Bruno Coelho has finally delivered on his top seeding by taking the penultimate round of 4WD at EOS Slovakia but it was far from a perfect heat for the Xray driver. With Daniel Kobbevik setting the pace, the young Norwegian would get the table top wrong with his car crossing the track and into the path of his team-mate costing Coelho over 3-seconds. This put Lee Martin to the front before his Yokomo performed a back flip on the main straight and a short time later a bad landing on the table top led to a broken front arm. Now it was Joern Neumann, with two P10 runs from the opening two qualifiers, who was top of the timing screens but Coelho was on a hard charge back from his earlier incident snatching the TQ on the last lap as Neumann had a bad lap. Behind, Orlowski would complete the Top 3 as he struggled on his 3rd run tyres while Martin Bayer struggled on new tyres but ended up P4 3-seconds back on his TQ’ing team-mate.
Commenting on his TQ run, Coelho said, ‘Everything was going right this time but then Daniel (Kobbevik) came across the track and I lost 3-seconds. For a moment I could see everything going wrong again but I forced to the end. As I expected the car was working very good, I had no mechanical issues, and at the end I could do enough to TQ the round’. Looking to the final qualifier he said, ‘I have already accepted starting 2nd. On new tyres our car is too aggressive. Martin was on new tyres that time and he didn’t have as good a run as before. I will use the next one to break in the tyres for the final, if I can make the TQ it would be good for sure but the important thing is to get the tyres ready for the final’.
‘This time was the first time the car was good’, was Neumann’s reaction after making a huge improvement. The Schumacher driver continued, ‘Before the car was very edgy but now it was now smooth like normal. We couldn’t find the issue so Trish rebuilt it and now it was good’. Using his second set of tyres in Q3, the multiple EOS Champion is looking to end qualifying with a strong finish. He said, ‘I will push it in the next to try and start 3rd or 4th but maybe I can get second if I TQ (the round). We will see’.
On his lack of pace Orlowski said, ‘It was the third run on the tyres and the car felt very bad because of the different tyre wear side to side. We will check over the car to be sure it is the tyres’. He continued, ‘I knew some guys were going on new tyres but I was hoping Joern would take the round. It’s frustrating he lost it on the last lap’. Chasing a clean sweep here at the Hudy Arena, he said, ‘I have new tyres for the next one but I guess Bruno will too’.
Michal Orlowski has opened the final day of action at EOS Slovakia with another TQ run in the second round of 4WD qualifying. The Schumacher driver would once again top the times ahead of Martin Bayer as top seed Bruno Coelho had another difficult run, this time ending up P5 behind Daniel Kobbevik. With two big errors in Q1, Lee Martin’s second attempt was much better and the Yokomo driver posted a P3 time albeit over 5 and a half seconds off Orlowski’s TQ pace.
Commenting on run, which was 7/10th of a second fastest than his Q1 time, Orlowski said, ‘It was a good run but it’s always tough to get into a good rhythm first thing in the morning after a good night sleep’. Chasing another double here at the Hudy Arena having secured his first 2WD win of the season yesterday, the Pole continued, ‘I had a bobble on the first lap when I over jumped the final jump which lost me about half a second. Once I had a comfortable gap over Martin (Bayer) and Bruno had a mistake I was just looking to put in clean laps and I was hoping I would not have trouble with traffic’. With 4WD wins at the Nurburgring and Warsaw, the championship leader said, ‘That was the second run on the tyres and I think it felt a little slower than yesterday. We will make a small change to the car for Q3 for the 3rd run on the tyres’.
‘Just another run without mistakes and the others crashed’, was Bayer’s summary of Q2. The Xray designer continued, ‘I am doing 5-minutes without mistakes that need marshal but I am still not happy with my consistency as I am making little errors’. Top Qualifier of the race last year, the Czech driver said, ‘I don’t have the speed to fight with Michal and Bruno but I’m aiming to lead the other group. It’s a bit like in Formula 1’.
Martin described his Q2 run as ‘the same as Q1 but without the 2-mistakes’. He explained, ‘I had two mistakes in Q1 and one was a big one. I ended up in another section of track’. On his P3 time, former champion said,’I could have pushed a little harder but it’s risky when I do’. The British driver also had a problem with his rear diff going off over the run saying, ‘there is a new diff going in. Shin is on the case now’.
