May 1, 2016

One a piece as Martin takes Q2 at EOS decider

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With Bruno Coelho taking the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series title decider last night, this morning his only title rival Lee Martin made it one a piece.  Lucky to even make the run, a servo change required before the start, Martin would take his Yokomo to the top of the times ahead of Martin Wollanka’s Xray after a late mistake dropped Coelho off the top spot.  Coming into the Nurburgring event as points leader, Coelho would complete the Top 3 ahead of Japanese driver Kaito Kodera.

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‘Happy to get that run out of that situation’, was how Martin summed up Q2.   Suffering a servo failure just as the cars went to track, quick work from Yokomo designer Shin Adachi saw a replacement fitted but ‘a lot slower servo’, Martin said it ‘felt strange’ to drive and with only 1/4 of a lap warm-up as he drove out to the grid it took the first part of the qualifier to adjust to it.  Having felt he didn’t warm his diffs enough before the opening qualifier last night, he said he also had to deal with the diffs having had no warm-up time ahead of the second encounter.

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Runner-up at the season opener at the Nurburgring last September, Wollanka described his P2 as a ‘good result’. Describing his XB4 as ‘very good’, the Austrian felt he could have driven it better.  With only his team-mate Coelho posting a faster lap, he said ‘my lines are not always correct’, feeling that if he can tidy this up there is better to come, with the deficit to Martin in Q2 1.7-seconds.

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Topping Q1 ahead of Martin, Coelho would throw away the second qualifier with ‘a stupid mistake’.  The Portuguese driver who knocked 2/10th off his fastest lap of Q1, would lose almost 5-seconds when he made a ‘bad landing’ 3-laps from the finish.  Able to wrap up the title if he can take the overall TQ, the World Champion said ‘the car is working very well, I just need to keep out the mistakes’.

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Having made no changes to his YZ-4 since the first practice, Kodera said the car has been really good and his focus has been on working on his driving.  Running the second fastest heat and only 11th in Q1, the 15-year-old said his second qualifier was ‘pretty good’ although the run did contain one rollover that cost him 2-seconds.  Putting the improvement down to his driving he plans to continue without making changes to his set-up.

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‘A good clean run’ was how Yannic Prumper described his run to P5.  The VBC team driver who is running an Xray this weekend as his manufacturer works on creating a 4WD platform, said a rear toe change had reduced understeer.  Having only driven the car for the first time in Friday’s practice, he plans to leave it unchanged for the penultimate qualifier saying ‘the car is good’.

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Completing the Top 6, Hupo Honigl said ‘I wasn’t really fast but I had no mistakes’.  With the competition ‘pretty tight’ the Austrian hopes that his second P6 run would be enough for a spot in this evening’s A-Main.  With his XB4 having ‘a lot of steering’, the former European Champion said ‘it is hard to drive’ and for the next one he will ‘try to calm it down so (he) can push harder’.

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Having set the pace in practice, Marc Rheinard was able to improve somewhat on his poor opening qualifier with a P7.  The Yokomo driver was only 11th in Q1 and discovered afterwards a rear shock spring was jammed, which made the car difficult but a last lap mistake didn’t help either.  With a better car for Q2, the former European Champion said the problem this morning was ‘the driver failed’.

View complete event results here.

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