With the action switching over to 4WD in Slovakia at the third round of the Euro Offroad Series following Michal Orlowski’s 2WD victory, Bruno Coelho showed beating Xray on home ground in the reigning champions class is going to be a challenge as he led a 1-2-3 in seeding practice. Over the two rounds of practice at the Hudy Arena, Coelho would post the fastest 3-consecutive laps on the second run with Kája Novotný just 0.067 off and Hupo Honigl a similar margin off in third. Best of the visiting teams would be Neil Cragg who laid down the fourth fastest time, Slovakia marking the Team Associated driver’s first 4WD outing of the season and the European debut of the B64. For Michal Orlowski the switch to 4WD would see the EOS Poland double winner set the 9th fastest time, an improvement on where 2WD had started out yesterday.
Reacting to topping the times as was widely expected, Coelho said, ‘I had zero steering and was super surprised when I saw the timing screen after the run’. Having rebuilt the shocks on his Hobbywing powered XB4 after the first practice to try and get it to land better he said this had left him with no steering saying, ‘normally our car has super steering’. Admitting his shock rebuild was somewhat rushed he said he must have done something wrong and he hopes to find out what before tonight’s opening qualifier.
‘Perfect. Right now its amazing’ was how Novotný summed up his XB4 after practice. The Czech National Champion adding he is ‘just loving the car’ and having left it unchanged between rounds it was ‘even better on the second run’. Pleased with his three lap pace, the 20-year-old said running a clean 5-minutes was going to be difficult given the track layout but added ‘its offroad and I would prefer too many jumps than not enough’.
Honigl said, ‘I’m a bit surprised by my pace but I happy with that’. Leaving his car unchanged between runs and going on to set the fastest lap of practice, the only driver to manage a lap in 21-seconds, the Austrian said based on this he ‘wont touch it’ for the opening qualifier. In terms of the track layout for 4WD compared to running 2WD on it, he said, ‘there are too many jumps which means you are more flying in the air than driving’.
Having not raced 4WD since last September, Cragg was ‘pretty pleased’ with his second practice run. Describing his first practice as ‘sketchy’, the British driver said a set-up change ‘transformed’ the car. With no practice with the new car he said, ‘we are going to have to learn quick this weekend’ adding his pace in the second practice was ‘very encouraging’. With only 3 of the new B64s running in Slovakia Joona Haatanen would also put his example in the top qualifying heat having set the 7th fastest seeding time.
Behind Xray’s Martin Wollanka, Lee Martin would post the 6th fastest time. The Yokomo driver said his ‘car feels consistent as long as you don’t crash it’. Sitting third in the championship standings, the former champion said while ‘4WD is always fast & furious’ in terms of the track layout ‘there is probably a bit too much going on’. Changing his shock set-up between rounds he said it improved the car but he still needs to work on improving the car through the middle of the corners.
Chassis: Team Associated B64 Motor: Reedy Sonic 4.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: Reedy 5300mAh Radio/Servo: KO/Reedy Remarks – British driver Neil Cragg is running the new B64 from Team Associated, making its European debut at the EOS here in Trencin. With this being the first outing for the buggy on carpet, Neil is using heavy duty gears for the high bite conditions, as well as stiffer springs and sway bars conceived for this kind of surface. His car also sports a pre-production aluminium option steering rack.
Michal Orlowski has pulled off an impressive 2WD victory at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia to extend his lead in the Euro Offroad Series. Coming into the third round on the back of his EOS Poland and DHI Cup wins, the Schumacher driver’s weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts as he struggled in seeding ending up only 21st fastest. The opening round of qualifying didn’t bring much improvement either but from Q2 the Polish ace would turn things around eventually qualifying his LRP powered Cougar KC 3rd behind Top Qualifier Lee Martin and Bruno Coelho. With marshalling dramas writing off a good A1 result, Orlowski again put himself back in the game with an A2 win but he was to save his best for last. First making light work of Coelho and then capitalising on Martin running wide, the Yokomo driver coming back at him 2-laps later only for the pair to tangle, he would take A3 and with it his third 2WD EOS win at the very same venue where he took a breakthrough first international win 2-years ago. Winner of the event last year, reigning champion Martin would finish 3rd in the decider behind Neil Cragg to take 2nd overall, his season still void of a win. With his A3 challenge ending on the first proper run down the straight as he flew off the track, Coelho completed the podium In Slovakia, this weekend still ending up one the 4WD World Champion’s best 2WD performances.
‘At the beginning I had planned something different. I was prepared to wait for mistakes but when Bruno went wide I thought to go for it’, was how Orlowski described his attacking approach to the race. The 15-year-old continued, ‘Lee had a small mistake and I got by and then I just wanted to do what I did in A2 and get a gap. Then we got together but Lee showed good sportsmanship.’ With Joona Haatanen and Neil Cragg joining the battle after the contact, Orlowski said this helped him pull away from Martin but he continued to ‘push harder’ looking to have a big enough lead should he have a mistake himself. He added, ‘in the end everything worked out’. Describing it as a ‘really up & down weekend’, he said, ‘the end result was very good for our new car which was only released a couple of weeks ago and to give it its first win especially here I’m really pleased’. He added, ‘I didn’t get the TQ, I felt I could have, but still I extended my lead (in the championship) and I’m looking forward to the next race. My aim there will be to seal up the championship.’
