Bruno Coelho has grabbed a somewhat unexpected victory at the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series in Austria. Having had to concede to the impressive performance of the Schumacher team in qualifying, the reigning 4WD Champion would capitalise on errors by his rivals in the finals, capping off the weekend with a win in A3 in front of Michal Orlowski to claim an important second win of the season given he was absent from the third round. Behind, Joern Neumann would finish second overall, the German unable to hold onto the second he needed in A3 to claim the overall win. Adding to Orlowski’s frustrating run in the finals, the weekend’s 2WD winner would not even make the podium, some smart driving by Daniel Kobbevik in A1 & 2 rewarded with 3rd overall.
Reacting to his 8th EOS career win in 4WD Coelho said, ‘it was easier to win before now, this was more difficult, so this has a different taste’. Having openly talked after qualifying about his team taking too much focus off their 4WD to get the 2WD up to speed, he added, ‘It was a very good final. I was super confident. I was not faster in the final but the car was easy to drive and I forced a lot to have this result. I have already put one race out because of attending the TITC so there is no margin for mistakes now. It is a good result, not perfect as we missed the TQ point’. Winner of the season opener, Orlowski winning the next two, on the two going head to head for the title at the season finale he said, ‘The last time I raced on Astro was the Worlds. I have no experience and I don’t have time in my schedule to practice so I think it will be super hard but like today we will try our best’.
Summing up his A3, Neumann said, “I made a slight mistake after the single and double bounced a little which allowed Bruno to get down my inside. He knew he only needed second to get the win so he didn’t have to risk to go for the win’. The 3-time Champion added, ‘I’m still super happy with 2nd. We showed we are right there and that the car is good. Last time out I got 3rd, now 2nd. I’ll go for the win at the last race’.
Claiming his second EOS career podium, Kobbevik said, ‘I’m very happy with the podium, it was everything I was after’. On a weekend which also saw the up & coming talent secure his best ever qualifying position, the 13-year-old added, ‘I’m ready for Arena 33. It will be cool to drive on Astro turf’. Pulling off in A3, the Norwegian said, ‘I made a mistake after the double and was last so I knew I couldn’t better my two results so I pulled off because I wanted to watch the race’.
‘It wasn’t my finals at all’, was how Orlowski described the result. The Schumacher driver continued, ‘it looked really good after qualifying. There were just too many mistakes from me’. On A3 he said, ‘I wanted to win (overall), not to get second and when Bruno got into second I knew he could win and wasn’t concentrating enough and made a weird mistake at the hairpin’. With the fastest lap of the finals, as he chased the fastest race time in A3, he said, ‘we showed our new car is quick so on to the next round. Both championship are open so we need to focus now on that. The L1 was designed for astro with most of the testing done on it so I am sure we’ll be quick at Arena 33’.