Michal Orlowski has taken a dominant victory in the opening 2WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland. Starting from the pole, the Schumacher driver however would get the first jump slightly wrong with his error leading Lee Martin and Neil Cragg to tangle delaying the field and giving him an early break he would only go on to extend. With Hupo Honigl coming off best from hectic first lap to go from 6th to second, Cragg’s move into second short lived as he crashed at the quad, Orlowski was then able to extend his lead crossing the finish almost 6-seconds in front. Holding second for 4 minutes and 45 second, with Martin right on his rear wing, Honigl would make a mistake handing second to the reigning champion with a lap to go. Eventually finishing 5th as Cragg and Christopher Krapp also went through on the last lap to claim 3rd and 4th, the former race winner said afterwards, ‘I want to shoot myself, I don’t even know how I crashed’.
A very popular win in front of a huge crowd of visitors to the Warsaw Moto Show, Orlowski said, ‘I got a bit lucky at the start. I was worried about the first jump before the race and then got it a bit wrong but saved it from crashing’. He continued, ‘I got it a bit too short but Lee gave me space and that caused the crash behind. Once the race settled, the 15-year-old said, ‘I could see Hupo was defending in second so I just focused on doing my laps and making sure I didn’t make any more mistakes. Hopefully the next one I won’t have the same problem with the first jump’.
Giving his view on the start, Martin said, ‘Orlowski was a bit short and I was also a bit short. He bounced wide but I could see he was coming back in so I gave him space. Neil hit the the jump good and carrying speed he hit me. It was just a racing accident’. The Yokomo driver would set about a recover catching up to Honigl summing up the Austrian’s frustration with ‘Hupo was out front for 4:45. How unlucky’. Hoping for a better start in A2 to try and push the race decider into A3, the Brit said, ‘Michal is fast, he is comfortable and he’s driven well so far. I think it’s going to be hard to unsettle him but we’ll try’.
‘Third is a pretty good salvage’ was how a frustrated Cragg summed the opening A-Main. The Associated driver continued ‘I got unlucky at the start and climbed all over Lee’. I still managed to get away in second but then rolled on the same lap and had a few more uncomposed laps. I got a lucky third on the last lap’. Feeling he could have challenged Orlowski he said, ‘I would like to see him under pressure from the start but instead we gave it to him on the first lap’. Behind Cragg, Krapp who was involved in the early battle for second would also drop back after a mistake but recover to finish 4th, one place up on his starting position. Starting ahead of his fellow German, Joern Neumann’s return to the front of the EOS grid didn’t go well as the former champion came off worst of the first lap bunching up of the pack as he came out of it in last place to finish 8th behind EOS Round 1 winner Marc Rheinard.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2 CA Motor: RC Concept 6.0T ESC: RC Concept SC120 Batteries: RC Concept Omega 4500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Lee Martin is set to start second on the A-Main grid in Poland, having topped the last round of qualifying here at the Warsaw Moto Show. His Yokomo YZ-2 CA is equipped with the same prototype Yatabe springs used at the Nurburgring in the opening EOS round and features a rear brace that Lee’s engineer Shin Adachi cut to obtain more flex. To suit better the different characteristics of the tight Polish track, this time they opted for using the old version of the Japanese car’s rear hubs.
Lee Martin has taken the final round of qualifying at Round 2 of the EOS in Poland. With the overall TQ being wrapped up by Michal Orlowski in the penultimate qualifier, Q4 was about deciding how the rest of the field would line up behind the Schumacher driver. Opting to run his most worn set of tyres in the final qualifier to save tyres for the final, Orlowski would find his KF2 SE very loose meaning he would have to settle for 3rd. Up front Martin, having DNF’d Q3, would set the pace by 1.6-seconds from Joern Neumann, a result that would secure the reigning champion second on the grid. For the much improved Neumann, the 2nd along with an earlier P3 will see the Serpent driver take up his best starting position since joining the team with 4th behind Neil Cragg, the Associated driver unable to improve on his two P2 runs with fifth for the round. Backing up his Q3 improvement with another P4, Schumacher’s Christopher Krapp completes the top half of the grid in front of the only Xray in the final, that of Hupo Honigl. For Marc Rheinard his chances of another win look slim with the Nurburgring winner set to start 7th.
