Michal Orlowski has claimed his first overall TQ of the Euro Offroad Series with a superb drive in the final qualifier at the Season #4 finale at the Hudy Racing Arena. Having topped the opening 2WD qualifier in Slovakia, the 13-year would secure pole position ahead of this year’s champion Lee Martin when he produced the fastest qualifying time of the four rounds in Q4, also setting the fastest lap of the weekend in the process. Having each TQ’d a round of qualifying it is Martin and Yokomo team-mate Marc Rheinard who start directly behind the young Polish star. Putting in his best round in the final qualifier taking a P2, Kody Numedahl will start fourth while last year’s winner Martin Bayer finds himself only 7th on the grid behind the factory Team Associated trio who have made the trip over from the US.
‘Big stress’ was Orlowski’s initial reaction to becoming on the 8th different driver to TQ an EOS race since the championship was established 4-years ago. With two good rounds having taken a P2 in Q3 and 2 of 4 to count, he said he knew he could push his KF2 more in the final qualifier but laying down the TQ pace he admitted he was ‘shaking for the last minute’. Running the same set of handout tyres and set-up from Q1, he said his buggy has been ‘super good’ and he plans to leave it as is for A1. Shocked himself by his fastest lap time, looking to the finals he said ‘its a very hard track so its very important to have no mistakes’. In with a chance of a Top 3 finish in the overall championship standings he continued, ‘I will do my best and see what happens’.
‘The kid is fast’, that was 3-time 2WD race winner Martin’s reaction to Orlowski TQ. The World Championship runner-up, who hada mistake in his final qualifier, said he and the Schumacher driver are very close on pace and echoed this rivals thoughts on the race saying the plans was ‘don’t crash and see what happens’. Reunited this weekend with his old TRF team-mate Rheinard, who signed a surprise deal to race for Yokomo’s offroad team just last month, Martin said ‘Marc is starting behind me and the aim s for both of us to move forward in the finals’.
Ending qualifying with his best run, Numedahl said he found the 1-second that he believed was in him with another 2-seconds coming from the track being much faster in Q4. Adding weight to his B5M for the last qualifier he said this made it a little more comfortable to drive. Asked about his plan for the final, the AE designer replied, ‘2WD is not so crazy as 4WD which is nuts, but as we’re are going so fast its going to be hard not to hit people’.
One the series former race Top Qualifiers, Wernimont said he hoped to turn things around in the final. Qualifying 5th, the 18-year-old said ‘I crash the whole time but the car has the speed and if I can just sort that out we might be able to pull something good out of the finals’. His senior team-mate Cavalieri who starts 6th, referring to the triple finals said ‘It will be fun out there’ continuing ‘my plan is just to follow around and see what happens ahead’.
After a good Q3, Bayer was annoyed with his final run as he made ‘two stupid mistakes’. The home event for his Xray team he said its going to be hard to do something from 7th but his XB2 prototype’s pace is good and who knows what will happen in the race.
Lee Martin has posted his first 2WD TQ run of the Euro Offroad Series Season Finale at the Hudy Arena. The Yokomo driver, who wrapped up the Season #4 title at the previous race in Austria, became the third different driver to top qualifying in as many rounds as he set the fastest time over Q1 pace setter Michal Orlowski. After a ‘horrible start’ to his day, Xray’s Martin Bayer claimed his first Top 3 run ahead of the trio American Team Associated trio of Kody Numedahl, Ryan Cavalieri and Carson Wernimont.
With his tyres going ‘over the hill’ in Q2, allowing team-mate Marc Rheinard to snatch a TQ run ahead of him as he struggled for grip, Martin started Q3 with brand new tyres on his YZ-2. ‘Edgy starting out’, the Brit said as the run progressed it ‘felt pretty good’ and his plan for the final qualifier is to just run everything as is and just try to put in a clean run. From his TQ run in the previous qualifier, an early wheelie on the main straight right in front of Martin, would be the start of a poor run for Rheinard. Trying to make up the lost time, the German said he pushed too hard which is ‘not faster’ leaving him 11h for the round.
A non finisher in the second qualifier, a mistake at the double double while on a Top 3 pace leading to him popping a rear drive shaft, Orlowski was happy to back up his Q1 TQ with a 2nd. The young Polish star said with two of four rounds to count he knew it was important to put in a solid run in Q3 and so he went for a safe run. Describing his pace for the first half of as ‘slow’ he said the second was faster and considering his early pace he is happy to end up second.
Losing a screw from a steering hub in Q1, and then suffering from his slipper nut coming loose in Q2, Bayer was relieved to have a run with no mechanical issues. Last year’s winner of the Slovakian round, he said he made one ‘stupid mistake’ when he traction rolled his XB2 and without this he would have been very close to Martin. Needing a good final qualifying if he is to start at the sharp end of the grid, the Czech ace said ‘the speed is there and I just need to drive clean’.
Getting ‘too confident in Q2’ leading to him overdriving his B5M and eventually deciding to pull off, Numedahl said reverting back to the smooth driving that netted him a P5 in Q1, the American was happy with fourth fastest. Fitting a front wing to his buggy for the latest round the AE designer said the difference was ‘very noticeable’ with it less inclined to wheelie due to extra aero. Feeling the car is pretty close on pace he said there is probably about a second more that could come from the driver.
Third in Q2, Cavalieri said while the he only managed a P5 in Q3 due to a mistake in lap 3 he was happy that he had picked up a few 1/10ths in his fastest lap time. Running a front wing since Q1, which he said makes the car smoother to drive, he is confident the last round can be a good one for him. Team-mate Wernimont described his latest run to P6 as ‘alright’. The 18-year-old said he knows the car can do better and has the speed but he needs to get around for the 5-minutes without mistakes.
One of this season’s 3 overall race winners in 2WD, Naoto Matsukura is not happy with his pace. Posting the 7th fastest time, having finished way down the order in Q2, the new Kyosho signing said understeer is a big issue on his RB6 and he doesn’t have a good feeling with the car. Lacking confidence in it he said this means they ‘dont have pace’ to run at the front. Behind Matsukura, 13-year-old EOS debutant Kaito Kodera enjoyed his best run with the Yokomo driver 8th fastest.
Michal Orlowski has TQ’d the opening round of 2WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia this morning. The Schumacher driver claimed the first of the four scheduled qualifiers at the Hudy Racing Arena from Team Associated’s Carson Wernimont with Yokomo’s Marc Rheinard completing the Top 3. Having set the pace in yesterday’s seeding practice champion Lee Martin would post the fourth fastest time.
One of the stars in 2WD at Round 3 of the championship in Austria where he led the opening A-Main before his speedo shut down, Orlowski was to open the season finale with a TQ run. Expecting traction to be higher than yesterday due to the day ending with 4WD practice, the 13-year-old said in anticipation of this he cut the inside pins from from his rear tyres and this worked well. Having one mistake over the 5-minutes, admitting he got lucky as his KF2 landed on its wheels, the Polish driver said he was happy with how his buggy handled the extra grip the track now has. Posting the fastest lap of the round for Q2 his plan was to leave it as is and ‘just drive it’.
‘A pretty good start’ was how Wernimont described his P2 for the round. A former EOS Top Qualifier, the American said he ‘thought (he) was driving conservatively and it didn’t feel like (he) was going fast’. Planning to leave his chassis set-up unchanged, the 18-year-old will adjust his speedo settings as he feels his B5M is lacking speed on the straight.
Rheinard also described his qualifier as a ‘good start’. Making his Yokomo offroad team debut this weekend, the multiple electric onroad World Champion said adding a front wing to his YZ-2 along with more front droop had improved the buggy from how it was in practice. Loosing time early in the run as he tried to pass Xray’s Martin Wollanka the German said he also had a ‘rough’ penultimate lap but ‘3rd was anyway a good start’ and something to build on.
Team-mate Martin said the run ‘sucked’. The British driver ‘crashed in no mans land’ and by the time a marshal got to him he had lost 4-seconds. Pointing out that Yokomo’s ageing 4WD is so different to drive than their new 2WD platform, he said it was hard to adjust back but added it should get better now for the rest of the day. Leaving his YZ-2 unchanged from practice he said the buggy felt fine and he wouldn’t make any changes for Q2.
Posting the 5th fastest time, Kody Numedahl said he ‘just got a run together’ admitting the result was a ‘little surprising’. The Associated designer continued, ‘I didn’t drive awesome but didn’t need to get marshalled which as its so challenging out there worked out for me’. His star team-mate Ryan Cavalieri would get a P8 for the round describing it as ‘pretty decent’. Making one mistake, the American said ‘the rule to be successful here is just don’t flip over’. Feeling they are ‘just about right now with set-up’ he said he would leave his B5M as is for Q2 and just adapt his driving more to it with the aim of putting in a cleaner run.
