Alexander Hagberg pulled off a stunning drive in the third & deciding leg of the Ride Modified A-main at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series fourth round in Poland this evening to claim both his and Xray’s first win in the championship’s premiere class. The day was to be very much an Xray affair at the podium presentations as team driver Zdenko Kunák took victory in the third Pro Stock A-Main to make it a double success for the Slovak company.
Having won the second A-Main after a rare mistake by Top Qualifier Ronald Volker, Hagberg had pretty much conceded the win to the reigning champion going into the final race of the day in Poznan based on the German’s domination of practice, qualifying and the opening A-Main but the Yokomo driver had a surprise lack of pace in the deciding race. Securing his best ETS finish in the preceding race in Gran Canaria where he finished second, Hagberg could smell his first win but showed great patience waiting for the right opportunity to make his move on the man who has pretty much dominated the indoor carpet scene. Making a pass in which the pair made contact to go to the front, the 22-year-old pulled clear and kept his nerve to take the leg ahead of the Tamiya’s of Marc Rheinard and Viktor Wilck to claim a popular overall victory which keeps the title race alive as the series now moves outdoors and on to asphalt.
Delighted with his win, but not half as much as his father Bosse, Hagberg said his car felt really good and was by far the best car out there. Having finally added his name to the exclusive list of ETS race winners in a year in which he also took one of America’s biggest races, the Snowbirds, he said he is really looking forward to Round 5 at the start of June as he feels his Xray team have a better car this season for asphalt as he proved in Gran Canaria. A long time driver with Xray, Hagberg thanked the team for their support along with his new electrics sponsor ORCA for whom this is also their first win in the world renowned touring car series.
Finish up fourth in the third leg, overall Volker ended up on the second step of the podium and after having had such an advantage over his rivals all weekend was clearly disappointed at losing out on his third victory of the season but added that Hagberg was a deserving winner. Struggling with the handling of his car Volker said for no apparent reason the car had gone from being super easy to drive to being edgy and having a lot of understeer despite making no set-up changes and he couldn’t respond to Hagberg’s pace. Regarded as best driver in the World on carpet, he said he wanted to thank his engineer Umino, a man who has been key to his success, for all his help over the indoor part part of the season. Having come so close to successfully defending his ETS title today, Volker said he must now switch his attentions to racing outdoors and he is looking forward to the extra challenge.
Continuing his 100% record of podium finishes in this season’s series, the only driver with such a record, Rheinard said he was glad to see the end of the indoor season and added Apeldoorn cannot come quick enough. Having by his own standards struggled this weekend, he said their car has always been better on asphalt so he will be looking to end the season like last year when he won the final two races.
Just off the podium, Freddy Südhoff ended his Awesomatix debut in the ETS in fourth position after struggling in the third main with traction roll. Having finally got a good start from his second spot starting position, the German said his A700 started to struggle, in particular through left corners and eventually he traction rolled out of second to end up 5th. Having experienced the high of claiming his first ETS victory at Round 3, Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp could only manage 8th position but the 19-year-old German is sure to be a force again when the series move to the Netherlands and back on to asphalt.
In the Xray Pro Stock deciding third A-Main, a close fought race between Top Qualifier Oliver Franke and Zdenko Kunák was to go the way of the Slovakian who becomes the first double race winner in the category this season. Battling hard for the lead Franke ran a little wide and the Xray and HB made contact. Kunák waited but Franke ran over the dots allowing No.2 car to take the lead which he wouldn’t surrender. Italian ETS round winner Steffen Leinburger, who was a surprise winner of Leg 1 from 5th on the grid, completed the podium on tie break from reigning champion Martin Hofer. In the Formula class third place qualifier Roman Pichler took the win ahead of Dai Sakaguchi and pole sitter Herbert Weber.
With the biggest crowd we have ever witnessed at a race, being part of MotorShow Poznan has been a great experience for both the Yokomo Euro Touring Series and the sport in general as it is sure to have sparked an interest with the many youngsters who came along and witnessed the best touring car drivers provide some thrilling racing. We look forward to returning again next year.
Ride Modified A-main leg 3 results
1. (3) Alexander Hagberg (SE) – 24/5:01.783
2. (4) Marc Rheinard (DE) – 24/5:02.885
3. (6) Viktor Wilck (SE) – 24/5:03.620
4. (1) Ronald Völker (DE) – 24/5:04.541
5. (2) Freddy Südhoff (DE) – 24/5:07.366
6. (9) Zdenko Kunák (SK) – 24/5:07.592
7. (7) Andy Moore (GB) – 24/5:07.995
8. (5) Magnus Vässmar (SE) – 24/5:08.596
9. (10) Marco Kaufmann (DE) – 24/5:12.403
10.(8) Christopher Krapp (DE) – 24/5:12.706
Ride Modified A-main Overall results
1. Alexander Hagberg (SE) – Xray/ORCA – 2pts
2. Ronald Völker (DE) – Yokomo/LRP – 4
3. Marc Rheinard (DE) – Tamiya/SP – 4
4. Freddy Südhoff (DE) – Awesomatix/LRP – 7
5. Viktor Wilck (SE) – Tamiya/Thunder Power – 10
6. Zdenko Kunák (SK) – Xray/LRP – 10
7. Magnus Vässmar (SE) – Xray/Thunder Power – 11
8. Christopher Krapp (DE) – Kyosho/Orion – 11
9. Andy Moore (GB) – HB/Hobbywing – 15
10.Marco Kaufmann (DE) – Xray/ORCA – 18
Xray Pro Stock A-main leg 3 results
1. (2) Zdenko Kunák (SK) – 23/5:06.105
2. (3) Martin Hofer (DE) – 23/5:07.244
3. (1) Oliver Franke (DE) – 23/5:08.504
4. (5) Steffen Leinburger (DE) – 23/5:09.547
5. (4) Ivan Laptev (RU) – 23/5:09.958
6. (7) Tony Streit (DE) – 23/5:10.554
7. (9) Marek Cerny (CZ) – 23/5:11.986
8. (6) Michal Orlowski (PL) – 22/5:01.333
9. (8) Denis Zuykov (RU) – 22/5:01.807
10.(10) Rob Janssen (NL) – 22/5:02.980