Orlowski claims first EOS TQ
Michal Orlowski has claimed his first overall TQ of the Euro Offroad Series with a superb drive in the final qualifier at the Season #4 finale at the Hudy Racing Arena. Having topped the opening 2WD qualifier in Slovakia, the 13-year would secure pole position ahead of this year’s champion Lee Martin when he produced the fastest qualifying time of the four rounds in Q4, also setting the fastest lap of the weekend in the process. Having each TQ’d a round of qualifying it is Martin and Yokomo team-mate Marc Rheinard who start directly behind the young Polish star. Putting in his best round in the final qualifier taking a P2, Kody Numedahl will start fourth while last year’s winner Martin Bayer finds himself only 7th on the grid behind the factory Team Associated trio who have made the trip over from the US.
‘Big stress’ was Orlowski’s initial reaction to becoming on the 8th different driver to TQ an EOS race since the championship was established 4-years ago. With two good rounds having taken a P2 in Q3 and 2 of 4 to count, he said he knew he could push his KF2 more in the final qualifier but laying down the TQ pace he admitted he was ‘shaking for the last minute’. Running the same set of handout tyres and set-up from Q1, he said his buggy has been ‘super good’ and he plans to leave it as is for A1. Shocked himself by his fastest lap time, looking to the finals he said ‘its a very hard track so its very important to have no mistakes’. In with a chance of a Top 3 finish in the overall championship standings he continued, ‘I will do my best and see what happens’.
‘The kid is fast’, that was 3-time 2WD race winner Martin’s reaction to Orlowski TQ. The World Championship runner-up, who hada mistake in his final qualifier, said he and the Schumacher driver are very close on pace and echoed this rivals thoughts on the race saying the plans was ‘don’t crash and see what happens’. Reunited this weekend with his old TRF team-mate Rheinard, who signed a surprise deal to race for Yokomo’s offroad team just last month, Martin said ‘Marc is starting behind me and the aim s for both of us to move forward in the finals’.
Ending qualifying with his best run, Numedahl said he found the 1-second that he believed was in him with another 2-seconds coming from the track being much faster in Q4. Adding weight to his B5M for the last qualifier he said this made it a little more comfortable to drive. Asked about his plan for the final, the AE designer replied, ‘2WD is not so crazy as 4WD which is nuts, but as we’re are going so fast its going to be hard not to hit people’.
One the series former race Top Qualifiers, Wernimont said he hoped to turn things around in the final. Qualifying 5th, the 18-year-old said ‘I crash the whole time but the car has the speed and if I can just sort that out we might be able to pull something good out of the finals’. His senior team-mate Cavalieri who starts 6th, referring to the triple finals said ‘It will be fun out there’ continuing ‘my plan is just to follow around and see what happens ahead’.
After a good Q3, Bayer was annoyed with his final run as he made ‘two stupid mistakes’. The home event for his Xray team he said its going to be hard to do something from 7th but his XB2 prototype’s pace is good and who knows what will happen in the race.
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