Bruno Coelho led an Xray 1-2 in the opening A-Main of 4WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Top Qualifier taking the win ahead of team-mate Daniel Kobbevik. With championship leader Michal Orlowski shading him in the early part of the race a bobble by the Schumacher driver gave Coelho just a little breathing room. That advance was to come in handy as the leader had a bobble of his own but with luck definitely on his side his XB4 somehow managed to land on its wheel with the only damage being his lead being reduced by only half a second. Settling back into his rhythm, Coelho would finally take charge of the race when Orlowski had a second, more costly error. This error would allow Joona Haatanen through to second but the Finn gave it up with a mistake on the wall that promoted Kobbevik to second and allowed Orlowski through to third.
‘It was a super intense final as expected. We all had the same pace, me, Orlowski, Joona and Daniel. There was no way to pull away, only mistakes made the difference’, was how Coelho summed up the first A-Main encounter. The former World Champion added, ‘I had one moment. I got the jump wrong and the car jumped crazy but luckily it landed on four wheels’. Seeking the first win of his campaign 4WD this weekend, he continued, ‘the car is working well so I’m looking forward to the next one but I expect it will be more intense than the first one’.
Kobbevik said, ‘I kept it clean. I’m very happy with the result’. The Norwegian continued, ‘I was fourth almost the whole run but in the end Michal and Joona did mistakes and I was able to take advantage. I was right there with them for all the race but I was patient and it paid off’. He concluded, ‘I think it is very difficult to pass so I will do the same thing again next one and try make a clean race’.
Summing up his race, Orlowski said, ‘It started off pretty good. I could feel Bruno was nervous and I tried to put pressure on him but there was a whole train behind us so I couldn’t attack too much’. Taking the wins at the Nurburgring and in Warsaw, he continued, ‘I then had a bobble which cost me a lot of time. Bruno had a bobble too and got lucky but I tried to get as close to him as possible but made an error. It’s a high pace track which makes it hard not to crash and crash into others. I have a new set of tyres for the second main so I will be going for it’.
A somewhat frustrated Haatanen said, ‘I crashed at the wall when I hit the inside. It was a stupid mistake. I knew Bruno was faster and I couldn’t catch him so I should have settled for the second place and stayed there’. Looking to A2, the Associated driver concluded, ‘I need to drive a big more sensible in the next one’.