Saturday’s 2wd qualifying and finals got underway with a quick practice run followed by what was hoped to be five rounds of qualifying. Everyone was keen to get proceeding moving, as there were slight concerns over predicted rain due later in the day.
After a quick round of controlled practice it was down to the business of qualifying. Initial thoughts were that the track had more grip than yesterday afternoon; this was more than likely due to the increase in temperatures today.
Just as we were moving into heat 7 of the 8 heats a light rain began to fall, and as a precautionary measure the track covers were quickly applied as the worst of the precipitation past. Within around 15 minutes the rain was gone and it was back to qualifying for heat 8.
When the first round had been completed it was Neil Cragg taking his now customary position at the top of the time sheets, from Tom Cockerill and David Ronnefalk.
The second round of qualifying saw yet more rain, and in heat 4 the covers were again applied. This time the delay was longer and we waited around 40 minutes, with officials anxiously watching the online weather radar before it was deemed clear to return to action, and the covers were removed, thankfully for the final time today.
Round 2 of qualifying saw David Ronnefalk top the times from Neil Cragg, Tom Cockerill and Lee Martin. In round 3 it was again David Ronnefalk who completed a 14 lap run just 2 seconds ahead of Neil Cragg in second, Lee Martin third and Patrick Hofer fourth. In the fourth round it was David Ronnefalk, who was really establishing himself as the man to beat in 2wd at RHR Dirt from Marc Rhienard, Neil Cragg and Renaud Savoya.
Due to the rain delays it was decided to abandon the fifth round of qualifying in order to get the day back on schedule. So with qualifying done and dusted it was David Ronnefalk on pole in the A final from Neil Cragg, Lee Martin, Patrick Hofer, Tom Cockerill, Marc Rhienard, Hubert Honigl, Martin Bayer, Renaud Savoya and Shinadushi Adachi.
The first round of the A main saw Ronnefalk maintain his pole position into the first corner and never look back, if he had David would have seen the relentless Neil Cragg just a couple of seconds behind maintaining a watching brief for any errors from Ronnefalk, unfortunately David made no errors and took a clear win from Cragg second and Lee Martin, some way back from the top two, in third
The second leg of the A final again saw Ronnefalk maintain his lead and build a comfortable 4 second cushion to second place Cragg, who himself had pulled a very nice nine second lead from the third place car of Patrick Hofer.
With two wins from pole the day belonged to David Ronnefalk, who had put in a dominating performance to take the 2wd International crown. With a win in the third and final it was Neil Cragg taking second overall and Lee Martin third.
After a great day’s racing, and a few challenging weather conditions, the RHR crew got down to the business of preparing the track ready for tomorrow’s 4wd qualifying and finals. We’ll be back later with a report on all of Sunday’s 4wd action.