August 3, 2017

Ronnefalk delivers in Q3 to hold overnight TQ in Sweden

Having thrown away potential TQ runs in the opening qualifiers, top seed David Ronnefalk finally delivered on his third attempt as Day 3 of the European Championship in Sweden comes to a close.  Second fastest in Q1 & 2, the HB Racing driver would run the fastest time of the day in his third qualifier finishing 3-seconds up on Q2 pace setter Davide Ongaro. A further 2-seconds off, Mugen’s Robert Batlle would break into the Top 3 for the first time having thrown away competitive runs with mistakes on the last lap of both previous qualifiers. Unable to translate his strong showing in controlled practice yesterday into a competitive time in the first two qualifiers, Carlos Durães came good for the end of day run setting the 4th fastest time ahead Q1 top qualifier Elliott Boots.

‘I’m super happy with Day 1 of qualifying.  Sure I was bummed to not TQ the first 2 but we got it done in the last one and we’ll build on that tomorrow and the rest of the week’, was Ronnefalk’s view of things at the end of the first day of qualifying with two more rounds left to run tomorrow. Having struggled with his car in Q2, the World Champion continued, ‘we changed a few things in the shock package and it was much better and we also changed the tyre. I went to a softer compound, the harder (tyre) was faster outright but the softer was more forgiving and that helped bring good lap times’.  Holding the overnight TQ, he continued, ‘I had a mistake on my second lap and got pissed with myself but told myself I need to get my shit together. Ongaro was running ahead of me on the track so I knew I had to close on him to get 1st for the heat. I am really happy I could do 39-seconds on my last two laps and apart from my mistake the run was super consistent. I was marshalling Elliott’s heat and when I saw him crash I knew it would be hard for him to beat my time’.

Ongaro also declared himself ‘really happy’ with the first day of qualifying.  The Team Associated driver said, ‘I had two mistakes.  The track now is not so good, there are a lot of bumps.’  Having planned to run a new set of AKA’s Moto tyre, the Italian said they decided against this, sticking with the same set he has used throughout the day including in the morning shakedown but he said the tyres where done and he struggled as a result.  With the tyres not coming in until they have had a run on them he will now have to use the first of tomorrow’s final two qualifiers to break in his unusual choice of tyre.

‘The last one was quite good but I had a mistake just before the cement’, was Batlle’s reaction to his P3 result in Q3. The former World Champion continued, ‘I had two mistakes on the last lap of both other qualifiers so I wanted to drive comfortable. I didn’t expect to crash there but I lost 4-seconds’. The Spaniard added, ‘I can do 40-second laps so we have the pace needed so I’m happy to drive safer and be more comfortable and consistent’.  Asked if he planned any changes for Q4, he replied, ‘we need to wait now on the weather because so many people tell me it will rain tonight but we are already working the set-up for the finals because I have 3 Top 10 results and the TQ is already gone for me’.

Serpent driver Durães said, ‘we made changes and the car worked better. I’m happy with how it was that time’.  The Portuguese driver added, ‘For Q1 we decided on the wrong tyre so for the second one we changed the compound and it was a little better’.  Switching to a soft AKA Impact tyre, he remained on that for his third qualifier, getting improvement from the set-up with the plan to continue in the same direction of those changes tomorrow but ‘it depends on the weather because I heard it will rain’.

‘Just a bit’ was Boots response when asked if it had been a rough round for him.  The Kyosho driver added, ‘I had a good first couple of laps but then had a mistake on the concrete after hitting a random bump and more mistakes followed from there really’.  The reigning champion said, ‘I’m still comfortable with the car, it was a bit better that time but it’s still not right’.  He concluded, ‘we’ve got to work on the set-up for tomorrow’.  Describing the track as ‘very difficult’, he said the combination of the ‘bumps and high traction’ mean you have to be very careful in your driving.

Completing the Top 6 Riccardo Berton didn’t like the change of bodyshell he made for Q3, the Kyosho driver saying it didn’t have good corner speed.  Pleased with his own driving saying, ‘I think I drive good again’, the Italian also switched tyres to a Pro-Line’s Suppressor but he didn’t like the feeling and will go for X2 Bowties for the penultimate round of qualifying. Behind Berton, Joseph Quagraine could post the 7th fastest time followed by Martin Wollanka, Neil Cragg and Jürgen Trieb.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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