March 18, 2017

Coelho win sees Orlowski crowned EOS Champion at Arena33

Bruno Coelho has claimed his first 2WD career win of the Euro Offroad Series, the Xray driver’s victory at Arena33 also deciding the outcome of this season’s championship which has an all new champion in Michal Orlowski.  With Lee Martin Orlowski’s only remaining title challenger at the penultimate round of Season #6, the stakes going into A3 couldn’t be higher.  With the opening two A-Mains producing two different winners, Joona Haatanen winning the first and Martin the second, the Top 3 on the grid would all be contenders for the overall win in German.  For reigning champion Martin it was a win or nothing situation. While Haatanen would lead for the first 3-minutes, the Top Qualifier would suffer a mistake through the steps section after the straight with Coelho there to capitalise.  While a win for Coelho ahead of Haatanen would leave him on the same points as his rivals, it would come down to the winning race times to decide how they got to stand on the podium.  Once in front however Coelho would prove fastest pulling clear to go the extra lap bettering the previous best set by Martin to give him the overall win. The star of the weekend, the tie breaker would leave Haatanen third deferring the rising talent’s debut on the top step of the podium to another day.  While Haatanen waits for that day, two years after his break through win in the EOS, his close friend Orlowski realised his long time ambition by adding an EOS title to his CV, the young Pole having been a part of the championship from the first ever race in 2012.

‘This has been one of my goals in RC, I just have the Reedy Race and the Worlds left’, was Orlowski’s reaction to securing both his and Schumacher’s first EOS title.   He continued, ‘We started the season with a second and then won in Poland and Slovakia but this weekend didn’t go to plan.  I came here wanting three wins in a row but the we struggled with the layout.  Luckily I didn’t have to do it (get a result) myself’.  Finishing up 10th at the Andernach event, he continued, ‘I couldn’t concentrate in the last final because I was listening to Scotty because I wanted to follow the race up front to see what was happening’.  The reason for this distraction was that the 15-year-old will sit an important school exam on the Friday of the season finale which would see him miss 2WD qualifying but today’s outcome means he can now focus on the exam before travelling to Wels in Austria to race the 4WD part of the weekend.   Taking all his EOS wins, 3 in 2WD and one in 4WD, driving for the Schumacher team, he thanked the British manufacturer for their support in making the title win possible in particular designer Tristram Neal with whom he has developed a strong working partnership in the small closely knit factory team.

Summing up his win, Coelho said, ‘Finally some good luck’.  Having lost A2 after two incidents outside of his control, he continued, ‘I had some touches and some traffic at the end.  Getting by them without crashing was not down to skill but luck’.  The traffic he was referring to was a pile up in the dying seconds of the race which his XB2 somehow drove through the middle of without being hit. Sitting behind Haatanen, showing the leader his nose a number of times, he said, ‘I was just trying to drive behind Joona waiting for a mistake but touched him once. I waited for him to go again and then he made a mistake and I could overtake him’. Describing his win as ‘a positive result’ not just for him but also Xray as its their first win with the XB2 in some time, the 4WD World Champion said, ‘I’m an onroad racer, that’s my main focus and 2WD is not my favourite class even after today’s win but for sure the car is now much better than last year.  It was my inconsistency in the qualifiers that prevented us from getting the TQ & Win but I am super happy to show the car is good today.  It was this good at the last race too but my driving prevented a good result’.

‘I tried but lost too much time, we burned through tyres here today’, was Martin’s view of the day.  The outgoing back to back champion continued, ‘I didn’t drive too bad. I felt this was as fast as I could go.  It was a very different track this time around and we need to work on our car for the itsy bitsy landings’.  He added, ‘we had some exciting finals but good job to Michal on winning the championship.  In the first three rounds he drove very well so he is the deserving winner but I’ll be back’.

Understandable disappointed to come so close to his first win for the second time, the last time a clash with team-mate Ryan Cavalieri costing him a win at the Nurburging on the B6’s debut, Haatanen said, ‘It was good for three & a half minutes and then I made a mistake which let Bruno passed me’.  The 14-year-old continued, ‘I think I’m doing a very good but the finals didn’t go as I wanted.  With team-mates Neil Cragg and Joakim Nicolaisen finishing up 4th ad 5th respectively, he concluded, ‘ Overall it was a good showing for the Associated team and hopefully now I can also make the A-Main in 4WD’.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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