It’s all still to play for in Poland as Michal Orlowski took an uncontested win in A2 of 2wd at the Euro Offroad Series held at the Ptak Warsaw Expo. Having made a mistake in the first A-main this morning, the young Polish driver didn’t repeat his error this time and could win by a clear 5 seconds ahead of a scrappy run by A1 winner Bruno Coelho. The current and former champions were chased home by the super quick Scandinavian pair of Joona Haatanen and Daniel Kobbevik, with Neil Cragg again completing the top 5. On his run, Orlowski said ‘My aim for this run was to beat Bruno’s time from A1, so aim achieved.’ On his Schumacher buggy he said ‘The car felt really good so I can’t complain, I had a big gap, so I just cruised around and be consistent.’ Looking to the deciding 3rd A-main he remarked ‘For A3 I will put on my set (tires) from Q4, which felt really good, and just keep Bruno behind me. Basically I’ll keep it on 4 wheels and try to win.’
Coelho took the runner up spot but had to work for it, the Portuguese driver getting caught on the wall, which dropped him back behind 3rd placed starter Haatanen whom he made two identical passes on the left side step down, on 2 consecutive laps. Asked about the final he replied ‘It was good, I had new tires now so in the beginning the car was a little bit strange to drive, very reactive.’ On his mistake and having to fight back he said ‘I did some small mistakes and got stuck on the wall but then I recovered to 2nd place. I had a good fight with Joona.’ Looking to the final A-main of 2wd, before the schedule switches to 4wd, the Xray driver said ‘One more final to go so everything is still open.’
Inheriting 2nd and then trying to keep Coelho behind, Haatanen said of the battle ‘I had a good race with Bruno, he got by by me twice in the same spot, but at least it was fun.’ Talking about his Associated buggy, he said ‘I had new tires, it felt like I had less steering again but overall it was good, I was third.’
Third place in A1, Daniel Kobbevik would finish in 4th this time, running at the back end of the Joona, Bruno battle but unable to get in the mix. Cragg once again would stay out of trouble and claim 5th, this time ahead of Jessica Pålsson who took 6th just in front of Lee Martin, the Yokomo driver again having a difficult final, finishing in 7th.
In the 2wd 13.5 class Sven Rudig took the win with his Associated buggy in front of pole man Pawel Ntkova with Stephan Eberding in 3rd. A1 winner Juraj Hudy managed to work his way up to 2nd and challenge the lead but some mistakes saw him drop back to 4th at the end. In the Stock Stadium truck class Bartosz Zalewski wrapped up the overall with victory in both the first and second finals with A2 seeing him win in front of Sven Rudig and Rene Levetzow.
Bruno Coelho has taking the opening 2wd A-main at the Euro Offroad Series in Warsaw Poland this morning, the Xray driver benefitting from a late mistake by then leader Michal Orlowski that saw the Polish driver demoted to 2nd. Daniel Kobbevik came through from 5th to take 3rd at the finish just in front of Paul Crompton in 4th with Neil Cragg completing the top 5. Commenting after the race, Coelho said ‘It was a very good final, I got stuck on the first corner and think I blocked 8 guys behind me’ continuing ‘but after that it was very good. I had a small mistake during the run when I was right behind Orlowski, I tried to close a little more and made a small mistake and then he pulled away.’ Able to close the gap again, Bruno was there to pounce when the Polish driver made a mistake and could come through to take the win.
Orlowski led the race from the start and looked to have the win sewn up but coming through the 5-corner chicane in front of the driver’s stand he managed to catch his Schumacher buggy on the corner. Describing the start of the final he said ‘I had a good start, I saw Bruno pushing really hard but I could see him making small mistakes catching some pipes. In the end I tried to keep my pace and maintain the gap between me and him.’ On the crash that saw him lose the spot to his Xray rival he simply said ‘I guess it was a stupid mistake and some bad luck as well’ but looking forward to A2 he was still upbeat saying ‘The car feels good, there is still two more to go, I have good tires so its all still on the line.’
