May 31, 2009

Steen tops Q5, Groskamp secures TQ

Kyosho factory driver Steen Graversen became the fifth different driver in as many rounds to TQ a qualifier here in Apeldoorn but it is defending ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp and his Tamiya that will start from pole.  Dane Graversen recorded the fastest 5 minute run of the weekend with his Orion powered Stallion thanks to a fresh set of tyres and cooler track conditions.  Having changed motor for the run Graversen is now much happier with the top speed of his car and said he tried to drive safely so as to not punish his tyres too much as he will have to run them again in the A Main.  Lining up fifth on the grid his aim is to try and hold station in the final for a Top 5 finish.

Heading a Tamiya 1-2 at the front of the grid, Groskamp was second fastest for the round but more importantly he was faster than his team-mate Marc Rheinard who he feels is going to be his toughest opponent.  Groskamp won the Dutch round last year at the MACH track and is keen to repeat a home victory here at Apeldoorn so we can expect a great duel between the Tamiya/Speedpassion pairing.

The big surprise of the weekend is Martin Hofer who is enjoying a superb international race debut with the new Yokomo BD5.  The factory supported driver will line up 3rd on the grid and crucially has two sets of fresh tyres at his disposal. The German GM powered driver has the potential to take the fight to the Tamiya drivers but says he will sit and wait to see how the race plays out as he does not want to jeopardise finishing on the podium.  Winner of the third round of the ETS in Poland, 15-year-old Yannic Pruemper will line up fourth on the grid but, like Graversen and former World Champion Andy Moore, has only one set of new tyres for the 3 legs of the final which puts him at a distinct disadvantage.

Yesterday Marc Fischer saw his main race car basically destroyed when it shut down just after the finish of the fourth qualifier resulting in his car being collected by Michal Bok’s Xray. Fischer who will line up 6th on the grid had a late night as he prepared a new chassis for today. The factory Corally driver said the new car is OK but doesnt feel quite as good as the much modified car he was using yesterday which featured a different top deck and lower bulk heads.  On the bright side the German does have two fresh sets of tyres and he thinks a podium could be on the cards. Also with two sets of fresh rubber for the triple A Mains is Kyosho’s Christopher Krapp. The young German feels it will be hard to overtake but has set himself a target of a Top 5 finish.

In Pro Stock Rob Janssen, who had already secured TQ honours yesterday, once again crushed his rivals. Racing for Dutch manufacturer Corally, Janssen has been joined today at Apeldoorn by Joeri Bal the man responsible for creating the RDX PHi chassis. Tamiya driver Daniel Wohlgemuth took second for the round and will line up on the number 2 spot on the grid but the German has said he will be focusing on maintaining his position rather than challenging the Top Qualifier who is proving the class of the field here on his home track.  Thomas Musial and defending ETS Pro Stock Champion Alexander Stocker make up the second row.

In the supporting Pro 10 category the super fast prototype of Tim Altmann will start on pole with Rene Fischer second.  Altmann is lapping in the 14 second lap bracket and his 5-minute run is a lap more than that of the Modified Touring Car Top Qualifier Jilles Groskamp.

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May 30, 2009

Moore tops fourth qualifier

Factory Hot Bodies driver Andy Moore has ended Tamiya’s domination of qualifying here at the Dutch Euro Touring Series by taking the fourth and final qualifier on day 2 of the event. After difficult runs in the second and third rounds, the former World Champion had little choice but to use up his second set of qualifying tyres so as to ensure himself a place on the grid for tomorrow’s big race. Despite a half spin on his second lap the new Sweep rubber allowed the Hot Bodies driver to take control and record a time of 19 laps in 5:05.48, the third fastest run of the day. In the same predicament as the British driver, Xray’s Bart Wubben was also forced to run his second set of tyres but this time, his first run on new tyres failing to net a good time, the Dutch National Champion managed a strong second place to put himself in strong contention for a place in tomorrow’s A Main.

