Michal Orlowski took a rather easy win in A1 of 2WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Slovakia this morning after two mistakes from key challenger Bruno Coelho gave the Schumacher driver breathing space to move one step closer to his first win of the season. Starting on the TQ, Orlowski was pressured by Coelho over the opening laps forcing the reigning champion to drive defensively but still the duo pulled clear of the field. On lap 5, Orlowski finally got his break when Coelho lost almost 1-second with an error. A second error at the table top 3-laps from the finish would allow Lee Martin, who eventually got by Martin Bayer, to get close but Coelho edged out the gap to 4/10th by the finish while up front Orlowski had already crossed the loop over 5 and a half seconds earlier.
‘Finally I didn’t crash at the start of the run’, was Orlowski’s reaction after the race. His third consecutive TQ of the season but still missing the first win of his title defence, the Pole continued, ‘Bruno was pushing hard in the beginning and I had to drive defensive. I was glad he made a mistake, it made it easy for me and I could get into my rhythm’. Looking to A2 when he could secure his third consecutive Hudy Arena win, he said, ‘I was on tyres from Q4 in the first one and will run a new set for A2. We will make a small change on the car for this (the new tyres) because new tyres are more aggressive’.
Summing up his race, Coelho said, ‘Orlowski was stronger and was pulling away slowly. I was trying to catch him but was not successful. I had to force and ended up making two mistakes. I wanted 1st but sometimes it is not possible. The next one I’m on new tyres so hopefully I can do better’. Following yesterday’s controversy over Xray laps of the track on Thursday, the Portuguese driver wanted to highlight he wasn’t even in the country at the time of the incident – something RedRC can confirm as we met him in Vienna Airport as we waited on the delayed arrival of Race Director Scotty Ernst’s flight. The Touring Car World condemn his team’s actions and didn’t hold back in expressing his opinion that the EOS should have taken tougher actions.
On his race, Martin said, ‘It was a good race. The Top 2 pulled away as myself, Bayer and Joona lost time battling. If I had got passed earlier maybe I could had a better change of at least racing with Bruno. My pace is comparable so for the next one I just need to get by Bayer quicker’. The Yokomo driver concluded, ‘It could all happen up front in the next one because Bruno has to go for it in this one’.