Reigning Euro Offroad Series Champion Lee Martin got his title defence off to a strong start by taking 2WD win today at the Nürburgring in Germany. The Yokomo driver claimed his 4th win at the 15th championship race of the EOS when he backed up his A2 win with victory in the three way A3 decider. Second overall at the Season #5 opener would be Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski despite the A1 winner crashing and finishing only 5th in A3. Xray’s Martin Wollanka would claim his first 2WD podium thanks to seeing off Carson Wernimont for second in A3. Unfortunately for Wollanka’s team-mate and star of qualifying, Bruno Coelho would finishing a disappointing 6th as mistakes again cost the touring car ace dearly.
‘A good start’ that was how Martin summed up his opening win before adding ‘I should have TQ’d too but blew that myself’. While missing out on the bonus championship point for TQ, he said opening with a win was important as predicted ‘it is going to be a tough EOS season’. Commenting on the closing 2WD race of the first of the championship’s four rounds, the event switching to 4WD tomorrow, Martin said ‘that one was pretty easy’. Getting to the front following a mistake by Coelho, he said further changes to his Muchmore powered YZ-2 were good and it was the first time he felt comfortable with the car. With the pursuing Orlowski making a mistake on lap 5, the same lap on which Martin set the fastest lap of the race, he added it ‘was easy then’.
Winner of last season’s finale Orlowski was pleased to back that up with second despite having been ‘very close to the win’. Throwing away the A2 lead with a mistake as a result of his car losing power, a new motor was fitted to his Cougar KF2 for the deciding leg. The fresh motor would cause problems as having more power he said it was difficult to drive leading to his early mistake as he tried to chase down Martin. Despite the new motor the car would again loose power over the final two minutes of the race leaving him unable to regain places. Afterwards the problem was traced to the slipper and not to electrics as previously thought. Having experienced set-up issues in qualifying and then slipper problems in the final, the 14-year-old said he was ‘very happy’ to come out of the event with second.
Wollanka declared himself ‘very happy’ as he ended the day as the best of the Xrays on what was a very strong 2WD showing from the Slovakian manufacturer. With his high profile team-mates Coelho 6th and former 2WD winner Martin Bayer only able to finish 8th, the Austrian said it was nice to end the day with a good race and end up on the podium.
Finishing 5th overall behind his Yokomo team-mate Marc Rheinard, Wernimont said while ‘it’s not really where anyone wants to end up’, for his ‘first time with the car I’ll take it’. Working with the cars designer on a set-up for A3 he said his YZ-2 ‘got quicker’ but he ‘ran out of time to find a way around Wollanka’ for a Yokomo 1-2. He added at least I end 2WD on a high note which is good going in the World Championship, the event taking place at the Yokomo owned Yatabe Arena in Japan in two weeks time.
‘It was not my afternoon, after a really good morning it was a really bad end to the day’, that was Coelho’s view of things. The Portuguese ace, who has shown this weekend he can be quick at the controls of anything he drives, said to start first and end up 6th is ‘very disappointing’ adding ‘small mistakes cost me a lot’. Looking to tomorrow’s 4WD action, having topped seeding practice, he said ‘I hope to wake to a good day in the morning’.
Having felt he was robbed of the win the opening A-Main, Yokomo’s Lee Martin came out on top in an exciting A2 setting the stage for a three way fight for the overall win at the opening round of Season #5 of the Euro Offroad Series. Like in A1 it was Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho who led early but this time the Xray driver and Martin got to battle it out with the pair swapping position back and forth. Unfortunately a bad landing on lap 10 of 17 by Martin would leave Coelho nowhere to got sending them both tumbling off the the track as the Xray ran into the back of the Yokomo. This would allow A1 winner Michal Orlowski to go to the front and looking like he was on for his second ever overall EOS victory an error with three laps to go would drop the Schumacher driver back to his P3 starting position.
Much happier the reigning champion summed up the race as ‘karma comes around’. Describing it as a ‘good battle’ with Coelho, the pair swapping position four times, he said he landed short and with Coelho committed he hit him in what was a racing incident. Allowing Orlowski through, the pair having made contact in A1, the multiple European Champion said he just focused on a big push to catch him. Catching the youngster, they would again come together at the big jump, Martin waited as he said should have happened in A1. Orlowski would made another mistake however allowing Martin to continue on for the win with Coelho also getting past to finish 1.1 seconds back.
‘I did a lot of mistakes’ was Coelho’s reaction to the race referring to the number of times he got his XB2 up on two wheels. Commenting on the coming together with Martin he said ‘Lee had a bad landing and I couldn’t avoid running into the back of him’. With the marshal tending to Martin’s buggy first he said that was the end of the challenge. Getting back to second due to Orlowski’s late mistake he said that was good luck as having a DNF in A1, the second means he can still fight for the overall win.
Orlowski was to the point saying he threw away the win through his own ‘stupid mistake’. The newly crowned 4WD European Champion said the race had started out exactly as he was hoping with Martin and Coelho making contact allowing him to the front. However after 3-minute his car lost power leading him to get his jumps wrong as he jumped them short. For A3 he will fit a new motor in the hope that this cures the issue.
Michal Orlowski has won the first A-Main of the new season of the Euro Offroad Series at the Nürburgring in a race that was determined by two key incidents. The first of those came halfway into the 5-minute encounter when surprise Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho got a jump wrong while leading from Lee Martin. With this allowing both Martin and the pursuing Orlowski to the front, the second incident would come 5-laps later when the pair would make contact with Martin coming off worst. While Orlowski initially waited, Race Director Scotty Ernst gave the 14-year-old permission to race on, a decision Martin was less than happy with. With Coelho retiring after popping a camber link, Marc Rheinard would complete the Top 3 from 6th on the grid.
