It was a battle of the Champions in the second round of qualifying at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championship with 2016 winner Dominic Greiner posting the TQ run ahead of reigning Champion Naoto Matsukura. Leading out the cars for Q2, Q1 pace setter Jilles Groskamp was on for another strong run until he rolled and needing to be marshalled quickly putting him out of contention. Having done the same thing himself in Q1 ending up with a P7, Greiner’s run to the fastest time was not without its moments. The Top Seed used up a lot of his luck reserves as he did a 360 at the end of the straight somehow without hitting anything and also being avoided by the two cars following behind his Capricorn. Despite this Greiner would come back to take the TQ for the round by 1.6-seconds from Matsukura with Infinity team-mate Dario Balerstri completing the Top 3.
‘Almost good’, was how Greiner summed up the second of the six qualifying rounds. He continued, ‘I made a 360 at the end of the straight. I ran wide and drove on the white line and the car spun. I was lucky the other cars didn’t hit me’. A driver always striving for better he was pleased with how his reunion with pit man Thomas Gunsel, saying ‘I had a perfect pit stop’. Having flipped early in Q1, something he admitted after the second qualifier ‘was maybe a driver issue’, the German said, ‘I drove very calm and tried to be smooth on the sections the car can flip and then built up my speed over the qualifier’. Looking to Q3, which will bring the first day of qualifying to a close, he plans to ‘stay same with car’ as ‘hopefully for this one there will be less grip’.
Asked about his performance, Matsukura said, ‘it was not too bad. I had a little mistake, just a small driving error. The track was slower but still edgy so I tried to be smooth with my driving’. Happy with his car’s performance the World Champion over three different RC disciplines said, ‘my focus is to get the points today and then tomorrow I can push more’.
Balestri joked, ‘I just tried to survive on the track’. Top Qualifier at the previous 1:10 World Championship encounter in Miami, he added, ‘I was super slow but had no flip’. A driver chasing the double of 1:8 and 1:10 World Champion, he continued, ‘You really can’t push so I just try to get the points from each heat’.
Posting the fourth fastest time, Tadahiko Sahashi said he improved his car for Q2 having ‘flipped many times’ in the opening round. Another driver who could potentially achieve the double here at RC Addict, the 2013 1:8 World Champion is finding today’s track conditions more tricky compared to yesterday when he topped the opening two rounds of seeding practice. The No.2 seed plans to make further set-up changes for Q3 as he continues to ‘chase the perfect set-up’.
P3 in the first round Jesse Davis took 5th on the second time of asking. Asked how his run was he replied, ‘It was a safe run, not really’. He explained, ‘I crashed one time when I touched the curb and flipped which damaged the rear shock tower so after that I just drove around safe after that’. Continuing he said, ‘I probably could have been 4th or 3rd for the round without the mistake but we’ll fit a new shock tower, and a new rear wing as I broke that too, and we’ll go again’.
Completing the Top 6, Takaaki Shimo said ‘the car is not bad today, yesterday it was super difficult’. Suffering one flip over the 7-minutes he said otherwise the run was OK. Asked if he planned further changes to his Infinity he said, ‘Maybe I will keep it the same and work instead on the driver’.