Xray’s Bruno Coelho took an easy win the opening A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series third round in Slovakia, the Top Qualifier even having enough pace to fit in a rollover during the race. It was to be advantage Coelho from the start as No.2 starter Martin Bayer got it wrong in the first run through the main double double section allowing a slightly slow starting Martin Wollanka to take up second followed by Joern Neumann which was how they would stay till the end. Dropping to 10th place, Bayer would never recover, eventually retiring when a wheel parted company with the car on his penultimate lap.
Having discovered his car had a bent chassis just before the final qualifier but only having enough time to change it after the completion of qualifying, Coelho said his Hobbywing powered XB4 was ‘much better’ and now ‘easier to drive’. He continued, ‘Martin’s mistake on the first lap made it a lot easier, you can drive much better without pressure’. Admitting he got lucky that his car landed on its wheels following his bad landing at the tabletop, he said the approach for A2 will be to ‘try to do the same the next time but without the mistake’.
Wollanka said while it was a good race he was ‘losing too much time at the start’. Finishing just over 2-seconds behind his team-mate, the Austrian continued, ‘I was on new tyres and had to be careful for a few laps’. Once they broke in he said he was happy he was able to match Coelho’s pace but the gap was too much’. Set to use the same set for A2 he said now the plan is to ‘push harder from the start’.
Finishing almost 9-seconds back on Wollanka, Neumann said given he was on a 3rd run set of tyres the result was the maximum he could have got. After making ‘a good start’ running directly behind Wollanka he said the Xray driver ‘seemed to be struggling but once he found his speed I couldn’t keep up and settled for third’. With new tyres for A2, the German is confident of a good result saying ‘on new tyres is when the car is best’ and asked if he felt a podium was possible the former Champion replied ‘I drive for the win, we’ll see what happens’. Behind Neumann, Hupo Honigl would finish fourth followed by Kája Novotný with Lee Martin completing the Top 6 after a number of errors.
Bruno Coelho is the Top Qualifier at the third round of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, Xray locking out the Top 3 places on the grid at the Hudy Racing Arena. With the fourth & final qualifier set to decide between Coelho and Martin Bayer who would start on pole, the decision was made on the first laps as Bayer got the tabletop jump wrong needing to be marshalled but even with a better start it may have came to nothing as later in the run he would retire with radio issues. While pushed by team-mate Martin Wollanka, who was to set the fastest lap of all four rounds of qualifying, Coelho could cruise to his third TQ knowing that Bayer’s error had secured him the overall TQ irrespective of his own result in Q4. Despite his DNF, Bayer will start second ahead of Wollanka with Joern Neumann a surprise 4th after a strong P3 run in the final qualifier. Another key retirement of the final qualifier was Lee Martin popped a drive shaft after a big off, the lack of a result dropping him to fifth on the grid.
Taking what is effectively a home race for the Portuguese driver, his offroad & onroad race programs meaning he spends a lot of his time at the Hudy Arena, Coelho was happy to TQ and even more so when it was discovered he had done so with a bent chassis. With Bayer discovering it before the final qualifier but with not enough time to change, Coelho, who had earlier reported he was struggling to get the feeling he wanted from his steering servo, was pleased that actually a problem had been found. Commenting on the deciding qualifier the World Champion said, ‘the run was without mistake. I could drive easy after I saw Martin had flipped at the first jump’. Aiming to make it back to back wins for Xray at their world class facility having won last year as Top Qualifier he set out his plan for the final saying, ‘the track is super difficult and I will just try to keep it safe’.
‘I made a mistake at the beginning and tried to get back the time but made another mistake’, was how Bayer summed up Q4. Asked about his retirement from the heat he said, ‘I lost the radio. I could feel it was not right the lap before it completely stopped. We will check off everything and change somethings to be sure its ok for the final’. Winner of the event in 2014 and 2015, in terms of his XB4’s performance he said ‘the car is good’ adding ‘we’ll see how the race goes’.
Wollanka was pretty pleased with his run saying getting ‘offline a few times’ was what added to his 2-seconds deficit to Coelho. Having gone back in the changes he made to front flex on his XB4 he said ‘the car was pretty good and the lap times were there now’. Having pulled off the pass of last season at the Hudy Arena last year when he jumped over Coelho, the video of that race going viral and exposing RC Racing to millions of viewers, when reminded of it the Austrian laughed saying, ‘we’ll see what happens but on this track you need to wait’.
