Bruno Coelho is the new Euro Offroad Series 4WD Champion. The championship rookie guaranteed himself the title by securing the bonus TQ championship point this morning at the Nurburgring. The qualifying outcome and more importantly denying Lee Martin the overall TQ means that irrespective of the outcome of this evening’s A-Main at the season finale the title will be going to the World Champion. The same venue Coelho made his EOS debut last September, this championship marks the first EOS title for his Xray team who become only the third manufacturer to win the high profile 1:10 Offroad championship.
Not entirely believing the calculations that the TQ is enough to give him the title, Coelho is focused on converting his TQ into a third win of the season. Commenting on the final qualifier which he took ahead of team-mate Martin Wollanka, he said ‘it was pretty easy. I just tried to drive careful and made made no mistakes. I could see that Lee (Martin) was forcing maximum and the pressure was all on him’. Pleased to be starting from pole for a third consecutive time this season, the 22-year-old said ‘the finals are a different story but I will try to drive without mistakes’.
Trying to repeat the double he achieved last season, getting the 2WD title wrapped up at Round 3, Martin said, ‘I knew I needed to TQ but we didn’t make it’. Summing up his 4WD qualifying, the British ace said, ‘I just didn’t really get into it’. He added, ‘the rear of the car was strange, it is not liking the jumps’. With the pressure of an outside chance at the title now lifted, he said ‘now we can just try and win the race’.
Wollanka, who almost missed the start of the final qualifier, said ‘its always the same I am missing something to get the TQ position’. Qualifying for every race this season inside the Top 3, the Austrian, who was second at the opening two rounds, said ‘for sure I want to win but it will be difficult’. Able to match his team-mate on outright pace, he added ‘we will just see what happens but its easy to make mistakes’.
Securing his best 4WD grid position of the season with fourth, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski would have a strong final qualifier getting a P3. The 14-year-old said they discovered the cambers were wrong on the car for Q3 following another set-up change made and with the cambers corrected for the final qualifier it was ‘now competitive’. ‘Very happy’ that they have ‘improved the car a lot’, looking to the final the Polish driver said ‘I hope there are some crashes like 2WD and that I can get lucky but we have really good pace now so we can race the others’.
Completing the top half of the grid, Yannic Prumper said he messed up his final qualifier with ‘a big mistake’. Running on new tyres, the VBC team driver said this made his Xray XB4 edgy at the beginning but after 2-minutes it got better. Asked about the finals, the German touring car ace replied, ‘lets see, everything is possible’.
Lining up 6th on the grid, former 3-time 4WD Champion Joern Neumann feels he should be ok for the final. Coming off the back of an encouraging performance in 2WD yesterday when he qualified 7th but ended up 4th being a race winning contender going into A3, he is ‘confident’ of good 4WD result. Running Serpent’s new shaft drive car fitted with a number of prototype parts, he felt in the final qualifier his car could have done with more mid corner steering and he will go with a harder front shock set-up for A1.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-4 Motor: RC Concept 5.0T ESC: RC Concept SC120 Batteries: RC Concept Omega 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Defending champion and a title contender going into the last round here in Germany, Lee Martin is running a version of the YZ-4 that features front double joint driveshafts and new aluminium uprights. His car is also equipped with long graphite suspension arms and an optional aluminium steering system.
It is advantage Bruno Coelho with three of the four rounds of qualifying complete at the Nurburgring. The Xray driver moved a step closer to the EOS 4WD title when he topped the penultimate qualifier ahead of team-mate Martin Wollanka. For title rival Lee Martin, the qualifier would see the Yokomo driver pull off at the 3-minute mark after a number of crashes caused by a lack of feeling from his car. Team-mate Marc Rheinard would also pull off early after a huge roll at the end of the straight ended any chance of a good time. Yannic Prumper would complete an all Xray Top 3 with Joern Neumann’s Serpent fourth ahead of the Schumacher of Michal Orlowski and Associated of Norway’s Joakim Nicolaisen.
With Bruno Coelho taking the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series title decider last night, this morning his only title rival Lee Martin made it one a piece. Lucky to even make the run, a servo change required before the start, Martin would take his Yokomo to the top of the times ahead of Martin Wollanka’s Xray after a late mistake dropped Coelho off the top spot. Coming into the Nurburgring event as points leader, Coelho would complete the Top 3 ahead of Japanese driver Kaito Kodera.
‘Happy to get that run out of that situation’, was how Martin summed up Q2. Suffering a servo failure just as the cars went to track, quick work from Yokomo designer Shin Adachi saw a replacement fitted but ‘a lot slower servo’, Martin said it ‘felt strange’ to drive and with only 1/4 of a lap warm-up as he drove out to the grid it took the first part of the qualifier to adjust to it. Having felt he didn’t warm his diffs enough before the opening qualifier last night, he said he also had to deal with the diffs having had no warm-up time ahead of the second encounter.
Runner-up at the season opener at the Nurburgring last September, Wollanka described his P2 as a ‘good result’. Describing his XB4 as ‘very good’, the Austrian felt he could have driven it better. With only his team-mate Coelho posting a faster lap, he said ‘my lines are not always correct’, feeling that if he can tidy this up there is better to come, with the deficit to Martin in Q2 1.7-seconds.
Topping Q1 ahead of Martin, Coelho would throw away the second qualifier with ‘a stupid mistake’. The Portuguese driver who knocked 2/10th off his fastest lap of Q1, would lose almost 5-seconds when he made a ‘bad landing’ 3-laps from the finish. Able to wrap up the title if he can take the overall TQ, the World Champion said ‘the car is working very well, I just need to keep out the mistakes’.
