August 18, 2018

Volker denies Coelho in Q4 to close in on overall TQ

Ronald Volker has moved a step closure to the overall TQ at the IFMAR World Championships in South Africa with his third TQ of the event.  The Yokomo driver denied Q1 winner Bruno Coelho a second TQ by 0.281 of a second, the latter having spent more than 3/4ths of the qualifier at the top of the time screens.  Behind the arch rivals, their normal second sparring partner Marc Rheinard a notable absentee from this the 10th running of the Touring Car Worlds, it was Viktor Wilck who once again completed the Top 3.  A much more competitive looking Alexander Hagberg brought his Xray home in the 4th fastest time ahead of Christopher Krapp with Loic Jasmin rounding out the Top 6.

Reacting to his run, the fastest qualifying time so far, Volker said, ‘I must say again I didn’t expect to TQ the run after a few laps’.  He added, ‘I went on the curbs in the infield and it set me bouncing off the barrier slightly. I lost a few tenths and never thought I would get the back. It was super close with Bruno. I am very happy to win all three qualifiers today but there is still a long way to go. After Q1 and having a bad first run I happy that worst case I will now start the finals from second on the grid’.  On his BD8 which features a number of new parts that are expected to be on the Japanese company’s next kit release, the reigning World Champion said, ‘we made some slight shock adjustments for this round and it felt like it had more traction’.

For Coelho it was another frustrating run as mistakes again cost him the TQ.  The ETS Champion said, ‘the car was much better for sure but I had some mistakes in the round and they cost me a lot of time.  I still finished just 2/10th from Volker. The mistakes cost me a very important TQ but we are still here to fight. There are two more to go and we will fight to win it (the overall TQ)’.   On his car, the Xray driver commented, ‘now it is much easier to drive and it has good traction from the rear. If we can get a little more steering we are right there (with the set-up).

Summing up his Q4, Wilck said, ‘It was pretty clean run again but I had a small error when Freddy had his mistake and I also had a mistake on the curbs on the 2nd or 3rd lap. In total they cost me about 4/10th, other than that the pace was pretty good’.  Leaving his car unchanged from the previous round but with Q5 to run on used tyres, the podium finisher from the previous Worlds in China said, ‘we need to think if we change the car or not or leave it the same, I’m not sure’.

Crowned 1:12 World Champion earlier in the week at the impressive Welkom RC Arena, Hagberg said, ‘I had a better car that time. It was more to my liking now. It started better than before so for the next one we will continue in that direction and go softer again’.

Krapp was disappointed with his run saying, ‘I don’t know. I had no mistakes but I was too slow. Two runs before I was on the pace now I’m off it. It was a silent run. I couldn’t do anything and we need to find something’.  Asked if he changed the car, the Yokomo driver replied, ‘I changed the bump steer but the effect was the opposite.  Hopefully I will have more steering in the next one’.

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