Bruno Coelho has won the opening 4WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, an error by the World Champion with 5-laps to go while dominating the race not enough to deny the Xray driver beating reigning champion Lee Martin. Top Qualifier at the third round of the championship, he quickly broke free of the pursuing Yokomo’s of Martin and Marc Rheinard but as the race was looking like a forgone conclusion the Portuguese driver would get the track’s centre roller wrong and collect the cone. With his car facing the wrong direction as he got it turned around Martin would go to the front injecting new life into the race but it as short lived as Coelho took just a lap to get back to the front. In a somewhat lonely race for Rheinard he would complete the Top 3, with the top 4 finishing as the lined up for the grid.
‘Someone moved the cone’ joked Coelho after the race, his winning margin 4/10th of a second over Martin who had a similar gap over Rheinard. Holding a comfortable lead over his rivals, the EOS Slovakia race winner said ‘I got on the throttle too early and went to the inside of the jump which then put me into the cones’. Coming straight back at Martin for the lead he would execute it through the jump leading onto the straight saying ‘Lee opened a little and I was able to overtake.’ Describing his error as ‘a stupid mistake’ for A2 he said he needs to repeat what he did in A1 only this time with ‘no mistake’.
Martin said having started the final on new tyres ‘they took a while to scrub in’ and considering this he felt he ‘drove a pretty good race’. Commenting on the pass Coelho made on him he said, ‘he gave me a love tap which pushed me wide. I would have done the same. It was a fair pass’. ‘Glad our car is close to the pace’, the newly crowned back to back 2WD champion said ‘we need to find a little extra’ with a front driveshaft change planned for A2.
Summing up his race, Rheinard said ‘I was being safe and gave Lee room’. He continued ‘when Bruno crashed it brought us all together but I let them fight at the front waiting in case anything happened but it didn’t’. In terms of his Muchmore powered YZ-4 he said he needed a little more power and for A2 he will add more turbo. The German also plans to run a fresh set of the Schumacher handout tyres.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-4 Motor: Muchmore Fleta 5.5T ESC: Muchmore Fleta Pro Batteries: Muchmore 4500 mah Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – After winning the 2WD encounter yesterday, German star Marc Rheinard topped today’s last 4WD qualifier running a pretty standard example of the Yokomo Yz-4. The car is equipped with titanium screws and turnbuckles, and sports the same pre-production rear hubs used in 2WD. With the car offering different battery positions, Marc decided to mount it completely centred.
Bruno Coelho is the 4WD Top Qualifier at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany. The Xray driver secured his second consecutive TQ of his rookie EOS season with his performances in the opening two qualifiers last night as Marc Rheinard took the final qualifier ahead of Hupo Honigl. Rheinard’s TQ run secures the 2WD race winner third on the grid behind his team-mate Lee Martin, the Yokomo drivers sandwiched among the Xrays, as Honigl, Martin Bayer and Martin Wollanka completed the Top 6 on the grid.
Running new tyres on his XB4 for the final qualifier, Coelho said this left him with too much steering causing some early mistakes after touching the curbs. Ending up 7th fastest, the World Champion said by the end of the run the car was perfect with him able to post a new fastest lap of qualifying on his final lap. Knowing he had the benefit of a super fast Q2 time, should Martin be able to repeat his Q3 TQ, he said using the qualifier to break in new tyres means he now has ‘good tyres for the opening final’. Admitting that the Yokomos have improved from yesterday, he said starting ahead of them he will just try to drive a safe race and let them take the risks.
Having come into the weekend equal in the points standings with Coelho but now a point down due to the Portuguese ace claiming the bonus TQ championship point, Martin would get a P3 from the final qualifier. The reigning champion said his YZ-4 was ‘not bad’ but for the final they will ‘tweak the set-up to get a little more steering’. Feeling they are ‘pretty close’ now to Coelho’s pace he said his rival looks to be ‘slightly more comfortable from the first lap’ while they take a bit more time to get going. Asked about his approach to the final, the Brit said ‘9th could win on this track in 4WD so just drive a clean race and go from there’.
Commenting on his TQ run, Rheinard said it was his ‘first clean run and was happy to finally run 5-minutes with ‘no crashes’. Changing to a different front drive shaft on his YZ-4, the German said while this led to a little initial understeer it made the car easier and more consistent to drive with him able to carry more corner speed. Looking to the final, the former European 4WD Champion said he would ‘just try to keep it clean and not attack Lee at the start. Then see what happens’ adding ‘Bruno crashed in the last qualifier so it’s not easy for all of us’.
Lining up 4th on the grid as he did in 2WD, Honigl said his new XB4 was ‘super good’ with Q4 a ‘clean’ run. At the top of the timing screens for a time, the Austrian said he had to ‘drive like slalom’ as he avoided ‘about 5 crashed cars’ on the final lap and the 1/10th lost was enough to cost him a chance at TQing the round. Finishing 1-second off Rheinard, he said his car is ‘fast enough for Top 3’ and hopefully the finals will go better than in 2WD when from his P4 starting position he ended up finishing 8th.
