July 7, 2016

Ronnefalk comes good in Q3


David Ronnefalk finally came good in the third round of qualifying at the 1:8 Euros in Spain to become the third different driver to post a TQ run in Redovan.  The championship’s last back to back champion, the HB Racing driver concluded the first day of qualifying with the overall fastest time finishing 4/10ths of second up on Darren Bloomfield.  Taking the opening qualifier and second in Q2, Elliott Boots would complete the Top 3, the reigning champion holding the overnight TQ ahead of tomorrow’s final two qualifiers.  Taking the TQ in the second qualifier, Davide Ongaro would back up his P1 run with fifth just behind Mugen team-mate Robert Batlle with Byran Baldo completing the Top 6.


Summing up his improved performance a much happier looking Ronnefalk said, ‘That was really good’.  Winner of the Warm-up Race but up to now lacking the ultimate pace of his rivals, the Swede continued, ‘it was stressful after Q2, the car was just too slow even though I had a good run so we decided to do a full rebuild’.  Using the rebuild to take a different direction with the set-up, the 20-year-old said this decision ‘turned out great, it helped find the pace we needed’.  With his Orion powered D815 ‘faster’ after the changes, it was also ‘easier to drive then before’ but he said ‘it got a little more difficult to drive at the end of the heat’.  Feeling the car is maybe ‘too soft’ he said they will ‘try something for tomorrow’.


‘Very good’ was how Bloomfield described Q3.  The Agama driver said his A215 seems to work better in the cooler weather and this was the key big factor in his improvement, the British driver setting the fastest lap of the round. With the ‘temperature coming to the car’, the Brit admitted he was ‘tempted to go down in the tyre (compound) as (he) though it would be better as it was colder’ but said the decision to stick with the medium compound BetaV-Max ‘worked out good’.  His second P2 of the day leaving him third overall overnight, he said they the need to try for hotter conditions to imitate how the cars feels on a cooler track with ‘harder tyres and maybe different roll bars are the way to go’.


A driver who looks to be driving well within his limits, when asked about Q3 Boots replied, ‘I had bad luck really as a hurricane came through during the heat and I had to almost roll the back jumps which cost me the TQ’.  He continued, ‘I’m just a little unlucky as there is a lot of wind in my run while the other 2 (top heats) are OK.  Hopefully tomorrow it might be the other way round’. Happy to leave the track with the overnight TQ, the British driver concluded, ‘the others seem to be pushing quite hard while I’m more comfortable with my car which is what you want for the finals so it’s looking good so far’.


‘We found the steering we needed but we need more forward traction’ was Batlle’s reaction to his P4 in Q3.   Improving his Mugen’s steering by reducing the rear toe in, the Spaniard said he had a little issue with traffic but said of the day overall it was ‘not bad. Two 3rds and 5th enough to be in the Semi Finals’.  Feeling the traction he is lacking, highlighting its ‘just a little not a lot’, is in his MBX7R he said ‘we don’t know exactly what we need to change but maybe after I talk with my pillow tonight I will have the solution for the morning’.


Declaring himself ‘super happy’ with his Mugen, Ongaro described Q3 as ‘another good clean drive’.  Needing another good run to lock himself into a semi final position as he managed only a P21 in Q1, the Italian teenager  said he will play it safe in Q4 but ‘after that will go for it’, that being another TQ run.  Having left his MBX7R unchanged all day, only changing to a different tyre insert for Q2, he said the only planned change for tomorrow would be to fit a fresh set of the Procircuit Road Runners that have been his choice all day.


Posting a second P6 run for the day in Q3, two driver errors in the opening qualifier leaving him only the 30th fastest time, Bryan Baldo said a decision to run a plus 5mm rear shock mount had made the rear end of his Mugen more stable.  Feeling he found good rhythm allowing him to but together good laps he said ‘we need to find a little more speed to get close to the top’.  With his younger brother Oscar, who sits sixth in the overnight standings with three Top 9 runs, planning to try to find extra speed from switching to a harder oil in the centre diff of his MBX7R, Bryan will play safe and leave his car unchanged for Q4 wth the aim of registering a decent third run so he can drop his Q1 result.


Wrapping up the day with his best qualifier, Xray’s Martin Wollanka posted the 7th fastest time.  The Austrian, who had a P8 in Q2, said the run was better but felt his ‘last lap was not so good’.  The former podium finisher added, ‘I prefer racing to qualifying but hopefully we can get one more good run tomorrow’.  Asked about his FX powered XB8, he said, ‘it works very well and for me I would be happy to leave it unchanged but maybe Juraj (Hudy) has some things he wants me to try’. Behind Wollanka, Oscar Baldo was 8th quickest with the Mugen of Juan Carlos Canas and Serpent’s Joern Nuemann completing the Top 10.


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