March 5, 2023

Volker takes TQ from Brunet at MIBO International

Ronald Volker is the Top Qualifier for the inaugural MIBO International Race.  The Mugen driver claimed pole position in the Czech Republic when he posted the fastest TQ run of the weekend in the fifth & final qualifier this morning (Sunday).  His second TQ run equalling the tally of Xray’s Antoine Brunet, it was the only 25-lap run of the weekend that gave the German the tie break over his French rival here in Hrotovice.  Summing up the deciding run, Volker said, ‘there was some pressure going on as I needed to TQ that one.  In the beginning Eric (Dankel) was all over, he had great pace.  I managed to keep it a clean run and as I hoped the track was slightly quicker than yesterday’.  Looking to the triple finals, the former World Champion said, ‘this is a very very tough track because of the boards so it is important to have as easy a car as I can.  As always on carpet it is not too easy to pass so once I have a car I can hold my line I should be good. Obviously I am hoping to not find myself in the position of having to defend’.

Commenting on his final qualifying attempt having held the overnight provisional TQ, Brunet said, ‘It was so, so, the car changed a lot and I struggled with my driving.  The car was too aggressive for me’.  Putting in an impressive performance yesterday, the 25-year-old’s struggled start to Day 3 of the event was also compound by some traffic issues despite the two drivers involved getting plenty of warning from onroad track announcer and former racer Zdenko Kunak.  Asked given his car been aggressive in Q5’s morning conditions if he would change it for the opening A-Main he said he would leave it unchanged as he expects the track to change again and his focus will be on his driving and trying to overtake Volker.

After the high of last night’s penultimate qualifier, which he topped, Oliver Havranek described Q5 as ‘terrible’.  He continued, ‘I didn’t change my set-up but the car felt strange at the beginning which led to me making some mistakes.  I destroyed the car’.  Asked what he can do starting from 3rd on the grid, the Slovak driver replied, ‘It depends if Antoine goes after Ronald and attacks.  We will see what happens’.  Behind Havranek, Dankel starts fourth ahead of Christopher Krapp and Dionys Stadler.

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March 5, 2023

Zalewski 2WD Top Qualifier at MIBO International

Bartek Zalewski is the 2WD Top Qualifier at the MIBO International in the Czech Republic, the young up & coming Polish talent taking the TQ from 4WD Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho.  Coming down to the fifth & final round of qualifying, with two TQ runs on Saturday giving Zalewski the overnight lead, Coelho would top Q5 from Zalewski but that P2 would improve the 16-year-olds points tally and secure him the overall TQ by 2-points.  Coelho’s second TQ run in 2WD, he will start second with Q3 winner Zsolt Bajusz lining up third and Jessica Palsson fourth.  Reacting to his TQ Zalewski said, ‘I’m happy. My goal for the finals is to be consistent and be as fast as I can and see what that brings’.

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March 4, 2023

Havranek hits the top in Q4

Having been close in Q2 & 3, Oliver Havranek finally hit the top in Q4 at the MIBO International Race.  Only a tenth of a second off Xray team-mate Antoine Brunet in Q3,  the Slovak driver would top penultimate qualifier just ahead of the Mugen’s of Ronald Volker and Eric Dankel as he laid down the fastest 5-minute run of the day.  The third different driver to post a TQ run, he now goes into Sunday’s morning fifth & final round up against Brunet and Volker with a chance of becoming Top Qualifier.

Just 0.083 quicker than Volker, Havranek was delighted with his TQ but admitted ‘that was a close one’.  He added, ‘I didn’t think I could win this one because Antoine was faster at the beginning.  After he made a mistake I was first but I saw Ronald was gaining the last few laps but I held on. It was a really close finish’.  Asked about track conditions, he replied, ‘traction was higher for me now than before.  It was the most grip of the weekend but the morning could change that’.  A confidence boosting result, the 18-year-old is ready to give it his all in the morning showdown saying, ‘we will see tomorrow if we have the possibility of the TQ’.

Asked about his fourth attempt, Q2 ending with a crash and Q3 effected by the damage done from the impact, Volker said, ‘I didn’t know it was that close at the finish.  They kept announcing I was in 3rd place when I could have had a chance at TQ’.  While suffering a mistake mid run, taking a positive into tomorrow he said, ‘the car was better than before and the overall TQ is still open’.  Asked if he had a plan he said  he would try a set-up change Dankel made to his example of Mugen’s upcoming kit release for Q4 that netted him the fastest lap of the round.

Asked about his P5 in Q4 having been on target to wrap up the overall TQ, Brunet replied, ‘It was just one mistake, the car was a little better than before and I had more corner speed.  I’m happy with the car so I’ll get a good sleep tonight and try again tomorrow’.

Rounding out the day with a P4, Christopher Krapp summed up the run as ‘not so good’ adding ‘we are still struggling’.  He continued ‘we just discovered before the round that I had a tyre issue from my earlier crashes.  The tyres are not round, they are more like an egg after the crashes’.  Hoping this is part of the reason for his struggles, the Yokomo driver will mix the best of sets of tyres in hope of improving the car for the remainder of the event.

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