October 8, 2014

Hagberg tops final qualifier


Having set the pace in practice and then struggled in early qualifying Alexander Hagberg finally returned to form to take the 6th & final round of qualifying at the 1:12 World Championship in Florida. Posting the fastest 8-minute run of the event, the Xray driver just missed out on a 55-lap run by 1/10th of a second as he topped the time sheets by 2-seconds from Donny Lia. Having sat 7th in the overnight standings the TQ run will see the Swede start the A-Main from 4th on the grd behind Lia, Marc Rheinard and Top Qualifier Naoto Matsukura. Posting his best qualifier, Jilles Groskamp would ran the third fastest time of Q6 to go from sitting 21st overnight to securing his 6th consecutive 1:12 World Championship A-Main appearance, the 2012 podium finisher set to start 7th.


‘Really good’ was how Hagberg, who further improved on his fastet outright lap of the event with a 8.591 lap time, described his final qualifier. Having found his way again in the penultimate qualifier after tightening up the rear hub brace on his X12, the European Champion said the car was super easy to drive this morning. While he would lose a little traction towards the end of the run he is confident he has a good chance for the finals despite starting from fourth, adding mistakes are inevitable.

Donny Lia

Having made a set-up change to his LRP speedo, Lia said it took him some time to get into the rhythm of the adjusted power band but once he did his Top Rebel felt really good. Admitting 3rd on the grid was more than he every thought possible he said just being in the A-Main on his World Championship debut was ‘awesome’. Liking very much the track layout and with his car working well he said his aim is to run three clean Mains and see what comes to him after that.


Groskamp said he had more traction today and while he lost some time having to open up for both Hagberg and Lia, he still doesn’t have the outright pace of the leaders. Happy to continue his run of Worlds A-Main starts that began here in Florida in 2004, he said starting 7th on the grid would probably make little difference as he predicts ‘a lot of carnage’ in the finals.


Recording the fourth fastest time defending champion & Top Qualifier Matsukura summed up his Q6 as ‘not good’, the Yokomo driver adding he had ‘many mistakes’. Pleased with his R12 C3.1, planning to run it as is for the first final, the 21-year-old said the track today ‘felt more aggressive’ to drive.

Marc Naoto

After hitting the board for a second time, Rheinard decided to pull off before he ‘destroyed the car’. The CRC driver was on a TQ before his first off saying his car was fast but more difficult to drive today. Starting from second on the grid, when asked about the main the German predicted ‘ugly finals’ saying mistakes on the tight track where going to cause pile ups so the race was pretty much wide open.



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