Michal Orlowski has sown up the overall TQ for Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in his home town of Warsaw. The Schumacher driver took the honours early with a third TQ run in the penultimate round of qualifying at the Warsaw Moto Show hosted event. Only his second time to take an overall TQ, it two seasons since his first at the Hudy Arena during EOS Season #4, the back to back EOS 2WD Vice-Champion again topped in a repeat of the Q2 outcome with Neil Cragg finishing P2 followed by Joern Neumann. While Orlowski shone up front it was also a good round for team-mate Christopher Krapp as he posted P4 ahead of championship leader Marc Rheinard. For reigning champion Lee Martin Q3 would result in retirement after contact with the boards on the main straight broke a rear arm of his Yokomo.
‘I’m really happy to TQ this race. It seems it always works for me when I race at home even back in my Tamiya days’, was how Orlowski summed up wrapping up an early TQ. In terms of his Q3 performance, again his LRP powered KF2 SE clocking up the fastest lap, the 15-year-old said, ‘It started out not so fast and I was running 4th or 5th so I started to push slightly but then Lee and Neil crashed so I just cruised to make no mistakes and put in consistent laps’. While other drivers will focus on improving their grid position in the fourth & final qualifier, Orlowski’s attention is already on the final. He said, ‘I know I have the pace and I don’t need to push hard to stay in front so I will try to make no mistakes and build up a gap’.
‘I’m still a little off Orlowski, he just seems to be able to put stellar laps but I’m improving’, was Cragg’s reaction after Q3. With Associated team-manager Craig Drescher pointing out to his driver, ‘he (Orlowski) has youth on his side’, the British driver jokingly replied, ‘but experience will tell in the final obviously’. The European Champion, who is having a much stronger showing in Poland than that of the season opener, continued, ‘we are improving every time so I’m happy with that’. On his B6, he said, ‘Craig and myself feel the car is down on power so we will run a bigger battery for the last one (qualifier).
‘A repeat of the previous one’ was how Neumann summed up his latest run to claim another P3. The Serpent driver would suffer one mistake, traction rolling at the corner table and losing around 1.5-seconds. The German said after that he would have to push hard but commented his SDX2 was ‘still OK’ to drive. Looking to improve on his grid position, the multiple former champion having not started at the front end of the grid for a number of seasons now, he said they will reduce the rear toe for Q4 to try get a little more steering’.
Better known for his touring car exploits, Krapp was very happy to get a P4 for the round saying ‘I finally found my offroad driving style’. Having started out with the same set-up as Orlowski he has worked on finding his own one feeling his driving style doesn’t suit how his team-mate runs the car. ‘I found with Michal’s set-up the car was too lazy but he drives more aggressive than me so I think it was my driving rather than the set-up that was the issue. I have been slowly adapting the set-up to suit my touring car style of driving and now it feels good’. On the run itself the German said, ‘I had no mistakes and I know I’m not the fastest but it was consistent and now that I’m safe in the final I can try a few more things’.
Commenting on his P5 run, Nurburgring winner Rheinard simply replied, ‘the driver’ a reference to his almost 5-second mistake. The 4-time Onroad World Champion said, ‘I had to make a safe run because of my earlier results but driving safe you end up making more mistakes’. He continued, ‘it (the mistake) was in the touring car section which makes it even more frustrating’. Looking to the final qualifier, the German said, ‘now I will just push as I’m in the main. It is not the position I want to be but the car is fine so maybe we can improve’. Behind Rheinard, Danish teenager Jesper Rasmussen enjoyed another strong run to complete the Top 6 with his Associated ahead of best of the Xrays Hupo Honigl.
Chassis: Xray XB2 ’17 Motor: Tekin Gen3 6.5T ESC: Tekin RSX Batteries: 4600 mah Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Highest placed among the Xray drivers after three rounds of qualifying, Austrian ace Hupo Honigl is running the 2017 version of the XB2. His example is equipped with a carbon chassis, brass bulkheads, aluminium uprights and a rear swaybar. The car also features pre-production carbon chassis stiffeners and front anti roll bar.