Last weekend (10-12 April) the Yokomo Euro Touring Series made a long awaited return to Italy with Round 3 taking racers to Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli. The 42nd running of an ETS race, while the weekend would prove hugely successful becoming the championship’s biggest outdoor event it would also give the rc community the chance to honour the memory of MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli after whom the track is proudly named and make a donation to the Marco Simoncelli Foundation which is based just a few hundred metres from the track.
On the Sunday of the event the ETS organised a raffle to raise funds for the non-profit social welfare organisation with the three reigning world champions, Naoto Matsukura, Marc Rheinard and Alexander Hagberg donating bodyshells along with both Yokomo and Xray donating kits as prizes. A rider who had a huge following within the world of rc racing, with his 58 race number being carried by all the top ETS drivers following his tragic death in 2011 and defending ETS champion Ronald Volker carrying the famous 58 on his car over the weekend, the raffle would raise €650.
Following the event, ETS organiser Uwe Rheinard together with the series time keeper Hartmut Wenzel and press officer Oisin O’Briain visited the Foundation’s offices on where Marco’s girlfriend Kate Fretti accepted the donation. In acknowledgement of the donation, which will go towards the building of a day centre for the disabled in Marco’s home town of Coriano, the Marco Simoncelli Foundation issued a silver membership card to the ‘ETS Family’. Having built a link with the Foundation, both Kate and the ETS have pledged to form a greater collaboration for the benefit of the charity when the Euro Touring Series returns to Riccione next season.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 - add a comment
Yannic Prumper ended a 3-year winning hiatus today when he headed a Yokomo 1-2 on the return of the Euro Touring Series to Italy. Last winning an ETS encounter in 2012 when he took victory at the season finale in Traiskirchen, the German claimed his third ever ETS win today in Riccione thanks to his A1 winning race time. Going into the third A-Main as one of three drivers who could take the overall win, second would secure him the top step in the podium, his A1 time giving him the tie break over A2 winner Meen Vejrak. Vejrak’s ETS first podium finish, the first asphalt race of Season #8 would also see Xray’s Bruno Coelho claim his first podium of the championship, the exciting Portuguese driver gaining a lot of new supporters with his efforts over the weekend. For defending champion Ronald Volker the event would end a 15-race, 3-year, run of podium finishes for the Yokomo driver as he finished 4th overall. Top Qualifier in Italy, the bonus point for pole position means with half the season complete Volker still maintains his lead in the points standings.
‘Finally after 3-years of being so close its worked out’, said a very happy Prumper. Starting from third on the grid behind Volker and Coelho, the 21-year-old said while he had no idea why his Muchmore powered BD7 was better than the previous two mains he also ‘got lucky when Bruno had a slide at the beginning (of the race)’. Allowing him through to second on the opening lap, Prumper would hold position until a recovering Coelho attempted a pass on the penultimate lap but contact would result in a body tuck yet again scuppering an exciting climax to the race. With a body tuck also ruining the prospect of a great battle between Volker and Coelho in A1 maybe its time the structure of bodyshells needs to be looked at. On the final lap Coelho would let Prumper resume position, the winner complimenting his competitor afterwards for showing ‘great sportsmanship’. Putting him right in the championship hunt as he sits just one point off Volker, Prumper said he is already looking forward to Round 4 in Mattsee in three weeks time pointing out it was a strong track for him last year as he made Volker work hard for the win there.
Happy to claim his first ETS podium finish and be part of a Yokomo 1-2, Vejrak was at the same time a little frustrated he never got the chance to race with his team-mate for the overall win in A3. Starting fourth behind Prumper, an out of shape Coehlo would make contact with his BD7 sending him off the track and back to last. Setting the fastest lap of A3 he said while his car was ‘really good’ the time lost on the first lap was too much to make up. His first ETS outing of the 2014/15 season, the 2012 Nitro Touring Car World Champion said the weekend has shown he has made a big step forward with driving the Yokomo. With the result putting him in the mix in terms of the overall championship he confirmed he will now contest the rest of the ETS season.
Struggling in A3, having had one of the strongest cars over the opening laps of the previous two mains, Coelho said his T4 was ‘super strange’ for the closing race adding that the crash with Volker on the last lap of A2 must have broken broken something as he ran the same set-up. Although the weekend still marked the championship newcomer’s first podium finish, he said ‘it is disappointing to know you have the best car and when all is perfect others prevent you from doing your job’. While the 21-year-old said he doesn’t really know what to expect at the next round in Austria, the event run on rather unique track, he will prepare the best he can and see what happens.
