June 21, 2019

Coelho fends off early Orlowski challenge to take A1

Bruno Coelho ended up with an easy win in the opening A-Main of 2WD at the Euro Offroad Series in Austria.  Taking a dominant TQ at the ERT Steyregg track, Coelho wasn’t to have it as easy at the start of A1 coming under string pressure from No.2 qualifier Michal Orlowski until a mistake from the Pole saw him cross the track and cause Coelho to crash.  This allowed third place qualifier Joona Haatanen into the lead but the recovering Coelho didn’t take long to regain his position at the front from where he soon opened up a large advantage over the field.  Behind, Haatanen then had to see off a challenge from Lucas Grainer which he duly did to finish over 3-seconds back on Coelho and over a second up on Grainer, who was clearly delighted to take an A-Main Top 3 finish on his EOS debut.

Commenting on his race, Coelho said, ‘Orlowski was making a lot of pressure at the start but then had a mistake ad landed on the other part of the track and it made me lose two places.  Once Scotty called Orlowski to let me by I forced a lot to catch Joona and once I was passed him I was able to open up a gap’.  Asked if he was surprised by Orlowski’s early pace, the former 4WD Champion and current 4WD points leader said, ‘I started safe because it is easy to make a mistake. It is easier to push when you are behind and it is something I would do if I was behind someone in the hope you can force them into a mistake’. After letting Coelho through, Orlowski would have another mistake on his own which dropped him out of contention and decided to pull off.

Enjoying an ice cream after A1, it very hot & humid at the track, Haatanen said, ‘At the start I saw I didn’t have the pace I needed to race at the front’.  The Team Associated driver continued, ‘then something happened at the front and I got the lead but Bruno got it back on the next lap.  At least I got second, that’s good for me’.

Enjoying an impressive EOS debut, 16-year-old Grainer was very happy with his race.  Qualifying a strong 4th, the Xray driver from Vienna said, ‘I was trying to catch Joona and in the end he was too fast but the race was just a great experience for me’.

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