April 20, 2024

Ongaro comes good in Q3

Davide Ongaro finally came good at the Philippine Masters with the Team Associated driver topping the third & penultimate round of qualifying in Manila after a rocky start to the 12th edition to the race.  A crash with a turned over car in Q1 and his wheels struggling with the Asian heat in Q2, a new set of wheels for Round 3 seemed to put the double World Champion’s quest for another win in the capital city back on track.  Ongaro would post the fastest qualifying time so far heading home the Sparko of Ryan Pavidis with Ryan Lutz completing the Top 3.  Having TQ’d the opening qualifier and backed that up with a P2 in the second round, Alex Bernadzik would struggle on his third attempt coming away with a P4 ahead of top local Dino Jacinto.  After topping Q2, Joern Neumann would suffer a flame out in the final half minute but afterwards the German admitted he was struggling with the hotter conditions.  After two impressive Top 3 runs, Atsushi Hara said his chances of continuing that form ended on the first lap after he opened the heat with a series of first lap mistakes.

‘Finally it was good to drive and I had no traffic this time’, was how Ongaro described his TQ run.  He continued, ‘I was a bit lucky with a marshal on the straight but overall now I am happy and I’m getting used to the layout’.  Asked about his wheel issue, he replied, ‘our wheels are too soft for this temperature so we changed to different wheels and everything start to work.’  Looking to the final qualifier, the overall TQ wide open, he said, ‘We will try something different because now that we have found the problem and can try to improve the set of the car more.’

Pavidis was pleased with his effort explaining, ‘we put more grip back into the car and I was way more comfortable with it’.  The 22-year-old continued, ‘it is pretty racey now.  It’s not super quick but I can drive it.’  Running Hotrace’s clay compound Sahara tyre here at the Circulo Verde track, he said the only thing he will change on the car for the final qualifier is to fit a fresh set of tyres.

‘An improvement’, was how Lutz summed up his P3 run.  The Kyosho driver and current points leader of the Asian Buggy Championships having won the season opener in New Zealand, asked if the improvement was his or JQ’s idea he joked, ‘we’ll say it was his idea.’  Asked if he planned to go safe or try more set-up changes for the last round, he said, ‘we are going to try something in eBuggy and see how that feels and then we might transfer it over the nitro car.’

Reacting to his run Bernadzik said, ‘that was not very good’.  He continued, ‘I don’t know what it was but it felt slower and for the last one we will make a few changes to get more grip.’


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