March 19, 2017

Coelho eases to A1 win

Bruno Coelho eased his way to a completely dominant win in the opening 4WD A-Main at Round 4 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany.  Having pulled off a clean sweep of the four qualifiers to claim his third TQ of the season, the Xray driver made light work of the opposition to win by 10-seconds even after sitting behind traffic for the final few laps of the race.  Martin Wollanka would make it an Xray 1-2, getting by 2nd place starter Lee Martin after the Yokomo driver made a mistake on the opening lap.  Despite a 3-second crash, which dropped him to 6th, Joona Haatanen would work his way back up the order to complete the Top 3. Running behind battling Xray team-mates Martin Bayer and Hupo Honigl this would eventually play into the hands of both Haatanen and Lee Martin, who would salvage fourth after his earlier mistake, as the pair got together on the penultimate lap. Bayer & Honigl would go at it again on the final lap clashing somewhat spectacularly on the final dash down the main straight with Bayer somehow getting 5th.

‘There was not more I could do, the race was perfect’, was how Coelho summed up his win.  The reigning champion who is now just 5-minutes of driving away from successfully retaining the title said, ‘the car just works all the time and hopefully I can do the same the next one’.  Setting the fastest lap by 3/10ths of a second, a win in A2 would wrap up his third win of the season and seal the deal on a second consecutive EOS title for the World Champion.

Like his team-mate, Wollanka would also have a rather uneventful race.  Not even having to do any work to get by Lee Martin, the Austrian said that after Martin’s mistake ‘I just drove smooth. It was an easy race’.

‘Third was good for me. It is my first 4WD A-Main so I’m happy’, was Haatanen’s reaction after the race.  Getting it wrong in the steps section on Lap 5, yesterday’s 2WD podium finisher said, ‘I lost a couple of places with a mistake in the steps. After that I ran most of the race in 5th behind Hupo and Bayer but when they crashed I could get third’.  Asked if he felt a double podium weekend was on the cards the 14-year-old replied, ‘I hope I can do it’.

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