Chassis: Schumacher Cat L1 Motor: LRP X22 5.5T ESC: LRP Flow X Batteries: LRP 3500mAh Ultra LCG Radio/Servo: Sanwa Tires: Schumacher (handout) Body: Kit Remarks – Points leader after 3 rounds of the 4WD Championship, Michael Orlowski appears in dominating form here at Round 4 in Wels where Team Schumacher is debuting their all new CAT L1 4WD platform in its production version. After months of intensive testing and racing the details on the British manufacturer’s latest buggy have been disclosed. Featuring a completely new suspension geometry for both front and rear ends, the L1 also sports adjustable differential heights and all new roll bars. The chassis allows now for a greater flex with the motor mount only kept in place by two screws, and the steering system mounted directly on the bulkhead. Great attention has been paid to keeping the weight as low as possible, and the chassis is wider and slightly shorter than on the older K2 car. As for option parts, Michal is using front double joint driveshafts and titanium screws.
In what became a foregone conclusion after practice, Michal Orlowski is the 4WD Top Qualifier at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria. The championship leader claimed his first 4WD pole position of the season with another TQ run in the fourth & final qualifier, his un-sighting by a marshal in Q2 the only reason he hadn’t wrapped things up earlier. Making it the perfect qualifying for Schumacher and their new CAT L1, Joern Neumann made it a 1-2 adding a P2 in the final qualifier to his TQ in the second round to jump ahead of reigning champion Bruno Coelho who starts 3rd. Despite problems in the final qualifier, Daniel Kobbevik will start 4th, a career best for the promising young Norwegian. Completing the top half of the grid, the weekend has marked an impressive Sworkz debut for Martin Wollanka who starts ahead his former team-manager Martin Bayer and former champion Lee Martin.
Reacting to his first 4WD TQ in the EOS, the reigning 2WD Champion said, ‘1-2 on the starting grid is really good. I’m really happy about it. My car was awesome again in the last qualifier’. Asked his approach for the finals, the Pole joked, ‘don’t crash on the first jump’, something he did in the opening A-Main of 2WD yesterday. He continued, ‘It depends how it all goes. I want to help Joern but I also want to have a big gap so I will just drive clean like I did in qualifying and enjoy myself’.
‘Of course I’m happy to qualify second but of course I want to try and win the race’, was Neumann’s reaction to what is his best qualifying for quite some time. The EOS’ most winning driver and 3-time 4WD Champion continued, ‘Michal is very fast. If he makes no mistakes he is slightly faster than me but sometimes the finals are different. Bruno is also there so should be exciting finals’.
Asked about qualifying third, Coelho replied, ‘for sure it’s bad and not what we expect in 4WD’. He continued, ‘we need to work harder is the message from this for us. We lead the EOS easy before and were two steps ahead of the others in 4WD. We focused on improving our 2WD and not on 4WD like it needs and this is the consequences. The car is not bad but we are just lacking a little pace. I’m sure we will find it and for the next race we will come back stronger’.
Discovering a bearing missing from the front diff of his Xray just before the final qualifier, in the rush to fix it Daniel Kobbevik’s mechanic knocked the shock spring retainer off the car forcing the 13-year-old to retire from the heat. Still the EOS Poland podium finish was very pleased to be best of the rest with 4th on the grid. Getting a second from 6th on the grid with a clean run in A1 of 2WD, he said his goal for the final is to ‘make no mistakes and pick up places’ from other’s mistakes adding, ‘it is difficult to fight (for position) on this track’.
A man who prefers to let his driving do the talking, Wollanka said, ‘I’m very happy to make the A-Main. It’s a very good start with the new car. It’s working really well so I just need to drive it in the finals’. Having taken the TQ last time out Bayer took 6th on the grid, reflecting Coelho’s comments while 7th for Lee Martin is a continuation of what has been a difficult weekend for the Yokomo team.
Michal Orlowski remains in charge of proceedings at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria, the Schumacher driver posting another TQ run in the penultimate 4WD qualifier. Only missing out on a TQ run in Q2, the first qualifier of the day, when he was unsighted by a marshal, the championship leader had a 2.4-second advantage over reigning champion Bruno Coelho with the a similar pattern emerging at the top of the time sheets. Having TQ’d the second qualifier, Joern Neumann was again in the Top 3 as up & coming Norwegian talent Daniel Kobbevik posted the fourth fastest time ahead of Martin Wollanka who maintained his run of Top 5 times.
Appearing more and more confident with each run, Orlowski said, ‘It was a good run. I ran the same set of tyres I used in Q1 & 2 and I still had as much pace as Bruno who was on new tyres that one.’ Chasing a repeat of his double win last time out at the Hudy Arena, he continued, ‘He (Coelho) had a few bobbles here and there so I was just watching him and controlling the pace. It was a steady run’. Describing his new CAT L1 as ‘working really well’, he added, ‘I’m having fun with the car and Joern is enjoying himself too’.