Third for the round and fastest of the drivers running used tyres was Jilles Groskamp. With one round of qualifying remaining the defending ETS Champion holds the overnight TQ honours from Tamiya team-mate Marc Rheinard. Swiss driver Ronny Lnenicka benefited from new tyres on his car to take a surprise fourth for the round ahead of Austrian Hot Bodies driver Thomas Pumpler with Marc Rheinard, who ran the LTC-R which he found very slighly better than the Speed 6, completing the Top 6. In terms of overall qualification Yokomo’s Martin Hofer holds third, Corally ace Marc Fisher sits fourth with Moore fifth and Kyosho young gun Christopher Krapp sixth. Four drivers, Groskamp, Rheinard, Hofer & Moore remain in the hunt for the No.1 spot on the grid tomorrow. German Team Xray driver Steven Weiss, usually expected to be found mixing it at the front, had a miserable day with the former Euros Top Qualifier plagued by run time problems on this fast flowing track.

In Pro Stock Dutch Corally driver Rob Janssen has already guaranteed he will start his home race from pole as he put his name at the top of the time sheets for a third time. The big race in tomorrow’s Pro Stock A Main would appear to be for second as both Daniel Wohlgemuth, second fastest in the fourth qualifier, and defending ETS Champion Alexander Stocker say it will be hard to catch Janssen. The two Germans look set to renew the great battle they had at he opening round of the Much More backed series in Kastellaun, Germany. On that occassion Stocker got the upperhand in Leg 3 of the finals. One local driver that could well challenge them for a podium placing is Xray driver Wesley V Dijken who was third fastest in the closing qualifier of the day.

In the supporting Pro 10 category Germany’s Tim Altmann with his self designed car leads the way from the Speedline chassis of Rene Fischer also from Germany. Tomorrow’s schedule will start with a free practice session followed by the fifth and final qualification round.

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May 30, 2009

Pruemper joins TQ list

Yannic Pruemper is the third different Top Qualifier in as many rounds here in Holland after the star of the Polish ETS race opted to use his second allocation of qualifying tyres in Round 3. Fresh rubber gave the emerging 15-year-old German talent a distinct advantage over the international field allowing him to join his senior Tamiya team-mates Groskamp and Rheinard on the list of Heat winners. Changing to harder wishbones on his TRF416, Pruemper’s improved car finished five seconds clear of Groskamp who was happy to take the runners-up time on old tyres.  Rheinard made it a Tamiya 1-2-3 for the round despite a small mistake. Following consultation with his brother Toni, who is engineering Pruemper’s car, the World Champion will use the next heat to test the Protoform LTC-R bodyshell.

Martin Hofer once again showed the potential of the new Yokomo BD4 with fourth for the round ahead of Christopher Kraap’s Kyosho.  Bart Wubben completed the Top 6 and was surprised at how well his Xray T2 ‘009 ran on used tyres.  Having sat out the first heat, the Dutch racer was disappointed with his car on fresh rubber but now must make the call as to whether he will use his second set of qualifying tyres in an attempt to make it onto the A Main starting grid.  Marc Fischer was only seventh after his diff broke during the run while Andy Moore finished a lowly 11 after he rolled his Hot Bodies.

In Pro Stock Rob Janssen repeated his earlier qualification run to again top the round being the only driver to break 18 laps.  After two fifth place points from the earlier heats Daniel Wohlgemuth got his best run of the day to take second ahead of Dutchman Ronald Arts.

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May 30, 2009

Rheinard’s gamble pays off

Having sat out the first qualifier Marc Rheinard got the result he had hoped for as he took TQ honours for the second round of heats.  The German ran a time of 19 laps in 5:04.16 to claim the round from Martin Hofer who is looking very strong at the controls of his Yokomo BD5.  Rheinard appeared a little disappointed with the run, which was slower than his Tamiya/Speed Passion team-mate Jilles Groskamp’s Round 1 TQ time, describing it as only ‘OK’.  The World Champion said he had to drive easy to ensure he made the full run time.  Hofer was delighted with second run saying ‘doubt I ‘ll be using that second set of tyres before the Mains’. Hofer is full of praise for his new car and has it dialled in well for running on used tyres and needs just one more solid run to secure his place in the A Mains in which will be a strong candiate for a podium finish.

