Cavalieri takes Q2 as TQ is again decided on last lap
2017-11-14 13:04:16 hits:49
Having lost out in the opening round of qualifying with a mistake on his final lap that gave Michal Orlowski the TQ, Ryan Cavalieri got it done on his second attempt in China but it wasn’t without incident with the last lap again being a deciding factor. With Orlowski leading away the field again in Q2, the Schumacher driver would get it wrong at the first double and need marshalling allowing Cavalieri to lead the field from Bruno Coelho. With mistakes from almost every driver come the final lap it was Coelho who was on target for the TQ but running in close proximity to Cavalieri, a mistake by the American would balk the Xray driver and out of his rhythm lead the 4WD World Champion to having a larger mistake in the jumps section that left him with a 31.4-second lap handing Cavalieri the TQ and dropping him to third behind Lee Martin.
With Coelho expressing his frustration with both Cavalieri and race control on the drivers stand over the incident, afterwards Cavalieri said, ‘I had a spin into the corner and he got into the back of me but I think the result was more a reflection of his error in the jump section. I said sorry to him. I was planning to give him room to pass at the next corner’. Commenting on his own performance the former Champion said, ‘the track was a lot dustier that time and there were a lot more mistakes from everyone. The left side was even more challenging’. Running his front tyres for a 3rd time in the qualifier he said is B6 was ‘too aggressive’ because of the wear and for Q3, the final qualifier of the day, he will ‘fit a new set to try smooth it back out’.
‘I was making a clean round and then on the last lap I touched with Cavalieri and thats it. It was his fault’, was Coelho’s view of things. The Portuguese driver sarcastically added, ‘he is not so experienced and he don’t know what to do when he has a faster driver behind him’. Asked how changes to his XB2 had worked, he replied, ‘It was still difficult to get around. The track changed a lot and that time it was very loose on the rear on power. We will make more changes but I think conditions will be different again but the lighting will make it even more challenging’. Having experienced running in darkness under flood lights for the second controlled practice last night he said, ‘with the shadows you can’t get close to the pipe because you can’t tell the difference between the shadow and the pipe. You also can’t see the car well so you can’t see what it is really doing’.
Having taken a ‘try not to crash route rather than the be fast route’ in Q1 to get a P5, Martin said he ‘drove a little harder to get around faster this time’. Running in the second fastest heat, the Yokomo driver had ‘one bad lap’ which he said ‘was a shame in hindsight’ given his closeness to the TQ pace and the fact he ‘hit a corner rather than crash in the hard bit’. Looking to Q3, the European Champion is not a fan of racing under spot lights.
Having struggled in practice leading to him finding himself carry the No.9 in the third fastest heat, Australia’s Kyle McBride would get a P4 for the second round of qualifying. The Associated driver said, ‘I got 10th in the first and now 4th so we are going in the right direction’. The Australian continued, ‘we have been making small changes to the car to get more grip and make it more easy to drive and for the next one I’m going to adjust the camber link and anti squat. you don’t have to be fast, you have to keep it smooth and you’ll be there. That run didn’t feel fast but I got fourth’.