February 2, 2019

Orlowski takes opening 4WD qualifier ahead of Haatanen

Reigning Champion Michal Orlowski has taken the opening round of 4WD qualifying at the Euro Offroad Series in Germany, the Schumacher driver having a 2-second advantage over the Team Associated of Joona Haatanen with top seed Bruno Coelho completing the Top 3.  Orlowski and Coelho would both have mistakes during the qualifier with a clean run allowing Haatanen to split them at the end.  Behind, David Ronnefalk would make it four different manufacturers at the top of the times with Martin Bayer a distant fifth ahead of 2WD race winner Lee Martin.

‘Solid’ was how Orlowski described his TQ run adding, ‘we went back to the set-up we came here with having decided it was the best we ran in practice’.  Chasing his fourth consecutive 4WD win, the Pole continued, ‘I was chasing Bruno around and while our fastest laps are almost the same I was able to do more 22-second laps.  We then hit traffic and he let me through but I made a silly mistake.  After that it was very close but he then made a mistake near the end and it came out good for me’.  Looking to Q2, which will bring today’s action to a conclusion, he said, ‘we will leave the car the same but will play around with the electronics.  It’s a very big track so it’s important to get the correct setting for that’.

Haatanen was pleased with his opening attempt saying, ‘It was actually good’.  The Associated driver went on, ‘I heard I was running between 3rd and 5th so I tried to keep it clean. I had no mistakes. I just had a little few hits on the pipes but no big ones’.  Having a touch of luck to finish the 5-minutes as the motor wire came off just after he crossed the loop, he said they are going to fit all new electrics for Q2 to be safe adding, ‘I don’t know why it came off because the motor hadn’t got hot’.

‘Everything was OK until I traction rolled on the wall’, was how Coelho summed up his opening heat.  Showing good sportsmanship opening for Orlowski only for the Pole to crash immediately after going through he said he almost crashed himself as a result of his rival’s mistake but said it was his error on the wall on the penultimate lap that cost him the TQ.  On his car, the Xray driver said, ‘Our car doesn’t work so well on new tyres as we’ve seen in practice’.  Set to run the same set of handout Schumacher tyres in Q2, he said, ‘from what we read from practice the car should be more comfortable and easier to drive on the second run’.

Another having trouble on the wall, Ronnefalk said, ‘It went pretty good but I had a crash on the stupid wall. I need to get that figured out’.  The HB Racing driver explained, ‘I came into the wall too slow and when I gave it throttle it wheelied and I crashed’.  He continued, ‘Joern crashed there the next lap and I stuck in behind him and he brought me back up to 4th’.  The Swede added, ‘the last half of the race my average was very close to the top guys.  I think it will be hard to touch Michal or Bruno but if I don’t crash maybe it’s possible. That’s my aim for the next one’.  On his car he said, ‘the car feels pretty good I would say.  It suffers a little in the sweepers on power with steering because it creates too much grip but if we can figure that out it should be right there’.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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