Completing the top 6 Naoto Matsukura said his Kyosho was ‘OK” but ‘the driver just made too many mistakes’. With the traction different to practice he said his RB6 was lacking steering and for Q2 he needs to make a set-up change to try reduce the problem. Behind the former champion, Schumacher’s Peter Pinisch claimed P7. The Austrian said he had Top 3 pace and his car was good over 5-minutes but he threw it away with ‘a stupid mistake’ at the double double.
Completing the Top 10 behind Cavalieri, were youngsters Kaito Kodera and Frederik Hovgaard who finished 9th and 10th respectively. Making his first EOS appearance and having his first experience on carpet this weekend, the up & coming 13-year-old Japanese talent Kodera, who is backed by Yokomo, has adapted quickly to and is enjoying his news surroundings. For last year’s event winner, Martin Bayer, the opening qualifier would result in a DNF for the Xray driver as he broke a front left arm.
Remarks: Fastest at the end of practice, Japanese Kyosho team driver Naoto Matsukura is running a just released new chassis on his Lazer ZX6. Lighter than the stock version, the new platform offers the possibility to move the central spur gear 8mm forward. He is also using some prototype X-gear shock towers with a different flex and a prototype front 2mm swaybar.
Naoto Matsukura has topped 4WD practice at the season finale of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia. Having opened Season #4 of the EOS in Poland with a double win for Yokomo but then splitting with the team, the series returning Japanese driver said his blistering pace in the second of the timed practice was a message to his rivals that he and his Kyosho team are a force to be reckoned with in this world championship year. Although free practice pace setter and last year’s Hudy Racing Arena round winner Martin Bayer had problems in TP2, Matsukura would end Day 1 of the event an impressive one and a half second’s faster than the Xray driver who in turn was 1.1 seconds faster than Schumacher’s 3rd placed Michal Orlowski. 3-seconds off Lee Martin would be the fastest Yokomo with the fourth fastest time.
‘Car is perfect, just need to freshen it up for Sunday’, that was Matsukura’s reaction to his pace. Running eight 24-second laps over the 10 laps he completed in TP2, his rivals struggling to manage just one, he said going a little harder in he rear shock oil had improved his Lazer ZX6. With the car featuring a new chassis plate for his event, he said the shock change gave more stability both in the corners and on the landings. Seeking confirmation that 3 out of 4 rounds count for the overall championship, this being only his second outing, he said ‘I have no championship to worry about but still we can show that I can also win in red’ referring to his Kyosho team clothing.
Finishing the final practice with only 2WD due to a pin breaking in the front centre drive shaft, Bayer said he was happy with his speed, his fastest time set in TP1. With the track getting faster each run but only Matsukura able to go faster he said his XB4 feels good and has the speed. Happy that he can run clean laps over 5-minutes, the Czech driver says he is confident for Sunday.
Dremeling the pins on his tyres for the final round, Orlowski said it was an improvement but while less edgy he was still getting it up on two wheels through the corners. Planning to start qualifying with the car unchanged, the 13-year-old said his focus would be to try to keep the 5-minutes clean.
A slightly dejected Lee Martin said his B-Max 4 was still the same despite changes made after free practice. With the car still bouncing on the flat landings, the title hopeful said they they didn’t yet have a solution to the problem but said at least they had a day to brainstorm and come up with something. Team-mate Marc Rheinard would post the 6th fastest time. The new Yokomo offroad team recruit, said while his car was not too easy to drive it was ‘not bad’. While ‘it could be better’ he said the key thing come qualifying was going to be to drive 5-minutes without mistakes.
Ending the day 5th fastest, Miguel Matias said he is still playing catch after his brake issues but his Xray was pretty consistent. ‘Lacking a little speed’, the Portuguese driver said this was compounded by the fact he ran new tyres each run so as to have them broken in for qualifying, used proving better on the new carpet tiles being used here at the Hudy Racing Arena. Team-mate Martin Wollanka would make it three XB4s in the Top 10 as the Austrian posted the 7th fastest time.
One of three US Team Associated drivers making the trip to the EOS Season finale, Ryan Cavalieri would end practice 8th overall. Having struggled in free practice, the former World Champion said a different front end set-up on his Orion powered B44.3 had made it more comfortable to drive on a surface that is completely alien to the Californian based driver. Describing this final practice as ‘pretty decent’, he is confident they have now found the right direction to go with set-up adding ‘we’ll have it figured out for Sunday’. While Kody Numedahl is only doing 2WD, team-mate Carson Wernimont would complete the Top 10 times ahead of defending champion Joern Neumann. Wernimont said he was ‘struggling with everything on the track’ adding he needed to find a better overall balance. The 18-year-old added ‘we are still putting bait on the hook and throwing the line in the water and we’ll catch something sooner or later’.
