August 3, 2017

Ongaro takes second qualifier in Sweden

Davide Ongaro delivered a TQ run in the second round of qualifying at the Euros in Sweden, the Team Associated driver going fastest from top seed David Ronnefalk.  Third fastest in the opening qualifier, the Italian would have a 1.5 second advantage over Ronnefalk, the HB Racing star again suffering costly mistakes over the 5-minutes. After almost a 5-hour wait between Q1 and the second of the day’s three qualifiers, Kyosho’s Riccardo Berton would complete the Top 3 as team-mate Elliott Boots had a tough round.  The reigning champion would end up 13th fastest after ‘loads of crashes’ with the Q1 Top Qualifier putting part of his struggle down to tyres saying, ‘they worked this morning but not now’.  Having opened qualifier with a P4, Mugen’s Juan Carlos Canas wouldn’t have a good Q2 getting a drive through penalty for stopping on track as he tried to allow a gap between himself and Ronnefalk at the start.

‘I’m really happy’ was Ongaro’s reaction to his TQ run, the Las Vegas Worlds star adding, ‘the car now works better than the first one after we changed the rear roll bar’.  The 15-year-old continued, ‘I just want to drive smooth and get to the finish without mistakes and in the end it was fast’. Describing the track as ‘worse than before’ he said it wasn’t too much of an issue yet and for the last of the day’s qualifiers he will just change tyres. Opting for the unusual choice of AKA’s Moto tyre, he will stick with it for Q3 but use a brand new set and use the track time to break in the tyre for tomorrow, the tyre proving quicker on its second run.

‘Another OK run I would say’, was how Ronnefalk summed up Q2.  The World Champion continued, ‘the car didn’t feel good in the warm-up laps and I crashed loads of time so I told myself to do the best I could, but after a couple of laps I crashed. I knew the speed was there so I just tried to keep it on the wheels but I rolled in a second crash an lost the TQ.  With 2 crashes 2nd is not bad’.  Asked about what he felt he needs to do to improve his car for his third attempt, the 20-year-old said, “me and Adrien and the rest of the team will have a chat about what to change for the last one because it is too difficult to drive right now’.

Improving on his P6 in Q1, Berton said, ‘That was a good run’.  Changing from X2 to X1 Lockdown tyres on his MP9, the 18-year-old said these ‘feel much much better’ allowing him to push more in the corner.  Also feeling the addition of anti squat improved the car, for the final qualifier of the day he plans to try a lower Kyosho body to try further improve corner speed.

Setting the fourth fastest time João Figueiredo was pleased after struggling in Q1.  The Kyosho driver said, ‘the car was really bad in the first one, the changes were not so good, but we went back to normal shocks and its better. It is still edgy but I think that’s now down to tyre choice’.  Having been running big shocks with emulsion caps he removed them for Q1 but didn’t like the feeling and now has reverted back to the standard shocks and towers.  Having run a medium compound Amazzonia tyre from Hotrace he will switch to a hard compound for the next one.  The Portuguese driver concluded, ‘the track has a lot of grip now so it is getting tricky out there’.

‘Definitely going better today’, was Bayer’s reaction to setting the fifth fastest time.  The Xray designer said, ‘I tested many things but have gone back to what I arrived here with on Tuesday’.  The Czech driver added he felt ‘the track is better today’ describing it as more clean and having less bumps after overnight work on it.  A former podium finisher, his focus now is on his shocks saying, ‘I still need to work on the shocks, the balance of the car is good but I’m not happy with my shock set-up’.  On tyre choice, having tried different options yesterday, he has returned to Pro-Line’s new Buck Shot tyre which he ran on Tuesday saying ‘they are really good’.

Bayer’s Xray team-mate Martin Wollanka would complete the Top 6 for the round.  Also a Euros podium finisher, the Austrian said his car is ‘working better and better each run’ but he was ‘not expecting such a result’. Trying to give himself room to the car in front of him at the start of the heat, he didn’t realise the clock had already started and the waiting had left him with a 43 second first lap costing himself around 2-seconds.  For Q3 he plans to go up in the front diff oil.

View the complete event results here.

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