Michal Orlowski has TQ’d the third round of 2WD qualifying at Round 2 of the Euro Offroad Series in Germany. The Schumacher driver ended Neil Cragg’s run of topping the time sheets at the new Daun venue as he topped the opening run of Day 2 from the Team Associated driver. With Orlowski fastest by 2.6-seconds, his TQ time the quickest so far, things were much closer behind him with Cragg only 6/100ths up on Martin Bayer who in turn was 3/10ths quicker than his Xray team-mate Bruno Coelho.
‘It didn’t start very good, I was sleepy the first couple of laps’, was how Orlowski summed up his TQ run. Having raced at the Reedy Race of Champions in California last weekend the Polish teenager says he is struggling with jet lag. Starting the qualifier directly behind Cragg, once he woke up he said, ‘I just put my head down to catch up to Neil. Then he had a mistake and I had a good gap, so for the last couple of laps I drove carefully’. Suffering from crashes and traffic in the opening qualifier, while the second one was a better attempt he said a nap before the late evening qualifier meant he wasn’t fully on his game. In terms of his car he said, ‘the cars feels good, it’s the same set-up as we ran in practice’.
Having topped seeding and the opening 2 qualifiers making it a perfect first day, Cragg said, ‘I got a little tight in the middle of the heat and clipped a few things but 2nd is still a good result’. An early start to the day, the former World Champion continued, ‘It not too bad for this hour of the morning. The car is still good and we are still competitive. We’ll just rotate the tyres for the last one’. With the large track proving challenging to all drivers with mistakes common, Cragg felt in Q3 he was a lot better over the jump after the banked corner, a section that has been catching out a lot of drivers.
Despite still being sick, joking he is taking medication like eating sweets, Bayer was very happy with his run to P3. The Czech driver said, ‘the run was good. I had no mistakes. It was a very close ending with 3-cars on the same second. The finals will be very interesting’. Sitting third in the qualification ranking he added, ‘I have been in the Top 4 in all 3 runs so I am very happy with my consistency’.
For team-mate Coelho, the weekend has so far been a tough one for the Round 1 dominator. While P4 in Q3 would be his best run so far the Portuguese driver is struggling to produce a clean run. Agreeing the track is challenging he said, ‘It was going very good at the beginning but I had a mistake and lost 3-seconds. The car is good, I just need to try and make no mistakes’.
Posting another P5 time, Yokomo’s Lee Martin said his car is ‘still lacking corner speed’. Also suffering a ‘couple of mistakes’, he continued, ‘I have a 5, 5 & a 6 so it’s time to try something now’. Changing the car set-up each round he said, ‘we have been making baby steps with the changes but now it’s time to make a bigger step. It a progression of what we have been doing but just much bigger’. He also plans to run a new set of tyres joking its ‘wheelie time’. Behind Martin, team-mate Marc Rheinard would complete the Top 6.