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Press Release From EOS:
After a couple of years of disruption caused by the pandemic, the Euro Offroad Series reignited in an epic way to provide some of the closest and most high-paced 1/10th Offroad racing Europe has seen in a very long time.
The first of five race meetings planned for the tenth edition of the Euro Offroad Series (EOS) was hosted by a new club – ORC-B – in Göttingen, Germany on April 1st to 3rd 2022. Located on a former indoor football pitch, the permanent track looked small and tight in the pre-event social media posts, but it was larger in the flesh than expected and proved to be a very good battle ground for extremely tight racing with few overtaking opportunities. The artificial grass circuit was quite “3D” and had a very good range of jump styles including an undulating back straight which was elevated nearly a metre above ground level. Many of the drivers who initially thought the track was too small and too tight later reported that the track flowed extremely well and had a great range of features, and, in fact, it was quite adequate for an EOS event – lots of happy racers!
Looks can be deceiving – the track was bigger than expected
As it has been for the last few years, EOS competitors have a selection of six race classes to choose from with no limit on how many you pick. Stock Truck, 2wd Stock, 2wd Modified, 4wd Stock, Modified Truck and 4wd Modified represented over the three days. Although indoors, the weather outside did affect the track. As ambient temperatures took a tumble the indoor temperature also dropped leading to quiet a loose surface considering it is artificial grass.
Before the first round of qualifying in the 2wd Stock, Stock Truck and 2wd Modified categories some noticeable things were missing from the race meeting. Firstly, commentator extraordinaire, Scotty Ernst was not in attendance and is hoping to make it to the next round of the series once local travel restrictions ease. Another absentee was Lee Martin. The factory Yokomo driver a victim of last-minute flight cancellations which stopped him directly in his tracks leaving the UK.
In Stock Truck, Mirko Morgenstern almost dominated the class from start to finish. The German driver was challenged at times – Eberhard Beck [DE] won A-Main Leg 3 for instance to take 2nd – but Morgenstern had the event won at that stage, so the pressure was off. Daniel Mannhart from Switzerland finished 3rd.
In the Stock 2wd class which use LRP 13.5 turn motors it was a very similar story. Class winner Sören Sparbier [DE] nearly dominated by winning every race apart from Leg 2 of the A-Main. That race was won by Finn Jarno Siltanen, who claimed 2nd overall with Tim Benson [DE] finishing 3rd.
The 2wd Modified class started off gently and built in intensity as the qualifying rounds progressed. Jorn Neumann [DE] for Schumacher got off to fast start taking qualifying rounds 1 & 2 with Marcus Kaerup [DK] and Micha Widmaier [DE] in tow. Widmaier had impressed at the last round of the last season, and he showed both he and the Sworkz cars are not just carpet specialists. Kaerup is new to the series and at only 14 years of age is showing a very mature and well-developed driving style – driving an Associated. Round 3 & 4 of qualifying were won by Neumann’s Schumacher team-mate Michal Orlowski [PL] who was fresh from ‘doing the double’ at the last round. Orlowski had not benefiting from pre-event testing at the Gottingen circuit. As it was 2 x TQ’s a piece, pole position would be settled on fastest times. Increases in pace from Finn’s Joona Haatanen and Pekko Iivonen saw them enter the lead pack also with Elias Johansson leading the chasing field.
2wd qualifying order: 1. Orlowski, 2. Neumann, 3. Haatanen, 4. Kaerup, 5. Widmaier, 6. Iivonen, 7. Johansson 8. Kilic, 9. Canas Carrasco, 10. Kobbevik.
The 2wd A-Main Leg 1 started off without any incidents - Michal Orlowski leading Jorn Neumann and Joona Haatanen away. There was no ground being gained by any of the first three drivers for the first few laps and the only driver appearing to be making any ground was Marcus Kaerup in 4th who had a slow start and was now recovering in join the lead group. At about the 2-minute mark, Jorn had drawn up to the back of Michal's car and was looking for a gap - making light contact a couple of times. We were all watching intensely, waiting for the move, when Jorn, still in second place, clipped a track marking with a rear wheel putting him into a barrel roll. Whilst this was going on Marcus Kaerup had managed to get by Joona Haatanen. The new order at the midpoint - ORLOWSKI, KAERUP, HAATANEN, NEUMANN. Michal now had some breathing room as the other three battled for 2nd. Nobody was able to make a move, and the race finished in that order.
