Having rolled out of contention for a TQ run in the opening qualifier at the ETS in Austria, Bruno Coelho has delivered an error free TQ performance on his second attempt. The Xray driver topped the times by 4/10ths from Marc Rheinard, the Q2 pace 3/10ths slower than the opening time set by Ronald Volker. Again leading away the field, Volker looked to be on target for 2 out of 2 as he pulled clear in the early laps but on his fifth lap he spun out in the chicane and spinning again on the following lap the Yokomo driver decided to pull off. This promoted Rheinard to the top of the timing screens but ultimately two bad laps from the Infinity driver was enough to allow Coelho to come out on top. Behind, Lucas Urbain backed up his P5 in Q1 with an impressive drive to claim 3rd ahead of Yannic Prümper, Akio Sobue and Freddy Südhoff.
Commenting on the run, Coelho said, ‘Now it was a solid round. The round before I was also in the Top 3 before my mistake but this time Volker stopped for some reason so now it was only me and Marc. I had to force a bit more to get it but at the end I did it.’ Pleased with the result, the reigning Champion admitted they still have work to do on the car set-up saying they needed to find more steering, something they have been fighting up to now. Asked about the track conditions, the World Champion replied, ‘a couple of times I missed the corner by a couple of centimetres cause of the wind and I also lost the rear at the end of the straight’. He added while the wind was a challenge and an unpredictable one, ‘you have got to be close to the curb to be fast and that’s a risk you have got to take. It’s the same for everyone’.
Reacting to his run, a slight frustrated Rheinard said, ‘I had three really bad laps especially the last lap . I don’t know if it was the wind or just me’. He continued, ‘It was difficult as I didn’t know the gap because Bruno didn’t start with us. I guess I went a little too easy when Ronald was done’. The multiple World Champion concluded, ‘It’s still an OK result but I needed that TQ’.
Making a change to his car Urbain said, ‘I reduced the rear droop and I don’t know if it was this or that there was less wind but that was the best car I have ever had on asphalt. It was like it had a magnet holding it to the track’. The Awesomatix driver said he is now not sure where to push more in the next one and risk more or just ‘run laps’ as he has been doing. With a P5 and and P3, he said it is unlikely he will improve his overall grid position given the results of others adding ‘if I can stay in the first half of the grid it would be insane’.
‘Better than before’, was Prumper’s thoughts on Q2, the Infinity joking ‘the gap is only 2.5-seconds now’. He added, ‘It was another clean run and another result but I will try to push more so as to get a little faster lap time. I’ll keep the car the same’.
Asked what happened on his run Volker explained, ‘I started perfect and had quite a gap after a few laps but suddenly the car spun in the chicane and on the lap after I spun again and I stopped to save tyres. I am disappointed for this but I know I have the pace to TQ’.
In the Xray Pro Stock class Florian Joos had a great run to TQ the second qualifier. The 15 year-old Belgian’s first ever ETS TQ run, he topped the times from Dominic Vogl and Christian Donath with Q1 pace setter Simon Lauter recovering to P4 after an early mistake. In Formula Jan Ratheisky made it 2 out of 2, the Xray driver this time going fastest from team-mate Luke Lee with Andreas Stiebler third. In the Infinity Masters class, Alexander Stocker went one better that in the first one for a TQ run ahead of Toni Mateo and Peter Miko. In Stock 17.5, Luis Moreno continued to be the benchmark with the top seed producing another TQ run, this time ahead of Marwin Riedelbauch.