July 14, 2018

Orlowski takes final qualifier at ETS Slovakia

Michal Orlowski took a surprise TQ in the final round of the qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series, the Schumacher driver securing the ‘best of rest’ position on the grid in Slovakia behind the Xrays of Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho and Alexander Hagberg.  With a number of drivers saving their third set of tyres for the fourth & final qualifying, including Hagberg, it was expected the Swede would top the times with Coelho having already taken the overall TQ in the previous round and used his tyre allocation.  Instead Hagberg struggled and it was Orlowski who was fastest by 2/10th from Awesomatix’ Freddy Sudhoff and Yokomo’s Ronald Volker who were also on new tyres.  The end result was that Orlowski would demote Viktor Wilck to fourth on the grid ahead of Christopher Krapp and Volker.

‘I didn’t change anything on the car. I put on a new set of tyres and just drove’, said a very pleased Orlowski.  He continued, ‘It was close the whole run. Freddy was behind me so I could see the gap.  I had one slightly bad lap but I’m happy with how I drove. Hopefully I get good sets of tyres for the finals’.  With the Hudy Arena a happy hunting ground for the Euro Offroad Series double champion in that championship, the teenager said, ‘In touring car I have always been quick here but had no luck.  I made the Euro A-Main here but never in the ETS. I had pace for A-Main but something always prevented me from getting in. We broke that trend today’.  Asked if he could take the challenge to the Xrays in the final, all drivers having new tyres for each of the triple A-Main, he replied, ‘Alex was on new tyres now and he wasn’t very fast but they showed crazy speed in Q1 & 2 yesterday.  I will try my best’.

Hagberg described his final qualifier as ‘not good’ adding ‘I had no traction’.  He added, ‘either it was too hot or the tyres were not good and I need to discuss this with my team-mates’.  Asked if he believed he could challenge Coelho for the win, he replied, ‘Of course we will go for the win.  Anything is still possible’.

‘Orlowski made an awesome run’, was Wilck’s reaction after Q4.  Running the qualifier on used tyres and well off the pace, the Serpent driver added, ‘at least I only dropped one place (on the grid)’.  Looking to the final, A1 taking place this evening with A2 & 3 on tomorrow, the former Hudy Arena podium finisher said, ‘for sure I have a chance of the podium’ but cautioned, ‘this track is not known as a place you can overtake.  We will see but always something happens up front’.

In the Xray Pro Stock class it is outgoing champion Alexandre Duchet who will start from pole.  The French driver secured his first TQ of the season with a P2 run in Q4 behind Xray team-mate Jan Ratheisky.  This left them tied on points but Duchet’s TQ run from Q1 was faster than Ratheisky’s Q4 pace and so he secured the overall TQ.  Behind them Olivier Bultynck will start third for Awesomatix.  In Formula, while Bultynck had already wrapped up pole in the previous round the Shepherd driver would complete the clean sweep with a TQ in the final round. His nearest challenger from behind with come from Ratheisky with Matej Dobnikar starting third and the Tamiya of Simon Lauter fourth.  In the Infinity 40+ class, Thomas Oehler took an important TQ. Taking the bonus point from his title rivals means Beni Stutz is out of the chase with only Christian Drießle who starts third having a chance of the title but he must win.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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