June 27, 2015

5 in a row – Volker claims ‘hardest’ ETS title

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Ronald Volker has claimed his fifth consecutive Euro Touring Series championship title, the Yokomo driver declaring that Season #8 of the world famous championship was ‘definitely the hardest season’ yet.   Coming into the event with only long standing arch rival Marc Rheinard able to deny him the title, Volker said this season the level of world class drivers at each of the six rounds was higher than ever and this was the title he was most proud of.  With the sixth & final round at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia netting Team Xray its first ever 1-2 finish Bruno Coelho taking the win from Alexander Hagberg, Volker said while this weekend was not a good race for him he still got what he came for and he was delighted to win ‘a hard fought fifth title’.

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Finishing 8th at the season finale, his worst finish for four seasons, looking back over the 2014/15 season Volker said he was proud of his pace overall, highlighting that he never qualified outside the Top 2 at the previous five rounds.  The German added while the series has helped him a lot as a driver there is certainly room for improvement for next season pointing out that he ‘sometimes struggled on Sundays’. TQ’ing in both Italy and Luxembourg he would fail to make the podium come finals day. While he enjoyed his best outdoor TQ’ing three of the four asphalt races he said ‘the others definitely caught up this year’ adding that he would have to work even harder in their quest to get a sixth consecutive ETS title. Having joined Yokomo in 2009, he thanked his Japanese team for supporting his five successful ETS campaigns also adding this year was a particularly successful one in terms of the progress made with his long time electrics sponsors LRP.  Acknowledging that Coelho was highly competitive as a newcomer to the ETS he said HB’s Jilles Groskamp, Tamiya’s Akio Sobue and his own team-mate Meen Vejrak brought a new level of competitiveness to the A-Mains each round.

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Finishing second to Volker for a fifth time, Rheinard said ‘I think I threw it (the title) away when I TQ’d Round 1 but couldn’t turn that into a win’.  Managing to stay ahead of Coelho in the championship, the race winner opting to do A3 to try and deny the four time World Champion the podium he needed in Trencin to hold his runner-up position in the final standings, Rheinard said he is more determined than ever to get the job done despite predicting the level of competition is going to raise to a new high with the likes of Coelho and former team-mate Groskamp set for full campaigns.

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Finishing his first season of ETS third in the final standings Coelho said it was ‘amazing’ to arrive at the final race fighting for a Top 3 in the ETS.  Claiming his second ETS win in a month in A2, the 22-year-old would start A3 looking to further improve his championship position.  The Top Qualifier would however catch the curbing and roll his T4 onto the grass on the second lap. While he would rejoin the race it would be brief as on the second run down the straight he had a rear tyre explode sending him crashing into the barriers destroying the car.  The World Championship runner-up said while A3 didn’t go to plan he was ‘super happy’ with 3rd overall as he ‘didn’t expect to be fighting for a title podium this year’.

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With ETS Italy race winner Yannic Prumper demoted to fourth by Coelho, Alexander Hagberg would be the highest placed non race winner of the season ending his campaign 5th.  A 2-time race winner, the Swede won A3 to secure second overall saying the Xray 1-2 was a great result to get at their home race and a great way to end the season.  The reigning nitro touring car World Champion said on a personal level while the competition was extremely tough he would have liked to have taken a win.

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In the Xray Pro stock class reigning champion Marek Cerny would also successfully defend his title.  Having looked to a have thrown away his chances in A1 when he crashed out of the lead with 30-seconds to go and the prospects of rain meaning the cancellation of A3 the Xray driver would come back to win A2.  With daylight still available following the conclusion of the second leg of A-Mains, organisers took the opportunity to run A3 in which Cerny would finish second behind team-mate Jan Ratheisky, a result that was enough to give him his third win of the season and a third consecutive championship.

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In Formula, Ratheisky capped off his title winning season with a win that would be decided in A3.  Having won A1, Ratheisky went head to head with Top Qualifier & A2 win David Ehrbar, the two making contact on the final lap. While Ratheisky would give position back to the Serpent driver, he would manage a clean pass at the end of the straight to take the leg and his fourth win of the season.

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