February 3, 2019

Chassis Focus – Joona Haatanen

Chassis: Team Associated B64
Motor: Reedy Sonic 5.0
ESC: Reedy BlackBox 510R
Batteries: Reedy Zappers SG2 3900 mAh
Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Reedy
Tires: Schumacher (handout)
Body: JConcepts F2

Remarks – Qualifying 3rd for today’s EOS final, Finnish ace Joona Haatanen has found a new form with the B64. His car is equipped with a 3d printed rear chassis brace, a steel plate that adds 27g of weight in front of the servo and a brass front centre suspension mount. Joona is also using graphite arms, while some parts are still the pre-production version this being the very first B64 car he has built specifically for EOS races.

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February 3, 2019

Coelho Top Qualifier at EOS Daun

Bruno Coelho is the 4WD Top Qualifier at EOS Daun, the Xray driver securing his second consecutive TQ of the season ahead of reigning champion Michal Orlowski.  Having taken last night’s second qualifier, Coelho locked up his 11th EOS career 4WD TQ when he took the fourth & final qualifier in the fastest time of the weekend giving him the tie-breaker over his main rival Orlowski who topped Q1 & 3.  Looking like the only other driver who might potentially challenge the Top 2 in the finals, Joona Haatanen will start third. Behind the Finn, a make or break final qualifier from star of the weekend’s 2WD action will see Daniel Kobbevik line up fourth on the grid ahead of HB Racing’s David Ronnefalk and the Yokomo of yesterday’s 2WD winner Lee Martin.

Summing up his Q4 run, Coelho said, ‘I was on new tyres and the car was very good now. It felt much better’.  Chasing his first 4WD win of the season, the former champion continued, ‘Now it’s finals and everything is still open as we saw in 2WD with Michal.  This is a fast track and easy to make mistakes.  Also starting first you have to be more careful at the start.  Starting second you just follow. I will try to keep calm and make no mistakes’.

Looking for his fourth win in as many races, on the final qualifier Orlowski said, ‘Bruno drove better than me and was a bit quicker. Once he passed me I tried to put pressure on him for a mistake but he drove well. Still I have the pace to win. It should be a good fight between me and him’.  The Schumacher driver, who took the win here last year from 2nd behind Coelho and also repeated the feature in Warsaw this season, added, ‘I have a good record from 2nd on the grid.  It’s a shame to miss the TQ point by 7/100th in Q2 but now I’m focused on getting maximum points from the final’.

Enjoying a particular strong 4WD showing this weekend, on his final qualifier 2WD podium finisher & Round 1 race winner Haatanen said, ‘I was on new tyres and the car felt good but after 2-minutes something got stuck in the car and I couldn’t move. I lost a lot of time’.  No sure what caused the lock-up, the 15-year-old said, ‘we will try to find the problem. We are going to open all the gearboxes’.  Looking to the final, his 3rd place a new best starting position in 4WD, he said, ‘it will be a good race now that I have the pace. I will try to keep up with Bruno and Michal and see what happens’.

‘I needed that to be a safe run to make the A-Main’, was Kobbevik’s reaction to his P3 in the final qualifier.  With a DNF from Q1 and a P10 in Q3, the Norwegian continued, ‘With only one score I really needed a good run so it’s good to start 4th. It could have been much worse’.  Switching the diffs on his car from front to rear the Xray driver said this made him ‘more comfortable with the car’.  Aiming for a podium double weekend, having finished 2nd in 2WD, he concluded, ‘I will just try to be as good as I can and try to put in clean races in the finals’.

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February 3, 2019

Orlowski takes Q3 at EOS Daun

Michal Orlowski has started out the final day of the Euro Offroad Series in Daun, Germany, in the best way possible by taking the third round of 4WD qualifying. Having taken yesterday’s opening qualifier but having had Q2 snatched from him by Bruno Coelho on the last lap, the Schumacher driver would top Q3 by over 4-seconds from Coelho with Joona Haatanen, a challenger for the TQ until being hit by another car, completing the Top 3. Joel Valander would put in a clean run to set the fourth fastest time with Neil Cragg making it a positive morning for the Associated team ending up 5th fastest from the second fastest heat.

