The third round of qualifying at Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Germany saw Bruno Coelho handed the TQ as the majority of his rivals threw away potential TQ runs through driver errors. Afterwards even the Xray driver admitted he was lucky that so many other drivers crashed allowing him to claim his second TQ run of the weekend. Having looked strong to become the third different TQ so far, Marc Rheinard would make a mistake at the chicane eventually ending up 2nd ahead of Yannic Prümper who threw away his TQ chances on the penultimate lap.
While taking the TQ Coelho wasn’t overall happy with his performance in the qualifier. He said, ‘we changed the set of tyres and the car was very difficult to drive’. He continued, ‘luckily everyone crashed, Volker, Marc, Alex and Yannic. We need to change the car for the last one.’ Asked if he would revert to his other set of tyres he replied, ‘we need to discuss this, the tyre is slightly newer so maybe this is the reason but anyway we will make changes to the car set-up’.
‘Just one stupid mistake’, was Rheinard’s reaction at losing out on what would have been a very important TQ run given the difficultly of the track layout. He continued, ‘I got stuck on the board at the chicane at it cost me 1-second. At least the pace is there, we improved the car a lot, but I really needed that TQ for a chance to start 2nd or 3rd (in the final).’ Putting the car improvement down to running the rear wider, the Infinity driver currently sits third in the qualification ranking equal on points with Prumper with Hagberg in 5th only a point off them. With it all to play for to be in the Top 3 he said, ‘I will try to improve in the last one’.
With Prumper enjoying running at the front of an ETS for the first time in more than a season, the multiple race winner was not happy with himself. ‘I screwed up my first lap and started with a 17.0 lap and then on the second last lap I screwed up again when I was fighting for the TQ but I did it on my own’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘the car is really good just my driving is not the best’. Looking for his best ETS start since qualifying 5th two years ago in Germany, he said his goal for Q4 is to try and move himself ahead of Rheinard on the grid for tomorrow’s A-Main.
‘Very good except for one mistake’, was how Hagberg summed up P4 in the penultimate qualifier. Setting the fastest lap of the round, the Xray driver continued, ‘I was pushing hard for the TQ and crashed in the infield so lost out’. Having struggled in Q2 in the morning, the Swede said they reverted back to the set-up he used to post the third quickest time in yesterday’s opening qualifier. Describing his car as ‘competitive’ he concluded, ‘I just need try and repeat a clean run and I’ll be ok’.
Having struggled in the first two qualifiers, a change of car brought Akio Sobue into the mix. The Infinity driver said, ‘I had big problems with my car. Once I go on throttle it always wants to turn. It wouldn’t go straight so we changed car and now it much better for me’. The pressure is now on the Japanese driver to get a good time in Q4 if he is to line up on the A-Main grid.
The only driver who can now stop Coelho from starting the final tomorrow from pole, Ronald Volker didn’t have a good Q3 but topping the second qualifier he is confident he can challenge Coelho in the final round. He said, ‘I made a mistake on the first lap but I still felt the car was there. I was pulling away from Bruno but traction rolled so the TQ was gone’. The Yokomo driver said with the traction getting higher, something he put down to having running the same set of tyres throughout qualifying and an improving track, his car is constantly improving.