Michal Orlowski has taken the second round of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series this morning at the Nurburgring. The Schumacher driver was fastest from last night’s 2WD race winner Marc Rheinard with Hupo Honigl completing the Top 3. For reigning champion Bruno Coelho it was not the morning the practice top seed was hoping. The fastest car on the track, he would make ‘too many mistakes’ leaving him with a P9 for the round. It would also be a tough round for last night’s Q1 pace setter Lee Martin as he struggled to set the 11th fastest time.
‘It was a good run. The car very good from the beginning because I was on used tyres’, was how Orlowski summed up the qualifier. Adding ‘it was a safe run’, the former European Champion said, ‘I thought I heard Scotty (Ernst) say Marc (Rheinard) had crashed so I started to cruise towards the end as I thought I had a big gap but he hadn’t crashed and it was only .8 at the finish’. Looking to Q3, the teenager said, ‘I’ll leave the car the same and see what happens’.
Rheinard said his P2 was ‘pretty ok’ but added, ‘my car was pretty hard to drive’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I know it is difficult for everyone but my car was not the same left and right and I lost some time when it got up on 2-wheels’. After his retirement from Q1 with a broken idler gear, the German said, ‘I needed a clean run after yesterday so it was a good start to the day but Bruno is the quickest only he crashes too much’. Asked about his run, team-mate Martin said, ‘the car felt completely different to yesterday and I crashed many times. I’ve got to look over it as it felt like a different car’. Shortly after the Brit would report back that the rear rollbar had been mistakenly left off.
Finishing a considerable 6-seconds off the TQ pace, Honigl said, ‘I think it was pretty good but I think the car can do a lot more’. Also racing in Mod Truck today, the Xray driver continued, ‘I have raced multi class very often but this track is very difficult and makes switching back & forth more challenging. The difference in driving style between the classes is a lot more than normal’.
Honigl’s team-mate Kaja Novotny would post the fifth fastest time. Czech National Champion in both 2WD & 4WD Buggy, the 20-year-old was pleased with his result which was one better than his opening qualifier. Having had just one small moment at the table top, he said while he was overall very happy with his XB4 it had ‘a little too much steering’ and that was something he hoped to dial out for the penultimate qualifier. Behind Novotny, Finland’s Joel Valander would complete the Top 6 also at the controls of an Xray.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-4 Motor: RC Concept 5.0T ESC: RC Concept SC120 Batteries: RC Concept Omega 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – British Team Yokomo driver Lee Martin took the opening round of 4WD qualifying here at the Nurburgring, running a YZ4 from the Japanese company equipped with prototype Yatabe shock springs, aluminium 18° C-Hubs and an aluminium rear suspension mount. He is also using titanium screws and turnbuckles.
After a long day of 2WD race action, drivers at the EOS season opener made the quick switch to 4WD to end day 2 of the event with the first round of qualifying and it was to be Lee Martin who would top the times sheets. The Yokomo driver would set the pace in Q1 by almost 1.6-seconds from a trio of Xray’s lead by Hupo Honigl. Having topped yesterday’s seeding practice reigning champion Bruno Coelho wouldn’t complete the error filled round, the World Champion saying afterwards it had been ‘a bad day’ with him struggling to have any feeling in his own driving. After a restless sleep last night, the Xray driver hopes a good sleep tonight will make for a better performance tomorrow. Fresh from his 2WD win, Marc Rheinard would not have a good start to 4WD as he broke an idler gear at 3-minutes.
‘I just cruised around trying not to hit anything’ was how Martin summed up Q1. The former champion, who was winner of 4WD at this event last year, continued, ‘it was a safe run but it’s nice way to start qualifying and my car felt good too’.
Setting the fastest lap of the opening round, Honigl said, ‘my car feels amazing’. Making two little changes to his XB4 after practice he said ‘while it was good before now its really amazing’. Not sure of how the changes would work he said he started out slow but with a good feeling for the car and seeing he was matching the others he ‘picked up the pace’. Bayer would finish 6/10ths off him with Martin Wollanka next up followed by Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski and Kaja Novotny who made it 4 XB4’s in the Top 6.
