Michal Orlowski topped 2WD free practice on the Euro Offroad Series’ return to Poland with the Schumacher driver setting the fastest 3-consecutive laps over the two rounds. Racing at Warsaw Moto Show in the capital city, Orlowski was fastest from a trio of Xray’s with Martin Bayer heading Bruno Coelho and Hupo Honigl. Winner of the season opener in Germany, Marc Rheinard would post the fifth fastest time with Team Associated’s Neil Cragg completing the Top 6 ahead reigning champion Lee Martin, Martin having broke early in the first practice.
Runner-up at the season opener at the Nurburgring in September, Orlowski said his car ‘feels really good’ but added it was ‘a little edgy and twitchy’. Since Round 1 his Cougar KF2 SE now features the motor more forward mounted in the car and he said they ‘need to find a better set-up’ for this adding ‘I don’t want to reduce the speed’. The Warsaw teenager also reported feeling he didn’t have enough brake but changing his speedo between round he said it didn’t improve things.
‘Pretty good’ was how former 2WD race winner Bayer summed up his free practice. Running his ‘basic Hudy Arena set-up’, the Xray Offroad team-manager said he was ‘just trying to learn the track and see where (he) can push’. Describing his XB2, which is running the same as Coelho, he said he feels ‘so far ok’. On the track the Czech driver said ‘I like the jumps and that the track is not as open as Round 1’.
Coehlo, who has yet to register a 2WD win in the EOS, was pleased with his own driving said he is ‘driving the track well’ but like Orlowski felt a lack of braking cost him a better time. The 4WD World Champion said he had eliminated the problem being electrical, feeling it was possibly diff related. Pleased with the feel of his Hobbywing powered XB2 around the tight track, he said the lack of brakes was losing him a lot time in the 180 degree corners.
On setting the fourth fastest time, Honigl said, ‘I am not quite as familiar with the track as in Germany’. Adding ‘my car is good, I just need to learn the track’ he admitted the layout in Warsaw is ‘not really the type of track he likes as you have to push too much’. Describing the track as ‘good but different’ for him it has ‘no flow’ but he hopes to build on his early pace.
Championship leader thanks to his TQ and win at the season opener, Rheinard said his pace ‘was OK but (he) couldn’t make three laps without crashing’. Describing the track as ‘pretty tricky’ he added, ‘it’s not easy to go fast and not crash’. On his YZ2 he said while it’s ‘not 100% it’s not bad and (they) are still trying stuff’ but for now his focus is on getting ‘more out of myself’.
‘Not too bad’ was how Cragg summed up his two practice runs adding the track is ‘the most different layout’ he has experienced in his three previous EOS outings. Feeling his ‘driving could be better’, the reigning European Champion said while they have good pace it’s hard not to crash and he will try to make the car a little easier to drive. Although predicting ‘quite a lot of crashes’ due to the track being tight he added it’s a ‘pretty cool layout’.
Commenting on his free practice, Martin said, ‘I broke in the first one which was not good’. Managing to run all of FP2, the British driver described his car as feeling ‘quite OK but needs a little more rotation’ adding ‘I didn’t string 3-laps together’. Trying to put pace into context, he said, ‘many drivers look pretty fast for one lap but they’re making lots of crashes so over 5-minutes so I don’t know’.