TOP driver John Bruins had a fantastic round taking third having opted to run his second set of permitted tyres. The Dutch driver also ran a harder rear spring and softer front shock oil which he said made his new Photon chassis more aggressive allowing him to knock 4 seconds off his opening run time.  Fellow Corally driver Marc Fischer once again ran out of steam on the final lap and had to settle for fourth. The factory driver is unsure why he is having problems with run time but says he may have to adjust his driving style next time out.  Factory Kyosho pairing Christopher Kraap and Steen Graversen completed the top 6 once again, this time the younger Kraap getting the better of his team-mate.

‘A stupid mistake’ was how Jilles Groskamp described his early exit from Round 2. Having TQ’d the opening round the Dutch ace put his Tamiya on the grass and was clearly annoyed with himself for the error. Andy Moore also had a non-finish for the round after he pulled up 4 minutes into the run after picking up a mysterious vibration in the steering.

In Pro Stock local driver Rob Janssen put his extensive Apeldoorn track knowledge to good use by TQ’ing the second round. The Corally driver benefited from fresh rubber having completed only a single lap in Round 1 to scrub in the tyres. Defending Champion Alexander Stocker who also had new tyres claimed P2, over 5 seconds adrift, but the German said he was pleased with the result given Janssen’s experience here. Vasco Christiaanse took third a result he was disappointed with.  The Hot Bodies driver said his car felt good but lacked power.  The Dutch driver is hoping that fitting a second cooling fan to his motor will help.  Currently it is 24 degrees here with a track temperature of 46.

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May 30, 2009

‘Clever’ Groskamp TQ’s first Dutch qualifier

The opening qualifier for the fourth round of the Euro Touring series here at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands has been completed and it is first blood for defending champion Jilles Groskamp. Intially it was Corally team driver Marc Fischer who set the pace but the German dumped allowing Groskamp to pip him for TQ honours. The Tamiya/Speed Passion driver described his run as ‘clever’ saying he didn’t push hard at the start as practice had shown run time would be an issue especially with everyone running new tyres. Fischer, whose GM powered car is proving very fast in a straight line, put his dumping down to a brand new pack of cells which he said could have done with a few extra charge cycles.

Team Yokomo driver Martin Hofer is really excelling here with the new BD5. The German took third for the round and was ‘pretty satisfied’ with his pace so far on his first major event with the new car. Andy Moore suffered terrible understeer on his Hot Bodies and is at a loss as to exactly why. After practice the former World Champion made adjustments to his Cyclone TC that should have set the car up nicely for his fresh set of Sweep controlled tyres but the changes had the opposite effect. Moore will go back to the drawing board but wasn’t really sure what way to go with set-up for the second qualifier.

Making it 5 different manufacturers in the Top 5, Steen Graversen took his Kyosho Stallion to fifth just ahead of team-mate Christopher Kraap. Graversen said his car is ‘not too bad’ but he feels he could do with more speed and will play around with his gearing for the next outing. Fellow Team Orion powered diver Kraap will also play with gearing but for the young German his reasons are to try and get full run time having dumped on the last lap.

Marc Rheinard sat out the first heat in a gamble he hopes will pay off. Afterwards the World Champion was not so sure the decision was the right one however with most drivers looking to save their second permitted set of qualifying tyres for the finals it appears he should have a clear advantage for the next qualifier. Also sitting out the round was Xray driver Bart Wubben. The Dutch National Champion, who current sits second in the ETS standings, thinks he decision was a good one.