2wd A-Main Leg 2 had all the ingredients for thrilling racing and plenty of drama. The track only has one or two places where a high-speed overtaking manoeuvre is possible, and they are not without compromise. You can get up the inside or outside of the competition, but the two of you will be severely offline on the corner exit. The race started just like Leg 1 with Orlowski, Neumann and Haatanen breaking away. As Orlowski continued lead, Neumann jumped short on the big jump in the middle of the circuit which gave Haatenan, for Associated, the opportunity to pass. Several laps went by as Haatanen closed the gap to the leading Orlowski with Neumann following a short distance behind. The Finn was able to catch Orlowski, but not pass him – even after several nudges. The race order remained the same till the finish - ORLOWSKI, HAATANEN, NEUMANN. Leg 1 second place finisher Marcus Kaerup back in 5th. The two Leg wins for Michal Orlowski secures the 2wd Modified class for him.
Michal did not complete in 2wd A-Main Leg 3 - leaving it to the remaining nine drivers to battle it out for 2nd place. Many of the drivers had a mathematical chance of taking 2nd place, but we expected it to be one of Jorn NEUMANN, Joona HAATENAN or Marcus KAERUP. The race started well with Joona looking for an opportunity to get passed Jorn straight away from the start. Half a lap in, Joona made his move and somehow through a very tight section made it stick. But the dominance was short lived when at the next haripin Jorn turned in early, hitting the corner marker and flying into the side of Joona, rolling his car over. As the drivers all sensed an opportunity and made a rush for the unoccupied lead, chaos unfolded. Several cars got involved in a pile up and secondary contacts as Elias JOHANSON from 7th on the grid made it to the front with Daniel KOBBEVIK from 10th now up to second place. The two made a break whilst Joona and Jorn battled behind - Jonna going sideways in the midfield letting Jorn through. Up front, Daniel KOBBEVIK caught up with Elias Johanson and passed him - taking over the lead with only 1 minute on the clock and 4 to go. At the two-minute mark Daniel made an unforced error off the big double in the middle of the track allowing Elias through with Jorn close behind - Daniel recovering to third with Joona putting him under pressure. Elias led Jorn around for several laps as Daniel dropped down the order and Joona closed the gap to Jorn. At the halfway point Elias's car got into a bad rythm in the mid-section and he tried to hang onto it as it become more and more out of control - eventually ending in a crash and loss of the lead - taking out Jorn in the process. Elias was lucky ending up back on his wheels with Jorns help, recovering straight into second behind Joona - Jorn not so lucky needing the marshal. With 90 seconds to go Joona Haatanen was able to control the pace all the way to the finish and win the Leg - claiming 2nd overall in the process.
2wd Modified Podium
1st Michal Orlowski [PL, Schumacher]
2nd Joona Haatanen [FI, Associated]
3rd Marcus Kaerup [DK, Associated]
After those incredibly tense 2wd A-mains, we broke for lunch and Saturday and then regrouped for the second section of the meeting. We now had a day and a half to settle 4wd Stock, Modified Truck and 4wd Modified.
In the 10.5 turn 4wd Stock class there were many familiar names running at the top of the field whom we saw running the 2wd stock class. In qualifying Sören SPARBIER [DE] yet again set the pace, unbeaten, ahead of Tim BENSON [DE] and Sven Rudig [DE]. Tim Benson managed to keep Sparbier at bay for Leg 2 of the A-Main, but a win on Leg1 and Leg 3 saw Sparbier stand on the top step of the podium for a second time this weekend.
The Modified Truck class looks like so much fun! We were all keen to see what the faster modified trucks would look like on the tight track. They go just fine, but it’s a very busy lap for them all. Burak KILIC [DE] set a good pace taking Round 1, just ahead of Micha WIDMAIER [DE] and Luca RAU [CH] – class favourite Jorn Neumann failing to start Round 1. Neumann made up for his round 1 problem taking the maximum score on all the other three rounds. Leg 1 of the Modified Truck A-Main was very, very, entertaining to watch. Jorn NEUMANN lead from the start but was under pressure from Burak KILIC for the whole 5 minutes with Micha WIDMAIER and Luca RAU in toe. The 4 car chain initially broke away but inevitably slowed each other up allowing Sophie MULLER to get involved. Jorn hung on for the Leg 1 win. Leg 2 started in similar fashion till Neumann was forced to retire on lap 4. Kilic and Widmaier battles for several laps before the former took the Leg win. The race for victory was going to Leg 3! In the third Leg Jorn NEUMANN put his DNF in Leg 2 behind him and went for the win in Leg 3. Burak KILIC and Micha WIDMAIER made him work for it though. WIDMAIER initially taking a substantial lead as Jorn and Burak continuously tangled. Jorn managed to set some blistering laps to escape Burak and then unfortunately Micha broke his car’s front suspension and retired allowing Jorn to come through for the win and the overall victory. Excellent to watch!