‘Compared to Naoto and Bayer I am way too slow’, was how Neumann put his pace into perspective. The German said he is ‘losing time everywhere’ and he has ‘tried everything already to try improve it’. He said there is some time in pushing harder but at the risk if damaging the buggies weak point, the diff gear.
Remarks: At his first EOS race of the season, former World Champion Ryan Cavalieri is running a pretty standard version of the B44.3, which features a full Lunsford titanium screws and turnbuckles set, JConcepts Silencer body and steering bellcranks and some shock limiters for the high bite conditions.
Having topped 2WD timed practice, Martin Bayer carried his form over to 4WD with the Xray driver heading the times after three rounds of free practice. Double winner at the Hudy Racing Arena last year, the former European Champion would record the fastest 3-consecutive laps in the second practice with Kyosho’s Naoto Matsukura closest, only 0.235 of a second off. Although over 1.4 seconds off Bayer, reigning champion Joern Neumann would complete the Top 3, the German happy to be faster than his only title rival Lee Martin who ended up fourth.
Describing his XB4 as ‘super good’, Bayer added ‘it’s a bit difficult to drive but has very good speed’. Making little changes throughout yesterday’s open practice he said having been pleased with how the buggy ran in the first practice today he hasn’t had to make any further set-up changes. While he failed to improve on his time in the final free practice, he feels he also has a very strong car over 5-minutes highlighting the fact he was the only driver to run 12-laps over the 5-minutes.
Having made small adjustments to his Lazer ZX6 including going down in the front shock oil weight and up in the rear, Matsukura said the buggy was ‘so good’. With the shock change reducing the car’s tendency to want to traction roll on the high bite conditions the Touring Car World Champion said he would leave the car unchanged and use the first timed practice to see how the car runs on new tyres having done all of free practice on used tyres.
Looking at the time sheets, Neumann initial response was ‘I don’t race against them I race against him’ referring to Lee Martin. The German said with his SRX-4 ‘very easy to flip’ in the first two practices he made a shock set-up change for the final run with the traction roll much more manageable now. Planning to further stiffen up the front shocks, he said his biggest concern for the rest of the weekend is the ongoing problem of stripping one of the diff gears adding he hopes he has enough to see him through Sunday’s qualifying and finals.
‘Struggling a little bit’ was how Martin summed up his 4WD performance. The British driver said ‘I am a little too far away from where I want to be as we can’t get the car to feel right’. He added the problem is his B-Max 4 III is struggling to land the jumps with it bouncing on the flat landings. Happy with how the buggy is cornering but having no confidence when jumping he said Shin Adachi tried a different shock piston in his final practice that seemed to improve things and he plans to try that in the first timed practice. Posting the 9th fastest time team-mate Marc Rheinard also reported the same problem.
Setting the fifth fastest time Michal Orlowski said his Schumacher was ‘not super good but not super bad’. The 13-year-old Polish talent said his CAT K1 Aero doesn’t have enough steering but at the same time also wants to traction roll. Still looking to find a better set-up for the tricky conditions, he said his three laps pace is ‘OK’ and so for the first timed practice he would just try to drive around the issue to register a time for hopefully a place in the top qualifying heat.
Completing the Top 6 Miguel Matias said his turn around in form came from an electrics change. Struggling with no brakes all day yesterday from his Orion electrics, the Portuguese driver switched to ORCA and, now able to get his Xray XB4 stopped, he immediately made a huge step forward. Running a very similar set-up to team-mate Bayer he said having now found his rhythm around the track he would make a few small adjustments to the set-up to get it to better suit his driving. Behind him team-mate Martin Wollanka would end up 7th.
Eight quickest, Team Associated’s Carson Wernimont said he got his B44.3 to corner better in the last one through a shock position change but is now struggling with jumping and landing. What the change gave in cornering it took away in how shocks work the jumps adding he needs to find a ‘happy medium’ but he has a few ideas for his shocks for timed practice. Team-mate Ryan Cavalieri would end up 12th. The multiple work champion described his performance as ‘mediocre’. Describing the level of grip as ‘crazy’, he continued, ‘I have never driven 4WD on anything like this before and it is way more challenging out there than it was in 2WD’.