Describing his run at ‘decent’, Orlowski explained, ‘I was on my 3rd run with the same tyres and the first run of the morning is always sketchy. I felt I drove better yesterday. My first few laps were sketchy and I lost a bit of time at the beginning’.  Chasing his 3rd consecutive win of the season, the reigning champion continued, ‘After the first few laps I was driving pretty good but I had traffic again like in Q2 and rolled over trying to avoid hitting it and lost the lead but then Joona also encountered traffic problems and it worked out for me but I didn’t beat Bruno’s time’.  With Coelho having the advantage of the fastest time going into the final qualifier, Orlowski said, ‘I will be on new tyres for the last round and will try to secure the TQ.  This will mean my tyres are also bedded in for the final. Hopefully I will not repeat 2WD’ – the 2WD Top Qualifier making a mistake on the opening lap and ending up with only 4th overall after the triple Mains.

Summing up his performance, Coelho said, ‘The round was OK but the car was really slow now.  I used the tyres from Q1 & 2 and maybe that was not the correct choice.  I had no traction.  When I punched it for the jumps I was losing traction’.  He continued, ‘I had to open twice for Joona because I didn’t have the speed, and I had one mistake which cost me around 1-second.  I will put on new tyres for the last one so it should be better’.

Haatanen explained, ‘that was my third run with the same tyres and the car felt very good.  We added 1/2 mm under the steering rack and the car felt easy to drive and fast’.  Asked about AE’s marked 4WD improvement this weekend, the Finn replied, ‘I don’t really know what has changed but we have gone through the car and come up with something that has made the car much better to drive’.  Having run at the top of the timing screens in Q3, he said, ‘I heard I was leading but then I caught traffic and one of them pushed me into the wall.  Still it was good to fight for the TQ.  I will put new tyres on for the next one and see what happens but hopefully I can get another good run’.

Managing a best run of 9th in Q2 yesterday, Valander was pleased with his run saying, ‘I tried to have a clean run because I expected others to make mistakes as it was the first run of the morning. I’m happy to get fourth place’.   The Finnish Xray driver continued, ‘I had a couple of bobbles and had to give way to Joern (Neumann) but I made no major errors over the run’.  Looking to the final qualifier, he said, ‘I think I will put a little more glue on the side walls because I think have too much steering’.

Looking at his watch and joking ‘you do know it’s Sunday’, a reference to his 4WD performances not normally attracting attention from Red RC, Cragg said, ‘Actually I’m pretty pleased with that to be honest’.  He added, ‘It no secret we struggle in 4WD and we were quite far off the pace at the start but we’ve made quite a lot of changes every run and the car & driver are getting better each run’.  On Q3 result, Q1 starting with a P12 and Q2 a P8, he said, ‘I had to deal with some traffic but 5th is a good result for 4WD.  I hope I can get another good run. Let’s see what we can do’.

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February 2, 2019

Q2 Update – Coelho snatches it on last lap from Orlowski

Bruno Coelho has taken the second round of qualifying in Daun, the Xray driver snatching the TQ run by 0.067 of a second from Michal Orlowski on the final lap.  Orlowski looked to be on target for 2 out of 2, but a slight bobble on the last lap was enough to allow the Top Seed take it, the intensity of the battling duo highlighted by them each breaking out 21-seconds laps. Behind, Joona Haatanen completed the Top 3 backing up his P2 in the opening qualifier although this time it wasn’t as clean a run for the Associated driver. With a DNF in Q1, number 3 seed Daniel Kobbevik set the fourth fastest time ahead of Yokomo’s Lee Martin with HB Racing’s David Ronnefalk rounding out the Top 6.  Two more rounds of qualifying await the drivers tomorrow morning with Orlowski and Coelho looking to have a distant advantage over the rest of the field.

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February 2, 2019

Orlowski takes opening 4WD qualifier ahead of Haatanen

Reigning Champion Michal Orlowski has taken the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Schumacher driver having a 2-second advantage over the Team Associated of Joona Haatanen with top seed Bruno Coelho completing the Top 3.  Orlowski and Coelho would both have mistakes during the qualifier with a clean run allowing Haatanen to split them at the end.  Behind, David Ronnefalk would make it four different manufacturers at the top of the times with Martin Bayer a distant fifth ahead of 2WD race winner Lee Martin.

‘Solid’ was how Orlowski described his TQ run adding, ‘we went back to the set-up we came here with having decided it was the best we ran in practice’.  Chasing his fourth consecutive 4WD win, the Pole continued, ‘I was chasing Bruno around and while our fastest laps are almost the same I was able to do more 22-second laps.  We then hit traffic and he let me through but I made a silly mistake.  After that it was very close but he then made a mistake near the end and it came out good for me’.  Looking to Q2, which will bring today’s action to a conclusion, he said, ‘we will leave the car the same but will play around with the electronics.  It’s a very big track so it’s important to get the correct setting for that’.