In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth was on a blistering pace but on his last lap he misheard the race announcer call Danny Essenstam as being finished and pulled into the pits. Realising his error Daniel rejoined but lost 8 seconds resulting in him dropping from a certain TQ run to fifth for the round.  Taking advantage of this was Hot Bodies driver Thomas Musial. Musial who really likes the track here at Apeldoorn was delighted with the performance of his car and the German is confident he can repeat his performance in the next heat. Dutch driver Stefan Jansen took second admitting he pushed extra hard on the fresh set of Sweep tyres knowing a number of the top drivers would sit out the round. The Xray driver says he will now sit out the second qualifier as those drivers will now run fresh tyres. Dominik Reschke took third with his Corally while Serpent driver Nicolai Nielsen described his run to fourth as a ‘bit of a surprise’.

Defending Champion Alexander Stocker ended up sitting out the round but not intentionally. On his warm-up lap the German driver’s rear left wheel came off and he was forced to retire. ‘I would like to tell people it was part of my strategy but unfortunately that was not the plan. I am not really sure how it came loose because all the other wheels nuts are very tight’, he said afterwards. One driver who did intentionally sit out the opening qualifier was local ace Vasco Christiaanse.

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May 29, 2009

Who is really fastest?

The big talk here this evening at Apeldoorn is how to determine your real pace as drivers play around with setting up their cars for tyres with varying levels of running on them. Jilles Groskamp, Marc Rheinard and Andy Moore have decided to sit out the final practice run of the day as a result but all three declared themselves happy with their cars. Young Yannic Pruemper doesnt have such a luxury as school committments mean he has only had two runs so far and the extra 5 minutes this evening will be more valuable mileage. The winner of Round 3 of the Euro Touring Series, the Tamiya/Speed Passion driver is loving the fast flowing track and has used his runs to fine tune the settings on his GT2 Pro speedo as others run a fine line in terms of run time.

Marc Fischer has been playing around with shocks on his Corally. A switch to a harder shock has given the car better feeling and made it more consistent over the run. The German is now also happier with his pace on used tyres.

Team Kyosho/Orion pairing Steen Graversen and Christopher Kraap are both happy with their day although Danish Champion Graversen was cautious about his rivals pace once everyone starts running the same tyres. Kraap, who tested here last week in preparation for the fourth round of the Much More backed series, said he really likes the track and that his Stallion is working well both on new and used tyres.  Steven Wiess’ world travels have finally started to catch up with him but despite the jetlag kicking in he is happy with his Xray T2 ‘009 after changing to a slightly softer spring all round.

In Pro Stock defending Champion Alexander Stocker is pleased with the feeling of his HB Cyclone but the German feels tactics will play a big roll in the outcome of qualifying tomorrow. This view is shared by fellow HB driver Vasco Christiaanse who has set the pace here today in terms of laps times. We could well see drivers sitting out early heats so as to score better in the later heats as a result of fresher tyres. Round 3 winner Mike Niemann admits that he is struggling to get his Xray to his liking.

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May 29, 2009

Tamiya team set early pace

Factory Tamiya team-mates Marc Rheinard and Jilles Groskamp are topping the lap times here in Apeldoorn with the pairing seperated by just 1/100th of a second.  Debuting his new ‘Marc Rheinard’ outdoor tyre additive this weekend, Rheinard set a fastest lap time of 15.76 with Groskamp posting 15.77.  Having run old tyres in the morning Groskamp ran new tyres this afternoon and says his TRF416 was ‘super good’.  The Dutch driver has also found a good set-up which allows him to run good times on his second outing with the controlled Sweep tyre.

Marc Fischer has so far posted the third fastest lap time setting a 15.93 with his heavily modified Corally. The German switched from a Speed 6 to the LTC-R Protoform body and found this, along with some chassis adjustments, to his liking. Next up on lap times is Team Yokomo driver Martin Hofer. The German is running the new BD5 in standard kit format and is really happy with the handling allowing him to focus on trying different motor options from GM.  Xray’s Steven Wiess and Czech Zdenek Hamak driving a Hot Bodies complete the Top 6.

