Bruno Coelho is the top seed for the fifth round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. The Xray driver’s debut at the track, he backed up his CP1 pace by knocking 6/10ths of a second off his fastest 3-consecutive laps. While the Top 13 drivers would all improve on the times from the first controlled practice, Coelho extended his advantage with Yokomo’s Ronald Volker again his closest rival only this time the advantage increased from 4/100ths to 2/10ths of a second. Behind them, Jilles Groskamp made a similar sized improvement in pace to Coelho to put his Infinity 3rd on the final seeding time sheets with Viktor Wilck improving one position to end practice 4th. Making it five different manufacturers at the front, Freddy Sudhoff found the pace that escaped him in CP1 to post the 5th fastest time ahead of Awesomatix team-mate Lucas Urbain. With Coelho looking good at the top of the times, the only remaining title challengers Marc Rheinard and Alexander Hagberg are going to have to qualify from the second fastest heat with Hagberg ending up 12th fastest three places ahead of Rheinard.
With Coelho the benchmark both over 3-laps and over the 4-minute duration of the practice runs, Volker said, ‘It was quicker over 3-laps that time but I am not that happy with the pace over 4-minutes.’ Heading back to his hotel for food before the first qualifier which takes place around 21:30 tonight following the morning rain writing off any running before lunch, he concluded, ‘I need to make a change for this so I have a better feeling for Q1’.
Winner on the ETS’ first visit to the Apeldoorn track in 2009, Groskamp said, ‘I changed the rear diff to softer and I had more rear traction so I could then drive the car how I wanted. It has good balance and its still fast’. The former World Champion continued, ‘I was surprised to get the 3-laps but the pace is also good for 5-minutes. I didn’t have practice here before the race like the others so after just 6 rounds of practice I’m happy’. He added, ‘I’m sure Bruno will be fast over 5-minutes but Ronald struggled with the rear (of his car). Anyway it is going to be very close qualifying’.
Wilck summed up CP2 with, ‘I still have the same issue. Fast at the beginning and then lose too much in the end’. Having changed the diff to try improve his Serpent, he said for Q1 he will try ‘a different shock set-up’, adding, ‘maybe it will be more loose at the start but hopefully it will be better to the end. The speed is there I just need more consistency over the run’.
Moving up as the lead Awesomatix with Loic Jasmin having been their fastest driver in CP1, Sudhoff said, ‘for some reason in the first controlled practice I lost pace. In free practice I was always in the Top 5’. The German continued, ‘I rebuilt the car for CP2 and it was back on pace’. Describing his car as having been ‘fast from the first battery’, asked if he found anything wrong with the car during the rebuild he replied ‘no’. Planning to run an unchanged car for Q1, he will ‘go for a clean 5-minute run’.
Urbain described his car as ‘one of the best cars I have driven around this track’. Only his third ETS outing for the Russian manufacturer, he said, ‘the car was good before but I didn’t show in the seeding times. Bruno is a little faster but I think after that it is anyone’s game. 3-laps today is not representative of everyones true pace. For me 5-minutes is what the car is best at. At the TOS (Tonisport Onroad Series) race here 2-weeks ago this was the issue but now the first 2-minute are ok and the last 3-minutes are really good. The track suits our car as our cars are also showing in Pro Stock’.