Jorn Neumann has emerged victorious in 4wd at the 5th round of the Euro Offroad Series in what turned out to be a very straight forward race, as main competitor Michal Orlowski clipped the curb on the exit of the front chicane before the double, the ensuing tumble causing him to drop back down the field and out of contention. The German’s first win in 4wd since 2015, when he ran his last race for Durango, he led home a Schumacher 1-2 in the final overall results with Bruno Coelho, who took the runner up spot in A3 completing the podium. Obviously ‘very happy’ to take the win after such a long time he said the new tires had made it much easier to drive, aided by the lack of pressure with the German having a 4 second margin back to 2nd place already on the 2nd lap. Able to control the race from the start he said he could maintain the gap back to Coelho and react if needed, knowing he just needed to stay ahead of the Xray driver to take the overall win.
A somewhat disappointed Michal Orlowski simply said ‘it wasn’t mean to be, I gave everything’, continuing ‘Jorn was better this weekend, I now have to win in Austria’ the Polish star needing to come out on top at the next round to be able to retain his 4wd title. Looking to the next race at ERT Steyregg, which is a new track for the EOS, the Schumacher driver said ‘we know our car is better than our competitors, we will be well prepared. 2wd is sealed up, I will give full punch in 4wd’.
Bruno Coelho really enjoyed his A3 final saying ‘it was very intense, I hit the pipe on the 2nd lap and lost 4 seconds to Jorn’ before saying ‘I enjoyed to drive the car, it was a lot of fun’. Feeling that the deficit to Schumacher this weekend has been an eye opener, he believes that his team need to be better prepared for upcoming races, their rivals having done a considerable amount of testing on this surface prior to the event and with rain on the first day it meant they were on the back foot all weekend. For the next round of the series the plan is to ‘work hard and bring home the championship’.
Joona Haatanen took 4th in A3 and finished in 4th overall, the Finnish driver trying a different front kick-up on his Associated B74 which meant he needed the first part of the race to get used to it. Having dropped back to 7th at one point due to mistakes, he was able to get those spots back when those ahead of him made similar mistakes. Daniel Kobbevik would come home in 3rd in A3 to seal 5th overall just in front of Wesley van Helmond, with Hupo Honigl, Martin Bayer, Adam Izsay and Bartlomiej Zambrzycki completing the top 10.
It was Michal Orlowski who took the win in A2 here in Germany, the reigning champion getting passed Neumann who opened the door to his team mate after hitting a bump on the right side of the track which sent his car off line. Neumann would fall back to 5th by the end of the final, struggling with a difficult car, while Bruno Coelho would finish 2nd ahead of Joona Haatanen in 3rd, with an improved Wesley van Helmond coming home in 4th. ‘I’m happy for now’ was Michal’s response to how his final went, the Polish driver needing to get the overall win to improve his championship points going into the final round next month in Austria. ‘The track is great and I’m feeling confident, I will go for the win and push from the start’, Orlowski also set the fastest final time in A2, should the result need to go to tie-break.
‘A clean final with no mistakes’ said Coelho before admitting that he can’t keep with the Schumacher drivers if they don’t make mistakes. Needing to win and in a faster time than Michal to be able to take the overall win, he knows that this is a big ask for him, especially starting from 3rd on the grid. The former champion concluding with ’I will be there for sure and will do my best’.
Joona Haatanen had a good A2 declaring it as ‘not too bad’, saying he had a good race with Bruno and tried to make a pass at one point but couldn’t pull it off. Changing to harder shock oils on his B74 he has good speed and with the new platform being so competitive Joona is very confident for the future saying ‘it is looking promising for its first race, the pace is already there’.
Wesley van Helmond was again 4th declaring the ‘car is good now’ having made changes following A1 in which it had been very tricky to handle. Now able to push a lot more, with everyone else upping their game he will now just wait for mistakes ahead of him to try move up the order in A3. Finishing fifth, Neumann struggled once Michal got passed, but revealed that he was running old tires while most of his competitors were using new, Jorn having a fresh set of tires to bolt on for the final main as he goes for his first 4wd EOS win since the 2014/2015 season.
