It’s early in the morning and I’m already happy to take the first qualifier.”
The opening round of qualifying for the new ETS season has been completed and it was Ronald Volker who emerged quickest in conditions that were looser than the night before. Top seed Bruno Coelho had a number of mistakes early in the run which let the Yokomo driver, who was starting second, passed. Following another big moment the World Champion pulled up to save the car. With Volker in front, the battle was for remaining spots with Alexander Hagberg finally taking the 2nd spot having swapped the position back and forth with Marc Rheinard who ended up 3rd, with Freddy Sudhoff and Akio Sobue completing the top 5. ‘Obviously I’m happy to TQ the first qualifier of the season’ said Volker, continuing ‘the track was different to yesterday, a bit more loose’. The German said his BD9 started to get looser as the run went on, causing him to lose 0.5 second on the 2nd last lap, which nearly cost him the TQ. For the next run he will work with his mechanic Hayato to try make the car more stable as well as reduce the power back to what he had in free practice.
I felt like I had more potential than what I could show in free practice.”
Flying under the radar somewhat in Controlled practice, only seeding 7th, Xray driver Alexander Hagberg put in a solid run to take the 2nd spot, summing up his run with ‘good car, it has good pace.’ While admitting it was difficult to drive which led to some small mistakes, he will continue to work on further setup changes and ‘hopefully fight for the TQ’.
It’s hard to fight for a place in the main, you can’t take that for granted, the competition level is so high.”
‘A solid start, it was pretty close’ was how Marc Rheinard described Q1, the Infinity driver commenting that he had some rough laps and was not easy to drive but the pace was not bad. Planning to switch back to his free practice setup which has a wider rear end, he hopes this will give him the extra corner speed he is looking for.
In the Pro Stock class, who had their first qualifiers late last night it was Awesomatix driver Simon Lauter who came out on top, this time ahead of Tim Benson in 2nd, just 1 second back. Oliver Bultynck took a close 3rd, the last of the drivers to make a 22 lap run, while top seed Jan Rathiesky and Max Machler completed the top 5 for the round.
In the Formula class, it was Serpent designer and former class Champion David Ehrbar who was fastest, having only seeded 10th, ending the 5-minutes over a second clear of Simon Lauter in 2nd. Top seed Andreas Stiebler, driving the Hawx F1 car, could only manage 3rd for the round, with Matej Dobnikar and his Xray team mate and reigning Champion Jan Rathiesky, who set the fastest lap of the round, completing the top 5.
The Masters 40+ class looked like a walk in the park for former Pro Stock Champion Alexander Stocker as he took the round by 9 seconds. Spanish driver Toni Mateo was 2nd, Peter Miko, running the 2nd fastest heat was 3rd with current champion Thomas Oehler in 4th. In the Stock class, which runs handout Muchmore 17.5T motors, it was top seed Daniel Pohlmann who was fastest in front of Mark Valent and Michael Gradl.