Michal Orlowski made up for the first lap error that cost him the win in A1 with a perfect A2 performance that saw the Schumacher driver cruise to victory. Pulling clear of the field from the opening lap, the reigning champion would win by a massive 9-seconds with the main action of the race being for 2nd, first between A1 winner Martin Bayer and Neil Cragg and then between Bayer and Lee Martin. At the end it was Martin who held on for second just ahead of Bayer after a tangle at the penultimate corner allowing Kája Novotný to finish a close fourth.
Commenting on his win which included him setting a new fastest lap of the weekend, Orlowski said, ‘Again I made a good gap at the start. I was on new tyres so the car was very good. I got the gap to 1-second over Bayer and was trying to make it bigger but then he made a mistake so I was very comfortable’. He continued, ‘I wanted to make a faster time than him (Bayer) so started to run fast laps at the end’. Bettering Bayer’s A1 time by 7-seconds, giving him the tie breaker advantage if needed come A3, he concluded, ‘I have nothing to change for A3, just go out and race’.
Traction rolling in A1 after which the marshal put his Yokomo back on its roof ending any chance of a result, Martin was much happier after A2. A former winner at the Hudy Arena, he said, ‘I made the most of everyone’s errors. I was not that fast and just plodded around. By the time I got up to second Orlowski was a distant spot. Martin (Bayer) was faster but couldn’t get around me’. Looking to A3, the British driver said, ‘we’ll try a few things for the last one to try and improve the car’.
‘One mistake’ was how Bayer summed up A2. An error half way through the race would drop the Xray driver to third with him unable to regain the position despite his best efforts. ‘I had a fun fight with Lee. I tried at the table top on the last lap and I was almost there. At the next corner I was up on 3-wheels and had no brakes which is why I hit Lee’. Waiting to give back position, the championship leader said of his 3rd place finish, ‘the podium is already secured. I’m very happy because I have made the podium every race and it means I can go all in for the last one’.
Martin Bayer has won the opening A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series, the Xray driver just seeing off Top Qualifier Michal Orlowski for the win. Starting from second on the grid, Bayer would go to the front on the opening lap after a mistake from Orlowski but the Schumacher was clearly quicker. Catching the Czech driver, a first attempt saw the Pole get on the inside only for the two to tangle with Bayer able to hold on to the lead. A second charge from Orlowski then set up a photo finish with Orlowski launching his car into the final corner. With the timing screens showing him as the winner, the reigning champion had triggered the loop by cutting the corner and the result was corrected so that Bayer was rightly the winner. With the two in a class of their own, it was Kája Novotný who would complete the Top 3 after Neil Cragg suffered an unlucky retirement with half a minute remaining.
‘Way too much pressure on me. If a Doctor was measuring my heart rate they would think I was having a heart attack’, was Bayer’s reaction to his win. He continued, ‘when I went in the lead I just tried not to make any mistakes. I know I was slower so I drove on the inside line to leave no space. I have one win so let’s see what happens in the next one’. The championship leader raised a concern of his tyres saying, ‘I feel the race tyres are different each set. I had a new set (for A1) and there was a big difference to the new set I used in Q3 but I will see how they go in the second one’.
Running the same set of tyres he used to take Q4 and seal the overall TQ, Orlowski said his car ‘was a bit oversteering in the warm-up’. He continued, ‘I got a good start and had a half second gap but clipped the pipe. I tried to save it but clipped the next pipe and crashed’. Chasing a third win at the Hudy Arena, he said, ‘I knew I was faster so I stayed behind Bayer, we both had small mistakes, and when I went for a pass down his inside I was unlucky I touched him. I tried to get by again but it was too late’. Looking to A2 he is confident saying, ‘I will be on new tyres and know I have a pace advantage so I will try to pull away’.
Starting third and joining the battle for the lead for a time, Cragg was annoyed at losing out on an ‘easiest 3rd place’. The Team Associated driver said, ‘I was really good for four & a half minutes but then something really weird happened that I have never seen before. I crashed and somehow lost all four screws from the chassis weight’. With the speed controller mounted to the plate this would then lift and ‘pull the sensor cable out’ ending his race to the benefit of Xray’s Novotný. Behind the Czech driver, Cragg’s team-mate Joona Haatanen would get fourth followed by A-Main debutant Adam Izsay.
Michal Orlowski has secured the overall TQ at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia, the Schumacher driver delivering a second TQ run in the all counting fourth & final qualifier at the Hudy Arena. With four drivers in contention to become the 2WD Top Qualifier at the 3rd round of the championship, it was Orlowski who came out on top producing the fastest time of the day and bettering Martin Bayer’s previous quickest time from Q3 by 4-seconds to claim the first TQ championship point of his 2WD title defence. Behind him, but unable to match Orlowski’s 13 lap pace, Neil Cragg would post the second fastest time of Q4 but with Bayer having a faster TQ time, it meant the Associated driver lost out on the tie breaker and will start tomorrow’s finals 3rd on the grid. Completing the Top 3 for the final qualifier ahead of Bayer, the Xray driver’s challenge ending with a mistake on his 3rd lap, Lee Martin makes it four different manufacturers represented at the front of the grid, a result not expected at the home of Xray.
Commenting on his third EOS career TQ, all of them in 2WD, Orlowski said, ‘I was on new tyres so the car felt really good and I started off really fast. Bayer and Neil crashed on the same lap and I thought I had a big gap so I started to do some slow laps but I didn’t have as big a gap as I thought and had to do some fast laps again but I had control of the race’. He added, ‘I feel I still have more pace up my sleeve and going into A1 the tyres are very good as they will be on their second run which is their best. The car is very good and easy everywhere on the track so I feel good for tomorrow’.
Bayer said, ‘I knew when I saw Michal was on new tyres the pressure was on so I pushed hard and ended up making a stupid mistake. I was maybe a little ahead at the start but after the mistake it was over’. Having taken his Q3 TQ, being the first driver to break 13-laps, he added, ‘new tyres are just better and used are just too slow to compete with someone on new tyres’. A former winner of his home race, he concluded, ‘maybe starting second is better as I will shake less’.
‘I’m pretty pleased with that. I came out as hard as I could as I knew Michal was on new tyres, Maybe I went a little too hard as I crashed in front of the drivers’ stand’, was Cragg’s reaction after the final qualifier. The British driver continued, ‘Starting out 3rd I can’t argue with that’ and when asked his thoughts on tomorrow’s finals concluded, ‘It should be fast and furious as always’.
Another driver on new tyres for the final qualifier, Lee Martin said, ‘the car was good in the end but it took a while for the tyres to scrub in. Once I got some confidence it was pretty good’. The Yokomo driver said, ‘I still need corner speed but we have a practice in the morning which is good so we can try some stupid shit and see if it works’. Asked what racing he expected in the finals he replied, ‘the total opposite has happened to my predictions at all the previous races but the track is big and open which doesn’t normal highlight good racing’.
Chassis: Team Associated RC10B6.1 Motor: Reedy Sonic 6.5T ESC: LRP Flow X Batteries: Reedy 4000mAh Radio/Servo: KO/Reedy Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Kit Remarks – Winner of the last EOS encounter in Daun, Neil Cragg is debuting Team Associated’s RC10B6.1 Buggy. The new car features an updated gearbox that allows a differential height adjustment and makes maintenance easier thanks to quicker diff access. The chassis is some 2mm shorter than the previous version and the front shock tower has also been updated. Neil is using a complete aluminium steering system, aluminium uprights and 67mm driveshafts. A Pro-Line front wing and steel chassis weight complete the option part list.