April 21, 2018

Orlowski defends EOS title, Neumann takes the win

Michal Orlowski has successfully defended his Euro Offroad Series title. The Schumacher driver retained the 2WD Championship thanks to team-mate Joern Neumann who took the overall victory at the championship’s first ever outdoor event at Arena 33 in Germany.  Coming into the weekend, Team Associated’s Neil Cragg was Orlowski’s only remaining challenger and on the switch to astro turf the British driver had the experience advantage.  In qualifying it was Neumann who got the TQ ahead of Joona Haatanen with the title opponents lining up with Cragg 3rd and Orlowski 4th.  With Neumann claiming A1, a mistake from the German saved by his car being marshalled by Cragg’s car, the second one went to Haatanen ahead of Cragg.  This set the stage for a three way fight for the overall win, Cragg’s title hopes still alive but it was short lived.  At the start, the second corner would catch out Cragg sending him up down the field.  With Orlowski knowing the title was now his, after having two disappointing races in the first two A-Mains, he chased down the lead battle going to the front when Haatanen clashed with Neumann and crossed the line with the A3 win to make his title defence official.  Behind, Bruno Coelho was second ahead of Cragg while Neumann held off Haatanen to secure his first EOS race win since 2015 with Cragg taking second and Haatanen 3rd.  Orlowski would miss the podium on time but that didn’t matter as he got what he came for – the EOS Season#7 title.

Summing up his title winning season Orlowski said, ‘I’m very happy to defend my title.  The season didn’t start out as we planned. My home race in Warsaw was a disaster. It didn’t go well at all. In Daun it went better but we just missed out on the win.  Things turned around at Hudy Arena and we got the win. Getting the TQ there was also important because it cancelled out the one Neil had from Daun.  In Wels we had good pace but missed out in the TQ to Neil by 1/10th, but the last two finals were good and I could get the win’.  An 8 times EOS race winner he continued, ‘Here it started off good but in qualifying it fell apart but I was happy Joern TQ’d because it’s been a long time since he was that high up.  I tried my best in A1 but was unlucky and then had too many mistakes. A2 was even worse.  In A3 I wanted to help Joern win. I knew after the first corner that I had the championship won. I was third behind Joern and Joona but I had to get the championship out of my head. Once I did I drove better, when they had a couple of mistakes I was able to go into the lead.  When Lee got up to second I knew I couldn’t let him win but so much stuff happened behind I just drove my own race.  I missed the podium by a few tenths but that didn’t matter, that wasn’t what we were after.  Also Joona made the podium and he is a good friend and Joern won his first race for Schumacher.  I have to thank Trish, Jurgen & my dad for their help and Schumacher, LRP and all the rest of my sponsors for making this championship win possible’.

‘It was over before it started’, was Cragg’s thoughts after A3 adding, ‘It was a silly mistake at the second corner, I drove straight into it.  I thing I was the only one not to hit it all weekend up to then’.  Ending up with 2nd for the 5th & final round of the championship he said, ‘2nd is another great result but Michal is the deserving champion. He drove the best all season’.  Fifth at the ending of last season’s championship, the former World Champion said, ‘I think we made good gains this season. We went from making the A-Main to fighting for race wins and the title.  I feel we could win every race now’.  He concluded, ‘Once I get over the feeling of disappointment of today I’ll be pretty pleased with our season’.

More than 3-years after he last stepped on to the top step of the EOS podium, Neumann said, ‘I really happy although it was a little chaotic in A3 but I still managed to win overall and that makes me very happy’.  The championship’s most decorated driver continued, ‘I showed everyone I’m still there. I will definitely aim for the title next year and hopefully we can make it a Schumacher 1-2’.

Achieving his first podium of the season today, Haatanen said, ‘Overall it is pretty good to make the podium again so I’m pretty happy with that, but A3 was a disaster’.  In the hunt for his first EOS career win going into the third A-Main, the Finn said, ‘I was behind Joern and tried a number of passes but he blocked and I hit him a couple of times so it was almost impossible to go by’.  On his 2017/18 season having come into it as the one to watch he said, ‘It ended better than it started. For sure our cars were good and I know I had the speed. Overall it was a good year for Team Associated and hopefully next season will be a good one for me too’.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


If you republish any elements from this page on another website, including text, original pictures or results please be sure to add a link back to this page as the source: