Bruno Coelho has grabbed a somewhat unexpected victory at the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series in Austria. Having had to concede to the impressive performance of the Schumacher team in qualifying, the reigning 4WD Champion would capitalise on errors by his rivals in the finals, capping off the weekend with a win in A3 in front of Michal Orlowski to claim an important second win of the season given he was absent from the third round. Behind, Joern Neumann would finish second overall, the German unable to hold onto the second he needed in A3 to claim the overall win. Adding to Orlowski’s frustrating run in the finals, the weekend’s 2WD winner would not even make the podium, some smart driving by Daniel Kobbevik in A1 & 2 rewarded with 3rd overall.
Reacting to his 8th EOS career win in 4WD Coelho said, ‘it was easier to win before now, this was more difficult, so this has a different taste’. Having openly talked after qualifying about his team taking too much focus off their 4WD to get the 2WD up to speed, he added, ‘It was a very good final. I was super confident. I was not faster in the final but the car was easy to drive and I forced a lot to have this result. I have already put one race out because of attending the TITC so there is no margin for mistakes now. It is a good result, not perfect as we missed the TQ point’. Winner of the season opener, Orlowski winning the next two, on the two going head to head for the title at the season finale he said, ‘The last time I raced on Astro was the Worlds. I have no experience and I don’t have time in my schedule to practice so I think it will be super hard but like today we will try our best’.
Summing up his A3, Neumann said, “I made a slight mistake after the single and double bounced a little which allowed Bruno to get down my inside. He knew he only needed second to get the win so he didn’t have to risk to go for the win’. The 3-time Champion added, ‘I’m still super happy with 2nd. We showed we are right there and that the car is good. Last time out I got 3rd, now 2nd. I’ll go for the win at the last race’.
Claiming his second EOS career podium, Kobbevik said, ‘I’m very happy with the podium, it was everything I was after’. On a weekend which also saw the up & coming talent secure his best ever qualifying position, the 13-year-old added, ‘I’m ready for Arena 33. It will be cool to drive on Astro turf’. Pulling off in A3, the Norwegian said, ‘I made a mistake after the double and was last so I knew I couldn’t better my two results so I pulled off because I wanted to watch the race’.
‘It wasn’t my finals at all’, was how Orlowski described the result. The Schumacher driver continued, ‘it looked really good after qualifying. There were just too many mistakes from me’. On A3 he said, ‘I wanted to win (overall), not to get second and when Bruno got into second I knew he could win and wasn’t concentrating enough and made a weird mistake at the hairpin’. With the fastest lap of the finals, as he chased the fastest race time in A3, he said, ‘we showed our new car is quick so on to the next round. Both championship are open so we need to focus now on that. The L1 was designed for astro with most of the testing done on it so I am sure we’ll be quick at Arena 33’.
Chassis: SWorkz Prototype Motor: Nosram N22 5.5T ESC: Nosram HD Batteries: Nosram 4200mAh LCG Radio/Servo: Sanwa/Xpert Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Pro-Line Elite Remarks – Top Austrian driver Martin Wollanka is back at the EOS for his home race, debuting at the wheel of a prototype 4WD Buggy from SWorkz. Equipped with full Nosram electrics, the prototype sports a lower centre of gravity and completely redesigned wishbones and suspension geometries for a higher corner speed and better handling.
Joern Neumann has won the second A-Main of 4WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria, the Schumacher driver managing to prevent A1 winner Bruno Coelho from snatching an early win at the penultimate round of the championship. Top Qualifier Michal Orlowski, who had issues in A1, led away the field but on the first run through the triple landed his car on its roof. Afterwards it turned out Orlowski’s view of his car had been blocked for a second time today by a marshal attending a car causing his bad landing. This moved Neumann to the front but he was under pressure from Coelho. Holding the Xray driver at bay for 6-laps, Coelho would manage a mistake in his quest to get by, allowing the German to then control the race and win ahead of Daniel Kobbevik who actually leads the points going into A3 with a pair of second places. Also benefiting from the mistakes up front Martin Wollanka completed the Top 3 ahead of Orlowski and Coelho, leaving the race wide open in terms of who can take the overall win.
Reacting after the race having had an error on the opening lap of A1 Neumann said, ‘I made no mistakes, it was a really clean run. It is my first A-final win since Berlin when I was racing for Durango, which I think is more than 3 & a half years ago’. He continued, ‘I controlled the pace over Kobbevik after Bruno crashed and was able to maintain the gap to the end, now I need to repeat it again in the last one’.
‘I just did the same thing again’ was Kobbevik’s summary of A2, the young Norwegian benefiting from another error free 5-minutes to again gain two places to finish 2nd. He said, ‘It was very difficult to do anything about Joern because he had a big gap and we had the same speed’. Looking to A3, he said, ‘I will try to be in the Top 3 because then I can make the podium’. Asked if he planned to push harder in A3, he replied, ‘I will just do the same as I did the in the first two. It has worked well so far’.
Asked about his 3rd place, Wollanka said, ‘I made no mistakes while the guys in front of me made mistakes’. The Austrian added, ‘I just drove my own race. A clean run is the most important thing because it is so difficult to come back from a mistake on this track’.
Explaining his first lap crash, Orlowski said, ‘I went into the triple on the first lap and marshals were running to other cars so I couldn’t see my car. The next time I saw it it was sliding on it’s roof. I don’t know what happened. I tried to get back but had some more crashes’. He continued, ‘the car still feels good but now I need the win and in a faster time with Joern and Bruno outside the Top 2 if I am to win. It’s going to be very interesting’.
Bruno Coelho led a somewhat unexpected Xray 1-2 in the opening A-Main of 4WD at the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series. Starting behind the Schumachers of Michal Orlowski and Joern Neumann, the pair gifted Coelho the win with both drivers making early mistakes. While Orlowski would come back at the reigning champion, contact in the air between them would see Orlowski damage his car with the Pole limping home in third, his car down to three wheels as a result of a broken hub. Behind Coelho a clean drive from Daniel Kobbevik would see him get second, it looking like an Xray 1-2-3 at one point until Martin Bayer made a late mistake allowing Orlowski to slip back through for third.
Summing up his A1 win Coelho said, ‘I was not expecting two mistakes from them’, them being the two Schumacher drivers. He continued, ‘Neumann had a mistake on the first lap and I got by and then I forced to catch Orlowski and managed to close. Then he had a mistake at the table top and I got by. He touched me in the single but let me go and then he had a problem because he dropped a lot’. He concluded, ‘I hope for something similar (more mistakes) in the next one’.
‘I’m very happy with that’, said a very pleased looking Kobbevik, the result a repeat of his opening 2WD A-Main. The 13-year-old add, ‘I drove my own race and stayed clean but this time I was very fast because I was on new tyres’. Looking to make his second EOS podium of the season, he said, ‘I hope I can do the same in the next one’.
Orlowski looked to take his problem in his stride, the EOS Slovakia 4WD winner impressed that he managed third with ‘only 3 wheel drive’. On his tumble that cost him the lead he said, ‘It was just a mistake, I was too short on the table top’. Catching back up to Coelho at an impressive rate following the error which cost him 2-seconds, he said, ‘the speed is there, I just need to make no mistakes.’ Regarding the broken hub he said it was as a result of the landing after he touched Coelho in the air, both cars tumbling down the track and with only the bearing holding everything in place his car got slower and slower as the bearing began to fail. Still with his extra set of tyres permitted to A-Main drivers at his disposal, he said, ‘I have another set of new tyres so we should be good for A2 & 3’.