A-Main with his XB8 ’18 edition. His buggy is equipped with a number of aluminium options including the new 2.5mm chassis, front double joint driveshafts and steel gear diffs. In the electronic department we also find some news, as the Portuguese is using a pre-production “G3” motor from Hobbywing due to hit the market in about one month and batteries from new sponsor Sunpadow. Bruno is also using Hiro Seiko titanium and aluminium screws and a WTF cooling fan.
Bruno Coelho has capped off what started out as a tough day in 2WD by ending Day 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany with a second TQ run in 4WD. Having taken the opening qualifier, Coelho looked to have thrown away Q2 with a costly 5-second mistake in the second minute. This allowed David Ronnefalk to go top of the timing screens but the he too would get caught out by the challenging Daun track. Top seed Michal Orlowski then took a turn as the TQ pace setter but he couldn’t complete the run without a mistake allowing a hard charging Coelho to get back to the front to finish 3/10th up on the Schumacher driver. Having failed to start Q1, Marc Rheinard would complete the Top 3, with his Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin having a tough second run and ending up P7. Retiring from Q1, Ronnefalk would stop clock with the fourth fastest time ahead of Hupo Honigl and youngster Daniel Kobbevik.
After a disastrous result in 2WD, coming into the weekend as points leader but finishing up 10th, Bruno Coelho is back in business as Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series switched to 4WD with the Xray driver taking the opening qualifier. Second fastest in seeding the reigning champion would top the times from Lee Martin and Hupo Honigl with a number of drivers hitting problems in the first of the four qualifiers. Having just secured his first EOS win earlier in the evening, Neil Cragg was on a TQ pace in the second fastest heat when he took a corner off his car. At the start of the top heat, Marc Rheinard never left the line due to a dead speedo, while David Ronnefalk suffered a thermal shut down and Michal Orlowski lost drive with a minute to go while in the mix for the TQ.
‘I’m actually surprised because I had so many small mistakes trying to get used to 4WD again after 2WD’, was Coelho’s reaction to his TQ. Top Qualifier and winner of the season opener, he continued, ‘for sure it’s a good start after how 2WD went but the car is not perfect. It is very difficult to drive and I think Orlowski is faster. We will work on it for the next one to get it better’.
Summing up his opening run to the second fastest time Martin was frank with his thoughts saying, ‘It felt like an animal. The front tyres are still shit, they are still not a stagger. The cars are super twitchy to drive and it always wants to go up on two wheels’. The Season #4 Champion continued, ‘A 2nd is good but I don’t think anyone is racing the track, they are just trying not to crash’.
Honigl was happy with his P3 saying, ‘I knew there was going to be a lot crashes so I just tried to get my head down and make no mistakes. When I got into my rhythm I was able to push and still with no mistakes so I’m really happy’. Asked about the switch from 2WD to 4WD, he said, ‘My car (4WD) is really easy to drive. I set it up to be easy instead of fast in practice’.
Posting the fourth fastest time, Honigl’s team-mate Martin Bayer described his XB4 as ‘edgy’ adding ‘sometimes it was on two wheels’. Fresh from finishing on the podium in 2WD, he said, ‘I saw others making mistakes so I drove slow and made no mistakes’. On his car he said while it was ‘quick in the corners’ it was ‘too difficult to drive’ and he will make changes for Q2 to make it easier. Behind Bayer, young team-mate and Round 1 podium finisher Daniel Kobbevik would post the 5th fastest time.
Completing the Top 6, Joern Neumann described his run as ‘OK’. The new Schumacher signing said, ‘I need to get used to 4WD again. 2WD you can push hard but in 4WD you have to be careful because you have so much steering’. He added, ‘I was good towards the end (of the heat) so the next one should be better’.
Neil Cragg finally got his first win of the Euro Offroad Series, the Team Associated driver taking the TQ and win at Round 2 in Daun, Germany. Winning the opening A-Main from reigning champion Michal Orlowski with that result reversed in A2, the pair would go into the final encounter battling for the overall win. Cragg would lead early from Orlowski but in the same spot where he gave up the lead in A2, Cragg together with Orlowski would roll delaying third placed Lee Martin and allowing Martin Bayer to go to the front. Coming under pressure from Martin before a mistake from the former Champion and then an all or nothing last lap from Orlowski, Bayer would hold on for the win denying Orlowski the overall win. Bayer’s second podium of the season, the Xray driver will leave Germany as the new championship points leader while team-mate and Round 1 winner Bruno Coelho leaves with a 10th place, a result he will be hoping is his season throw out.
‘I’m super happy, I have never been close to winning one before’, was how Cragg summed up his first EOS win, the British driver now in his third season of the EOS. He continued, ‘I have to thank Associated and CML for this (win). I was off the pace the last one but since then they have worked really hard so thanks a lot for that’. On A3 he said, ‘they were all over me at the start but I was still feeling comfortable. Michal crashed at the jump but within half a second I crashed too. Idiot. I knew Michal had to win because I had the faster time so I was hoping Lee and Martin would stay in front. A big thanks to Lee Roy and Bayer for helping with the win. I was a little lucky but you make your own luck’.
‘It was close but I made a mistake at the famous table top’, was Orlowski’s reaction after the race. The Polish driver continued, ‘I knew I had to win and did my best and almost got it. Neil deserved to win this weekend’. On his battle with Bayer for the lead, he said, ‘Bayer controlled the race well and I was hoping he would crash. I needed one more lap to pass him. Still, second is a better result than Warsaw’.
A very happy Bayer described his A3 win as ‘excellent’. The Czech driver said, ‘I was lucky they crashed but there was huge pressure to hold them behind me. I knew they both had nothing to lose. Lee needed to pass me to make the podium and so did Michal to get the win. They forced maximum and holding them behind was really difficult, I am extremely happy for this’. On hearing he now leads the championship standings, he said, ‘It sounds awesome, it’s just great. 2 races and 2 podiums, I’m really happy with this’.
Discovering his Yokomo had a broken hinge pin after A2, Lee Martin said with a new one fitted for A3 his car was ‘really good’. Getting caught up with Cragg when his fellow countryman rolled out of the lead, he said, ‘I was super unlucky when me and Neil got together which let Bayer into the lead. He drove a pretty good race and unless he made a mistake there was nowhere to pass’. Dropping behind Orlowski after a mistake on his last lap, Martin concluded, ‘It has been a very unlucky weekend so far’.