Summing up his morning, Coelho said, ‘we are still struggling a little with our car on this track’. Absent from the previous round of the championship in Slovakia, the former World Champion said, ‘we are changing things every qualifier to make it better but it is difficult’. Asked what they were looking to improve he said, ‘we are losing forward traction. The car is diffing out in the sweepers and it’s costing us corner speed’.
Neumann said, ‘Q2 was very good. I had a very clean run, no mistakes. In that one (Q3) on the first lap I hit slightly the barrier and got out of my rhythm and then had to open for Bruno. I lost a few seconds in the first few laps but after that it was good’. He continued, ‘With a 1, 3, 3, I should be a safe 3rd on the grid which is good but hopefully I can start higher’. Asked about car changes for the final qualifier he replied, ‘Only new tyres’, the German like Orlowski having used the same set of tyres for the first 3 rounds.
Kobbevik said, ‘I tried to stay clean but still be fast. It was a good run’. The 13-year-old Xray driver added, ‘the Top 3 are very fast but in the 2WD finals things got a bit crazy so my goal is to start 4th and see what happens’. Happy with his car, the EOS Poland podium finisher will leave it unchanged for his final qualifying attempt with a 3rd and 4th his counting scores so far.
Opening the morning with a 4th in Q2, Wollanka said that was ‘a clean run’ but in the third when on his second set of tyres he had ‘small mistakes and lost 2-seconds’. Running a prototype of Sworkz’s upcoming 14-3 kit release, he said the car has been working really well and he is ‘just driving it’ having to make no changes between rounds. His debut in the EOS with Sworkz, he said he was ‘very happy’ to be already locked into the A-Main for his first EOS outing of the season.
Joern Neumann has TQ’d the second round of qualifying at EOS Austria, the Schumacher driver benefiting from his team-mate Michal Orlowski being unsighted coming off the wall section by a marshal resulting in contact with the car he was attending to. Taking the opening qualifier last night, Orlowski looked on target for another TQ run with a comfortable advantage over his rivals at the 4-minute mark but the incident sent him off the track. He said, ‘I saw the car crash as I entered the wall but when I came out the marshal was there and I had to change my line to avoid him but he was blocking my view of the car and I hit it’. The Pole would still end up third fastest having had to be marshalled after his car ended up outside the track. It was Bruno Coelho who set the 2nd fastest time, the reigning champion having the fastest car on track but suffering an early mistake that cost him over 2-seconds. Building on his strong showing in Q1, Sworkz driver Martin Wollanka completed the Top 4.
Michal Orlowski is clearly looking on target for another double this weekend at the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series, the Schumacher driver capping off his 2WD winning day with a TQ run in the opening 4WD qualifying. Top Seed for qualifying, he would top the first of the four qualifiers ahead of Bruno Coelho, the Xray driver having a costly mistake 5-laps into the heat. Behind, Daniel Kobbevik completed the Top 3 ahead of Joern Neumann and the weekend’s 2WD Top Qualifier Neil Cragg.
Laying down the fastest lap on his run, Orlowski said, ‘I had a rough start. My first 1 or 2 laps were not the best but once I concentrated a bit more it was good’. He continued, ‘I’m very happy with the car. It was the same as we ran it in practice and I am having fun out there with it’. Asked about his 21-second lap late in the run he replied, ‘when I heard I’d done a 19.2 lap I got a bit too excited and landed side ways after the triple and rolled which cost me about 2-seconds’.
‘It was an OK round but I flipped one time which cost me 2 or 3-seconds, I had to be marshalled’, was how Coelho described the first 4WD qualifier. The reigning champion said, ‘everything is super tight but Orlowski is super fast and it will be difficult for sure to beat him. We need to work on our car for tomorrow to try and catch him’.
Team-mate Kobbevik said it was ‘a good first round’ but added his car was ‘a bit difficult to drive’. Putting the more difficult car compared to practice down to new tyres and the later timing of the run making for a colder track, the EOS Poland podium finisher said he just ‘tried to stay clean’ and while the run contained ‘a few small mistakes but nothing major’. Looking to Q2, he said, ‘I think I will leave the car the same’.
‘It was a good run only I crashed twice’, said Neumann after Q1. The multiple former champion continued, ‘and still I got 4th place which shows the car has very good speed’. Planning to run his Schumacher unchanged for the morning, he said his car has so much traction on new tyres and because of his aggressive driving style he is not getting the best out of it were as Orlowski’s smoother driving style allow him to get 100% from new tyres. He plans to look a a possible change to the set-up for the next run on new tyres but he is confident of a good Q2 on used tyres saying ‘I will try to make another good run and secure a good starting position for the final then maybe we can do changes in Q3 & 4 to test’.
Summing up his somewhat surprise 5th, Cragg said, ‘It was a pretty decent run, thats all I can say about it really’. The Associated driver went on to say, ‘5th in the round was about the best I could have done because I feel years behind the others. I felt all of my 34-years in that run. We have improved the car a little bit again so we are getting there. Making the A-Main would be good result to leave with’.