Having had a fraught 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series season opener at the Nurburgring, former Champion Bruno Coelho came good in the final round to post a TQ run and secure 2nd on the grid behind Top Qualifier Michal Orlowski. While Orlowski wrapped up pole position in the penultimate round, the fourth & final qualifier was crucial for Coelho who needed a good result just to make the A-Main after wheel issues in Q1 & 3. The second most successful 4WD winner of the EOS behind Joern Neumann, he delivered the perfect run with the fastest TQ of the weekend ahead of Orlowski, Daniel Kobbevik and Joona Haatanen. The result means he demotes team-mate Kobbevik and the Associated of Haatanen one spot on the grid and is right back in contention for career win no. 9. Despite retiring from both of this morning’s qualifiers, Joern Neumann completes the top half of the grid ahead of Martin Bayer and Lee Martin.
‘It was a good clean round without a big mistake. I just had a small touch with the board but the main thing was I was able to finish with 4-wheels’, was how Coelho summed up his TQ run. The newly crowned Touring Car World Champion continued, ‘the car feels good but it is not 100% there. Orlowski is very strong. I am struggling a little bit at the table but that’s his best bit of the track there. The track is very small and easy to make mistakes so I will try to bring it home’. Asked about his wheel issue, he said, ‘for that one we put the front left wheel on with thread lock and it stayed on so that seems to be a solution for this EOS. I hope for the next one they find a solution to the problem. They say the mould is the same but I think the plastic is softer and that’s why we and the other teams have had problems. It looks worse for Xray but that is because we have the most drivers using our car’.
Michal Orlowski is the 4WD Top Qualifier for the opening round of the Euro Offroad Series at the Nurburgring. The Schumacher driver claimed only his second ever 4WD TQ when he topped qualifying for the third time in Germany this morning despite it been a rough 5-minutes by the Pole. With a fastest lap that was 3/10th faster than his closest rival, the reigning champion lost 6-seconds with two significant errors but still had enough in hand to top the times from fellow teenagers Daniel Kobbevik and Joona Haatanen. Behind them Martin Bayer would enjoy his best run so far collecting a P4 for his efforts but for team-mate Bruno Coelho the promising P2 he produced in Q2 last night came to little as he retired after losing a wheel, the same issue hampering him also in Q1. Running in the second fastest heat Kája Novotný posted the fifth fastest time with the Sworkz of Micha Widmaier completing the Top 6 ahead of Lee Martin.
‘It wasn’t a good run. All of us were having bobbles and made mistakes’, was Orlowski’s reaction to his Q3 performance adding, ‘My time was 6-seconds slower than my Q2 (TQ) time and I even had a mistake on that run’. He continued, ‘That was my 3rd run on the same tyres and while the car is going good so far we might use the last heat to do some changes as we have some ideas to improve the car’. Asked about starting from the TQ, he replied, ‘we’ve been there before last season and it didn’t start out a good race. We will concentrate on trying to get the full championship points from the race’. Claiming his debut TQ in 4WD last season in Austria at the end of the finals he only came away with a 4th place.
Kobbevik said, ‘it was a good run overall. I was a decent clean run until I had a big mistake at the last minute’. The 13-year-old continued, ‘I’m looking good for the front of the grid. I think already I am safe for the Top 3’. On his car, the Xray driver said, ‘it is pretty good to drive and it is fast so I will make no changes, just put on new tyres for the next one’.
Winner of 2WD, Haatanen said, ‘at the beginning my own mistakes caused a couple of crashes but I still got 3rd out of it. I was stupid because without the mistakes it could have been a TQ’. The 15-year-old Team Associated driver added, ‘the car feels like so much steering at the start but by the end it gets comfortable and feels easy to drive. I need to be more calm at the beginning of the next one’. Asked if he planned to change his car for the final qualifier he replied, ‘I will keep it the same and just get more comfortable with it for the finals’.
Bayer described the penultimate qualifier as ‘a good run with no mistakes’ adding ‘I surprised myself I didn’t crash’. The Xray team manager continued, ‘My car is very easy to drive and I am able to drive with no mistakes. I just had two bobbles’. Holding fifth on the grid going into the final qualifier he concluded, ‘I have secured the A-Main so I’m happy’.
