September 15, 2022

Another Xray 1-2 in Q2 as rain stays away in Italy

Drivers at the IFMAR ISTC World Championship were greeted with a positive start to Day 2 of qualifying in Gubbio, Italy, as the much anticipated bad weather that caused so much controversy yesterday hasn’t yet arrived.  On a dry track, Q2 would be a repeat of last night’s opening qualifying as Xray again lead a 1-2 at the top of the time sheets.  A slightly slower time than Q1, Bruno Coelho stayed in charge with Alexander Hagberg backing up his surprise Q1 performance with another P2 from the second fastest heat.  Christopher Krapp made it an identical Top 3 with the biggest surprise of the round being Hayato Ishioka who posted the fourth fastest time ahead of Alessio Menicucci.

Asked about the 1st of the four rounds of qualifying on today’s schedule, Coelho said, ‘I was surprised when I woke up this morning and it was dry because the weather forecast looked not so good.  It’s good for the event to be able to continue in the dry’.  On his Q2 performance, the reigning Champion said, ‘it was a clean run and I just tried to drive with no mistakes’.  He added, ‘everything is going as we want. I don’t really have anything else to say’.

Summing up his qualifying, the gap to his team-mate smaller than in Q1, Hagberg said, ‘the car was good and I was comfortable for most of the run. I lost time at the end because I didn’t adapt my driving to the understeer than develops over the run.  Otherwise it was good’.  Looking to Q3, which is also expected to be on a dry track, the former 1:12 World Champion said, ‘I will stay the same with my set-up and focus on my driving’.

‘Again a solid run, again really close with Hagberg’, that was Krapp’s view on this morning’s effort.  The Yokomo driver continued, ‘Bruno is so far away it’s frustrating but now that I have two solid runs I am going to try some stuff on the car the to try and close the gap to Bruno.’  The German concluded, ‘Overall I am pretty happy.  Two 3rds is a solid start’.

Only 16th in Q1 due to mistakes that he contributed to both the driver and the poor light, Ishioka said Q2 was a much better effort from him.  Despite having a ‘good car’ for the first qualifier, the Japanese driver made some small suspension changes to his Axon from last night for the morning conditions.  For Q3, he said for now he is thinking of leaving the car unchanged and instead focus on trying to get another strong run in.

‘Today it helps to see the track’, was how Menicucci summed up his improvement.  He explained, ‘I struggled with the light last night and made lots of mistakes. I hit the dots and ended up on the grass’.  The Italian described Q2 as a ‘very clean run’ and said his Xray is ‘perfect’, so much so he plans to leave it unchanged for the next two qualifiers which should be dry with conditions for Q5 looking less ideal as the rain makes its way to Gubbio.

Completing the Top 6 ahead of Mugen’s Ronald Volker, Yannic Prümper lost power in the final two laps.  The Yokomo driver said, ‘I am running 5800mah batteries and it seems they are not enough for this track.  On the second last lap I started to lose power which cost me 6/10th over the 2 laps’.  Asked if he had other batteries he said, ‘No so I am going to have to ask around’.  In addition to his battery issues, the German said, ‘At the beginning (of the heat) my driving was not the best and this also cost me a few tenths’.   Prümper wasn’t the only one to have power issues with Infinity’s Jilles Groskamp dropping to 12th as his battery lost power. The Dutch driver said he knew in tech inspection the battery was not right when he saw the voltage but at that stage it was too late to make a change.

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