August 17, 2018

Coelho takes opening qualifier in Welkom

Bruno Coelho has taken the opening round of qualifying at the Electric Touring Car World Championships in Welkom, South Africa.  The Xray driver topped Q1 in a more convincing time than expected having a 2-seconds advantage over Freddy Sudhoff who in turn was just 4/10ths up on Viktor Wilck.  For Top Seed & reigning Champion Ronald Volker it was not the start to qualifying the Yokomo driver was looking.  He suffered contact with the wall on the main straight after losing his car on the curbing entering the straight dropping him to fifth where he would remain to the end.  Instead it was Christopher Krapp who was top Yokomo with a P4 for the first of the six rounds with Alexander Hagberg completing the Top 6 to end Day 2 of the 10th running of the championships.

A much happier looking Coelho said, ‘After a long discussion we didn’t change the car from CP3.  We decided to leave it and see what happens because we didn’t yet know everyone’s actual 5-minute pace.  We know we are not fastest over 3-laps but we were good on 5-minutes’.   The dominant ETS Champion continued, ‘the qualifier didn’t start so good because at the end of the straight I lose the rear on the first lap but the car felt good and I make a big push.  Then Volker had a mistake and I could see he was also losing the rear so I think the problem is the same for everyone’.  With four qualifiers on tomorrow’s schedule he plans to use the morning’s two free practice runs to ‘try to improve the car to be be faster and more easy to drive’ admitting ‘at the moment I am driving very careful’.

‘Crazy feeling. Everything worked out perfect’, was Sudhoff’s reaction to his P2.  The Awesomatix driver said, ‘we went back to the set-up from CP2 and the car was easy to drive but it was even cooler so again the car was a little sliding around’.  He continued, ‘It was super close between the Top 5 and my last lap was the better one against Viktor which gave me second’.  Looking to tomorrow the German said, ‘there is still a 2-second gap to Bruno so we will use free practice to try get more rear bite in the car but I will go out & enjoy driving’.

Reacting to his first qualifier, Wilck called it ‘a decent run’ but added, ‘I missed the curbing on the first lap and spun out in the chicane on the last lap otherwise I it would have been closer with Freddy.  I lost 6/10ths and he was 4/10ths in front’.  The Serpent driver continued, ‘I think the car is ok and I just need to do good driving and a little luck on the curbing. I will just focus a little better tomorrow’.

‘Seems I am a small bit off the pace and I’m struggling a bit with the new chassis’, was Krapp’s view on Q1.  The multiple Worlds finalist, who destroyed his race car in the second controlled practice and had to build a new car said, ‘I’m missing steering and traction. I’m just missing a little bit compared to the first car. I’m missing just that little extra. The set-up is identical to the other car and its 99% the same to drive but I’m missing that 1% which we now need to find’.  The German also felt his driving wasn’t fully up to scratch saying, ‘In the end I didn’t drive perfect. Freddy was catching me and I started to overdrive’.

Volker explained his P5 saying, ‘I had a big mistake going onto the straight.  I accelerated while still on the curb and hit the wall coming onto the straight and this cost me at least P2’.  He added, ‘My warm-up was not good enough and I had a bad first lap so the pace was only good enough for P2 but then I threw away good points.  Anyway there are six qualifiers and three count so there is nothing lost yet’.

Having ended practice on a high, Hagberg’s opening qualifier didn’t go as well.  The Xray driver said, ‘we made a set-up change and it didn’t work.  I lost too much steering so we will go back’.  Behind the Swede, Loic Jasmin would get a P7 ahead of Meen Vejrak and Jan Ratheisky, who TQ’d the opening Formula World Cup qualifier at the Welkom RC Arena, with the Top 10 completed by Nicholas Lee.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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