Martin Bayer has won the opening A-Main at the Euro Offroad Series, the Xray driver just seeing off Top Qualifier Michal Orlowski for the win. Starting from second on the grid, Bayer would go to the front on the opening lap after a mistake from Orlowski but the Schumacher was clearly quicker. Catching the Czech driver, a first attempt saw the Pole get on the inside only for the two to tangle with Bayer able to hold on to the lead. A second charge from Orlowski then set up a photo finish with Orlowski launching his car into the final corner. With the timing screens showing him as the winner, the reigning champion had triggered the loop by cutting the corner and the result was corrected so that Bayer was rightly the winner. With the two in a class of their own, it was Kája Novotný who would complete the Top 3 after Neil Cragg suffered an unlucky retirement with half a minute remaining.
‘Way too much pressure on me. If a Doctor was measuring my heart rate they would think I was having a heart attack’, was Bayer’s reaction to his win. He continued, ‘when I went in the lead I just tried not to make any mistakes. I know I was slower so I drove on the inside line to leave no space. I have one win so let’s see what happens in the next one’. The championship leader raised a concern of his tyres saying, ‘I feel the race tyres are different each set. I had a new set (for A1) and there was a big difference to the new set I used in Q3 but I will see how they go in the second one’.
Running the same set of tyres he used to take Q4 and seal the overall TQ, Orlowski said his car ‘was a bit oversteering in the warm-up’. He continued, ‘I got a good start and had a half second gap but clipped the pipe. I tried to save it but clipped the next pipe and crashed’. Chasing a third win at the Hudy Arena, he said, ‘I knew I was faster so I stayed behind Bayer, we both had small mistakes, and when I went for a pass down his inside I was unlucky I touched him. I tried to get by again but it was too late’. Looking to A2 he is confident saying, ‘I will be on new tyres and know I have a pace advantage so I will try to pull away’.
Starting third and joining the battle for the lead for a time, Cragg was annoyed at losing out on an ‘easiest 3rd place’. The Team Associated driver said, ‘I was really good for four & a half minutes but then something really weird happened that I have never seen before. I crashed and somehow lost all four screws from the chassis weight’. With the speed controller mounted to the plate this would then lift and ‘pull the sensor cable out’ ending his race to the benefit of Xray’s Novotný. Behind the Czech driver, Cragg’s team-mate Joona Haatanen would get fourth followed by A-Main debutant Adam Izsay.