Orlowski takes Q1 from Cavalieri on final lap
2017-11-14 13:02:04 hits:46
Top seed Michal Orlowski has taken the opening round of qualifying at the 2WD Offroad World Championships in China. After rain delayed the start of Day 2’s action, the first of the five qualifiers got underway with Orlowski making a cautious start as from the back 10th seed Ryan Cavalieri showed Team Associated had finally found their way on the challenging Xiamen track. Going to the top of the timing screens, Cavalieri looked to have bagged the first TQ with a big enough gap over the recovering Orlowski but contrasting last laps threw up a surprise. With Cavalieri touching the pipe on his final lap, Orlowski would post his fastest lap on his last lap with Cavalieri’s advantage turning to a 1/10th of a second deficit, the duo the only drivers to make 12 laps. Behind, fastest man on the track Bruno Coelho would somehow salvage a 3rd despite a number of crashes, with David Ronnefalk, Lee Martin and Dustin Evans completing the Top 6. For defending champion Spencer Rivkin the first qualifier would net the American the 11th fastest time.
Surprised to get the TQ, Orlowski said, ‘On the last lap I didn’t know if I had finished or not so I drove the best lap I could. It was to be my fastest lap and it gave me the TQ’. The Schumacher driver continued, ’It was a bit sketchy at the start. The first laps were not the best as I was a bit nervous. I hit the pipe and spun and then David (Ronnefalk) was behind me so I pushed a bit harder and starting climbing up the order. When I was in second I just want to try to get to the finish but then I had a few small mistakes. I knew it was very close but to get the TQ is a big confidence boost for the next one’. Asked about track conditions following the rain, the Polish teenager said, ‘the car is always on the edge, you don’t feel when it is going to spin out so it is hard to keep it on the track. For the next one we will make some set-up changes for this.’
‘Overall it was pretty good’, was Cavalieri’s reaction after Q1, the American happy to finally be on the pace but at the same time a little frustrated to lose the TQ on the final lap. He added, ‘I was really surprised how good my car felt in the warm-up and it was a flawless run until the last lap. I knew it was really close with Orlowski and when I messed up in the middle of the last lap I tried to make back the time but got a little tight to the pipe’. Asked about his marked improvement in pace, he replied, ‘we made really good changes to the car today. They have made it really comfortable and in the jumps section its now really good. We also improved the corner speed which helps a lot’.
Commenting on his first qualifying attempt, Coelho said, ‘I am kind of surprised with the place I made. My pace was good but I crashed a lot’. The Xray driver continued, ‘the track is very difficult after the rain and there was cars everywhere so like I said before the guy who makes the least number of mistakes will come out on top. I had three mistakes and flipped twice but fortunately I got 3rd place even though I lost 5-seconds in mistakes’.
‘Considering I was marshalled 3 times I’m happy to get 4th’, was Ronnefalk’s reaction. With two mistakes in the jumps section, the HB Racing driver said, ‘I lowered the punch in the electronics for that one and went too low so I will go back up a bit for the next one so I feel more comfortable on the jumps’. On track conditions, the Swede said, ‘the grip is down a lot I think so I will make a few changes but mainly to the electrics’.