Reverting to an older setting on his Schumacher, Orlowski said his Cougar KF2 was better than qualifying but during the warm-up the feeling was strange. Cautious of this and not wanting to make risky mistakes at the start, he said he drove very cautiously for the first few laps but getting more comfortable with the set-up change, the car feeling much smoother to drive, and seeing he could match the pace of the two in front he then started to push harder. Getting down the inside of Martin as the Brit had to check-up slightly, he would touch the Yokomo’s rear wheel sending it over on its roof. Commenting on the incident the Polish star, who took his first EOS win at last season’s closing race, said ‘I waited for Lee but then Scotty told me to continue’.
‘A shit one really’ that was how Martin summed up the race. Having played out his plan of sitting behind Coelho and waiting for a mistake he said the race was going to plan. Admitting to having checked up a little allowing Orlowski to close, Martin said he still had his line so Orlowski was in the wrong as he hit his rear wheel. Not hearing that Orlowski was told to continue he said he was ‘mad’ with the Polish driver for not waiting. Describing himself as an ‘extremely fair’ driver he said he got the ‘raw end of the deal’. In terms of his Muchmore powered YZ-2 he said again they further improved it but they still need to find a little more steering for A2.
Rheinard was surprised by how cleanly the race got underway saying ‘it was a good start from everyone’. Benefiting from an early mistake by Xray’s Martin Wollanka and his Yokomo team-mate Carson Wernimont getting caught up in Coelho’s mistake, the German said he pushed hard hoping there might be a small change from the leaders crashing. Ultimately he added that he was ‘too far back on the start’ to be a challenger for the win today.
Commenting on his error, EOS rookie Coelho said he just drove too cautiously. Trying to avoid any mistake he just approached the table top too slowly and jumped short causing him to hit it on the landing and flip his LRP powered Xray. He said knowing the car is really good ‘maybe I need to push a little harder the next one’.
Touring car ace Bruno Coelho has stamped his mark on the world of 1:10 Electric offroad claiming the overall 2WD TQ at the Euro Offroad Series season opener at the Nürburgring. His debut EOS at the German event, the Xray driver claimed pole position for the finals after topping the final qualifier ahead of reigning champion Lee Martin. With Martin taking Q2 & 3 the result left the two tied but with Coelho’s Q4 time the fastest of qualifying the Portuguese ace will carry no.1 on his buggy in the final. Winner of the last season’s finale, Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski will start third on the grid ahead of Xray’s Martin Wollanka with American Carson Vernimont completing the top half of the grid.
‘Much, much more than I expected’, that was Coelho’s reaction to his impressive feat in a class which the professional driver has limited experience. Having thrown away the TQ pace in Q3 crashing twice, in the deciding qualifier he flipped his prototype XB2 just once and with Martin also suffering a flip he was able to outpace the Yokomo driver by over 3-seconds to take Q4 and the overall. Describing his car as ‘brilliant’ he said they knew during testing at the Hudy Racing Arena what it was capable of but coming to a different track you never know how it will work but it was still perfect. Asked about the finals he said the biggest decision would be choosing whether to run new or used tyres, the new carpet being used for the fifth season is resulting for little or no tyre wear. In terms of his approach to the final he said he lacks the experience of those starting behind him and ‘need(s) to focus 110%’ adding that with the extra elements of the jumps it was more difficult than racing a touring car.
Having looked to have the overall TQ in the bag Martin was a little downbeat to end up second. In the final qualifier, he said he took his eye off the car for a second and ‘crashed like an idiot’. With ‘a dodgy Yokomo’ crashed in the middle of the front straight he said it was enough to put him off and cause him to crash. Asked about his car he said they managed to improve it for Q3 and then again for Q4 but still descibing it as ‘not perfect’ he said hopefully they can make it better for the final. Commenting on the final he said it was really close between himself and Coelho but his approach was going to be to ‘drive around & around and see what happens’.
Having made changes to lose rear end grip from his Cougar KF2 for Q3, getting a 3rd from the round, Orloswki said a front shock oil change for the final qualifier ‘wasn’t the best’. Going up in the oil he said he had no rear grip and the car wouldn’t turn in. Considering the set-up issues the 14-year-old declared himself ‘pretty happy’ with 3rd and hopes by going back to his base set-up he can run a good final.
Despite his final two heats not going very well, Wollanka was happy with his overall qualifying performance as he claimed his best 2WD starting position with P4. Targeting a podium finish in the final he is confident his XB2, on which he forgot to check the ride height for Q4 with it being way too high, has the pace to be in the mix.
Starting behind Wollanka will be the two Yokomos of Carson Wernimont and Marc Rheinard. Wernimont said he ‘expected a little more of himself’. Making his debut as a full factory Yokomo driver, he said the speed is there but he making too many mistakes due to driving too hard. For the finals, the American, who last year TQ’d the EOS season opener in Poland, plans to ‘keep it under control and work on his consistency’.
Rheinard summed up his performance with ‘always one crash too much each time’. The 4-time Onroad World Champion said his YZ-2 ‘feels OK’ however is ‘not super easy to drive but that’s the same for everyone’. Asked about his expectations for the final he said ‘in offroad everything is possible and with open wheels its hard to force a pass’. Feeling mistakes will determine the race outcome he said ‘its going to be interesting’. Behind Rheinard the grid will be completed by Martin Bayer, former champion Joern Neumann, and Scandinavian teenagers Joakim Nicolaisen and Joona Haatanen.
Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KF2 Motor: Speed Passion ESC: LRP Batteries: LRP Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Ko Remarks – Winner of the last 2WD EOS encounter, Polish driver Michal Orlowski resumes business driving a standard version of the Schumacher Cougar KF2, only equipped with the rear mounted rear shocks conversion kit. Also, the rear arms are from the Cougar SV2 buggy.