Bruno Coelho has taken the the opening round of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Poland despite an error in the middle of the five minute qualifier that cost him almost 2-seconds. Dropping to fifth but recovering to go back to the top of the timing screens, the reigning champion would head an Xray 1-2 from Martin Bayer by 1.5 seconds, Bayer himself recovering from a crash on his third lap. Lee Martin would ensure it wasn’t a complete Xray white wash, the Yokomo driver posting the third fastest time with the next best no Xray being his team-mate Marc Rheinard, who having been on he TQ pace for a time finished up 8th struggling with how his car was landing the jumps. For second seed Michal Orlowski his opening qualifier was short lived as he retired after just two laps as the ‘screws in the gear were left loose’.
‘It was not perfect’ was Coelho’s reaction after the qualifier. The reigning champion and current points leader thanks to his Nurburgring victory, continued, ‘I flipped once and had many mistakes touching the boards’. Flipping his XB4 after a bad landing he said, ‘luckily the marshal was quite close so I did not lose a lot of time’. Setting the fastest lap of the qualifier, he reiterated, ‘the car is working very well’ concluding, ‘I just need to make no mistakes’.
‘Very good, second is very good’, was how Bayer summed up the first qualifier. Making a mistake just before the wall section that required his XB4 to be marshalled, the Czech driver was more than happy that ‘the speed is there’. For Q2 he said the only thing he needs to change is to ‘cut out the mistake’.
Reviewing his performance Martin said, ‘just as they called me in the lead I grip rolled off the straight but 3rd is not bad to start with’. The former Champion added, ‘I thought we could have got more but it was not to be, but another good run and we are in the Main’. On his RC Concept powered YZ4 he felt ‘the landing could be better’ with it also ‘sometime want(ing) to get up on two wheels’, something he said is preventing him from driving as fast as he wants to. For Q2 he will consider glueing his tyres more. Rheinard said his example ‘just doesn’t land’. The German said he needs to get the jump perfect or else the car bounces, with any over jump into a flat landing ending in the car getting out of shape. Looking to his mechanic Thomas Pumpler for a solution, ‘Pumpi’ said he will fully refresh the shocks but leave the oils and springs unchanged.
Posting a P4 for the round, 18-year-old Valander described the run as ‘really good’. The Finn said ‘I was just looking for a clean run so I’m really happy with 4th’, adding ‘I might have lost a bit of time as I was getting a little excited at the end’. Pleased with his XB4, he said having rebuilt his diffs after practice they felt completely different to drive adding the car was ‘a lot better’. Looking to Q2, he said ‘I’m just going to try keep it on its wheel, so let’s see’. Behind Valander, Kája Novotný posted a P5 with the 20-year-old Czech Champion setting the second fastest lap time in the process, while Hupo Honigl completed the Top 6.