Andy Moore had his first run on used tyres and while they did bring on understeer he is very happy with the overall balance of his HB Cyclone TC. The British driver says he isn’t suffering the same drop off in lap times as his  rivals and is pleased with his runs so far. Next up with the eight fastest time is young Team Kyosho driver Christopher Krapp.

In Pro Stock Vasco Christiaanse is setting the pace with a best lap time of 17.05 from the Xray of Patrick Jongenelis. The Dutch driver will test different shock spring/oil combinations on his Hot Bodies Cyclone TC in this evening’s sessions as he tries to get more from the car on used tyres. In Pro Stock drivers are only permitted one set of tyres for the five qualifiers.

Drivers have two more practice session ahead of them this evening with one final opprtunity to get their cars dialled in with a free practice run in the morning ahead of the first qualifier.

An interesting addition to the regular ETS Modified and Pro Stock Touring Car classes here this weekend is the Pro 10 category.  The 1:10 scale pan cars look very impressive around the Apeldoorn circuit and the AMCA Club say the comeback class is attracting strong interest in the Netherlands.

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May 29, 2009

ETS arrives in Apeldoorn

The Much More backed Euro Touring Series has arrived at its latest venue with the beautiful Apeldoorn facility in the east of the Netherlands hosting the fourth round of the 2008/2009 series.  Glorious weather conditions have greeted the 100 strong entry for practice as the ETS switches from indoor to outdoor action for the final two races. Defending Champion Jilles Groskamp heads the world class entry but interestingly it has been 2 years since the Dutch Tamiya star has driven here competing in a nitro race on that occassion.  His last electric touring car outing here goes back 5 years but as always we can expect Groskamp and his TRF416 to be at the sharp end of the time sheets from the off.

For current World Champion Marc Rheinard this is his second visited to the track but the German had never completed any laps here until this morning.  His previous visit to the AMCA track was for the Tamiya Euro Cup for his sponsor Tamiya.  Another of the top modified runners to have been here previously but not for racing is Kyosho factory driver Steen Graversen.  The Danish ace was here in 2004 acting as manager for Danish team at the Tamiya Euro Cup.

Former World Champion Andy Moore was a late arrival but was nearly a non starter after he came very close to missing his flight from the UK this morning. The Hot Bodies driver is showing good form on tarmac at the moment taking a long over due win at the opening round of the British Nationals two weeks ago and can be expected to challenge for his first ETS win this weekend.  Another on his first ever visit to Apeldoorn is Corally team leader Marc Fischer.

Heading the Xray challenge will be local ace Bart Wubben and German Steven Weiss. Weiss is just back from competing at the Reedy Race in the US and made a very brief 5 hour visit to his house before making his way to the Netherlands. No Jetlag yet for the former European Championship Top Qualifier but he expects it might kick in this evening!

Winner last time out when the ETS visited Poland, Yannic Pruemper will be a strong force here in Holland but school must come first for the 15-year-old and as a result the German is not expected to arrive here until sometime after 4pm. Mentor Toni Rheinard has the car ready for the emerging young talent and will take it out for one of the practice rounds to establish a base setting.

In Pro Stock the entry is headed by defending Champion Alex Stocker. The German has raced here before but that was 15 years ago at the Tamiya Euro Cup.  Running his Hot Bodies he expects racing to be very close on the fast flowing track.  One of his biggest challengers will be SMI Motorsport driver Meik Niemann who scored his first international win last time out in Poland.

Interestingly Team Orion technical front man Oscar Jansen got his bug for r/c racing here in Apeldoorn back in the late 70’s.  The Dutch native, who now resides in Switzerland, was a multiple club champion here but this weekend Jansen is here providing support to the likes of Moore and Graversen.