Young Norwegian Daniel Kobbevik was able to drive a clean race and avoid those crashing around him, first as Lee Martin made a mistake on the opening lap and then when Joona Haatanen pulled up on lap 6. ‘No mistakes, I didn’t push that much. I had new tires so maybe it will be more difficult for the next one.’ commented the Xray driver before continuing ‘The first final was pretty good to have a 3rd.’
Coming through the field, the Yokomo driver starting back in 9th, Paul Crompton kept his head down to take 4th for the round ahead of fellow British driver Neil Cragg in 5th. Jorn Neumann, 3rd place starter Lee Martin, EOS A-final debutant Jessica Pålsson, Joel Valander and Joona Haatanen completed the top 10 standings for the round.
In the Stock 13.5 class it was Juraj Hudy who took the win, the Xray boss taking the lead late in the race following a good race-long battle with 2nd place finisher Marcel Röttgerkamp. Stephan Eberding with finish in 3rd ahead of Damian Rogodzinski in 4th and Rene Levetzow in 5th, while pole man Pawel Ntkovca ended the race in 6th.
Michal Orlowski will chase a home victory in Warsaw, Poland tomorrow from pole position having ended qualifying on top, with 3 TQs from an available 4. Bruno Coelho who managed to reign in the mistakes seen in the opening 2 qualifiers took the top spot in Q3 and backed it up with 3rd in the final round to start 2nd on the grid for tomorrow morning’s triple A-mains. Lee Martin will start from 3rd on the grid ahead of Joona Haatanen and Daniel Kobbevik in 4th & 5th respectively, with former champion Jorn Neumann, Neil Cragg, the impressive Jessica Palsson, Paul Crompton and Joel Valander completing the Top 10. Talking to pole sitter Orlowski, who completed the home double two years ago at the same venue, he said of his 3rd and 4th qualifiers ‘it was good in Q3, I went on the 3rd run tires, the carpet is quite old so the tire wear is quite high so to be sure for the last one we went on the new set of tires.’ Continuing ‘the car felt good but slightly understeering so I will think about a small change for tomorrow. But it is going good so far.’
Coelho, who did the double here last year, was able to overcome a difficult start to qualifying to take the 3rd round, thanks in part to running new tires and backed it up with another solid run in the 4th and final round. ‘Q3 was a good round I didn’t make any mistakes, which is impressive’ he joked, continuing ‘everyone is very close so you cannot relax during the round, you need to push but you can’t make any mistakes.’ On his car he said ‘The 3rd round was very good with no mistakes so I could TQ, I ran new tires. In Q4 I ran the tires from the 1st and 2nd round so I was a little bit slower but the pace was OK.’ On tomorrow’s finals the Portuguese ace said, ‘The car is looking good and tomorrow in the finals everything can happen, everybody is doing many mistakes so everything is still open.’
Lee Martin was another who ran a new tire in the 3rd round, saying ‘Q3 was good, I ran a new tire which was better than the other tire, I’m not sure why but it was much better so I wanted to save this tire for leg 1.’ Reverting to the tire he used in the opening two qualifiers for the final round he commented that ‘again it was still a little bit sketchy. Still OK lap times but the front feels really aggressive, it feels strange. You get the same amount of steering but its much more twitchy on the way in, its weird.’ Asked about the final the Yokomo driver said ‘Bruno got in front of me in the grid, I don’t know if that is necessarily a bad thing. Maybe he is going to push Michal pretty hard from the start, he’s a fast starter so you never know, it can create a bit of drama so let’s hope for a bit of luck tomorrow.’
Top Team Associated driver Joona Haatanen will start the final from 4th on the grid, having improved throughout qualifying as the Finnish driver’s search for more steering continued. ‘I had new tires and went more forward with the rear wing, it gave more steering but I’m still looking for more but now it is getting there’ he said. On the final qualifiers he commented ‘I was running the whole 5 minutes with Bruno and Lee. I think had a similar pace at least. Starting 4th is not too bad with this driving so I am looking forward to tomorrow.’
