Gran Canaria takes ETS season outdoors
This weekend (March 1-3) the Yokomo Euro Touring Series marks its 30th event traveling to the popular Spanish holiday island of Gran Canaria for the first outdoor race of the 2012/13 season. Making its debut on the ETS calendar 12-months ago, the race produced one of the most popular wins of the season when Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp notched up his first victory in the World famous electric touring car championship.
In contrast the 3rd round of the series would be an event to forget for champion Ronald Volker, the German forced to withdraw from the finals due to issues with his then prototype speed controllers. The winner of the opening two races of this season, Volker will be looking to make it three in a row & rectify last year’s drama while Krapp will be hoping the event will be the turning point in what has so far been a disappointing start to the 6th season of the Euro Touring Series for the German.
Team Yokomo will have an expanded team this weekend with Volker and 2011/12 season finale winner Yannic Prümper being joined by Nitro Touring Car World Champion Meen Vejrak and fellow Thai talent Charlee Phutiyothin. A-Main Finalists at last weekend’s TITC race in Bangkok, of which half the grid have an elusive ETS win to their credit, the pair will be looking
to impress on their debut in the series.
Having secured his best ever ETS result at Round 2 in the Czech Republic where he finished 2nd, the battle for the win going to the third A-Main, factory Serpent driver Marc Fischer will be looking for a repeat performance on his first visit to the Island. Fischer won’t be the only driver looking to go one better in Gran Canaria. Awesomatix’s Viljami Kutvonen lost out on a podium finish at the second round after a tie break with team-mate Freddy Sudhoff. With Sudhoff unable to attend this weekend, Kutvonen will lead the Russian team’s challenge and the talented Finn is sure to be one to watch.
With the switch from carpet to asphalt a number of drivers will be hoping the surface change helps bring them more competitive foam. Runner-up to Krapp at the event last year, Team Xray’s Alexander Hagberg has had a tough beginning to his ETS campaign. A title contender last season, the Swede was only 10th at Round 2 and needs a good result this weekend. Team-mate Adrian Berntsen had terrible luck at Round 2 but there is no doubting the Norwegian’s talent and he should be a podium contender. Also hoping the move to outdoor racing brings improvement is HB’s Andy Moore. Yet to make the A-Main this season, the former World Champion enjoyed his best result of last season in Gran Canaria taking 5th.
Tamiya is enduring a long run of non-podium finishes but Marc Rheinard & Viktor Wilck are confident that on asphalt they have a car that is capable of winning. Former champion Rheinard has a best finish of 4th while Wilck has missed the cut on both occasions ending up in the B-Main. Elsewhere, having made the A-Main with Chris Grainger on the island last year, the factory Schumacher squad make a welcomed return to the premiere RIDE Modified class this weekend.
In the Xray Pro Stock class, Zdenko Kunák, who did not contest the event last year, will make his ETS debut for the race winners Yokomo. The Slovak driver has made a surprise switch to the Japanese manufacturer having started out the year with Xray, a team for whom he had raced for many years. Marek Cerny who took his & Yokomo’s first win in Gran Canaria has gone the opposite direction switching to Xray for the 2013 season already bagging a win with the Slovak manufacturer at his home round in the Czech Republic. In the Speed Passion Formula class Jan Amser will be chasing his third straight win but faces strong opposition in Marc Rheinard who made his class debut at Round 2 finishing 2nd.
Round 3 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series officially gets underway with practice on Friday and culminates with triple mains for all drivers on Sunday. All the action from Gran Canaria can be followed on RedRC where regular updates and video action will be published throughout the weekend.