Remarks – Young Norwegian Daniel Kobbevik took what is his best career result on astroturf here in Andernach, finishing second overall after taking the win in A3. Unlike his team mate Bruno Coelho, Daniel raced the whole meeting with his carpet car, and after struggling in the wet conditions the full potential of his buggy came out in the dry last leg of finals. His car is pretty standard, only equipped with a rear aluminium camber link plate and rear XB4 graphite wishbones.
With Michal Orlowski sitting out A3 having wrapped up the win in A2, it was Daniel Kobbevik who emerged as the winner in a final that none of the drivers seemed to want to win. With multiple drivers taking their turn to lead the race, Daniel was able to slowly pick off those ahead of him as they all made mistakes, the Norwegian also having some early incidents. Paul Crompton lead from the start and with track conditions providing much more traction than in previous races had a difficult time with his Yokomo, a number of mistakes meaning he fell back into the pack only to emerge as the leader a few laps later as those ahead of him also crashed. He would eventually bring his car home in 2nd after some more incidents. Joona Haatanen had worked his way to the lead early on only to have a particularly hard time on the landing of the backside double, which after a handful of crashes on the same point saw him drop back to 3rd by the finish. The Schumacher challenge for the podium from van Helmond and Neumann failed to materialise despite a good start from both, however a couple of comings together meant the team mates were left fighting for the mid pack spots by the end of the race, a result which meant that neither would join their team mate Orlowski on the podium.
Ultimately it was Orlowski who stamped his authority on the 2wd portion of the event early on and with his win today, his third of the season, also wraps up the 2018/19 2wd title a race early, his 3rd in succession. Behind the Polish driver, Daniel Kobbevik would take the runner up spot on tie break from Joona Haatanen, the Xray driver managing to improve his finishing position in each of the 3 mains showing a high level of maturity in the changing conditions. Joona would complete the podium, the Associated driver having the pace to win the final main in the drying conditions but ultimately luck was not on his side. Jorn Neumann would end the event in 4th, ahead of Crompton and van Helmond in 5th and 6th with Martin Bayer, a struggling Bruno Coelho, Hupo Honigl and the young Max Gotzl completing the final overall standings.
Michal Orlowski continued his dominance of proceedings here at EOS Rd5 as the Polish driver lead home a Schumacher 1-2-3 in the 2nd A-main to seal the overall win here in Germany. Chased hard by Jorn Neumann who came through from 6th to finish the race less than 2 seconds behind his team mate, it was Wesley van Helmond who took 3rd just ahead of Daniel Kobbevik and Hupo Honigl, who completed the top half of the field. ‘We changed the car, which was a risky decision’ said Orlowski of his choice to switch to the Laydown car for the 2nd final. Using a different shock setup to team mate Neumann, the German clearly faster in the final part of the race, Orlwoski praised his team mate, saying ‘Jorn drove very well’. Declaring it a ‘perfect weekend in 2wd’ and wanting to thank his crew and sponsors for the win he said his focus is now on 4wd which gets underway directly after A3 of 2wd on what should be dry conditions.
In 2nd was Neumann, the former Champion happy with his race through the field but remarked that he had to ’start too far back’, the German only qualifying in 6th in the difficult conditions yesterday. Feeling he was slightly faster than Michal, Jorn setting the fastest lap of the weekend, by the time he got up to 2nd he had a straightaway deficit and despite his car being ‘super, very good’ it was a difficult task to try and catch, let alone pass, Orlowski. With the remaining places on the podium still up for grabs and with the traction now higher than it has been at any point of the weekend he will push hard to take the win in A3 to seal the runner up spot.
In his first 2wd A-main appearance at the EOS van Helmond had a much better A2 than in the opening leg where he ended up last of the 10 car field. Making a clean start this time, the Dutch man explained that he had also switched to the Laydown car and driven it for the very first time in A2, declaring the first 3 minutes of the run as a bit sketchy as he got used to the new car. Now with 5 minutes running time with the car he plans to make some set-up changes for the final A-main to try and lock down a podium spot.
Daniel Kobbevik was another to relish the higher traction conditions as the Xray driver had not brought his dirt car to the race and so had to run to this point with his high traction XB2. With the grip level improving, so too has his pace as the young Norwegian improved on his A1 finish of 5th to take 4th in the second main. With the ’car getting better’ for A3 he will simply ‘try to stay clean’ and go for another good result. Xray team mate Hupo Honigl would take 5th with Joona Haatanen in 6th while Bruno Coelho had a horrid race ending the 5 minute final in 10th and last after some costly mistakes.