September 15, 2022

Groskamp splits Xray’s in Q3, but Coelho still in control

After his battery issues in Q2, Jilles Groskamp has bounced back to become the first driver to split the Xray’s at the top of the times. The Infinity driver set the 2nd fastest time in the third round of qualifying with a 4/10th advantage over Alexander Hagberg but upfront it was Bruno Coelho who remained in clear control of proceedings. The only driver to run 19-laps as wind made for loose conditions, Coelho’s rivals have just one last chance to deny the reigning World Champion from defending his title from the TQ, few expecting any other outcome here in Gubbio.

‘I’m best of the rest as Bruno is too far ahead’, said a very pleased Groskamp as he returned to his pit table in the Infinity camp. The 2012 World Champion continued, ‘compared to the others we are doing really well and it is really nice to be in the mix’. Ask about his fix for his Q1 power issues, he replied, ‘we went to a bigger battery after the problem this morning to be safe. I had more power and it was consistent to the end’. He added, ‘I was a little worried the heavier battery would change the balance (of the car) but it was still really good.’

‘A solid run’ was how Coelho summed up his third TQ run. The Portuguese driver continued, ‘you could feel the wind a lot, some corners you had lots of steering and other you had less because of it’. He concluded, ‘the car is working well and we will try to keep it like that’.

Hagberg felt the start of his run was ‘not so good’ and that is something he will work on for Q4. Happy with his Xray through the 2-minute mark to 4-minutes, he said the lack of tyre warmers is making it difficult to get temperature into the tyres so he will make a set-up change to try get the tyres in come in quicker. The Swede added that the wind meant grip was lower than the first run of the day as dust was carried onto the track.

Posting a P4 for the round, Christopher Krapp said, ‘sadly changes didn’t go well. They didn’t suit used tyres.’ The Yokomo driver added, ‘they (Xray) seem to have the advantage in the amount of grip they have so we are trying to find more grip’. Describing the wind as a ‘huge problem at the end of the straight’ and making it ‘a gamble’ to make the corner, on his Q3 time he said, ‘we are still close and overall the result is OK as he are now safe for a Top 5 start, especially with the weather coming’. For Q4, he will change small stuff on the car.

Leading the home charge at these World Championship, Alessio Menicucci posted another strong P5 run. The Xray driver said the wind really effected the car at the end of the straight but overall contributed to a loose track as made the track surface dirty. Despite fighting the wind, he was happy with his driving describing the qualifier as a ‘very good run’.

Sixth fastest, his best run so far, Awesomatix’s Marc Rheinard said, ‘Sixth is a big improvement but only because everyone else crashed’. The 3-time World Champion said, ‘I am just drifting around the track. I don’t know how they (his rivals) have the grip. It’s not that I have no side-bite but I also have no forward traction. It’s like I am driving on plastic tyres’.

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