Bruno Coelho will go into the final round of the Euro Offroad Series in Austria as championship leader after the Xray driver secured his second win of the season in Germany today. Top Qualifier for the third round, the World Champion would after a fraught A2, take the overall win ahead of Marc Rheinard with a near perfect drive in the closing race of the championship’s successful first visit to the Muelheim-Kaerlich venue. For defending 4WD Champion Lee Martin his challenge for a required A3 win lasted just 3-laps as a mistake dropped him down the field, the winner of the season opener at the Nurburgring having to settle for the final step on the podium.
With a mistake in A1, from which he recovered to retake Martin for the win, and two mistakes in A2 that dropped him to third, Coelho said ‘that was easier cause they (Martin & Rheinard) flipped’. He continued, ‘I started with new tyres and was trying to get them broken in as quickly as possible so it was difficult at the start but Lee made a mistake and then Marc and it was only ’cause of this that the win looked easy’. With two perfect scores, both wins including the bonus championship TQ point, the Portuguese driver, who has a third from the opening round, said today’s result puts him in a good position for the season final as it puts all the pressure on Martin, the only driver who can deny him winning the title in his rookie season.
Commenting on what has been by far his best EOS weekend having won 2WD yesterday, Rheinard said ‘A 1 & 2 is not bad’. On A3, the 4-time on-road World Champion said, ‘when Lee crashed I tried to catch Bruno. My car was awesome but I hit a curb and it was game over. I think I had a real good chance to fight with him for the win but one mistake was too much’. With Yokomo the only manufacturer to mount any kind of challenge on Xray who made up half the 4WD grid, Rheinard was happy with the YZ-4’s performance this weekend saying, ‘Overall we have made a big step forward with our 4WD’ and he believes they should be even stronger for the next EOS.
Having secured back to back 2WD titles a round early yesterday with his second place finish, Martin would see his aspirations for a consecutive title double take a knock today. The British driver needed a minimum of a win going into A3 to get better than a third overall. Putting in the fastest lap of the race the third lap in he said his ‘car felt really good’ and he ‘wasn’t trying super hard’. Coming off the step off on lap 4 however he said his car would bounce on landing leading to it to grip rolling sending him into the pack. Having led Yokomo to become a title contender, he said ‘there is a small area we need to improve and if we sort it we will be stronger for the last round’. He added, ‘for a new platform we are close if not on par with our rivals but if we can get that extra little bit the car will be super dialled’.
A driver who endured a tough 2015 season, Hupo Honigl would be ‘super happy’ to finish fourth on his Xray debut. The Austrian said the ‘Top 3 were just faster’ but added ‘I couldn’t ask for more and with less pressure from my side I really am looking forward to the next race’. The pressure the former 2WD race winner was referring to was wanting to show he was still there as a driver in terms of being able to run at the front, something which eluded him during his stint at Serpent. Behind Honigl, his team-mates Martin Wollanka and Martin Bayer would complete the Top 6.
Marc Rheinard was handed the win in A2 at the Euro Offroad Series as Bruno Coelho clashed with race leader Lee Martin on the penultimate lap. Sitting in a somewhat distant third when Top Qualifier Coelho got into the back of the leading Yokomo, Rheinard would slip through two recovering cars to go to the front holding off Martin to win by 7/10ths with Coelho completing the Top 3. The result means it is all to play for at Round 3 in A3, with Coelho, Rheinard and Martin in it for the overall in Germany.
Securing his first ever EOS win yesterday when he headed a Yokomo 1-2 in 2WD, Rheinard said ‘I was just driving around in a solid third position and then I was in the lead’. Starting the second encounter on new tyres, the German said this meant he couldn’t keep pace with the leaders. With the leaders gapping him he said he ‘didn’t expect such a big crash’ that it would allow him to take the lead. With his YZ-4 improving as the tyres came in he said he was able to see off his team-mate. A bit surprised to find himself in the hunt for the win with the championship’s two main protagonists, the touring car ace said his approach for A3 would be to ‘still back off and wait’ on something to happen in front of him.
Commenting on the race, Martin said ‘It sucks for me, that should have been a win and would have put me in a good position for A3 but now with Marc & Bruno having a 1 & 3 each a win is the minimum I need in A3.’ Asked about Coelho’s move he said ‘he came in way too hot and cleaned me out’. Changing to a different front drive shaft in his YZ-4 he said they worked ‘ok’ but with a little too much initial steering they will tweak the set-up to get the best from them. Also looking for a bit more top speed he will also make a setting change on his RC Concept speedo.
Giving away the lead to Martin on lap 4, Coelho said in that incident his XB4 jumped the roller off the main straight ‘strange’ causing the car go flipping across the track on landing. Chasing down Martin, setting a new 18.530 fastest lap in the process, the World Champion would clash with his rival at the same piece of track. On the incident with Martin he said, ‘I touched him in the rear. It was my fault and I waited’. Looking to A3, the current EOS championship standings leader said ‘maybe 3rd time lucky and I can do the race with no mistake’. Behind Coelho in third, Michal Orlowski would take his Schumacher from 7th on the grid to fourth ahead of the Xrays of Martin Bayer and Hupo Honigl.