Haatanen was pleased with his opening attempt saying, ‘It was actually good’.  The Associated driver went on, ‘I heard I was running between 3rd and 5th so I tried to keep it clean. I had no mistakes. I just had a little few hits on the pipes but no big ones’.  Having a touch of luck to finish the 5-minutes as the motor wire came off just after he crossed the loop, he said they are going to fit all new electrics for Q2 to be safe adding, ‘I don’t know why it came off because the motor hadn’t got hot’.

‘Everything was OK until I traction rolled on the wall’, was how Coelho summed up his opening heat.  Showing good sportsmanship opening for Orlowski only for the Pole to crash immediately after going through he said he almost crashed himself as a result of his rival’s mistake but said it was his error on the wall on the penultimate lap that cost him the TQ.  On his car, the Xray driver said, ‘Our car doesn’t work so well on new tyres as we’ve seen in practice’.  Set to run the same set of handout Schumacher tyres in Q2, he said, ‘from what we read from practice the car should be more comfortable and easier to drive on the second run’.

Another having trouble on the wall, Ronnefalk said, ‘It went pretty good but I had a crash on the stupid wall. I need to get that figured out’.  The HB Racing driver explained, ‘I came into the wall too slow and when I gave it throttle it wheelied and I crashed’.  He continued, ‘Joern crashed there the next lap and I stuck in behind him and he brought me back up to 4th’.  The Swede added, ‘the last half of the race my average was very close to the top guys.  I think it will be hard to touch Michal or Bruno but if I don’t crash maybe it’s possible. That’s my aim for the next one’.  On his car he said, ‘the car feels pretty good I would say.  It suffers a little in the sweepers on power with steering because it creates too much grip but if we can figure that out it should be right there’.

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February 2, 2019

Coelho tops 4WD practice

With the third round of the Euro Offroad Series switching over to 4WD, it was Bruno Coelho who set the pace in practice.  The Xray driver topped the times for the two rounds of controlled practice in Daun ahead of the Schumacher of reigning champion Michal Orlowski.  Next up was the Xray of the weekend’s 2WD runner-up Daniel Kobbevik with former multiple champion Joern Neumann stopping the clock with the fourth fastest time – a lap of the track so long that instead of counting the usual 3-consecutive laps only 2 being counted with the best pace 44.2.  Another of the 2WD podium finishers, Joona Haatanen was 5th fastest ahead of David Ronnefalk while 2WD winner Lee Martin will carry the number 9 for qualifying.

‘All perfect so far but qualifying hasn’t started’, joked Coelho after setting the fastest time in by almost 3/10th from Orlowski.  The former World Champion continued, ‘the car is working well and I am just trying to drive it without mistakes’.  Asked if the track which caught out most drivers in 2WD suited the 4WD better, the Portuguese driver replied, ‘I prefer 4WD to 2WD so I feel more comfortable with 4WD but I think the track is difficult in 4WD.  It is super fast and wide open so we are going a lot faster and there are a couple of spots where because of the speed it will be easy to destroy the car’.

Winner of the opening two rounds of the championship in 4WD, Orlowski said, ‘Practice went well. We played around with some stuff but made no major changes to the car.  We will go back to how we ran the car in the first practice for Q1’.  Top Qualifier in 2WD but ending up P4, the Pole continued, ‘I had a good rhythm in the last practice and could run clean laps so everything looks good for qualifying’.

‘It was ok in the end’, was Kobbevik’s thoughts on practice.  The teenager explained, ‘the car felt ok but it was just not fast enough, we changed the shock oil and shock position and it was better’.  Planning no further changes to the car for Q1, the opening two qualifiers taking place this evening, he said he was happy with his time as he was driving the practice like a qualifier and it felt safe to drive.

Three time champion Neumann summed up his practice with ‘it was ok’.  The German continued, ‘In the beginning I was very fast but the others improved slightly the last one. I need to improve also’.  The Schumacher driver added, ‘I don’t think 2-laps is so important because I think in 4WD there will be a lot of crashes.  Given 2WD is normally a lot more clean but here there was a lot of crashes I think it’s going to be difficult in qualifying’.  On making changes to his car for Q1 he said, ‘the car is good. It’s just missing 2, 3 tenths but maybe I just need to improve my lines in some spots on the track’.

Commenting on his practice, Haatanen said, ‘my car was pretty good.  There was a few things wrong with the set-up in the first practice but we went to the same set-up we ran at the last race and it was good so I was just getting used to the car’.  Asked if he enjoyed the track more in 4WD, the Associated driver replied, ‘ The jumps are easier and the car lands much better than my 2WD’.

View the complete event results here.

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