Marc Rheinard has opened the new season of the Euro Offroad Series with 2WD victory at the Nurburgring. The Yokomo driver claimed his second ever EOS win when he dramatically held on to the lead of A2 from Michal Orlowski making it a perfect weekend as having TQ’d the event he kicks off the season with maximum championship points. The win marks the third season in succession that Yokomo have won the season opener as they chase a fourth consecutive manufacturers title. Completing the podium for the first event on the championship’s expanded 5-round championship, Orlowski would take second after taking the A3 win with reigning champion Lee Martin opening his title defence with 3rd.
‘For sure now we have to aim for the title’ was Rheinard’s reaction to his win. Although a regular in the EOS, the 4-time onroad World Champion only managed his first EOS win when he took the penultimate round last season. Asked if this weekend was a turning point in him getting to grips with 2WD Buggy, he replied, ‘I think my driving has for sure improved but doing the German Nationals last week really helped. It gave me a chance to get out of touring car mode’. Incidentally the German would finish second at the 2WD German Nationals behind former EOS Champion Joern Neumann. Commenting on the second A-Main, having survived throwing away the race lead twice in A1 to win it, he said of his first incident on the opening lap, ‘On the step down I went wide and myself and Wollanka touched which let Lee go by but then Lee over jumped the table top and I went from third to first’. On the second error he continued, ‘I had a good rhythm and a good feel for the car. I could see Orlowski was closing but I knew I had a big enough lead but then for some reason on the step down I didn’t manage to land it. He (Orlowski) tried to avoid me and he rolled too which was lucky for me’. With a 3-point lead in the championship over Orlowski, Rheinard added, ‘I never touched the car today so I have to thank Pumpi and Shin for all their help’.
Giving his view of A2, Orlowski said, ‘Me & Marc put on a good show for you’. Having the advantage of new tyres for the race, the 15-year-old said, ‘In the middle of the run I though something was wrong with my car because I could hear a weird noise so I dropped back. The feeling of the car was ok so I don’t know if I imagined it so started to push again. When I saw Marc’s car crash I didn’t want to hit him so I thought I could go around without crashing him but it didn’t work out and I rolled myself. It was close.’ Pressuring Martin into a mistake in A3 to go on to win the leg from Bruno Coelho and Martin, Orlowski said, ‘I’m very happy with second after my lack of good driving in qualifying’. The former race winner continued, ‘the car was very good all weekend and I have to say a big thanks to Tristram (Neal) for that but I just couldn’t drive 5-minutes. After the 1st A-Main (in which he finished 9th) I just wanted to get a good result, I didn’t expect 2nd’. On getting passed Martin he said, ‘With a good gap back to third I knew I could put pressure on Lee without too much risk. I though maybe if I could force him to go wide I could pass but I didn’t expect him to make a mistake but he did and it worked out for me’.
Continuing his run of podium finishes with the YZ2, finishing all of last year’s races in the Top 2, Martin summed up the day by saying ‘the car was good but next time it’ll be dialled’. Looking back on A2 he said, ‘I screwed that up myself. The other two made mistakes and landed on their wheels. I made a mistake and landed on my roof’. On the concluding race, he said, ‘It start good but it was really hard to drive as it was almost dark but I still managed to get a gap. Then Orlowski started to catching with the benefit of newer tyres. After my morning tyre issues I was on the only tyres I had left. Then I made my mistake and while I tried to catch him I was trying a bit too hard and made too many mistakes’. The Brit concluded, ‘Obviously a win would have been a nice result to kick off the season with but I’ll take 3rd’.
Having been the surprise of the weekend topping practice and then backing that up with a TQ run in Q1 and 4 to qualify second, Wollanka would finish 4th. Leading away A3 as Rheinard sat it out, the Xray driver would see off Martin for a lap until he caught the piping and forced to give up places could only recover to P5, a result he would have to count with his A1 P3, having only got sixth in the second leg. Behind the Austrian would be fellow countryman and team-mate Hupo Hönigl. Neil Cragg would complete the Top 6 but the result was well below what was expected of the Team Associated driver considering their achievements at the final round last season.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2 CA Motor: Muchmore Fleta ZX 6.5T ESC: Muchmore Fleta Pro V2 Batteries: Muchmore Impact 5000mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Similar to his team mate Lee Martin, German star Marc Rheinard is running a CA version YZ-2 equipped with the new prototype Yatabe springs, pre-production front wing and mount and a .8mm front anti roll bar. He is also using titanium screws and aluminium C-Hubs in the front end.