‘Another rough round but this time it was because of the slipper’, was how Coelho summed up his first qualifier of the day, two more rounds left to run before the A-Mains get underway. The Xray driver continued, ‘yesterday I traction rolled because of the new tyres but now the slipper seized and it was hard to make the jumps. The throttle was sensitive and I was over jumping. I knew something was wrong from the start but I know from yesterday the car is good so we will just fix the slipper and should be good again for the next one’.
Michal Orlowski posted a convincing TQ run in the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the fourth round of the EOS in Trencin, Slovakia, this evening. The Schumacher driver, who was the no.2 seed for qualifying, opened with a rough first lap but then settled in taking full advantage of two mistakes from top seed Bruno Coelho. With Coelho and Orlowski a step above their competitors at the Hudy Arena, Coelho’s first mistake came on the fourth lap allowing Orlowski to go by and set the pace from the front. At the end of the 5-minutes it would be Martin Bayer who would finish P2 almost 4.5-seconds off Orlowski’s pace. Despite a second and lengthy flip later in the run, Coelho would salvage a P3 from the run being the only driver to register a 21-second lap. Backing up his 2WD A-Main appearance earlier today, Hungarian teenager Adam Izsay took his Xray to the fourth fastest time followed by No.3 seed Daniel Kobbevik and Hupo Hönigl.
Bruno Coelho has set the pace in 4WD practice at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia this evening, the Xray driver putting in the fastest 3-consecutive laps from the day’s earlier 2WD victor Michal Orlowski. As in 2WD, the duo had a clear advantage over the rest of the field with Daniel Kobbevik best of the rest in P3 followed by 2WD podium finisher Lee Martin, Martin Bayer and Jörn Neumann. Running two rounds of free practice followed by the two seeding rounds, it was Orlowski who set the benchmark in CP1 but in CP2 Coelho was able to better that pace by 45/100ths of a second. The advantage over Kobbevik was more than a second, with 3rd through 7th covered by half a second.
Summing up practice, with the first qualifier set to bring Day 2’s EOS action at the Hudy Arena to a close, Coelho said, ‘I’m feeling confident with the car and it is quite easy to drive’. Winner at EOS Daun last month, his first win of the season, he continued, ‘on new tyres the car is very aggressive but on used tyres it is very good. I think I can run good times on 3rd run tyres. The last practice I was on second run tyres and I set my my second fastest lap on the final lap’. Having topped 2WD seeding but missed out on the TQ to Orlowski, he added, ‘It is super close with Orlowski again. We made many small changes each practice and at the end it worked out a big change to how we started but I am really happy with the car’.
Asked how he felt practice had gone, Orlowski paused before answering, ‘Bruno is quick. I am quick. He is making mistakes. I am making mistake so it is going to be the one who doesn’t make as many mistake who is going to TQ. There is a big gap between me & third (place pace) so my aim for Q1 is to try and make no mistakes’. Asked about his car, the reigning champion & current points leader said, ‘We left the car the same as last weekend (when he raced the XRS race here in Slovakia) and then we tried a crazy set-up for the last practice but it didn’t work out. We will go back to the set-up from before and add one small change to that’.
After a tough 2WD race, Kobbevik summed up 4WD practice as ‘better than 2WD’. The young Norewgian said in the first practice his XB4 felt difficult to drive having the opposite issue to his 2WD in having a lot of steering. He also said he had to use the first practice to get back into the feel of driving 4WD again. Changing the front hubs on his car, the EOS Daun double podium finisher said this made the car ‘a lot smoother and easier to drive’ adding he is ‘happy with the car now and (he) just needs to get more used to it’.
‘Not too bad’ was Martin’s description of how he felt practice had gone. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘the steering is a little too inconsistent. Sometime I turn in and it does it and then the next time it doesn’t which makes it hard to judge’. He added, ‘the lap times are not too bad and not too far from Orlowski and Bruno, and that with a car I am not comfortable with yet’. Asked if he knew what changes he would make to try improving the steering feel for Q1 he replied, ‘I need to discuss it with Shin’.
Remarks – Still sporting the same pre-production parts – that are part of the development for the updated version of the Japanese buggy – as for the Daun event, former EOS champion Lee Martin’s YZ2-CAL2 only benefited from a few minor setup tweaks to be in contention for the win here at the Hudy Racing Arena. Still adopting a steel under-LiPo weight, with the new shock tower allowing for adjusting the rear wing height Lee decided to use the lower position, saying this change improved corner speed greatly.