March 15, 2019

Orlowski to chase first EOS win from 3rd consecutive TQ

Michal Orlowski will chase the first win of his Euro Offroad Series 2WD title defence from his third consecutive TQ start tomorrow in Slovakia.  The Schumacher driver claimed the TQ honors at the fourth round of the season takes to Bruno Coelho taking the final qualifier at the Hudy Arena.  Having taken Q1 and Q3, only Martin Bayer who took Q2 could prevent Orlowski from taking his EOS career TQ of 2WD.  With his TQ run, which he almost handed to Lee Martin through a last lap mistake, Coelho will line up second on tomorrow’s grid ahead of Xray team-mate Bayer.  Coming into the weekend leading the points standings, Lee Martin will line up 4th with Joona Haatanen completing the Top 5 with a badly needed P4 run in the final qualifier. In a rather diverse A-Main line-up, Adam Izsay will start sixth ahead of young up & coming Polish talent Bartosz Zalewski, Daniel Kobbevik and Bartłomiej Kramża with former champion Jörn Neumann just scraping in ahead of top female racer Jessica Pålsson on the tie break.

Frustrated with his Q4 performance opting to eventually pull off with one minute to remaining, Orlowski said, ‘I was on new tyres and crashed on the first lap. I tried to get back to the front but made another mistake’.  He continued, ‘this is my 3rd TQ in a row this season, I don’t have any wins yet but I hope I can change that tomorrow. I will just go out and do my thing’.  The Pole added, ‘Bruno is starting second but I feel I have a small pace advantage on him. I watched his car after I pulled off and it didn’t look as safe as my car.  Last weekend I TQ’d here (at the XRS race). He started second and I pulled away’.

‘It was a good clean run except for the last lap’, was Coelho’s reaction after finally delivering on his top seed form from practice.  The EOS Poland winner added, ‘If you remove my mistake on the table (top) it was a nice run but everyone is doing many mistakes. Me, Lee, Orlowski. I think the final is more than open. It doesn’t matter if you start 1st or 4th’.  Aiming to give Xray a home win he said, ‘I will force a little from the start to try pass Orlowski. We have the same pace so I need to be aggressive from the start’.

Bayer summed up his 3rd place on the grid as ‘beautiful’ adding ‘I’m third behind the two fastest guy so hopefully that puts me in the best place if they fight too hard’.  Feeling his quickest days as a driver are behind him, the Xray Offroad Team Manager concluded, ‘I’m super happy with my speed & pace and feeling of the car.  Everything is perfect’.

Winner at EOS Daun, Martin summed up the final qualifier by saying, ‘I’m gutted I crashed at the table top. That was the best the has been for sure’.  Finishing 7/10ths of a second off Coelho at the end of the 5-minutes, the Yokomo driver said, ‘I am still losing time on the left side of the track.  Bruno is very good there, the same with Michal but I heard the layout is the same as when they raced here last weekend. Anyway I start 4th and a lot could happen up front and Joona is behind me and he likes to be racy at the start.  We’ll see what happens’.

A very relived Haatanen said, ‘I was nervous for that one.  Q3 was bad.  I was giving room to Bruno and clipped the pipe and broke an arm.  After that I was nervous I was even going to make the A-Main.’  On his Q4 performance, the Team Associated driver said, ‘It wasn’t perfect as I had one crash and a few bobbles. The car felt better this time but the lap times are way behind. Still I got 4th for the round so I am starting 5th and they should be interesting finals’.  Asked about making further changes to his car, the EOS Nurburgring winner replied, ‘we need to discuss at diner what to try’.

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