Controversy hit Worlds but Volker still fastest
Major problems with technical inspection as the first round of controlled practice had just got underway led to chaos at the Touring Car World Championships that has resulted in a round of qualifying being cancelled although that move has been protested by Japan, the Netherlands and Germany. Once action on the track did resume it was the morning’s pace setter Ronald Volker who set the fastest lap, consecutive 3-laps and 5-minute run keeping his LRP powered Yokomo at the top of the time sheets.
The problem in technical inspection, which for what is an event that manufacturers invest so much time and money is totally unacceptable, started as the area became over crowded with drivers either returning or collecting their controlled additive free tyres while drivers from later heats went to the tented area to have there cars checked for battery voltage, ride height, etc. Already congested and with no form of communications coming from officials, the place fell into complete panic when it was discovered some chassis’ had been incorrectly marked earlier in the day and that all 130 cars needed to be rechecked. With no one taking control of the matter almost 2 hours where lost with no track action happening during this time. In the end the delay first forced the postponement of the opening qualifier from this evening to tomorrow morning but then in bizarre move IFMAR cancelled the round on the basis of a chance of rain tomorrow. This move was bizarre because IFMAR issued a controlled wet tyre for the race.
With 3 rounds from 5 qualifiers rather than six now counting driver and teams are up in arms, as with reduced breaks between rounds tomorrow running the full 6 qualifiers would only add an extra 50-minutes to the timetable.
While the arguments and protests continue, in terms of the racing the closest driver to Volker, over 3-consecutive laps which will be used for any reseeding of the qualifying heats, was Tamiya’s Viktor Wilck with Team HB’s Atsushi Hara third. Defending champion Marc Rheinard, who has been very vocal with officials over the early chaos, used his Speed Passion powered Tamiya to set the fourth fastest time followed by Team Xray’s Alexander Hagberg and recent ETS race winner Yannic Prumper.
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