September 18, 2016

Coelho opens EOS title defence with win


Bruno Coelho has opened the defence of his Euro Offroad Series 4WD title with a win, the Xray driver claiming the overall victory at the opening round of the championship at the Nurburgring in Germany.  The win marks the World Champions fourth consecutive EOS victory and his second at the iconic motor racing circuit, his title having been claimed here back in April at last season’s finale.  Like in A1 Coelho would win A2 after an almost identical mistake from Top Qualifier Lee Martin who once again rolled coming off the Team Associated Step-up Step-down, a feature the reigning 2WD champion took an immediate dislike when seeing it for the first time when he arrived at the track on Thursday night.  Managing to maintain his No.1 starting position throughout A3 that would secure last year’s race winner 2nd overall with Michal Orlowski completing the podium.


Summing up his win, Coelho said, ‘the weekend didn’t start too well, not with the cars but with me.  I was feeling sick yesterday and while today was better I am still not perfect’.  He continued 2WD is the most difficult of all the classes for me and struggling with myself what is already bad was even worse.  Today was much better and for sure it is good to start the season with a win.  A win is the best thing for the championship although we missed the TQ but there are four more races to go’.  On the racing he said, ‘Lee flipped 2 times in front of me which made today’s win look easy but I was not faster than the other guys.  We had the same pace’.


‘My first clean final all weekend’, was Martin’s reaction to his A3 win.  Changing body shell on his YZ4 to a new soon to be released shell that is a collaboration between his own LMR brand and the MR33 brand of team-mate Marc Rheinard, the British driver said the car felt good, describing it as ‘freer to drive’.  He continued ‘once Orlowski crashed I controlled it from there.  Second and the TQ point is not a bad start to the championship’.  Asked about his A2 error which handed Coelho an early victory, he said, ‘twice the table top got me.  I just fell off the step a little earlier, it was not as if I hit a track marker’.   He added, ‘hopefully for the rest of the EOS tracks this season the feature will be the full width of the track.  What they had here was like putting curbing down the straight and cutting it in half’.


Claiming his second podium of the weekend, Orlowski said, ‘It been a pretty good start to the season, much better than last season in 4WD and that’s thanks to Tris(tram Neal) work on the car in the UK’.  He continued 3rd today is something to build on, Round 2 set to take place in the 15-year-old’s home city of Warsaw in November. On his A3 performance, in which he would finish 4th behind Martin Wollanka, the former European Champion said ‘the feeling of the car was different to before’.  Only fitting a new set of driveshafts he said as a result of the different feeling he wasn’t driving very good and that was what resulted in his lap 4 error.


Outside the podium, Hupo Honigl would be best of the rest in fourth thanks to a second place in the third A-Main.  The Xray driver joked, ‘but I did beat Martin in the truck, that was the original challenge we set each other’.  Having been enjoying an internal battle with his Xray Offroad team-manger Martin Bayer he added, ‘Martin is happy he beat me in truck but I got the better of him twice in buggy’.  A former 2WD race winner, the Austrian said about A3, ‘I tried to catch Lee but saw I couldn’t so shifted back a gear to protect my second’.  Behind Honigl 2WD race winner Marc Rheinard would complete the Top 5 despite Top 3 finishes in A1 & 2.




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