Ronald Völker again set the best time as qualifying resumed on Saturday morning. The Team Yokomo lead driver quickly commented that he was “of course very happy with a TQ run”. Talking of the track conditions, he found “there was a little less overall grip than yesterday, but my BD10 was still fast”. For Q4, which rival Marc Rheinard RC needs to win with a new best time to stop the 2016 World Champion starting on pole, Volker will “keep the car the same, but make a small change to the tyre prep”. Unsure what Q4 will bring, the experienced driver said “at previous indoor ETS races, Q4 has not been fast as the carpet can get sticky, but we’ll have to wait and see how it is”.
With Rheinard crashing out late in the run, second place went to TONISPORT driver Yannic Prümper. Backing up his Q1 result, the driver, racing a privately entered Awesomatix, said that he “again had the same problem as Q1 – the rear was loose in the first minutes”. Set to try his second tyre set for Q4, he will otherwise “keep the car as it is”, adding that for Q3 he had “reduced the power on my Maclan speedo a little, which made the car more consistent”.
Amongst the other top drivers to encounter problems, XRAY’s Bruno Coelho ground to a halt on lap two with a spur gear failure, and Alexander Hagberg had issues late in the run to also retire. This meant Christopher Krapp put a second Yokomo into the top three once again, however the German was not a smiling face back in the pits. “Perhaps the most disappointing third place result you will see,” he later joked. “The car was brilliant and I’m not happy with myself – I know I can drive better. But still it is a solid result for the team and important to lock ourselves into the top half of the grid”. Thinking about the conditions, he added “the track gets more edgy, which I think is what is letting more people make mistakes”. For Q4, he will change nothing on his car and just focus on his driving.
With the issues of the other top runners, Yugo Nagashima and the Serpent team seemed very happy to score fourth place in the round. The Japanese driver, who is on a small world tour after attending last weekend’s Snowbirds race in the USA, said his improved pace came from adding a T-plate stiffener to the rear of his X20 chassis, as well as reducing the rear toe in slightly. Looking to try to get himself into the A Main now, he will make a drastic change for the last qualifier and switch to a carbon chassis plate.
The biggest surprise was Swiss driver Michele Manzo taking fifth overall. The Awesomatix pilot was seeded in the C Heat, and started by saying “that was better than yesterday!” Making a number of changes to his car, switching to a softer differential and also changing to the popular Xtreme Twister bodyshell, he will think if he wants to make any changes for Q4 – not really expecting to be in contention for an A Final spot at the event.
In Pro Stock, Jan Ratheisky took his third TQ in as many rounds, securing the overall pole position. Pleased to have wrapped it up early, he can now use Q4 to test some different things before looking ahead to the Finals – the first leg due to run this evening, with legs two and three on Sunday. Second in Pro Stock was his Xray team-mate Alexandre Duchet. The Frenchman has been slowly improving his results throughout qualifying, with his car being worked on by the car’s designer, Martin Hudy. Simon Lauter keeps himself in the mix with a third in round, but admitted he felt he was missing something – but wasn’t sure exactly what.