March 23, 2018

Orlowski TQs opening qualifier at EOS Wels

Despite running off the drivers stand during the warm-up because his car’s drivetrain was making funny noises, it was Michal Orlowski who has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria.  Fifth in seeding, the Schumacher driver was able to take up his starting position after some quick work to put in place some offending missing screws and the Pole was further in luck when top seed Bruno Coelho hit trouble in traffic while on for a TQ run.  With Coelho dropping to fourth, Orlowski topped Q1 by over a second from Neil Cragg with Marc Rheinard a surprise 3rd.

Asked about the slight panic before the opening qualifier, Orlowski said, ‘some screws were not in the car’.  With the car right for the start of the heat, he continued, ‘because of what happened my first few laps were not so good and I lost time with a bobble on the first lap. I tried to calm down a bit but then drove too careful’.  He added, ‘I couldn’t really hear what Scotty (Ernst) was saying because the sound is not very good in the hall but I saw Bruno had a mistake and from then started to pushed harder to get back in it and it paid off with the TQ’.

‘A solid run but not 100%’, was how Cragg summed up his first qualifying attempt.  The Associated driver added, ‘I hit a crashed car off a jump which cost me a bit of time. It was nobody’s fault but second place is a good start so I can’t complain. It’s always nice to get a banker in the first one’.  On his car the Daun winner said, ‘its pretty good. We’ll stay the same for Q2, we don’t need to change it’.

Rheinard described Q1 as ‘a safe run’.  The Yokomo driver said, ‘in practice we were lacking corner speed so I decided to just go safe.  It didn’t feel fast but my lap times are not bad’ – the German laying down the third fastest lap time behind fastest man Joona Haatanen and Coelho.  Describing his car as ‘edgy with no corner speed’, team-mate Lee Martin also having similar issues and seeding in the second fastest heat, the touring car ace concluded, ‘3rd is good for me so I can’t complain. It is important to make the main so I’ll go for another safe run in the next one and leave the car as it is’.

Explaining what happened to him, Coelho said, ‘I was overtaking a slower guy and jumped wide so had to use full steering and flipped and lost 2.5-seconds’. He continued, ‘the heat started very good and I was very confident.  After the mistake I forced to try and get back time but on this track it’s impossible’.

Completing the Top 5 ahead of Haatanen, Joern Neumann said his qualifier ‘started out really nice’ but then he ‘landed the triple a little too short and lost 2 or 3-seconds’.  The Schumacher driver would double his deficit when ‘Kája and me both tried to jump together and hit each other in the air and I lost another 3-second so to still get 5th its pretty OK’.  Improving his car from practice by going with a softer shock for the flat landing he was having issue with, the multiple former EOS Champion is confident he can be in the mix in Q2.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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