Michal Orlowski goes into the penultimate round of the Euro Offroad Series this weekend (23-25 March) in Wels, Austria, in charge of proceedings, the Schumacher driver having completed a double victory in Slovakia last month. Achieving his second ever EOS career double, the reigning 2WD Champion leads the points standings in both 2WD and 4WD standings and will be looking to extend the 2-point advantage he holds in each of the championship’s annual stops at the popular Austrian hobby show ‘Modellbau Wels’. The closing round of the championship last year, both titles having already been wrapped up ahead of the race, Orlowski’s rivals will be out to ensure they keep their own title hopes alive going into the season finale. A rst for the EOS, which is now in its 7th season, the nal round will be played out at Arena 33’s all new outdoor astro track next month.
Having missed Round 3 at the Hudy Arena due to touring car race commitments, reigning 4WD Champion Bruno Coelho returns for Wels. Last year, the Xray driver took the 2WD victory on a tie breaker after a close battle with Yokomo’s Ryan Maifield who was making his EOS debut at the race. In 4WD, it was Martin Bayer who took the win with Coelho making it an Xray 1-2 ahead of Orlowski. The Czech driver is very much on form of late with him leading the Xray challenge, holding second in the 2WD standings and 3rd in 4WD.
Closest to Orlowski in the 4WD standings is Lee Martin, the Yokomo driver enjoying his best result of the season with 2nd last time out. It would be the former Champion’s first double podium weekend with him also claiming 3rd in 2WD to hold that position in the points. Fired up by the improved performance, the British driver will be hoping to break his victory drought having enjoyed his rst ever weekend double at the venue 2 years ago.
After taking an extremely popular maiden EOS victory at the second round in Germany, Neil Cragg showed good 2WD pace again in Slovakia qualifying 3rd but couldn’t translate that into a good results in the nals ending up 5th. With the track being built by the same crew as built the challenging Daun track where he took his win, the Team Associated driver is determined to be known as a multiple EOS race winner. Team-mate Joona Hataanen hasn’t been able to live up to the potential he showed last season nishing 6th at each 2WD encounter so far this season. There is no question about the young Finn’s speed and having been on the podium last year in Wels with Coelho and Maifield he’ll be hoping this weekend is the turning point in his season.
Coming into his third EOS weekend with Schumacher, the championship’s most decorated driver Joern Neumann is looking more and more the former champion he used to be. The German claimed his first podium finish in a long time at Hudy Arena last month and appearing to be settling in well alongside Orlowski in the team should be in the mix again in 4WD.
One interesting returnee to the Euro Offroad Series this weekend is former factory Xray driver and EOS front runner Martin Wollanka. The quick Austrian made the switch to Sworkz for the 2018 season, with his home event marking his championship debut for the team.