A new season of the Euro Offroad Series kicks off at the ‘Green Hell’ this weekend (14-16 Sept) with the extended six round 8th season of the 1:10 EP Offroad Championship returning to the Nurburgring in Germany. After being abscent from last season’s calendar, the legendary motorsport venue welcomes back the EOS for what will be its fourth visit. Running as part of the full size Blancpain GT Series weekend which will race on the real grand prix track, the event is a truely unique opportunity for RC racers. While iconic car manufacturers battle it out for victory outside, it will be double champion Michal Orlowski who heads the factory RC entry on the indoor carpet track. A 9-times EOS race winner, but never at the Nurburgring, the Schumacher driver will be aiming to take his tally to double digits this weekend and get his title defence off to the best possible start but his rivals have similar ambitions.
Having started Season #7 as Schumacher’s sole title contender, the start of 2018 saw the British marque double its high end firepower with the signing of Joern Neumann. Having had a number of races to settle into his new surroundings and appearing to work well alongside Orlowski, the only multiple double champion of the EOS should be right in contention for the titles as he embarks on his first full EOS season with Schumacher. A line-up, together with extra round on this year’s calendar, that should inject even further excitement into the championship.
Of course Orlowski will have to deal with the same rivals who pushed him for his current titles. Back to back champion in 2WD, the Polish ace had a great battle with former 2WD World Champion Neil Cragg for this latest title. Last season saw Cragg, a relative newcomer to carpet compared to the rest of the EOS front runners, finally deliver his first win when he won at the second round in Daun. A turning point for the Team Associated driver he also managed to TQ twice and finishing off the season with 2nd places at the final two rounds to finish as Vice-Champion. Coming off the back of what should an improvement on the previous season, the British 2WD specialist will be looking to go one better this time round.
Having ended the 4WD points chase equal on points with Orlowski but losing out on a third consecutive title by having one less win than his rival, Bruno Coelho will again lead the Xray challenge. The former 4WD World Champion & newly crowned Touring Car World Champion won the last time the championship was at the Nurburgring and the Portuguese star will be aiming for a repeat of that. With eight 4WD wins compared to his three in 2WD, 4WD is definitely his class. Team-mate Martin Bayer had a very strong 2WD campaign finishing the season 3rd overall and with the Slovakian manufacturer using the weekend to launch their new XB2C 2019 they will be aiming for a strong start to their new campaign.
Winners of 2WD the last time the EOS was at the Nurburgring, Yokomo will be aiming to mount a stronger challenge than last year. With 2016 winner and Top Qualifier Marc Rheinard not racing the EOS and instead racing the European Reedy Race of Champions which is also running at the Nurburgring this weekend, it will be down to Lee Martin to deliver the results. Only 5th in the standings of both championships last season, the 2014/15 Double Champion is a former Nurburgring double winner a result he will be looking to repeat.
Marking the 30th championship race weekend of the EOS, the first winner of Season #8 will be crowned at lunchtime on Saturday with the running of the 2WD finals before drivers switch over to the start of the 4WD action Saturday evening and concluding Sunday evening.