Viljami Kutvonen led an Awesomatix 1-2 in the penultimate round of qualifying at the DHI Cup, the Finnish ace setting a new fastest time ahead of team-mate Freddy Südhoff. Becoming the third different driver to post a TQ run at the 17th edition of the Danish event, Kutvonen’s result sets the stage for a 5-way shot out in the final qualifier to decide the 2017 Top Qualifier. Behind the much improved Awesomatix duo, Ronald Volker was to complete the Top 3 just ahead of his Yokomo team-mate Naoki Akiyama. Having crashed on the last lap of the previous qualifier, popping a rear shock off his VBC, Yannic Prumper would bring home ‘a safe’ P6 for the round behind the Xray of Alexander Hagberg who lacked pace due to a ‘too stable’ car.
Having qualifying and finished 2nd to Volker in Odense on more than one occasion, while Kutvonen was happy to put his A800 on top of the time sheets and into contention for a first overall TQ he said, ‘its still not perfect but it the best its been so far this weekend’. He continued, ‘Its always the same at DHI, my best qualifiers are the last two so now I need to TQ the last one’. Having made changes to the flex of his car for Q3, he said this made it ‘easier to drive’ but he hopes with ‘very small changes’ to the set-up for the last qualifier he push harder for the full 5-minutes.
Setting the fastest lap of the round, Sudhoff said his A800, which features a different harder chassis to that of Kutvonen, is ‘getting better and better’ and was ‘now easier to drive than before’. ‘Super happy now with the car’, he said having suffered a few small mistakes over the 5-minutes he will leave the car as it is and just focus on his own driving.
‘I’m not too happy with Q3’ was a not too pleased looking Volker’s reaction to ending up 1.3-seconds off Kutvonen’s TQ pace. The German explained, ‘I had no problem with the car rolling this time but now I did not have enough steering to challenge’. Having gone too far with the set-up change on his BD8, he said ‘we need to go back a bit’. While he and team-mate Akiyama currently sit 1-2 in the qualification points standings, the World Champion said ‘its wide open now but hopefully we can stay 1-2 in the last one’.
Going up the oil in the diff of his BD8, Akiyama said his car was much better, adding the times were ‘super close’. Having taken the opening qualifier and going into the final heat as a contender for his first international TQ, the Yokomo protege feels reducing the power settings on his Yokomo speedo should make his car more easy to drive therefore improving his chances for a good fourth qualifier.
‘Its not so good now’ was Hagberg’s reaction after Q3. A veteran of the DHI Cup, this being his 13th consecutive trip to the event, the Swede said, ‘we went in the wrong direction with the set-up and the car was too stable’. He continued, ‘we will go back to before and change something else and hopefully we’ll be back on the pace’.
Prumper said, ‘after I crashed in the last one I had to make a safe run but it was too safe and too slow’. Feeling his VBC D09 is ‘too lazy on rotation’, the German will ‘change the car a little for the last one’, changing to less toe in and a different camber link.