The opening round of 2wd qualifying at the 2nd round of the Euro Offroad Series in Warsaw, Poland is complete and it was local superstar Michal Orlowski who emerged quickest by some 5 seconds. The Schumacher driver headed the gaggle of former EOS champions, with Lee Martin in 2nd, Jorn Neumann in 3rd, young Norwegian Daniel Kobbevik in 4th, with Bruno Coelho completing the top 5. Speaking with Orlowski after the run he said ‘It was good, the car felt really good we didn’t change anything from practice. Obviously with new tires so the first couple of laps were edgy but then Lee had a small mistake in the first minute, Bruno crashed, so I just tried not to crash’.
Lee Martin, like 3 of the top 5 drivers had just returned from Australia where he attended the Nitro Offroad Worlds, put his Yokomo 2nd for the round. ‘It was ok, the tire felt like it had more grip, it wasn’t as free as in practice and I don’t know why’ said the British driver, continuing ‘I had one mistake, I could have driven faster but thought I would settle for second’. Feeling there is more in the car and tires he remarked ‘Once the tire beds in it’s better, I can get more speed out of myself as well. We can get there but I didn’t want to push everything in the first run and be like 8th and have pressure on me, 2nd is good to start.’
Jorn Nuemann was pleased with his opening qualifier, the Schumacher driver stating ‘The first round was good, not super fast lap times but consistent’. For the next round of qualifying the German said ‘I think we tune some things and get faster, with 2nd round tires it’s always better’.
Not really featuring in Controlled Practice and unusually far off the pace, Daniel Kobbevik came back in the opening qualifier to end up 4th from the 2nd fastest heat. Finding a fairly major issue with the car the Norwegian described the issue, saying ‘We had the pistons wrong in the car, I had one rear piston on the front and one front piston on the rear so it was a big difference’. Only having time to fix the front of the car before going out to qualify, he said ‘Now the car is better, I still had the wrong pistons in the rear. I hope it will be even better in the next run.’
Having a messy start to qualifying Bruno Coelho described his run saying ‘It was ok, I made many mistakes in the round, I think 3 and all I need a marshall so it takes a long time’. On his car he said ‘the car was working very good from the beginning until the end so I try to not do any mistakes next time’, drivers having all 4 of their qualifiers today, starting Saturday morning with finals before moving onto 4wd.
Venue – Ptak Warsaw Expo Race Hosts – ATA Country – Poland Location – Warsaw Direction – Counter Clockwise Surface – Carpet No. of EOS Races hosted – 2
The EOS returns to Poland for round 2 of the 2018/19 series, the country and venue having hosted the season opener last year. The sixth time the country has hosted the EOS, last year it was run as part of the World Travel Show, while this year sees it once again back as part of the Warsaw Moto Show as in 2016. Held at the biggest Exhibition and Congress Centre in Central Europe, Ptak Warsaw Expo, which has a total exhibition space of 143,000 square meters, racing will again take place at the same hall B, but in a different part of the hall. As with the majority of races hosted in Poland, the race track has been designed and built by the local ATA crew, headed by Niko Triandafilidis. As a home race for Warsaw resident and current EOS Champion Michal Orowski, when asked to describe the track the Schumacher driver replied ‘it’s fun, not so difficult’. Really enjoying the central double-single, he followed up by commenting that a lot of time can be made in the five corner front chicane. Asked to pinpoint the track’s most challenging section he said ‘the entire section from the corner table top to the hairpin’, an part of the track that contains 2 angled rollers which lead up to the hairpin before the double single.
Reigning double Euro Offroad Series Champion Michal Orlowski has won 4WD at the season opener at the Nurburgring in Germany, the Schumacher driver saying ‘this makes up for 2WD’ in which he finished 3rd yesterday. Orlowski secured his 5th EOS career win of 4WD when he again managed to stay ahead of second place qualifier Bruno Coelho, the Xray driver only coming into contention in the final round of qualifying. Top Qualifier, after taking 3 of the four rounds of qualifying, Orlowski again came under pressure from Coelho in A2 but got a break when his rival got caught up on the wall. Handing the Pole a comfortable lead, two laps later he would have his own mistake allowing Schumacher team-mate Joern Neumann to close right in for a challenge on the lead but the tight track would catch the German out allowing the recovering Coelho back into 2nd. From there he was closing down the leader but another error gave enough breathing space for Orlowski to take the final by more than a second & a half, his first 4WD victory from the TQ starting position. Winning A3, new rules for Season #8 prevented Orlowski from racing the third A-Main, Coelho would finish 2nd with Daniel Kobbevik, 2nd in A3, rewarded for a great performance with the final step on the podium.
‘A big thanks to Trish, Jurgen, my Dad and Robin for supporting me. This makes up for 2WD’, said Orlowski on taking maximum 4WD points from the first of the extended season’s six rounds. He continued, ‘I was on new tyres and felt I had the pace to keep a small gap between me and Bruno but I like to make things hard for myself. When I had a small cushion I had a crash and then had Joern pushing me’. Leading the 4WD points table and 3rd in 2WD, he said, ‘its a positive start to the season. We now know that we have pace on tight tracks which we were not normally fast on. I am looking forward to the rest of the season’. He concluded, ‘it doesn’t matter how you start but how you finish’.
Commenting on the deciding A2 race, Coelho said, ‘Orlowski was on new tyres and I was on used so I had to push and pushed a little too much and got stuck up on the wall’. He continued, ‘others made mistakes and I could get back to second but the problem this weekend was we arrived on the right set-up too late. The wheel problem delayed us from working on set-up and I hope they can sort this for the next race’. Summing up his 2nd place overall the former champion said, ‘for sure second is a good start. There are six races this season and only 4 count. We didn’t end last season so well and the Schumacher was very good. We have not raced on carpet together for a while so nobody was sure where everyone was at but the pace we are leaving here with compared to the others I’m happy’.
Despite racing A3 with a broken front right bearing, Kobbevik was delighted to again open the season with a podium finish as he had done last year. The 13-year-old said, ‘it the same as last year but this time we went better in 2WD, I got a 5th and 3rd from the weekend so I’m very happy’. Going into A3 battle for the final podium position with multiple champion Joern Neumann he said, ‘I made a mistake at the start but tried to stay calm. I knew I need to beat Joern and knew it would be a long 5-minutes so anything was possible and in the end it worked out for me. I’m very happy’. Behind Neumann in fourth Lee Martin would end a tough day 5th ahead of Martin Bayer.