April 7, 2017

Rheinard tops first controlled practice in Madrid

With the Yokomo Euro Touring Series making its first visit to mainland Spain this weekend, it was Marc Rheinard who got off to the best start with the Infinity driver topping the times in the first controlled practice. Winner of the ETS Warm-up race which was hosted at the large Madrid track last month, Rheinard was fastest over 3-consecutive laps from defending champion Bruno Coelho with fellow Xray driver & Spanish talent David Pérez completing the Top 3. Winner of the previous ETS encounter, the last of the season’s carpet races, Ronald Volker found himself only 9th quickest in CP1 having set the second fastest time in free practice.  The World Champion put the time down to a change of tyre prep but happy with his Yokomo, he will revert to his previous tyre prep method for CP2.

‘Not a bad start for controlled practice’ was how Rheinard summed up his time – a 57.843 compared to Coelho’s 58.016. The German continued, ‘the track changed a lot compared to free practice and I didn’t think I was going fast.  Everyone said it felt like less grip’.  Only planning a tyre change for CP2, he said the basic set-up of his Infinity ProtoTC was good but due to his own error there was a small wheelbase adjustment he needed to make but otherwise he would leave it unchanged.  A driver who has always been more keen on racing outdoors, the 3-time World Champion likes the ASOGER track saying, ‘the layout here is perfect.  It looks easy but you if you overshoot it messes you up the next few corners’.

Championship leader Coelho is also a fan of the track saying ‘It is a super big track but it has some technical parts that still have good speed. I really like racing on asphalt’.  On his T4, the Portuguese ace, who got to drive to this event from Lisbon rather than taking a flight, said, ‘the car works really well, we were waiting to see how it compares over a longer run and it worked very well’. Fastest in free practice, he added, ‘ok it dropped off a little towards the end but that is like everyone’.  Describing the track as slower due to sun being at its hottest when CP1 findly ran after a delay cause by a timing computer failure, he said the 1-hour delay also effected the track.  Asked about the new handout tyre Volante have prepared for the outdoor, he said, ‘the new tyre until now is very good.  Every set is the same’.

‘I think my car is better on 5-minutes than 3-laps’ was Perez’s reaction after his impressive P3 pace.  The 16-year however added, ‘but I think this was my best moment as my car is not as good in low temperatures and the difference will be bigger between me and the quick guys’.  While not his home track, he said ‘I know it well’ and having done ‘more than 1500 laps’ of testing around the 318 metre long track he hasn’t had to change the set-up on his T4, which is the same as he used at the warm-up race.


Posting the 4th fastest time, Viktor Wilck described CP1 as ‘not too bad’ but added his Serpent felt loose.  While the track had less traction due to the high temperatures, conditions he said his Project X4 is normally at its best in, he felt part of the loose feeling was down to set-up.  For the second & final practice he said he will ‘try a new rear set-up to try and get more rear grip’.   Asked about qualifying , the first of the four rounds being run tonight, the Swede wasn’t overly confident replying, ‘normally in the morning and evening we are not so fast’.

Making his first ETS appearance of Season #10, Jilles Groskamp set the 5th fastest time.  The Dutchman said, ‘the 3 laps that counted were not perfect but the consistency over the run was good.  The car feels good’.   With practice running 4-minutes, but most other drivers running two cars in free practice as he ran just one, the Infinity driver said it was the first time to get an indication of everyone’s true pace but added ‘it wont be until qualifying that we get to see the real pace of everyone’ when its 5-minutes that count.  Also in the Top 10 for Infinity was 2014 World Champion Naoto Matsukura.  The Japanese driver crashed at the start of the run, but said a set-up change for the run wasn’t good and set to revert back to his free practice he expects to be ‘higher up’ the order in CP2.

Completing the Top 6 was former Gran Canaria ETS race winner Christopher Krapp.  The fastest Yokomo driver for the round, the German described his time as ‘pretty descent’ adding ‘my 3-laps are not super fast but I am happy with my overall time for the full run’.  A podium finisher at the Warm-up Race, he said, ‘the track is changing a lot each between morning and evening.  The car is ok for midday hot track but we need to find a set-up for the other conditions’.  Asked what the issue when the track is cooler he replied, ‘it is sliding in the rear.  I have too much steering so I think we will try a diff change for the next one’.

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