Jorn Neumann has continued to stamp his authority on the 4wd portion of the 5th round of the Euro Offroad Series here at the Arena33 after he withstood intense pressure in A1 from his team mate Michal Orlowski for the entire 5 minutes. Bruno Coelho, who was struggling with the very high traction ended the race in 3rd, while Wesley van Helmond and Daniel Kobbevik completed the top half of the field. ‘It was good, a very clean run’, was how Neumann described the first final, continuing ‘it was very smooth from the first lap to the last’. Able to maintain the same gap back to Orlowski, the German was very happy with his car and will ‘try to do the same again’ in A2.
Quick to admit that ‘Jorn drove amazing’, Orlowski said there was no chance to pass as both cars had the same pace from the start to the finish. Mentioning that not only is the traction even higher than yesterday but there are more bumps now due to the rain, making conditions ‘tougher and tougher’. Only planning to refresh his diffs for A2 he will consult with his team about perhaps making a small change.
Bruno Coelho was another to be struggling with the grip levels and early on, after his car was on 2 wheels in most corners, decided to just ‘try and salvage a result’. The former EOS Champion was quickly gapped by the leading pair and so had a lonely race in 3rd. For A2 he will go through his XB4 and check that they have switched back all the settings they used in qualifying yesterday, suspecting they may have forgotten something after they changed the car for the wet conditions this morning.
Wesley van Helmond, who took 4th, said the result was ‘good, but there was something wrong with my car’, elaborating by telling us that he was still running some settings on his car that they used on the morning’s Q4 and this caused his Schumacher to be very hard to drive. Unable to push at all for fear of traction rolling, the Dutchman will make some changes so that he can be more aggressive, saying ‘it will be better the next one’. Daniel Kobbevik was 5th, almost taking fourth in the drag race to the line on the last lap, while Joona Haatanen had a difficult race to take 6th.
Confirming what we expected last night, Jorn Neumann is the top qualifier for 4wd here at the EOS Rd5 in Germany, the final round of qualifying run on an almost dry track for the fastest heat. The round was taken by Michal Orlowski, who lead home a Schumacher 1-2-3 for the round with Jorn in 2nd and Wesley van Helmond in 3rd but the Polish driver’s time was 18 seconds slower than the fastest time of Neumann from Q1 so on tie-break the German will once again start from pole as he had done here 12 months previous. Bruno Coelho, who had lead the heat until a mistake was 4th for the round and will start 3rd on the grid with Joona Haatanen setting off 5th. ‘Its nice to be the TQ’ said a pleased looking Neumann, continuing ‘the track dried quickly and with the silver compound tires it was too aggressive to driver’. With the round declared wet, drivers had to run the silver wet compound but the first round of finals will be declared dry and so the drivers will go back to the standard yellow compound. For the final Jorn plans to leave his car as is, saying that the tires should fix any of the issues they experienced in Q4.
Winner here last year, Orlowski had not expected the track to dry so fast and looking at the weather forecast yesterday also wasn’t expecting to run the finals in the dry and so will now work hard to switch the car’s settings back for dry conditions. Feeling that the rain last night washed away the dust, the track has even more traction than yesterday. With the top 3 the same as here last year at the Arena33, Michal hopes for a repeat of that race in which he and Jorn broke away from Coelho so they can have a battle amongst themselves, concluding by saying ‘Anything can happen, as we saw in A3 of 2wd yesterday you need to be there when something happens’.
Bruno Coelho will start from 3rd, the Xray driver slight frustrated at his last qualifier, having lead it following some mistakes by the Schumacher pairing only to traction roll himself. The Portuguese driver saying that when he was pushing his car early in the heat he didn’t have any problems with traction roll, but once in front he backed it off slightly and that was when it flipped. Preparing the final, the former WC said ‘the final is on and anything can happen’.
Starting 4th on his debut with the new Associated B74, Joona Haatanen was content with his grid spot simply saying ‘that’s pretty good’. Having a very difficult last run, the Finnish driver didn’t cut the outer row of pins on his handout tires and so it was very aggressive and like most of the front runners were caught out by the drier than expected conditions and admitted that his car was setup incorrectly. For the finals he will revert to his Q3 setup and cut the pins on his tires aiming to make the podium saying ‘I have the pace of the top 3, I just need to drive smart’. Wesley van Helmond will start 5th, continuing his good form this weekend and making it 3 Schumachers in the top 5. Daniel Kobbevik qualified in 6th, with fellow Xray drivers Adam Izsay, Martin Bayer and Hupo Honigl covering 7th to 9th, with the final spot going to Polish driver Bartlomiej Zambrzycki who makes his first A-main appearance after coming close so many times.