Martin Bayer has TQ’d the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the EOS in Slovakia. Second fastest in practice, the Xray driver topped the first of the four qualifiers from top seed Michal Orlowski, the pair having a distinct advantage over the rest of the field at the Hudy Arena with Marc Rheinard the only driver to join them in posting 23-second fastest laps. The third seed Rheinard would open qualifying with a P4, team-mate Lee Martin improving his car from practice to go 2/10ths faster and complete the Top 3.
‘Really good’ was Bayer’s reaction after taking Q1 by 6/10ths over Orlowski. He said, ‘I changed the shock set-up and made it a little harder. Before it was twitchy. Now it is not as good on the landings but it is better on the flat stuff. In the beginning it (the shock oil) was cold but once it warmed up it got better and better and at the end the feeling was very good. I will leave it the same (for Q2) and see how it goes.’
Orlowski summed up his qualifying performance with, ‘It was good and I led most of the heat but I had a couple of small bobbles, one too many’. He continued, ‘Overall the car feels good but I struggle in the corners because it wants to flip and I can’t push as hard as I want. We will work on that for the next one’.
‘It went better than practice’, that was how Lee Martin described his run to P3. The British driver said, ‘In practice it was just too hard to drive so I copied Marc and went very close to his set-up. It was pretty easy to drive and at the start I was just getting used to it. It took a while to figure out’. He continued, ‘we still need to improve it (the car) to catch up to the other two but I know I can find time from driving better now that I am more used to the set-up change’.
Rheinard described his opening qualifier as ‘a pretty nervous run’. The German continued, ‘I just want to get points so 4th is not a bad start. I was on new tyres and on second run tyres it is easier (to drive)’. He concluded, ‘I can push more in the next one’. Behind Rheinard, Xray’s Joel Valander was fifth fastest in front of Jörn Neumann and Joona Haatanen.
Having won 2WD earlier in the day at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, Michal Orlowski is the top seed for 4WD qualifying after he topped the two rounds of timed practice. Having had some issues in free practice, with him only totalling 11-laps, the Schumacher driver would top both timed runs with almost identical times for his fastest 2-consecutive laps, the final practice slightly quicker by 0.018 of a second. Behind, it was Martin Bayer who was closest to Orlowski improving from 5th fastest to 2nd overall between practice. The Top 3 would be completed by Marc Rheinard ahead of Jörn Neumann and Round 1 podium finisher Daniel Kobbevik as Rheinard’s Yokomo team-mate Lee Martin could only manage the 9th quickest time.
Summing up practice Orlowski said, ‘we had some problems in the first practice. Screws coming loose and parts coming out’. The ETS Daun winner continued, ‘we are not there yet with the car set-up but in the last practice I was able to drive more consistent’. Asked what needed improving in the car’s set-up he replied, ‘we need to more stability in the corner. I looks like it is going to roll over’.
‘I finally had a better run than before’ was Bayer’s reaction to his P2 pace in the final practice. Winner of the race last season, the Xray driver added, ‘It is a struggle with the front tyres and what is the best way to cut the pins. There are hundreds of options. One will be good at the start and not good at the end (of the run) but for the last practice I found a good one. Now we have the tyre cut the way I like we can start working on the car set-up’.
Having struggled in 2WD, finishing 9th overall, Rheinard said, ‘I was more comfortable with my 4WD already from the first practice’. The German continued, ‘my pace is not bad but the car is still hard to drive with no mistake but for everyone it is the same problem’. Asked about changes he made over the four practice runs he said, ‘the set-up is pretty much the same as we had in Daun and we haven’t really had to make any changes. For qualifying I will try to keep the car on the track and make some good runs’.
‘It’s going well, fourth is pretty good’, was how Neumann summed up practice. The Schumacher driver continued, ‘of course 5-minute will be different but the car has the speed and it’s down to the driver now’. Drivers will run two of the four scheduled qualifiers this evening.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-2 Motor: Scorpion 5.5T ESC: Scorpion Vanguard S3140 Batteries: Yokomo 5000 mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body/Wing: JConcepts S2 / LMR 27 wing Remarks – British Team Yokomo driver Lee Martin is running a YZ-2CA equipped with a number of option parts, such as aluminium bulkhead mounts, vented slipper pad, steel front arm mounts and titanium screws. Coming from his own company LMR are motor screws and an under lipo 55g weight. Lee is also running pre-production wishbones on his car that sport a slightly different shape so as to reduce flex and are also realized in harder compound.
Chassis: Schumacher Cougar KC Motor: LRP X22 6.5T ESC: LRP Flow X Batteries: LRP 3500mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Aerox Remarks – TQ here at the Hudy Arena in the 2WD Class, Team Schumacher’s Michal Orlowski is running the same Cougar KC he used in his last EOS outing in Daun. Happy with the car, he only underwent some minor tweaks to the setup, while the biggest improvement for this round came from his electrics. Playing for the first time with different rotors and timing on his LRP X22 motor last week, he implemented what he had learnt and went for a bigger (12.7mm) rotor and a higher (+2.5) timing finding this would give his buggy an improved and better delivered power and a firmer braking, which helped him throughout the hairpins of the Slovakian track.
Michal Orlowski has claimed the first win of his Euro Offroad Series 2WD title defence, the Schumacher driver claiming victory at the Hudy Arena from Martin Bayer and Lee Martin. The half way stage of the championship Orlowski came into the weekend a point adrift of Bayer in the standings but leaves the home of Xray and enters the final two rounds of the EOS with a two points advantage. Top Qualifier in Slovakia, Orlowski led A3 from start to finish albeit with Bayer throwing all at it on the final lap but the Polish teenager was always in control wrapping up his 4th EOS career win in 2WD, three of which have come at the Hudy Arena.
‘I did what I wanted to do”, was Orlowski reaction after taking A3 and the overall win. Winner of the event last year, he continued, ‘Bayer started quicker this time but I was able to react and keep in front. I can’t wait for the next round’. Asked about his successful record at the Hudy Arena, it being where he claimed his first ever EOS victory four seasons ago, he replied, ‘every time I come here I have pretty good result. My worst finish here in 2WD in second. I’m happy with that given it’s Xray’s home’. With the event now switching to 4WD the Pole, winner in Daun last month concluded, ‘I hope in 4WD I will be as quick as in Germany’.
Continuing his run of podium finishes, a very pleased Bayer said, ‘I’m super happy I’m fighting with a person that told me at Round 1 that I should stop racing. At home you always want to win but my own mistakes cost me the fight with Michal. I was very close on the last lap (of A3) and tried something super crazy but it didn’t work out, still very happy with my pace this weekend’. The Czech driver continued, ‘from 3 races I finish on the podium all the time and I am very happy with this’.
‘It’s good to be back on the 2WD podium. It’s not as high as I wanted to be but it’s the best we could have expected given our pace’, was how Martin summed up his 3rd position overall. He continued, ‘Michal was good, he is always good here, I think he likes big open tracks. Its Bayer’s home track and he made a lot of his time on the big table top. We have a lot of work to do to get the set-up we crave & desire. I will do testing when I get home. It is funny, corner speed was not an issue the last round but this weekend it is’. Behind Martin, Kája Novotný would finish 4th ahead of Neil Cragg, a promising start to the weekend for the Round 2 winner not delivering the result the Associated driver had hoped for.