Michal Orlowski ends day two of the Euro Offroad Series at the top of the 4WD qualification ranking, the Schumacher driver backing up his Q1 TQ with another in the second round. Starting out the run mixing times with both Joona Haatanen and Daniel Kobbevik with whom he fought out the opening qualifier, in the end it was Bruno Coelho who finished second fastest some 1.7-seconds back with Haatanen repeating his P3 from Q1. Joern Neumann was another to repeat his position, finishing 4th ahead of Martin Bayer with Kobbevik dropping down the order with a mistake on the penultimate lap to complete the Top 6. Two more qualifiers await drivers in the morning at the Nurburgring before the first 4WD winner of Season #8 is decided in the triple A-Mains.
Michal Orlowski has taken the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series at the Nurburgring, the Schumacher driver just managing to pip Daniel Kobbevik over the final two laps by 0.020 of a seconds. Having topped practice, Orlowski wouldn’t have the best of starts to Q1 suffering a mistake on the second lap due to the steering lock being wrong on his radio but it was his finish to the qualifier that clinched him the TQ. Fifth fastest in practice, Kobbevik had an improved car and looked on target for the TQ but losing more than half a second to Orlowski with a slow penultimate lap he was a 1/10th too slow on his final lap to stay at the top of the timing screen at the finish. Behind, another of the EOS’ young guns completed the Top 3 as fresh from his first EOS career win in 2WD earlier in the day Joona Haatanen surprised even himself with the 3rd fastest time. Joern Neumann was best of championship veterans with a P4 ahead of Lee Martin and Martin Bayer.
‘At the end it was good’ was how Orlowski described the first of the four qualifiers. He continued, ‘the steering lock on my radio was wrong because we just forgot to check it before going out so the car didn’t feel as good as in practice. I’m glad I got the win’. Happy with the performance of his car he said, ‘it should be good for the next because we’ll make sure to check the radio’.
A podium finish at last seasons opening round, held in Warsaw, Kobbevik was very happy with his Q1 performance saying, ‘I’m super happy. I thought it was super slow but it wasn’t. I just drive stable and made no mistakes’. Adding, ‘I guess I will stick to this approach for the next one’, he said having struggled with the car in practice not being stable & difficult to drive, a number of changes for qualifying had improved the car and he was now more comfortable with it. Planning to leave the car as is for the day’s second & final qualifier he concluded, ‘I think I can improve my driving for the last one by continuing with the car the same’.
‘Actually it was not too bad. I’m surprised to get 3rd in the round’, was how 15-year-old Haatanen summed up his run. The Team Associated driver added, ‘this track is better for our 4WD’. Setting the fastest lap, he said, ‘We improved the car from practice. It was still edgy but that was because I was on new tyres but it improved over the run. The main thing though is that now I have the speed. For sure this was a positive start to 4WD’.
Neumann was content with his opening run to the fourth fastest time saying, ‘it was a decent start’. The EOS’ most winning driver, the German added, ‘I made two mistakes but overall the car is good and I just need to tidy up my driving’.
Top Qualifier in 2WD, Martin summed up his first 4WD run with ‘it was OK’ going on to call it a ‘reserved’ drive. The Yokomo driver said his car ‘lacked a little steering and forward acceleration’ and he needed to ‘add a little more pony power and steering’ for Q2. The former champion and Nurburgring winner concluded, ‘can do better’. While Martin Bayer would complete the Top 6 it was not a good start for Xray team-mate Bruno Coelho. The fastest Xray in practice, last year’s season opener double winner lost a wheel in the warm-up causing him to miss his 3rd place seeding position as a new one was fitted – the Portuguese driver not happy they didn’t wait the extra few seconds for his car to be returned to the grid.
Chassis: Associated B6.1 Motor: Reedy Sonic 6.5T ESC: Reedy Blackbox 510R Batteries: Reedy Zepper Low Profile 4000mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Reedy Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: JConcepts F2 Remarks – Claiming his long overdue first EOS win here at the Nurburgring in Germany, Joona Haatanen achieved the result with his Reedy powered Associated B6.1. Fitted with his basic carpet setup the only changes he needed to make was to make the springs and shock oil slightly harder to stop the front diving in the tight corners. Playing around with the wheelbase on his car, the Finn is using the rear lower arms from the 4wd buggy to achieve the desired result. The car is using some optional parts such as the aluminium steering rack, steel weight plates, brass front bulkhead and JConcepts titanium turnbuckles.