Cragg wins A1 with ease with rivals all crashing
Neil Cragg claimed an easy win in the opening A-Main of 2WD at the Euro Offroad Series this morning, the Team Associated driver having an easier than expected race from pole position as all his rivals made errors. In the end the British driver finished almost 7-second clear of second place Daniel Kobbevik who put in a clean run to come through from 6th on the grid. Having looked like he might mount a challenge on Cragg, two mistakes at the same spot on the track left Bruno Coelho to complete the Top 3 ahead of a recovering Michal Orlowski. Starting second on the grid, the championship leader crashed just after the start over the double leaving him to complete lap 1 down in 8th.
‘If only life was always that easy’, was Cragg’s reaction to his win. Finally claiming his maiden EOS victory this season at the second round in Germany, the former World Champion continued, ‘I’m super happy. I just let the guys crash behind me and drove easy’. Running new tyres, he said, ‘hopefully the car will be super dialled again in the next’. Asked about Coelho closing in on him in the middle part of the race, he joked, ‘He’s pretty fast I’ve heard’, continued, ‘I knew he has crashed a lot so I wasn’t that worried and that’s what happened’.
‘I’m very happy’, was how Kobbevik summed up his impressive drive, the up & coming 13-year-old having a train of offroad racing’s top drivers behind him. The Xray driver said, ‘My approach to the race was to stay clean and make no mistakes. The start was a bit messy and I dropped back a bit but I came back again and took advantage of everyone else’s mistakes’. The Norwegian concluded, ‘I will try to do the same in the next one’.
Commenting on his race Coelho said, ‘I made a good start but then Orlowski had a mistake in the first corner. I didn’t know where his car was going to end up so I was careful passing him but Joona just went by full power. I was behind him for a couple of laps but then he made a mistake so I was up to second. I tried to catch Neil but made the same mistake twice in the same spot. I traction rolled at the single in the middle. The car was perfect everywhere else’. Another driver on a brand new set of the championship’s controlled Schumacher tyre, he said, ‘I hope it will be better there in the next one’.
Explaining his race, reigning champion Michal Orlowski said, ‘I over jumped the double at the start. I was worried about doing it before the race’. Dropping back to 8th he continued, ‘I somehow got back to fourth but I still have a new set of tyres so I think that will give me an advantage in the next one’. Behind Orlowski, Yokomo’s Lee Martin completed the Top 5 ahead of Haatanen who was the only driver to post a 19-second lap time just before his earlier mistake.
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