Defending champion Michal Orlowski has topped 2WD Buggy seeding at the DHI Cup presented by LRP. The Schumacher driver posted the fastest 3-consecutive laps in the first of the two rounds of control practice at the Danish event with Marc Rheinard his closest challenger. Little under a tenth of a second off Orlowski’s 55.401 pace, Rheinard would also post his best time in the first round, all drivers reporting high tyre wear due to the tracks low grip. Completing the Top 3 would be Rheinard’s Yokomo team-mate Frederik Hovgaard who was the only driver in the Top 5 to better his opening time in the final practice.
Starting out practice with his ‘basic carpet set-up’, EOS Poland double winner Orlowski said with the ‘lower traction than (he is) used too’ they had to make some small changes to the car to find more speed and given the grip levels they have managed to get the car working well for the conditions. Running a KF2 fitted with a number of prototype parts, the Polish driver said the low traction is causing issues with tyre wear with the wheel spin leading to high wear of the Schumacher handout tyre. In terms of the track layout, the 15-year-old said it has a good rhythm and once you find that it is really enjoyable to drive. With ‘a few places’ you can make time he said getting the landing right at the jump under the driver stand is key to a good lap.
While a multiple winner of the DHI Cup in Touring Cars, this is Rheinard’s first attempt at offroad. Sent by his Offroad sponsors Yokomo, the former TRF driver still to announce his new touring car future, the German summed up his 2WD practice as ‘actually not too bad’. Winner of the current Euro Offroad Series season opener in 2WD, he said the biggest issue for him so far has been the lack of traction compared to the EOS adding ‘the tyre wear is really high’. Improving the car with a shock position change, he was content that the ‘lap times are fine’ and while ‘on full power the car slides’ it was the same issue for everyone. In terms of the track layout, he said, ‘its ok, its not too difficult’. 17-year-old team-mate Hovgaard was happy with his YZ-2 after a swaybar adjustment which the Dane said improved the car under acceleration. For qualifying he plans to just refresh the diff oil.
‘My car is pretty good’ was how Joern Neumann summed setting the fourth fastest time. The Serpent driver, who has won the 4WD Buggy title every year since the DHI Cup introduced offroad in 2012, was another to start with his regular EOS set-up on his SDX2. Having to make small changes for the grip levels which he described as ‘a lot lower’, the two time 2WD Champion described the resulting tyre wear as ‘crazy’ saying he doubted if two runs would be possible on a set of the Version 1 Mini Pin tyres feeling the risk was the tyres would go off too much at the end of the second run. For Q1 he will leave his car unchanged other than start out with a new set of tyres and gauge the track after 4WD had run its practice on it.
2WD Champion in 2015, then driving a Team C as HB didn’t have a car at the time of him joining the team, David Ronnefalk would post the 5th fastest time ahead of fellow Swede Christoffer Svensson. With HB Racing designer Torrance Deguzman making the trip over from the US to Denmark to help develop HB’s 1:10 offering for Europe’s popular offroad carpet tracks, Ronnefalk said of his practice time, ‘I’m happy. We are coming a lot closer to the other brands’. Running a D216 fitted with a different chassis and 3D printed laydown gearbox he said the changes ‘are really good and have helped (them) come a long way’. Admitting the event is more of a test session than a attempt to challenge for a second DHI Cup title, he said one area they need to improve is how the car accelerates saying ‘Orlowski and Marc’s cars have more acceleration’. One area he will work on for qualifying is his shock package but overall he concluded he was ‘pretty happy’.