Boots fastest in Q2
Having thrown away any chance of a TQ at the first corner in the opening round of qualifying Team Kyosho’s Elliot Boots bounced back in style in Q2 to set a new fastest time by 2 seconds over Durango’s Joern Neumann with Kyosho’s other hot shot teenager David Ronnefalk, who also messed up his Q1 run, setting the third fastest time a further 8/10ths adrift. Just as the second round of qualifying came to an end it started to rain at the Fehring track but it would appear that it was just a passing shower although the skies remain very overcast.
Boots was pleased with his Q2 run but the 19-year-old felt he could have layed down an even faster time had he not been held up for two laps by slower traffic. During the warm-up the 19-year-old made a number of mistakes but once the 5-minute qualifier started proper the British Champion & 2011 Finalists drove a clean round. Afterwards Boots said that having fitted a brand new set of super soft AKA Enduros for the second heat he had to run a few aggressive laps to scrub the edges of the tyres and this is why this is why his buggy looked terrible but once the heat started the buggy felt really good. Hoping it is dry for the third of the five scheduled qualifiers, which will bring Day 3 of the 32nd running of the European Championships to a close, Boots said he would leave everything the same but being from the United Kingdom, he was confident he would have a good set-up should conditions be wet.
Having discovered a problem with his throttle pot on his radio transmitter that was creating its own exponential, Neumann ran the second heat with a Sanwa M11 borrowed from top Austrian racer Peter Pinisch. Neumann’s own radio is 2-years old but as his mechanic this weekend Hupo Honigl pointed out the German has one of the busiest off road racing programmes of any driver and so the dust & dirt is going to take its toll on the radio. Neumann said he has Sanwa’s new M12 radio but didn’t bring it as he said he hasn’t yet had time to practice with the new unit. In terms of the buggy the back to back 4WD Electric European Champion said a switch to JConcept Barcodes in soft ‘blue’ compound was the perfect choice for the conditions at the time of his run. He said as the heat progressed the tyres got better and better each lap and he only wished the heat had been longer.
Having had great pace since the start of the event on Tuesday, Ronnefalk finally managed a clean run but like Boots he too had issues with traffic. The 16-year-old lost some time with the traffic but said he didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks of getting caught up in the slower cars. Running the same set of AKA Enduro tyres from Q1 the Swede said this was probably not the best call as they started losing grip in the final minute or so of the run.
Defending Champion Robert Batlle was fourth fastest. With the top drivers spread over five heats rather than the top 12 from controlled practice being in the top heat, the Spaniard was also delayed by traffic including a coming together with fellow Mugen team driver Daniel Reckward. In the end a mistake on the last corner of the last lap cost him about a second and a chance of a potential second fastest time for the round. In the last heat for Q2 Batlle said at the end of the run he started to lose steering and he wasn’t sure if that was due to the arrival of the rain or something to do with his MBX6R.
Having taken a 1-2 in the opening qualifier Team Losi Racing could only manage 5th fastest with Miguel Matias. The Portuguese driver said his RB powered 8ight was very consistent but running wide on one of the fast corners, something he described as a big mistake at this level of racing, cost him a few 10ths and overall points for the round. Team-mate Darren Bloomfield who TQ’d round 1 could only managed the 10th fastest time. The British driver said they made the wrong call to run brand new tyres for Q2, having used scrubbed tyres earlier, as they made his Novarossi powered 8ight very edgy to drive and that led to a crash.
Completing the Top 6 was Joseph Quagraine. The Finn said after the run former World Champion Mark Pavidis, whose AKA brand sponsor his tyres, asked him ‘what was wrong’ as that was the first time in about four years he had seen the JQ Products founder drive with such aggression. Quagraine, who runs City Block on the front and iBeam on the rear of ‘The Car’ was himself delighted with his driving which he described as a ‘good clean round’.
Qualifying Times Round 2
1. Elliot Boots (GB) – Kyosho/Novarossi – 9/5:27.667
2. Jörn Neumann (DE) – Durango/Picco – 9/5:29.714
3. David Ronnefalk (SE) – Kyosho/Orion – 9/5:30.557
4. Robert Batlle (ES) – Mugen/Novarossi – 9/5:30.779
5. Miguel Matias (PT) – TLR/RB – 9/5:31.357
6. Joseph Quagraine (FI) – JQ/JQ – 9/5:32.558
7. Renaud Savoya (FR) – Xray/RB – 9/5:32.965
8. Teemu Leino (FI) – HB/LRP – 9/5:33.196
9. Borja Hernandez (ES) – LRP/Alpha – 9/5:34.479
10.Darren Bloomfield (GB) – TLR/Novarossi – 9 5:35.409
11.Martin Bayer (CZ) – Xray/nVision – 9/5:35.805
12.Lee Martin (GB) – Mugen/OS – 8/5:00.160
View complete event results here.
View our event image gallery here.