Ronald Volker has kicked off Day 2 of the Euro Touring Series in Daun with a TQ run, the Yokomo driver snatching the the second round of qualifying from Bruno Coelho. Clearly the quickest man on track, Coelho would have two mistakes of his own doing but it was the flying car of Akio Sobue that ultimately cost him the TQ allowing Volker to top the times by 2/10th. With a fastest lap almost 3/10th quicker than the rest of the field, Coelho looked set to make it two out of two but coming into the sweeper at the end of the straight, the Xray driver was greeted by Sobue’s car flying through the air from the infield. While no contact was made, the T4 somehow just finding its way under the landing IF14, Coelho was forced off the racing line losing him 8/10th allowing Volker to go to the top. Pulling back 2/10ths a lap Coelho would run out of time and with Volker laying down his fastest lap on the last lap it was the German who got the TQ. Behind Yannic Prumper would set the third fastest time ahead Marc Rheinard and Naoki Akiyama, the Top 5 all managing 19-laps this morning.
‘Its great to get Q2 as my minimum goal of second on the grid is becoming more safe’, was Volker’s reaction to his first TQ run in four races, his last being in Italy last season. The World Champion continued, ‘I made a shock set-up change front and rear and a different tyre prep and I felt more comfortable with the car. It had more steering like I wanted but I still need more without losing corner speed. Pace wise I was now closer to Bruno. He’s still quicker but the gap is less’. Having a clean run compared to Coelho, he said one issue he did have was his view of the straight with radios in his view, something he said he will try to adapt to by leaning out more in Q3.
‘It was a strange qualifier’ was how Coelho summed up the first of the day’s three scheduled qualifiers. The reigning champion added, ‘I started easy so as to make no mistake and then started to push but touched the board and flipped, Luckily it landed on its wheels. I forced to get back to the point and once back on point I drove smooth again but then I had a lot of traffic and a second mistake at the chicane. Overall I had many mistakes and much traffic’. On his car, it still not to his liking at the beginning of the 5-minutes he said, ‘Its still not perfect yet and we will work on it for sure for the next one’.
Improving on his P6 from Q1, Prumper said, ‘I had large drops in my lap times. I think I just need to improve my driving to be more consistent’. Suffering one moment when he ‘kissed the board one time’, the Yokomo driver added, ‘I was in the lead at the beginning but then dropped off. I’m happy with third but I can do better in my driving, the car is good’.
Again finding himself 4th fastest, Rheinard was happier with his car saying it was ‘better’ but like Prumper felt his driving was the issue saying, ‘I just didn’t drive well’. The championship leader continued, ‘Bruno is still a little faster and while its on the limit we got closer to the pace that time’. Making a number of changes to his IF14 including standing up the front shocks, he plans to ‘make the rear wider’ for Q3.
Running in the second fastest heat, Akiyama was very happy with his P5 run. The Japanese Yokomo driver had many mistakes in Q1 but produced a ‘clean’ run in Q2. Having run a standard weight bodyshell in yesterday evening’s opening qualifier, he switched to a lightweight body this morning saying it made a big improvement to his car’s performance. He will run an unchanged car in Q3 to get another solid result on the board and drop his P13 from Q1. Also running in the second fastest heat, Schumacher’s Elliott Harper completed the Top 6 times and sits 6th overall after two rounds.