Having made no changes to his YZ-4 since the first practice, Kodera said the car has been really good and his focus has been on working on his driving. Running the second fastest heat and only 11th in Q1, the 15-year-old said his second qualifier was ‘pretty good’ although the run did contain one rollover that cost him 2-seconds. Putting the improvement down to his driving he plans to continue without making changes to his set-up.
‘A good clean run’ was how Yannic Prumper described his run to P5. The VBC team driver who is running an Xray this weekend as his manufacturer works on creating a 4WD platform, said a rear toe change had reduced understeer. Having only driven the car for the first time in Friday’s practice, he plans to leave it unchanged for the penultimate qualifier saying ‘the car is good’.
Completing the Top 6, Hupo Honigl said ‘I wasn’t really fast but I had no mistakes’. With the competition ‘pretty tight’ the Austrian hopes that his second P6 run would be enough for a spot in this evening’s A-Main. With his XB4 having ‘a lot of steering’, the former European Champion said ‘it is hard to drive’ and for the next one he will ‘try to calm it down so (he) can push harder’.
Having set the pace in practice, Marc Rheinard was able to improve somewhat on his poor opening qualifier with a P7. The Yokomo driver was only 11th in Q1 and discovered afterwards a rear shock spring was jammed, which made the car difficult but a last lap mistake didn’t help either. With a better car for Q2, the former European Champion said the problem this morning was ‘the driver failed’.
Bruno Coelho got his quest for a maiden Euro Offroad Series title off to the perfect start by TQ’ing opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Nurburgring. The Xray driver , who can wrap up the title with the overall TQ in Germany, was fastest from his only remaining title rival Lee Martin who was 1.1 seconds off. Following a full day of 2WD action, the first of the four 4WD qualifiers brought cold conditions with Michal Orlowski taking his Schumacher to third. Having just achieved his best 2WD finish of the season with 4th, Serpent’s Joern Neumann would open 4WD qualifying in the same position. Behind the former Champion Martin Wollanka and Hupo Hönigl completed the Top 6. Having set the pace in practice yesterday, Marc Rheinard’s would only manage the 13th fastest time with the Yokomo driver hoping tomorrow brings better form after enduring a disappointing 2WD qualifying and finishing 10th.
Ryan Cavalieri has claimed a debut victory for Team Associated’s new B6 on its competition debut as he took victory at the season finale of the Euro Offroad Series at the Nurburgring. A race that was wide open going into the third A-Main, Cavalieri would take his first EOS victory with a late second place behind back to back champion Lee Martin, the final winner having to be decided by the fastest race winning time which Cavalieri would have from his A2 win. With Martin having to settle for second, the podium in Germany would be completed by young star of the future Joona Haatanen who before a clash with his team-mate Cavalieri would have taken the overall win. For Top Qualifier Neil Cragg, things didn’t improve after the disaster that was A1 and 8th in A3, that is where he would finish up overall on a weekend that started out so well for the Team Associated driver.
Becoming the first American driver to claim a buggy win in the EOS, Cavalieri said, ‘The new car was good and consistent all the time and the only problems were a few errors on (his) part’. ‘Happy to get the win’ on the car’s maiden event, the former World Champion said the ‘first race was a bad incident and I was upset with myself for what happened’. Having ‘bounced back in A2’, which he won from Martin, the Californian driver said in A3 he got ‘super lucky’ when team-mate Cragg had an mistake on the opening lap before going to the front when Haatanen got the landing on the left side double wrong. With his ‘car ‘clearly good’ he said it was all going good until a mistake ‘with a couple of laps to go’ which would hand Martin the lead and for a moment allow Haatanen through to second. Commenting on the incident with Haatanen which drew some booing from onlookers, Cavalieri said ‘after my mistake the marshal was going to get my car but I managed to get back on track but then the marshal was blocking my view and I didn’t see what happened.
Having been listed for a time as the winner, the computer using the incorrect race time to determine the tie breaker, Martin said he was still pleased with second overall adding ‘4th to 2nd is good’. Second in the opening two finals, the Yokomo driver described the start in A3 as something unpublishable and that it was this that cost him the overall win as he lost around 2 seconds which would have given him the faster winning time. While losing out today to the new B6, the World Championship podium finisher said the arrival of the car forced them to push harder and look for an extra 1/10th they didn’t know they needed before because the car was slightly faster. Wishing to point out that there can only be one original he went on to highlight the new B6 is based the design concept of the YZ-2. With it not until A2 until ‘that (they) got it right’, he continued ‘it is good for the future and particularly the opening round of next season’s EOS’ when his quest for 3 titles in a row begins.
A driver who continues his impressive rise up the sport marking himself out this weekend as a future champion, Haatanen was understandably upset to lose out on his first international success when it was within his grasp. Only 12-years-old the Finn was unable to talk as he came to terms with A3 but the experience is sure to help with the development of this ultra cool operator who all weekend upheld Finland’s motorsport champions tradition of keeping any race comment short and to the point.
Achieving his best finish of the season with 4th, former champion Joern Neumann said ‘I knew I needed to win to get on the podium so I went for it’. Admitting to be surprised by Cavalieri’ mistake saying he ‘normally makes no mistakes’ he said he pushed hard to catch Martin but ended up flipping and the challenge was over. The German who has had struggled over the last season and a half continued, ‘it’s not a problem, at least the speed is there now and with some fine tuning we can fight for wins again next season’.
Summing up his weekend, Cragg said ‘qualifying was good, racing not so good’. On the finals he continued, ‘they started out bad and just got worse’. Still in with the chance of a podium finish going into A3, he said after his steering problems that forced him to retire from A2 he fitted a new servo but the car ‘just didn’t feel right’ and he ‘knew from the start he was up against it’. Only his second EOS outing and his first weekend with the new B6, the British driver said ‘I’m really happy with the car and the TQ & win is a good start for the car’ adding ‘I’m looking to the new season of EOS’.