March 1, 2013

Volker takes Q1 at ETS Gran Canaria

Ronald Volker has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Gran Canaria, the defending champion setting the fastest time ahead of last year’s top 2 finishers on the holiday island with Alexander Hagberg just 2/10th off the German’s pace with last year’s winner Christopher Krapp completing the Top 3.  Having set the pace in practice Team Yokomo’s Yannic Prumper pulled up after three laps to save tyres after he lost time when got out of shape through the sweeper leading on to the main straight.

Enduring a tough event on the Gran Canaria’s debut in the series 12-months ago ultimately having to withdraw from the event before the finals, Volker said it was great to start off qualifying with a TQ run especially when everyone was running on fresh tyres.  Chasing his third consecutive win of this the 6th season of the ETS, the factory Yokomo driver said in the beginning of the 5-minute run his LRP powered BD7 was not the fastest car on track but knowing it was very consistent he just stayed patient and that was to pay off by the end of the run.  With only 2 of the 5 scheduled qualifiers to count and just two sets of tyres available Volker said with a big difference between new & used tyres tomorrow was going to be all about strategy as seen in Q1 when Tamiya’s Viktor Wilck & Team Associated’s Juho Levanen pulled up immediately after they crossed the start line to save tyres for tomorrow.

Having set the early pace only eventually losing the chance of a TQ run when he got his Xray T4 up on two wheels on lap 11 of 16, Hagberg was happy with what he called an ‘almost TQ’ run.  Leaving his car the same as he ran it in the final practice, the Swede said it felt really good this time round allowing him to post the fastest lap of the opening qualifier with a time of 18.726.  Looking to tomorrow Hagberg said it was going to be an interesting day due to the impending tyre tactics which he added was not good for the atmosphere of the series.  Xray team-mate Adrien Berntsen briefly set the pace but having not properly tightened the screw on the servo mounting it came loose half way through the run making the car very difficult to drive.  Despite this the Norwegian was able to set the 6th fastest time.

Happy to be back on asphalt and back in the Top 5 was how Krapp summed up his run to the third fastest time.  The Kyosho driver said his Orion powered TF6 was good enough for a TQ run at the start of the run, the German running a number of laps at the top of the timing screens, but as the run went on it started to develop understeer. Running a Protoform Speed 6 body he plans to switch to an LTC-R body for Q2 leaving the set-up as is in the hope that his will give him the extra 5% of steering he needs in the second half of the run.

Setting the fourth fastest time, Andy Moore described his opening qualifier as a ‘solid, clean run’.  Still lacking overall traction and steering even on new tyres, the former World Champion said he believes tyre preparation is the key to success at this track and with open practice available to all drivers this evening he is going to test some additive options with team-mate Stefan Chodzynski.

Fellow former World Champion Marc Rheinard had a similar complaint.  Setting the 6th fastest time,  the Tamiya driver said his car is just sliding around on the track too much no matter what changes he makes to his set-up so he will also try a different tyre management for tomorrow.

Elsewhere Thailand’s Meen Vejrak and Charlee Phutiyotin put in a solid first qualifier on their ETS debut the Yokomo drivers setting the 7th and 9th fastest times respectively separated by French driver Lucas Urbain.  The Top 10 was completed by Schumacher’s Chris Grainger who is debuting the all new Mi5 from the British manufacturer this weekend.  Runner up at the preceding round of the series in the Czech Republic Serpent’s Marc Fischer could only manage the 11th fastest time.

In the Xray Pro Stock class Marek Cerny was the class of the field, the Xray driver almost 3 seconds faster than defending champion Zdenko Kunak who is making his ETS debut with Yokomo this weekend.  A good run from Belgium’s Olivier Bultynck saw him complete the Top 3.  In the Speed Passion Formula class championship leader Jan Asmer TQ’d the opening round from fellow German Thomas Oehler.

Ride Modified Q1 times
1. Ronald Volker – Yokomo/LRP – 16/5:05.526
2. Alexander Hagberg – Xray/ORCA – 16/5:05.776
3. Christopher Krapp – Kyosho/Orion – 16/5:06.737
4. Andy Moore – HB/Hobbywing – 16/5:07.138
5. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya/Muchmore – 16/5:07.288
6. Adrien Berntsen – Xray/ORCA – 16/5:09.695
7. Meen Vejrak – Yokomo/DualSky – 16/5:10.264
8. Lucas Urbain – Yokomo/Speed Passion –  16/5:12.437
9. Charlee Phutiyotin – Yokomo/Muchmore – 16/5:12.645
10.Chris Grainger – Schumacher/GM Racing – 16/5:12.774

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