Chassis: Xray XB4 ’16 Motor: Hobbywing 5.5T ESC: Hobbywing V3.1 Batteries: Vampire 4600mAh Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Highest Remarks – Young Finnish driver Joel Valander made his first EOS A-Main appearance here in Muelheim-Kaerlich driving an Xray XB4 ’16. Equipped with 12° aluminium c-hubs he also uses graphite arms and rear aluminium hubs.
Bruno Coelho has won the opening 4WD A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, an error by the World Champion with 5-laps to go while dominating the race not enough to deny the Xray driver beating reigning champion Lee Martin. Top Qualifier at the third round of the championship, he quickly broke free of the pursuing Yokomo’s of Martin and Marc Rheinard but as the race was looking like a forgone conclusion the Portuguese driver would get the track’s centre roller wrong and collect the cone. With his car facing the wrong direction as he got it turned around Martin would go to the front injecting new life into the race but it as short lived as Coelho took just a lap to get back to the front. In a somewhat lonely race for Rheinard he would complete the Top 3, with the top 4 finishing as the lined up for the grid.
‘Someone moved the cone’ joked Coelho after the race, his winning margin 4/10th of a second over Martin who had a similar gap over Rheinard. Holding a comfortable lead over his rivals, the EOS Slovakia race winner said ‘I got on the throttle too early and went to the inside of the jump which then put me into the cones’. Coming straight back at Martin for the lead he would execute it through the jump leading onto the straight saying ‘Lee opened a little and I was able to overtake.’ Describing his error as ‘a stupid mistake’ for A2 he said he needs to repeat what he did in A1 only this time with ‘no mistake’.
Martin said having started the final on new tyres ‘they took a while to scrub in’ and considering this he felt he ‘drove a pretty good race’. Commenting on the pass Coelho made on him he said, ‘he gave me a love tap which pushed me wide. I would have done the same. It was a fair pass’. ‘Glad our car is close to the pace’, the newly crowned back to back 2WD champion said ‘we need to find a little extra’ with a front driveshaft change planned for A2.
Summing up his race, Rheinard said ‘I was being safe and gave Lee room’. He continued ‘when Bruno crashed it brought us all together but I let them fight at the front waiting in case anything happened but it didn’t’. In terms of his Muchmore powered YZ-4 he said he needed a little more power and for A2 he will add more turbo. The German also plans to run a fresh set of the Schumacher handout tyres.
Chassis: Yokomo YZ-4 Motor: Muchmore Fleta 5.5T ESC: Muchmore Fleta Pro Batteries: Muchmore 4500 mah Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Remarks – After winning the 2WD encounter yesterday, German star Marc Rheinard topped today’s last 4WD qualifier running a pretty standard example of the Yokomo Yz-4. The car is equipped with titanium screws and turnbuckles, and sports the same pre-production rear hubs used in 2WD. With the car offering different battery positions, Marc decided to mount it completely centred.
Bruno Coelho is the 4WD Top Qualifier at Round 3 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany. The Xray driver secured his second consecutive TQ of his rookie EOS season with his performances in the opening two qualifiers last night as Marc Rheinard took the final qualifier ahead of Hupo Honigl. Rheinard’s TQ run secures the 2WD race winner third on the grid behind his team-mate Lee Martin, the Yokomo drivers sandwiched among the Xrays, as Honigl, Martin Bayer and Martin Wollanka completed the Top 6 on the grid.
Running new tyres on his XB4 for the final qualifier, Coelho said this left him with too much steering causing some early mistakes after touching the curbs. Ending up 7th fastest, the World Champion said by the end of the run the car was perfect with him able to post a new fastest lap of qualifying on his final lap. Knowing he had the benefit of a super fast Q2 time, should Martin be able to repeat his Q3 TQ, he said using the qualifier to break in new tyres means he now has ‘good tyres for the opening final’. Admitting that the Yokomos have improved from yesterday, he said starting ahead of them he will just try to drive a safe race and let them take the risks.
Having come into the weekend equal in the points standings with Coelho but now a point down due to the Portuguese ace claiming the bonus TQ championship point, Martin would get a P3 from the final qualifier. The reigning champion said his YZ-4 was ‘not bad’ but for the final they will ‘tweak the set-up to get a little more steering’. Feeling they are ‘pretty close’ now to Coelho’s pace he said his rival looks to be ‘slightly more comfortable from the first lap’ while they take a bit more time to get going. Asked about his approach to the final, the Brit said ‘9th could win on this track in 4WD so just drive a clean race and go from there’.
Commenting on his TQ run, Rheinard said it was his ‘first clean run and was happy to finally run 5-minutes with ‘no crashes’. Changing to a different front drive shaft on his YZ-4, the German said while this led to a little initial understeer it made the car easier and more consistent to drive with him able to carry more corner speed. Looking to the final, the former European 4WD Champion said he would ‘just try to keep it clean and not attack Lee at the start. Then see what happens’ adding ‘Bruno crashed in the last qualifier so it’s not easy for all of us’.
Lining up 4th on the grid as he did in 2WD, Honigl said his new XB4 was ‘super good’ with Q4 a ‘clean’ run. At the top of the timing screens for a time, the Austrian said he had to ‘drive like slalom’ as he avoided ‘about 5 crashed cars’ on the final lap and the 1/10th lost was enough to cost him a chance at TQing the round. Finishing 1-second off Rheinard, he said his car is ‘fast enough for Top 3’ and hopefully the finals will go better than in 2WD when from his P4 starting position he ended up finishing 8th.