‘We improved the car every run’ was former Champion Neumann’s reaction to his P3 in the final qualifier. Running in the second fastest heat after a not so good seeding practice, the Serpent driver and one time 4WD master of racing on carpet said, ‘under braking I spun out once which cost me around 1-second but other than that it was fine’. The German plans to make further changes to his Orion powered SDX4 saying ‘we had too much steering before but now it understeers a little bit. On new tyres it is fine but on used it understeers more’. On his chances of breaking up an all Xray podium he said, ‘the three in front are a little bit faster but not always do the fastest win because they can also make mistakes’.
Lee Martin said, ‘we tried something different as it was make or break but it wasn’t good. It was two steps forward one step back’. Happy with certain characteristics of his RC Concept powered YZ-4, the 2WD Champion said, ‘its good through the corners so I’ll try to be there if the others blow out or panic’. Behind Martin, Hupo Honigl with line up 6th ahead of Kája Novotný, yesterday’s 2WD winner Michal Orlowski, Nico Schmid and Marc Rheinard.
Chassis: Xray XB4 ’17 Motor: Hobbywing Xerun 5-5T ESC: Hobbywing Xerun XR10 Pro Batteries: EZ Power 4600mah Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Savox Remarks – Having recently switched to Hobbywing electrics and EZ Power batteries, Martin Bayer is in attendance here at what is his home track driving the 2017 version of the XB4. His car features some option parts, such as aluminium uprights and steering rack, front double joint driveshafts, graphite arms and a carbon steering brace. He is also using steel gears inside his differentials.
Bruno Coelho has continued the Xray domination of the 4WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia by taking the third round of qualifying this morning at the Hudy Arena. Again it was Coelho and team-mate Martin Bayer who set the pace until a late mistake by the latter cost him the chance to repeat last night’s Q2 TQ run. Dropping to third this allowed Coelho to take his second TQ of the event with team-mate Martin Wollanka also benefiting to get second out of the round. The result means it will be either Coelho or Bayer who will be the overall Top Qualifier, Bayer needing to take the last round in a faster time than Coelho set in Q3. Again it was Yokomo’s Lee Martin who was best of the rest as he posted the 4th fastest time with Joern Neumann’s Serpent the next best in P7. Expected to break up the Xrays at the top of the time screens, 2WD winner Michal Orlowski would crash resulting in a broken front rollbar meaning his run lasting less than a minute. Running new tyres on his new Associated B64, Neil Cragg found the car very aggressive ending up 10th fastest but the team will make a number of changes to car for the final qualifier feeling they have been too conservative with changes so far.
After a run with ‘too many mistakes’ and ‘3 mistakes on one jump’ last night, Coelho said this morning his driving was much better. Aiming to ‘drive without mistakes’, the Portuguese driver said, ‘I still had two mistakes but the car landed on its wheels’ and it was only Bayer’s mistakes that allowed him take the TQ. One issue the reigning champion said he is having is with servos. He said the servo he normally runs was not strong enough for the high speed corners on the track layout and changing to a different servo the feeling is different which is an extra difficulty to contend with on an already difficult track. Still not happy with the feeling he will fit another different servo for Q4.
‘It was a nice run, I had no mistakes’ was how Wollanka summed up the penultimate qualifier. Having changed the front flex on his XB4, the Austrian said the result was the car ‘drivers smoother but the lap times are not as fast’. Asked if he would make further changes for the final qualifier he replied, ‘I will go back (with the set-up), I need the lap times’.
Commenting on his latest qualifier Bayer said, ‘It was a better run than last night almost. But I had two small errors’. The head of development for Xray’s offroad platforms, the Czech driver and two time winner of the EOS at the Hudy Arena said, ‘the car is really good and really consistent and I had a comfortable lead but I threw it away with those 2-mistakes’. With a chance of taking the TQ from his team-mate Coelho he said the car was there to do the job and it was ‘just a matter of driving it without mistakes’.
‘I had a 2-second error which realistically cost me second’, was Martin’s view of his run. The former champion continued, ‘I still feel I need to find a few more seconds’. Asked where he felt he was losing time to the Xrays he said, ‘landing the jumps as it takes a split second for the car to settle and this is were they can get away’. He concluded, ‘If we can find a way around that we have a chance’.
