October 29, 2017

Rheinard cruises to A1 win ahead of Coelho

Marc Rheinard cruised to an easy win in the opening A-Main at the ETS season opener in Vienna this morning, the Infinity driver leading home Bruno Coelho and Ronald Volker.  Top Qualifier for the race, the German got a break on the opening laps as the pack bunched up behind a slow starting Viljami Kutvanen who then came under attack from Marco Kaufmann.  While they battled, Rheinard further extended his lead while contact between Kutvanen and Kaufmann allowed fourth place starter Coelho to take up the chase but with the pair matching lap times Rheinard maintained the gap to win by 2.5 seconds.  With the Kutvanen/Kaufmann incident forcing the following pack to take evasive action, Volker would tag the rear of Alexander Hagberg resulting in an exchange of words afterwards.  Hagberg came off the worst his car jumping the boards and needing to be marshalled as Volker continued behind Kaufmann whom he would eventually get passed to salvage a 3rd from his P6 starting position.

Reacting to his win Rheinard said, ‘It was a perfect start.  For me it was important to get a good first lap and try to get a gap. Viljami struggled so that gave me a good lead but then when Bruno moved into second I thought I might have a problem because he had good pace in Q4 but we were the same speed. One lap he would be a 1/10 quicker then the next lap I would be a 1/10 quicker so I could control the race to the finish’. Reverting back to the tyres he used in Q3 for the opening A-Main he said despite them now having done 4 runs he plans to stick with that set again for A2 adding, ‘I will just try and get the same start as before’.

After struggling in qualifying, Coelho summed up the first final by saying, ‘that was good’.  The reigning champion continued, ‘ Marco and Viljami crashed together and I could overtake them both but because they had been battling at the beginning I lost too much time to Marc and knew once I was in second I couldn’t catch so I was just managing the race to the end’.  On his T4 performance the Xray driver said, ‘today it is more balanced but it is slower than yesterday’.  With challenging for the win always going to be difficult from 4th on the grid, the Portuguese driver believes it is going to be ‘almost impossible to catch Marc’.

Summing up his race Volker said, ‘the warm-up lap was terrible, I could not get rear grip but as the race went on it got better but I also adapted to the behaviour of the car having so much steering’.  The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I put a lot of pressure on Marco and finally could make a pass. It seems then I was faster than the guys ahead of me but P3 was the maximum I could do’.  Setting the fastest lap of the race on the penultimate lap, asked about the incident with Hagberg the World Champion said, ‘there was nothing I could have done different and after checking the video I am definitely not agreeing with Alex’s opinion. There was just a bunch up between Viljami, Marco and Bruno.  Giving his view of the incident, Hagberg, who would finish 9th, said, ‘I tried to take care not not hit the drivers in front but he drove straight into me.  I don’t know why he did but I came off worse than him and he continued’.  Behind Volker, Kaufmann would hold off Kutvonen for fourth while Olly Jefferies completed the Top 6.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.



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