August 18, 2018

Volker survives dramatic finish to take Q2 in South Africa

Ronald Volker has taken the second round of qualifying at the Electric Touring Car World Championships in South Africa.  The reigning champion kicked off Day 3 of the event by topping the first of the day’s 4 qualifier from last night Q1 winner Bruno Coelho with a dramatic finish to the heat eliminating three of the leading contenders.  P2 in the opening qualifier, Freddy Sudhoff was again in the hunt for a top result being right in contention for a TQ this time round but on his final run through the fast chicane he hit the board bouncing out into the path of Viktor Wilck who then got collected by Christopher Krapp. With all three cars instantly retiring and being attended to by a marshall, Volker would somehow run through the carnage unscathed to finish his final lap securing a TQ run 4/10ths up on Coelho.  Benefiting from the pile-up, Alexander Hagberg would complete the Top 3 nearly 3-seconds behind with Loic Jasmin inheriting a P4 ahead of Meen Vejrak and Nicholas Lee, the latter running in the second fastest heat group.

‘I got lucky not to end up as the fourth destroyed car in the sweeper.  Somehow I avoided the 3 cars and a marshal but I did have time to slow down’,  was Volker’s reaction after Q2.  Getting only a P5 for Q1 after a mistake, the Yokomo driver continued, ‘It was a crazy close qualifier with a crazy ending. I don’t know how many people where on point.  It was super close. I was just trying to focus on no mistakes at the end. I didn’t want to risk losing at least P2 but I’m very happy to TQ this round, the extra point is so important’.  On his car’s performance the Top Seed said, ‘It was better than Q1.  Practice this morning helped us a lot.  We changed the flex of the car and that gave a bit more traction’.

Coelho summed up his second attempt as ‘not a good qualifier from my point. I did a few mistakes which cost me a lot time’.   The Portuguese driver, who had a big off during the morning free practice which he said sounded worse than it actually was, continued, ‘the car is easier to drive today but it is not fast and we are still working on that point’.  He concluded, ‘the car could have been better but so too could my driving’.

Team-mate Hagberg reported a similar story saying, ‘It was not a good run. I had a small mistake in the middle and spun out. I as lucky to get third but it is important to get good points and I’ll take them’.  The Swede continued, ‘this pile up shows really how difficult the track is and mistakes can happy that cause a different result. Everyone is on the limit and you can see it is challenging for everyone with all the cars difficult to drive but we will try to improve our car for the next one’.

‘A lucky 4th for sure’, was Jasmin’s reaction afterwards.  The No.8 seed, each of the heats containing 8 cars, the Awesomatix driver added, ‘the car was little better but the problem for me is I start last and with the wait the tyres are really cold for the first lap.  After that it is OK but for sure there is room for improvement and we will try something different for the next one’.

In contention for the TQ before his error, Sudhoff explained, ‘I clipped the chicane and the transmission got stuck so I couldn’t move the car and for that I’m sorry to the other guys’.  He added, ‘Like in the first qualifier the car was amazing to drive but this time I messed it up myself’.  Wilck said, ‘First I hit Freddy and then Christopher hit me, he couldn’t avoid two cars’.  Krapp said, ‘that could have been a 1-2 with Ronald but I’m not that disappointed because the car was better today.  I also stayed with my own line because I tried to copy the others yesterday in Q1 and run on the curbs but with my car it didn’t work.  It was all going good til the last lap but I hope that is my bad luck now out of the way’.

View the complete event results here.

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