‘I drove one good race, he drove two’, was how a disappointed Martin summed up today’s outcome. Complimenting his rival saying, ‘he drove good’, he continued, ‘my car was great and my biggest excuse for not winning was I ran out of tyres’. Describing his RC Concept powered YZ2 as ‘great on new tyres’ he said, ‘unfortunately it was a little harder on used tyres’. Admitting to being ‘a little gutted’ to win out on win he concluded, ‘When the car is that good I normally drive better in the finals but it’s hard to settle into a rhythm when you have 9 buzzing bees chasing you. My luck will turn soon’.
Coelho said while he ‘had a bad start again’ in A3 he was pleased to end up on the podium in a class he publicly admits is his weakest. The defending 4WD EOS Champion, he said, ‘I race 6 classes and this is my worst, 2WD (driving) style is not my style but we are focusing more on it now and have done a lot of work on the car. The last races we had 2 cars in the final and now we have 3 with one on the podium so we are getting there. The reason we didn’t challenge more for the win is because of my mistakes and not the car but I am learning the style needed every race. I will try to be better for the next round’. Behind Coelho, team-mate Martin Bayer would finish fourth ahead of Team Associated’s Neil Cragg. Having got his EOS campaign off to the perfect start with a win at the Nurburgring, which would be his home race, Marc Rheinard would end up sixth, the Yokomo driver as in Poland unable again unable to find his form.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2 CA Motor: Yokomo 6.0T ESC: Yokomo Batteries: Yokomo 5000mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – Rising Norwegian talent Daniel Kobbevik reached his first EOS A-Main here at the Hudy Arena driving a YZ-2 CA. His buggy is equipped with the same prototype rear brace and shock springs seen on Lee Martin’s car. Daniel is also using rear aluminium uprights.
Michal Orlowski has put himself right back in contention to extend his championship lead of the Euro Offroad Series after the Schumacher driver won A2 of 2WD at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia. With the Pole void of any good luck in A1, losing 8-seconds due to poor marshalling, in A2 the teenager would call in his lucky stars twice as he took the win over Top Qualifier & A1 winner Lee Martin. A bobble from Martin early in the first lap would bunch up the field with Orlowski finding a way passed both Martin and Bruno Coelho to go to the front where he would stay to the end but the EOS Poland winner almost threw it away on the last lap. Jumping the left side double double badly his Cougar KC went tumbling but somehow landed on its wheels allowing him to continue to finish ahead of Martin and Martin Bayer to set the stage for three way A3 shoot out that will decide the overall winner. For Coelho, while he would get by Martin’s Yokomo for a time, a mistake at the end of the straight that sent his Xray flying off the track would start a series of errors that would leave him to finish 4th but along with Martin and Orlowski he still has a chance at notching up his first outright EOS 2WD win in A3.
‘I was really lucky at the start. I actually went wide at the first jump and don’t know what happened after that but I came out in the lead’ was Orlowski’s recollection of the how he got the race lead. A former winner at the Hudy Arena and setting the fastest lap of the race he continued, ‘I knew I was faster than Lee so I tried to make a slight gap on him. Lee & Bruno came together which helped but I still wanted to have space for if I made a mistake which happened on the last lap’. Lining up behind his two rivals for the overall win, on A3 he said, ‘we’ll see what happens’ but with Martin’s TQ reducing his lead to 3-points he said this is going to be an important race for the championship.
‘It’s all down to leg three’, was Martin’s reaction after A2. In search of his first EOS win of the season, giving his view of the start he said, ‘I jumped a tiny bit too long and for the first time this weekend the car double bounced on landing and got up on 2-wheels. I managed to save it but there where cars down inside’. He continued, ‘Michal got a bit of a lead out of it but I caught him up but then had a few bobbles and hit wheels with Bruno and we both hesitated. Once things settled back down Michal was too far gone to catch without a big mistake, which almost happened’.
Coelho said, ‘I had a terrible start. Lee made a mistake and I was waiting to see where his car was going to go but then everyone overtook me but luckily nobody crashed me’. Coming out third, he said, ‘I was able to catch Lee and overtook him but then at the end of the straight I had a mistake and went off the track. I tried to recover but ended up making more mistakes. We have one more go’. In order for Coelho to notch up a first EOS 2WD victory he needs to win in a faster time than that which Martin achieved in A1.
Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KC Motor: LRP X20 6.5T ESC: LRP Flow Batteries: LRP 4000mAh LCG Radio/Servo: Sanwa Remarks – Polish ace Michal Orlowski is debuting the production version of the new Cougar KC that has been developed in the last months. The new buggy now features a three position differential height adjustment and new gull-wing shaped front wishbones. Included in the kit are belts and top decks to allow for 4 different motor positions to comply with different traction levels. Michal is also using optional aluminium rear uprights that enable axle height changes.