May 12, 2018

Matsukura leads Infinity 1-2 in Q3 at ETS Andernach

Naoto Matsukura led an Infinity 1-2 in the third & penultimate round of qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series this morning in Andernach, Germany.  Having missed out on the TQ last night in Q2 by 5/100ths of a second after touching the curbing on the last lap, Matsukura would claim his first ever TQ run of the ETS ahead of team-mate Marc Rheinard.  Despite being 3.6-seconds faster than Rheinard, the time was slower than that of Coelho’s Q2 time.  While Coelho would make a mistake on the opening lap and opted to pull in after the next lap, it is looking increasingly likely the championship leader is on target for the overall TQ.  With temperatures rising the track is expected to be slower for the final round with the only challenger Matsukura having now used all 3 of his allocated sets of tyres.  Behind Matsukura and Rheinard, Viktor Wilck backed up his Q2 result by again completing the Top 3 while Lucas Urbain put in a strong drive from the second fastest heat to post the fourth fastest time.

‘It’s my first time to make a TQ in the ETS.  The car was pretty good, a set-up change made it better but the traction was a little lower compared to yesterday so I can’t make faster time’, was Matsukura’s reaction to his TQ run.  The former World Champion continued, ‘I used my last set of tyres so I can’t make faster in the last one unless there is a big change in the track’.  Set to run on used tyres for the fourth & final qualifier he concluded, ‘we will test something for more steering’.

Having struggled with his set-up in Q2, Rheinard said, ‘It felt good again on old tyres and now I should be pretty safe for 3rd (on the grid).  The German continued, ‘I copied a little Naoto’s set-up and he made shocks for me.  I will make one more change in the set-up for the next one and see.  I still have a new set of tyres’.  Team-mate Akio Sobue took his example to the 5th fastest time, the Japanese driver still struggling with the drop off in the car’s steering over the 5-minutes.

‘I drove a little shit in the last laps’, was Wilck’s thoughts on his Q3 performance.  Having a DNF in the opening qualifier, the Serpent driver added, ‘I didn’t want to risk too much because I needed the result’. Another driver with new tyres still to run, the Swede said, ‘I will try to push more in the last one and on the car I think I will just rebuild the shocks’.

Summing up his marked improvement, Urbain said, ‘I didn’t suck that time which is nice’.  A new signing with Awesomatix, his first race being the previous ETS in Madrid, the French driver continued,  ‘I make almost no changes, just minor camber link adjustments and a slightly thicker diff so maybe the track suited the car better but the big thing was I put in a good drive.  Maybe this will secure me the A-Main at the back of the grid’.  He continued, ‘I was fast in controlled practice but when it started to count it was not so good.  Maybe I made set-up mistakes because of my lack of experience with the car’.

‘I have no idea why it is bad compared to all the practices’, was Volker’s reaction to getting a P6 in Q3, his best run so far.  The Yokomo driver said, ‘now we are totally off the pace and its going to be tough to make the Main.  I got a bit upset with the referee in that one because on my last lap I had to give way to Naoto but he was already finished. It cost me 1 or 2 places.’  Asked what was causing the lack of pace, the World Champion replied, ‘No grip and everything is out of balance.  It’s difficult to make the right decision (on set-up) for Q4’.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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