September 18, 2015

Coelho heads Xray 1-2 at Nürburgring

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Making his Euro Offroad Series debut, Touring Car ace Bruno Coelho is proving the big surprise at the opening round of of Season #5 at the Nürburgring in Germany.  Having impressed when he posted the 3rd quickest time in 2WD practice earlier in the day, he headed an Xray 1-2 in 4WD practice ahead of team-mate Martin Bayer.  With Xray’s Martin Wollanka ending up 4th fastest it was a promising start to the event for the Slovakian manufacturer. Closest to the Xrays over 3-consecutive laps would be reigning Champion Lee Martin who despite having battery issues in the second of the two seeding runs would put his all new Yokomo 3rd on the time sheets.

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Clearly pleased with his day’s performance, 1:10 Offroad being a class the Portuguese star has the least experience of, he said both his cars were really good and of the two it was the 2WD that was the easier to drive but ‘easier doesn’t mean faster’. Improving the soon to be released XB4 2016 ‘a lot’  having conducted 5-days of testing at the Hudy Racing Arena in the build up to the EOS opener, he said was able to run the car the same over all the practice rounds.  Having had some issue with the track’s big jump in 2WD practice, he said that run time had allowed him master it for 4WD.  Looking to Sunday’s 4WD action, 2WD making up tomorrow’s schedule, he commented ‘I hope that everything is in a good way for qualifying but its looks good right now’.

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‘Super good’ that was Bayers reaction to his team’s performance. As Xray’s lead offroad driver and having played a key roll in the development of the new car he was ‘super happy’ getting the cars 1,2 & 4 in the seeding times. Winner of the Season #4 finale in 4WD, The Czech driver said considering how ‘fresh the car is’, them only getting a day & a half of testing with the 2016 model due to having to wait for the final examples to come of the production line, he said ‘the base set-up is really good and (he) didn’t change anything’ over the practice here.  Wollanka said while his car is also very good, he feels there is more speed to be got from it.  Playing with the gluing of his front tyre’s side walls he said he needs to find the balance between this and the actual steering set-up.

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‘Car is getting better and better’, that was how Martin summed up the debut of Yokomo’s new 4WD buggy.  He adding consider Xray managed ‘a lot of carpet time’ with their new XB4 he was encouraged by the pace of his Japanese team’s new car considering it has only run 5 battery packs. Setting his best time in the first of the timed runs, he said the time could have been better as he managed a few laps that were under the minimum lap time set on the timing system.  In the final run of the day he said the car’s power ‘felt soft’ after his cells didn’t take a full charge.  Looking to qualifying on Sunday he said overall the car already has a good 5-minute pace so its been a good start for the team.

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Fifth fastest behind Wollanka, Yokomo’s Marc Rheinard said they were ‘still trying stuff’ but it felt ‘pretty good’.  The problem for the German is he is not happy with how the car is landing and he is lacking confidence to go at them ‘full power’.  Trying changes each of the runs to try cure the landing issues he said ‘its not really getting better’.  Hopeful of improving the car for qualifying, he said his aim is no mistakes because everyone is crashing and a clean run is what will count.

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Completing the Top 6, Yokomo’s newest addition to its bolstered World Championship line-up, Carson Wernimont, said he got ‘caught off guard by how much traction there was’.  Having ‘changed a lot of stuff’ he is is having to learn what changes the prototype car likes.  Having got more on pace over the practice sessions he said he still needs to get more out of it.

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Setting the 7th fastest time Joern Neumann said he played around a lot with his tyre prep. Trying different options in terms of the number of pins removed and the level of gluing in the front tyre walls, the car too edgy without any glue, he felt he has found a good combination.  Now the German, who also made shock set-up changes during the rounds, said he needs to find more speed from the set-up.

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Another driver debuting a new car at the event, Michal Orlowski would put his Schumacher 8th fastest.  The recently crowned European Champion, said the car started off feeling really good but changes to get more steering left him with less.  The 14-year-old said this was part of racing with a new car and because of the lack of track time they dont yet really know what direction to take to improve the car.

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Posting the 9th fastest time ahead of Yokomo designer Shin Adachi,  HB’s David Ronnefalk said it was a busy day as they tested a lot of stuff on his D413 which features a new gearbox design and roll centre.  The Swede said the ‘huge bite’ of the track caused them difficulty.  With the car too edgy when you don’t remove any pins from the handout Schumacher Mini pin tyre, he said when you do it ends up being too slow.  Happy that they learnt a lot over the practicce he is hopeful he can find something for Sunday.

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