Less than a second separated the top six drivers when qualifying came to a close for those competing in the Formula Two class at the 46th running of the International Motorbootrennen in Brodenbach, Germany.
At the top of the time sheet was the 2016 UIM European F2 Champion Uvis Slakteris. Although the Latvian driver had completed the least number of laps he didn’t feel that confident for a man that had just set the fastest time around the tricky two pin course.
Today it feels good”, but I will tell you how it really feels tomorrow night.
Lining up alongside him and perhaps providing Slakteris with his element of doubt is the fast charging Stefan Hagin. The German driver felt totally at ease with his performance today, safe in the knowledge that his UIM F2 World Championship campaign won’t start until July at the Belgium Grand Prix, rather than in a couple of weeks time in Lithuania.
Yes, perhaps I’m in a better position to push that little bit harder compared to those drivers here who are using this event as a final ‘shake-down’ before they race in Kaunas.
Third quickest was the man from Lithuania, Edgaras Riabko. This came as a surprised to many in the pits after he had struggled for most of the day with mechanical issues.
I went out in the free practice and knew early on that I had a problem with the trim. All I had was ‘hero-trim’ so I spent most of the morning back in the pits.
Catching many people’s eye was the young Dutch driver Ferdinand Zandbergen, who posted the fourth quickest time on his F2 debut.
Team Manager and mentor Sami Selio said,
Part of the reason we entered him to race here was so that he could get acquainted with the F2 drivers he will compete against this year. We told him what we needed today and he went out and did it, I can’t ask for more than that at this stage.
It was a tough day in the office though for Rupp Temper as he attempts to win the event for a third consecutive year. During free practice he broke a prop shaft whilst heading into the top turn which resulted in him taking out both turn buoys.
The fine for destroying the turn buoys pails into insignificance when compared to what is now lying on the Mosel river bed.
When he came ashore following qualifying he said that he still felt a little ‘rusty’ but as his grid position matched his hotel room number he was happy with that.
Due to time restrictions placed on the race organisation by the local authorities, the numerous delays that had occurred throughout the day meant that the first F2 heat due to take place on Saturday afternoon will now take place on Sunday morning If everything goes to plan then that will be followed by a further two heats to establish the 2017 F2 winner.