With ‘nothing to win or lose’, Volker switched cars for A3 saying they decided after struggling in the early laps of A1 & 2 to go with his second BD7 and ‘just give it a shot’. The 11-time ETS race winner said the car was better with it have ‘good rear traction’ from the start adding the set of tyres & weather, it much hotter for A3, may have contributed to the improvement. Describing his 4th overall as ‘lucky’, given the previous mains, he said the result was a copy of his arch rival Rheinard’s when the Tamiya driver TQ’d but ended up fourth in the final. Happy for his two team-mate’s success, the four time back to back champion said today’s result throws the championship wide open. He continued with ‘Yannic as well as Bruno and Vejrak now contenders I think its going to create a lot of interest in the rest of the season’. Having come to Italy joint leader of the championship Marc Rheinard would finish 5th overall a result that drops the Tamiya driver to third in the standings 2-points behind Prumper.
Also decided in A3 was the Formula A-Main. Having messed up the start in A1, recovering to finish 2nd and then having a bad A2, Top Qualifier David Ehrbar would win A3 to give Serpent’s F110 SF2 its first overall ETS victory. Behind the German, A2 winner Martin Hofer would claim 2nd overall for Yokomo while Italy’s Michele Romagnoli, who took A1, would complete the podium. With defending champion Marek Cerny wrapping up the Pro Stock win in A2, the third final would see Hofer win to finish runner-up. Surprising everyone when he TQ’d the opening qualifier Team C’s Johannes Sperr capped off a great weekend as he completed the podium at Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
View the complete event results here.
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Sunday, April 12, 2015 - add a comment
Meen Vejrak sits perfectly poised to claim his first ever Yokomo Euro Touring Series victory as the Thai driver was dramatically handed a last lap A2 win when Top Qualifier Ronald Volker ran into the back of race leader Bruno Coelho on the final run down the main straight. Having got past team-mate Yannic Prumper earlier in the race, Vejrak was able to slip through the chaos with three corners to go to take the win half a second from a recovering Coelho while A1 winner Prumper completed the Top 3.
With Coelho and Volker also making contact in the opening A-Main as the former tried a pass on the defending champion, Coelho this time round made an impressive pass on the Yokomo driver stick and looked to be on his way to check out for the win. With Volker’s car improving, with 2-minutes to go he started to close the gap on the leading Xray. Right with the Portugese driver, on the final run through the sweeper Volker would get a better run on his rival but half way down the straight he would spectacularly end up rear ending the white T4.
Giving his reaction to the incident Coelho, ‘I think I made a great overtake on him (Volker) and then I only try to defend and do nothing stupid but on the last lap he crashed me. There was no way to pass me in that place’. One of the most exciting drivers to emerge in top flight international electric touring car racing in recent years, the 21-year-old said ‘at least I still managed to get second so the overall win is still on and for sure I will go for it in A3′. The overall win is now a three way battle but even with a win in the closing leg Coelho needs to run a faster ran time than Vejrak’s A2 winning time or if Prumper can get second he must beat the A1 winning time.
Getting a 10-second penalty for causing the incident and going to Coelho’s pits immediately afterwards to apologise and take the full blame, Volker said ‘I feel absolutely terrible and know I made the wrong decision’. He continued ‘I knew it was risky because of the bump before the sweeper but I gambled and got the perfect line onto the straight but I wasn’t prepared for the speed difference and collected Bruno, I can fully understand Team Xray being mad at me. It was not intentional and in hinesight I should have settle for second not just in terms of having a chance for the win today but in terms too for the overall championship’.
‘Car is improving and so is my luck’ joked Vejrak after the race. The former Nitro Touring Car World Champion said he was doubly lucky. Improving his car for the second A-Main by again changing back to the rear arms he ran in qualifying and fitting a more flexible top deck, he said having got by Prumper a broken sensor cover, which allowed the motor timing to change, left him lacking straight like speed but luckily the motor kept running. Focusing on keeping Prumper behind on the last lap he said all of a sudden he was leading. Describing his BD7 as ‘perfect’ he said other than fit a new motor sensor cover he would run it as is confident he can now race for a win on true performance.
Prumper said a bad line over the bump unsettled his car causing him to hit the curbing onto the straight allowing Vejrak through. Able to come back at his team-mate he said he did have enough to try for a pass. While a second place finish could secure him the overall win he said due to the race time tie breaker he has no choice but to go for the win in A3. Behind the Top 3, Tamiya’s Marc Rheinard would finish 4th followed by Alexander Hagberg with Freddy Sudhoff completing the Top 6.
In a more sedate second A-Main of the Xray Pro Stock class Marek Cerny took the win to claim his second overall win of the Season #8. Behind the defending champion, Christian Donath would finish second having got by the Yokomo of former champion Martin Hofer. In Formula, Hofer would take the win from Roman Pichler and Marco Donadelli as A1 winner Michele Romagnoli and Top Qualifier David Ehrbar had a difficult race.
View the complete event results here.
View our event image gallery here.
Sunday, April 12, 2015 - add a comment