May 12, 2018

Coelho Top Qualifier at ETS as Wilck takes final qualifier

Bruno Coelho has claimed his 3rd consecutive TQ of the ETS season, the Xray driver securing pole position thanks to his two TQ runs yesterday at the Motodrom Andernach track in Germany.  With Naoto Matsukura taking Q3 this morning, but the time no match for last night’s Q2 time, it was only the Japanese driver who had the possibility to deny Coelho the No.1 spot.  With the track at its hottest and with only used tyres for Q4, the odds were stacked against Matsukura but a mistake on the first lap confirmed things.  Now the attention was on how they would line up behind the reigning series champion.  Marc Rheinard took up the pace but with 4-laps to go had a mistake, briefly moving Alexander Hagberg to the top, but Wilck would finish strong to take the round from Freddy Sudhoff and Hagberg.  The result meant Matsukura held onto his P2 starting position while Wilck moved ahead of Rheinard to secure third with Sudhoff completing the top half of the grid.

Commenting on Q4, Coelho, who pulled off in the previous qualifier following a first lap mistake, said, ‘That was not so good a qualifying.  It started well but I touched the curb and got on 2-wheels.  Then I tried to force to make up the time and made another error.’  He continued, ‘the track is a little different today so we will try to work on the car for the final’.  Asked about the track for racing, this being his first time to Andernach, he said, ‘It’s very difficult. I need to start more careful but the others are going to start more aggressive.  Its a very difficult track, so for sure they are going to be interesting finals’.

Securing his best ETS start in Germany, Matsukura said, ‘We changed a little the set-up and it was a good feeling but I made a mistake on the first lap.’  Going on to post the 7th fastest time for the round, asked his thoughts about the finals the Infinity driver replied, ‘It’s super tight but my car is really good the first minute so I need to attack from the start.  For sure I will make a race with Bruno. I want to win so I will push’.

‘Finally a first’, was Wilck’s reaction to his TQ, his advantage 3-tenths over Sudhoff.  The Serpent driver continued, ‘I was trying to take care of Freddy and Akio so they don’t get first for the round and overtake me (on the grid) but then Marc had a mistake and I could take the round’.  On the finals, the Swede being a former podium finisher here, he said, ‘It will be interesting. It’s a tight track so anything can happen.  I will try to stay away from crashes’.

Winner on 3 of the 4 previous occasions the ETS took place in Andernach, Rheinard summed up his final qualifier with, ‘Just one word, shit. It was my own mistake’.  He continued, ‘the car didn’t feel super good but I was comfortable with a good gap.  The crash cost me 3rd place to Viktor but I’m happy for him because he’s hasn’t had a good result for a long time.  I think 3rd place is the best place to be today’.  On the finals, the Infinity driver said, ‘It is still not over so we will see.  I made many changes (for Q4) but will go back to my Q3 set-up when the car was good on used tyres’.

‘Fifth is always dangerous because its the middle of the pack’, was Sudhoff’s reaction to his qualifying position.  The Awesomatix driver continued, ‘my car is easy to drive so we will wait and see. It is a tight track so nearly anything can happen.  If one car gets the chicane wrong everyone can crash.  I will take it easy the first few laps and wait for space’.  Behind Sudhoff, P3 in the final qualifier will see Madrid winner Hagberg line up 6th.

In the Xray Pro Stock class, championship leader Jan Ratheisky added to his points tally by taking the overall TQ ahead of Xray team-mate Mustafa Alp. Olivier Bultynck will line up third while Awesomatix team-mate and ETS Madrid winner Max Mächler starts fifth behind reigning champion Alexandre Duchet.  In the Scorpion Power System Formula class, it is also Ratheisky who is on pole.  Behind him British Xray driver Luke Lee starts second with championship leader Bultynck completing the Top 3.  The Infinity 40+ Masters class will see Thomas Oehler lead away the grid from Christian Drießle, both drivers taking two TQ runs each. Beni Stutz will start 3rd.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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