Bruno Coelho has taken the overall victory in 2wd at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland after a mistake by pole man Michal Orlowski enabled the Xray driver to take the lead and subsequent win. Leading for the first 4 laps, the reigning Champion’s race would come undone as he got stuck up on the hairpin on the left side of the track. Coelho got hooked up on Orlowski’s car but was able to get free, inheriting him the lead and dropping the Schumacher driver back to 5th. He would eventually retire 5 laps later, breaking his car following a hard hit with the barriers at the wall ride as he tried to recover lost ground. Lee Martin would finally show some of his qualifying pace to take 2nd for the round but it was too late to salvage a top result and the battle for the final podium spot was between the two young guns, Daniel Kobbevik and Joona Haatanen, the former coming out best as he took 3rd in the final main. Talking with Bruno, he said ‘I had a small mistake in the beginning I touched the board, the car was again a little bit strange. Then I caught Orlowski very fast and he got stock on the corner and I got stuck to him but I was able to get away’ continuing ‘I had a little bit of pressure from Lee Martin after, but I was able to pull away slowly and manage the win.’
Despite leaving Warsaw with the lead in the 2wd series standings, Orlowski summed up his day by saying ‘Slightly disappointed, the car has been great since first practice, but overall it’s a good result. Tomorrow when I wake up i’ll think about the 2wd and think it’s good for the championship getting the TQ and second.’ On the deciding 3rd A-main he commented ‘Bruno was quicker in the final, I made too many mistake trying to push too hard. It was one to win, but not this time. We will keep fighting. Onto 4wd’, drivers attention now switching to 4wd with 2 of the 4 qualifiers being run today following practice.
A very pleased looking Kobbevik said, ‘I’m very happy, it was a very good run, I did one mistake but I was faster. I needed to push to beat Joona, if not he would be on the podium, I am very happy.’ The Xray driver continued by saying ‘It’s my first podium in 2wd, I have 3 podiums in 4wd, so it was good to have one in 2wd as well now.’
In contrast, Joona Haatanen who was championships leader coming in to Rd2 following his win at the season opener in Germany, was extremely disappointed. ‘All mistakes that’s all, and then I couldn’t catch Daniel anymore. He drove good, clean. I just made too many mistakes thats all.’
In the 13.5 2wd buggy class it was a reverse of the top 2 in A2 as Pawel Ntkovca took the win ahead of Sven Rudig but the German would take the overall victory on tie break from Ntkovca courtesy of a faster time. Juraj Hudy would complete the podium in 3rd. Having wrapped up the win early in the 2wd Stock truck class Bartosz Zalewski was 2nd in A3, but with Rudig taking the win he would secure the overall runner up spot with another German, Mirko Morgenstern in 3rd.
Remarks – Versatile Portuguese talent Bruno Coelho took the Slovakian manufacturer back to victory in the 2wd class at the wheel of the 2019 version of their XB2 buggy. Equipped with Hiro Seiko screws, his car is also fitted with aluminium steering rack and rear hubs. Bruno was also running some Xray options coming to the market in the next days, such as aluminium shock towers, titanium turnbuckles and a carbon battery strap. To improve the flex he cut the reinforcements in the rear brace.
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.