April 8, 2017

Rheinard snatches Q3 from Volker at the line

Marc Rheinard has taken the third round of qualifying at ETS Spain, the Infinity driver snatching the TQ from Ronald Volker as he launched his car across the loop on the final lap. With Volker, going into what unknown to him was the final lap at the top of the timing screen, Rheinard took the gamble that it was the final lap and punched his car to get it over the loop with the 2/10th gained from taking the risk, enough to get the job done.  Taking a more normal approach to the final corner, unfortunately for Volker he would lose out on the TQ by 0.136 of a second.  Behind, Christopher Krapp would compete the Top 3, the Yokomo driver clearly delighted with his run.  Making it a good overall team result for Yokomo, Nicolas Lee would post the fourth fastest time.  Having dominated proceedings in Q1 and 2, Bruno Coelho would get sixth, despite a spin and being on used tyres, leaving David Perez as the best Xray for the round with a P5.

Explaining his TQ, Rheinard said, ‘I heard Scotty announce 15-seconds to go and he normally says it late so I knew it was the last lap so went quick over the line’.  He continued, ‘this was an important one because I don’t think Ronald can TQ the last one on used tyres as many drivers still have new tyres’.  In terms of his prototype car from EP newcomers Infinity, he said, ‘the car starts good but suddenly pushes too much. I think my steering lock is too much and this is working the tyres too much so for the next one I will limit it’.  He also plans to test a different shock oil in the final qualifier saying, ‘it would be hard to improve on my P3 with used tyres’.

‘Heavily disappointed to just lose it on the loop’ was Volker’s reaction.  The World Champion added, ‘I didn’t punch it like Marc did, it was a good call from him to risk it.  I wasn’t sure it was the last lap’.  While looking a lot more competitive than he did yesterday, he continued ‘I’m disappointed to miss this one because now it will be super hard now to get P2 on the grid’.

While Volker as disappointed his team-mate Krapp was almost ecstatic with first Top 10 run.  ‘Super happy,  I am just super happy to get a good run after my problems yesterday’.  Suffering a car shutdown while on a Top 4 run in Q1, with a car that was ‘not so good’ in this morning’s qualifier he could only manage a P12 for the second round.  Feeling traction is lower today, for Q3 he switched to a softer shock set-up saying it was ‘a good choice’.  Looking to finish with a good result to improve on his current 7th in the qualification ranking, the former ETS race winner will ‘just leave (the car) the same for the last one’.

‘Finally I completed a run’ was how Lee reacted to setting the fourth fastest time.  The Singapore driver has his battery dump in Q1 and after two crashes in Q2 opted to pull off.  The TITC runner-up said, ‘the car has been good all the time but I have just been unlucky’.  He continued, ‘I need another good one so it is just down to me to drive it now’.

Representing the host nation well on the ETS’ first visit to mainland Spain, Perez said, ‘It was good until I flipped. I had the pace for P3 but shit happens’.  The 16-year-old continued, ‘I was super nervous. This is the most nervous race I have done’.  While his T4 was ‘super good again’ he would experience a loss of top speed at the end of the qualifier.  ‘For the last three laps I had a problem with the motor, there was a drop in speed on the straight’.  While currently holding an A-Main position he said, ‘we need to check this for the next round because we know we have to make it safe to make the A-Main.  I know it is going to be pretty difficult as some drivers still have new tyres but once there is still a chance we will try to reach our goal’.

The first time championship leader Coelho hasn’t been at the top of the time sheets, he said, ‘I was on used tyres and it was not so bad’. He continued, ‘I was only 1-second behind guys on new tyres until I started to try to pull away a bit and made a mistake on the curb at the end of the straight’.  With the resulting spin costing him over 3-seconds, he said ‘then I was out of contention but I’m happy the car is very good on used tyres’.

In Pro Stock,  the third round of qualifying also ended Alexandre Duchet’s reign at the top with loyal Tamiya driver Christian Donath TQ’ing ahead of the Yokomo of former champion Martin Hofer with Helge Johannessen third.  In Formula, Infinity driver Jitse Miedema became the third different driver to TQ, taking the penultimate round ahead of Hofer and Q1 pace setter Ivan de La Calle.

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