Lee Martin opened the final day’s action at the Euro Offroad Series with a TQ run in the penultimate round of 4WD qualifying, the Yokomo driver benefiting from a last lap incident with traffic for Bruno Coelho. Having taken both opening qualifiers last night in Germany, Coelho was on target to wrap up the overall TQ until getting caught up in a last lap mistake by Xray team-mate Nico Risser while lapping the Belgian. As a result Martin would top the round by 6/10ths of a second from Coelho with Martin Wollanka completing the Top 3.
‘I got lucky to TQ the round but it was still an OK run’ was how Martin summed up his improved performance. Having struggled in the opening two qualifiers, the reigning champion would make a steering set-up change to his YZ-4 for his third attempt. While making the car feel lazier, the British driver said as he got used to it the lap times came down with him setting the fastest lap of the round. Now in with a chance for the overall TQ, the winner of the season opener who shares the current championship standings lead with Coelho will add more turbo to his speedo setting as well as make a set-up change to get more rotation from the car.
Coelho, who stamped his authority on Q1 & 2, wasn’t impressed that he was prevented from taking an early second overall TQ of the season going to race director Scotty Ernst directly after the qualifier. Reacting to the incident, the World Champion said ‘my car was super good again but on the last lap I hit a backmarker. I caught him with 2-laps to go and he would not open up and then on the last lap he hit the curb and I collected him’.
Runner-up to his team-mate at Round 2, Wollanka said his qualifier ‘was OK but missing a bit’. The Austrian said his first lap was too slow and the 10ths lost were enough to cost him positions and that is something he needs to improve for the final round. Behind Wollanka, compatriot Hupo Honigl would set the fourth fastest time followed by Xray Offroad team-manager Martin Bayer. Honigl said he can feel his car is good but he ‘need(s) to drive it better’ the run having ‘way too many mistakes’. Bayer said he was ‘not slow and not super fast but still in the game’. Still using his first set of tyres, the multiple EOS race winner said they were now done and he will change to a new set for Q4.
Setting the 5th fastest time, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski would also struggle with old tyres. Second fastest in Q2, the Polish driver said the fourth run set of tyres left his CAT K2 ‘difficult and slow’ to drive. With the result locking him into the A-Main, him missing the cut in Slovakia, the 14-year-old said he is very happy with the improvements they have been able to make with the car in getting it now good on carpet too. The reigning European Champion will fit new tyres for Q4 saying while they will make the car a little edgy for the qualifier it means they should be good for the Mains. Behind Orlowski, 17-year-old Finn Joel Valander would complete the Top 6.
With the action switching over to 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series it was Bruno Coelho who stamped his authority on the opening two qualifiers in Germany. In the first round the World Champion lead an Xray 1,2,3 ahead of Martin Bayer and Hupo Hönigl with Serpent’s Joern Neumann best of the rest with the fourth fastest time. Having struggled in Q1, it would be Scumacher’s Michal Orlowski who would get closest to Coelho in Q2 albeit 4-seconds off with Martin Wollanka completing the Top 3. Having enjoyed all the spoils in 2WD, it was a tough start to 4WD for Team Yokomo with Marc Rheinard getting a best run of a P5 in Q1 and Lee Martin a P6 in Q2.
Securing his first EOS victory at Round 2 when he took the 4WD win in Slovakia, Coelho described both his runs as perfect. Posting the fastest lap in each qualifier, the Portuguese driver said his XB4 is ‘super good’ pointing out having topped practice that he ‘didn’t change anything’.
Making a big improvement between rounds, finding over 8-seconds, Orlowski said having struggled in practice they made a change that didn’t work. Only 9th in seeding, the reigning European Champion went from a 1.2 to 1.0 front swaybar for Q1 but this left his CAT K2 lifting a wheel in the corners. Changing to a standard kit front deck, having been running a stiffer version, and adding longer rear camber links for more rotation he said this transformed the car. At the beginning of Q2 however, not expecting the car to be so good, he said he did not push too hard but as he got the feel for the new set-up he was ‘very surprised’ at how much he could push it. With two more qualifiers in the morning, 2 of 4 counting, the 14-year-old said he is feeling positive about tomorrow.
Having been running second to Coelho in Q2 before a mistake and ending up 7th, 2WD winner Rheinard said ‘the car is fine. I was just driving bad and made too many mistakes’ adding ‘tomorrow should be better’. Team-mate Martin said his YZ-4 was lifting a wheel all the time making it easy to flip, which he did twice on the straight, if he pushed hard. A long day for all racers due to the record entry in Muelheim-Kaerlich, the newly crowned back to back 2WD Champion said, ‘I’m tired and over it for today’.
Chassis: Associated B44.3 Motor: Reedy Sonic 5.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: Reedy 3900mAh Radio/Servo: KO Propo Remarks – Making his first EOS outing, former World Champion Neil Cragg is running a pretty standard version of the B44.3 in the 4WD division. In terms of option parts his buggy is only being equipped with a JConcepts aluminium steering rack.