April 14, 2018

Coelho effectively takes overall Spanish TQ in Q3

Bruno Coelho has effectively claimed the first outdoor TQ of the Euro Touring Series by posting a second TQ run in the penultimate round of qualifying at the Spanish round.  With two from the four qualifiers to count, the Xray driver has the perfect score and the added advantage of having the fastest time which he set yesterday in Q1. With his only rival Ronald Volker unlikely to manage a TQ in a quicker time given the Yokomo driver has already used both of his sets of tyres.  There is also the fact that a number of drivers still have new tyres for the final qualifier namely Marc Rheinard, Akio Sobue, Yannic Prumper and Alexander Hagberg. Coelho topped the Q3 times from Christopher Krapp and Viktor Wilck, all three on new tyres, while Volker was best of those on used tyres setting the fourth quickest time ahead of new tyre equipped Jilles Groskamp while Freddy Südhoff completed the Top 6 on old tyres.

Reacting to Q3, Coelho said, ‘We made some set-up changes and ran new tyres so everything was very good and that more or less should give me the TQ. The time from yesterday was very good and will be hard to beat’.  Asked if he planned to use the final qualifier to test anything for tomorrow’s finals, he replied, ‘we have a good car for the finals so will leave the car the same’.  Saying ‘everyone is super close’, last year’s race winner continued, ‘I think here it is very easy to run behind someone as the braking points are easier, its a large and open track layout’.

‘That was really good and I’m happy with the car but still I’m losing time in the beginning on new tyres’, was Krapp’s thoughts on Q3.  The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I am losing it all on the first 3 to 5 laps but after that I am on the same pace as Bruno and Ronald so we still need to find the reason for this problem’.  Conceding he is ‘not going to get higher in the points’ and adding he ‘hope(s) to stay 3rd’, one thing the German plans for the final qualifier is to copy team-mate Volker and switch from the plastic kit rear C-Hubs to the soon to be released aluminium versions. Volker has been running them from the start of the weekend and has found them to make the car feel more precise.

Wilck described his P3 as ‘a good result’ adding ‘it was the maximum we could get out of it’.  The Serpent driver said, ‘I had a lot more understeer this time cause the weather changed a lot but I still need to figure out the problem with power’.  Having reported a drop off in power in Q2, the Swede changed the motor end bell and ESC setting for more power but said the ‘power drop was still there. After 3-minutes it feels like there is not enough battery left’.

‘I’m actually happy with my pace on used tyres’, was how Volker summed up his third qualifier.  The Yokomo driver continued, ‘knowing I couldn’t compete with Bruno because the track temperature increased I expected the TQ run from him.  With the guys behind me now having used up their sets of tyres I will most likely start 2nd so its not too bad’.  Suffering one spin in Q3 that cost him 1-second, he explained, ‘the car is more difficult to drive on used tyres. It has great steering and I just lost it the once in the infield section’.

Once more the best of the Infinity team drivers, Groskamp said, ‘again I’m happy with P5 because there is still not the same traction as in practice’.   He went on, ‘the feeling is different.  There is just less traction and so you have to be more careful but I drove better that time.  The gap to Bruno is still big but I think that is because we lack a bit of steering on this track and the track changes a lot each run so it is hard to find it (steering)’.  Set to use a rear/rear tyre combination for Q4, he said, ‘its going to be hard again to compare how the car has reacted to set-up changes’.  With both his team-mates having new tyres for the final qualifier he said while his chances of improving on his grid position are over he hopes Rheinard or Sobue can boost the team’s start positions.

In Pro Stock the class produced three different TQs in as many rounds as Infinity driver Dominic Vogl was quickest in Q3 ahead of Dane Frederik Mikkelsen with Jan Ratheisky stopping the clocks with the third quickest time.  In Formula there was also a third different driver to top the times with Shepherd’s Olivier Bultynck running a TQ ahead of Spanish duo Ivan de La Calle and Gonzalo Garcia.  In the Masters class, Beni Stutz managed to go one better than the previous attempt to TQ the round ahead of Christian Drießle while Q1 & 2 pace setter Thomas Oehler was 3rd.

View complete event results here.

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