Young Norwegian driver Daniel Kobbevik had a solid qualifying with two 4th places and considering where the Xray driver was following practice he was very upbeat. ‘Its pretty good. I was 17th after practice so this was much better, it was all because of the shocks’, his team finding they had incorrectly mounted the shock pistons for practice. For the finals he commented ‘I am ready for the final. Maybe I can do something from 5th, it will be difficult but I think it will be chaos in the final as well.’
In the Stock 13.5 class, it was another Polish driver on top as Xray driver Pawel Ntkovca took the top spot with two TQ runs in qualifying to take the overall TQ. He will start the finals ahead of German Team Associated distributor Sven Rudig in 2nd with another German Marcel Röttgerkamp in 3rd, just in front of Xray boss Juraj Hudy who will line up 4th.
Remarks – Former EOS champion Lee Martin is running a revised version of the YZ-2-CAL2 that is equipped with a number of pre-production parts. The new chassis is stronger – and therefore reduces flex – in the rear section, while the Truck battery mount system is used to confer more flex to the central part of the buggy. The rear gearbox is also new and features a quick access to the differential that can be now adjusted in height so as to vary the roll centre. The shock towers are lower, and the rear shocks shorter. Lee was also using the front bulkhead from the Yokomo Truck which makes the front part of the chassis stronger.
It was more of the same in the second round of qualifying here at EOS Poland, however reigning champion Michal Orlowski had to work hard for the TQ this round having lost a lot of time in a crash at the mid way point while leading. Lee Martin would once again take 2nd for the round, less than one second back, in front of the Team Associated pairing of Joona Haatanen and Neil Cragg in 3rd and 4th, with Swedish Kyosho driver Jessica Palsson completing the top 5. Describing his run, Michal said ‘It started off really good, I looked at my lap times and I had really low 19s, I had a cushion but made a mistake on the wall’. Continuing, ‘I was stuck on the pipe and then after followed Lee around trying to push as hard as possible to put pressure on him and he made a mistake and rolled over before the double so then I just tried to make the gap to go to the lead and it took about 2 laps’. Ending by saying ‘it wasn’t a clean run, it was way tougher than the first one but luckily in the end it was another TQ so looking good so far.’
Yokomo driver Martin led following the incident that saw Orlowski get stuck up on a pipe on the wall ride but still felt the car wasn’t able to match the pace of the young Pole, saying ‘It was pretty much the same as the first one. Michal was a bit faster than me, I didn’t feel comfortable to push it still.’ Commenting on the incident in which he was able to take the lead he said ‘he (Michal) made a mistake coming on the wall, but then I made a mistake, traction rolling coming onto the double in the middle which allowed him back in front.’ While the Schumacher driver was able to pull out a one second lead in the closing laps, the former Champion called the run a ’fair result’.
Winner of the season opener in Germany, Joona Haatanen was finally able to put in a solid run to take 3rd for the round. Describing his 2nd round qualifier as ‘not too bad’, he summed it up by saying ‘a couple of mistakes, one roll and I think I am a bit off the pace, my car is not too good yet so I am looking for more steering but overall not too bad.’
Former World Champion Neil Cragg took 4th for the round but was not happy with his driving describing it as ‘OK, too scrappy, too many crashes, just driving a little too tired, not flowing around the track’. Continuing ’the car’s good, I don’t think its fast enough to win yet, Orlowski and Lee have got a little over us but its mostly down to driving, few too many little crashes’. Ending by saying ‘3 seconds off TQ there and I had to be marshalled. Its not the end of the world but the driver just needs to get his head on.’
Better known for her exploits in 1/8th Offroad, Jessica Pålsson put in a very clean run from the second fastest heat to take 5th for the round having taking 7th in Q1. Asked about her run to 5th, the Kyosho driver said ‘My 2nd round was really good, I’m really happy with the car, the car is new for this year and it has taken some time to find the setup but I am really happy with it now.’ Daniel Kobbevik ended the round as top Xray driver in 6th, having made a big mistake in the closing stages of his run, while Bruno Coelho continued to struggle, making too many small mistakes to end up 7th.