Martin Bayer holds the overnight TQ at the Hudy Arena after the Xray driver ended Day 2 of the Euro Offroad Series third round with a TQ run. Having battled with team-mate Bruno Coelho for the TQ in the opening 4WD qualifier, Bayer would get it done in the second round despite a third lap error to head another another Xray 1-2 this time ahead of Hupo Honigl. With Coelho’s run full of errors, leaving him 9th, the second qualifier wasn’t the same strong dominance shown in Q1 with both Yokomo’s Lee Martin and Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski challenging for the TQ. While Orlowski would drop out of contention with a big mistakes ending up 6th, Martin’s challenge was hampered by traffic as he got stuck behind Kája Novotný. Improving his car through a slipper adjustment while the car still lacked the grunt he was looking for Martin was encouraged by the improved performance ahead of tomorrow’s remaining two qualifiers. Behind Martin, former Champion Joern Neumann would post the fourth fastest time, the Serpent driver having a good run despite running in the second fastest heat. Behind Neumann, Novotný would complete the Top 5.
There was no surprise in the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series as Bruno Coelho led an Xray 1,2,3,4 at the Hudy Racing Arena. Having topped seeding, the reigning Champion’s biggest challenge would come from Martin Bayer as the former event winner swapped the TQ pace with him throughout the 5-minute but in the end Coelho had the advantage by 1.3-seconds. With Martin Wollanka and Kája Novotný setting the third and fourth fastest times, the best non Xray driver would be Lee Martin, the Yokomo driver fifth fastest but almost 7-seconds off the TQ pace. Taking the 2WD win earlier in the day, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski would complete the Top 6 running an almost identical time to Martin.
Reporting a lack of steering in the final practice after he made a shock change to his XB4 and saying he obviously had done something wrong, Coelho would find that he had but the C-hubs back on the car on the wrong sides. With them corrected for Q1, he said, ‘the car was much better but it felt strange at the beginning as it was too aggressive compared to practice but I got back my feeling as the run went on and everything was good again’. His returning confidence in the car highlighted by the fact he set the fastest lap of the qualifier on his penultimate lap and based on that he plans to ‘leave the car the same’ for Q2.
Setting the 8th fastest time in seeding practice, Bayer said he found afterwards that his drivetrain was too tight and with new bearings fitted for qualifying the car was ‘perfect’. A two time 4WD EOS winner at the Hudy Arena said, ‘Leading Bruno was hard for me and I drove way too safe in the last laps but I’m still super happy with second’. Looking to Q2, which will bring Day 2 of the action in Trencin to a close, he said ‘the car is perfect so I just need to drive and enjoy it’.
Adjusting his speedo setting for more power for the opening qualifier Wollanka described his opening qualifier as ‘really good’. The Austrian who finish runner-up to team-mate Coelho at the event last season, said he is preferring the track layout with 4WD having finished 7th in 2WD. Feeling his XB4 has too much steering he plans to change the front flex for Q2. Posting the 4th fastest time backing up his strong pace in practice, Novotný was pleased with his opening run. Getting ‘super close’ to a Top 3 run, the gap to Wollanka just 1/10th of a second, he said having ‘had a few small bobbles but nothing critical’ the plan for the second round was to ‘change nothing on the car and hopefully have a few less bobbles’.
‘I don’t have the instant power & pace out of the corners, in the curve of the turn its nice and smooth’, was Martin’s response to being so far off the Xrays. The former champion hopes modifying his slipper will help but added, its the Xray chassis layout that is giving them the distinct advantage they have over their rivals in 4WD but added the rest would soon catch-up but not this weekend.
Orlowski declared himself happy with 6th adding he didn’t drive very well leading to a couple of mistakes. Admitting to feeling tired, the 15-year-old feels that his car has the pace to match the Xrays. With the car aggressive in practice a change for Q1 had made it ‘easy & fast’ and the aim for the day’s final qualifier was to make a clean 5-minute run and with a good nights sleep put in more of an attack in the morning’s remaining two qualifiers. With Hupo Honigl next up behind Orlowski, Neil Cragg would be the only other non Xray driver to make the Top 10 with his first ever qualifier with the Team Associated’s new B64 netting the 8th fastest time but the British driver did show strong early pace and but for a 26-second lap was on target to be best of the rest behind the Xrays.