“Dramatic” isn’t a big enough word to describe what happened during the 4wd Modified section of the meeting. Marcus Kaerup laid down a marker in Round 1 of qualifying ahead of Daniel Kobbevik [NO] and Joona Haatanen. Orlowski having a mechanical failure late in the session. Michal would recover in qualifying round 2 to go fastest, with Kaerup in 2nd and now Neumann in third – at this point it was very hard to see how qualifying would go. Qualifying round 3 allowed us a glimpse of how the final start order may look. Orlowski led for the full five minutes with Kaerup and Neumann close behind. Nobody tried any moves, nobody crashed, just solid train-like qualifying with only a second and a fraction between the top three. And in qualifying round 4 it was nearly the same with Orlowski taking TQ and this time Neumann 2nd, Kaerup 3rd and Kobbevik 4th – All four drivers occupying the same two seconds!
Leg 1 of the 4wd Modified A-Main was fully loaded with drama. Michal ORLOWSKI initially made a break, but it was short lived as Marcus KAERUP got into his stride and gap was closed. The two cars ran very closely for several laps – Kaerup chasing hard but not able to find any gap or opportunity to pass. At around the mid-point of the race, Michal jumped short on the small table top in the middle of the circuit and got a chassis slap. The result is that he was forced offline – this was Kaerup’s opportunity. The young Dane went up the inside of Orlowski but didn’t get passed. They jumped the small double side-by-side and then Kaerup had to yield as Orlowski closed the door. This then led to a drag race up the short infield straight which leads into a hairpin – Orlowski now with a 1 metre lead. Orlowski turn in, leaving a little room for Kaerup who was coming in hot! Kaerup’s car carries too much speed into the corner and he understeers into the side of Orlowski. The two are momentarily entangled and then entangle again as they both try to take the narrow double together. Both cars are out of control and anything could happen. Unbelievably, Kaerups car lands near the apex of the next corner facing the correct direct, Orlowski not so lucky. He retains second, but a hard charging Kobbevik is drawing in. Over the following three laps, Orlowski was able to put the hammer down and draw Kaerup back in. He was just getting into range for a pass when he made an unforced error, over-jumping the large mid-circuit double and landing on the track markers, resulting in a roll and marshalling. This gifted second place to Kobbevik who hung onto it for a couple of laps before making his own mistake and giving the place back to Orlowski. Orlowski was now wrangling the car to squeeze every last drop of pace from it and it was working – he was making visible inroads into Kaerup’s lead with only one minute to go! Unfortunately, one minute is just not enough to recover and setup the overtaking move. The race ended before any real challenge could be mounted. Leg 1 results: 1. Marcus Kaerup [DK, Associated] 2. Michal Orlowski [PL, Schumacher] 3. Daniel Kobbevik [NO, Schuamcher].
4wd A-Main Leg 2 was an extremely high paced and incident filled race. The race started in a very controlled fashion, with most drivers maintaining their qualifying positions as they circulated the first few times. Again Michal Orlowski led, with Marcus Kaerup, Jorn Neumann and Daniel Kobbevik close behind in the break-away pack. At the halfway mark after several laps of Orlowski making his car as wide as possible in the lead, Marcus KAERUP executed an almost divine move entering the raised back section, getting up the inside of Orlowski at the apex and taking the lead across the raised back section. They battled for several laps before a series of ugly and unfortunate events occurred - which you would not expect to witness at an event of the Euro Offroad Series' calibre. The consequence of this occurrence is that KAERUP received a penalty - resulting in KOBBEVIK taking the Leg win. You better watch the video on http://www.youtube.com/racewayone and make up your own mind. Now the winner of Leg 3 will take the 4wd meeting.
In 4wd A-Main Leg 3 it was all to play for and at last we have a clean race! Michal ORLOWSKI set the initial pace in the early laps with Marcus KAERUP, Jorn NEUMANN and Daniel KOBBEVIK in close proximity. Michal would then make and uncharacteristic mistake when landing off a set of small doubles and let Marcus and Jorn through. For the next four minutes, Jorn tried everything to find a way past Marcus, but just couldn't get quite close enough. Kaerup put on a world class display in Leg 3 and it is hoped that he will return to the other four events this EOS season. Marcus KAERUP takes Leg 3 and the 4wd meeting.
4wd Modified podium
1st Marcus Kaerup [DK, Associated]
2nd Daniel Kobbevik [NO, Schumacher]
3rd Jorn Neumann [DE, Schumacher]
All-in-all it was a tough but very rewarding meeting. We would like to thank all of the competitors for coming and joining us at this new track and joining us for the tenth edition of the Euro Offroad Series.
Please view our website www.eurorcseries.com/eos/ where details about the next championship round will be announced soon.
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