Qualifying for the second round of the Much More backed Euro Touring Series has been completed and it is Toni Rheinard & Balint Rajki that will start from the pole for the respective Modified and Pro Stock A Mains here in Budapest this afternoon.
The overnight TQ holder Rheinard had the upper hand over defending ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp going into this morning’s fifth and final round of qualifying thanks to his fastest run time in the fourth qualifier yesterday. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the showdown for the Top Qualifier honours we expected between the Tamiya pairing. Sharing two heat wins each, Groskamp was forced to pull up after just seven laps due to very rare preparation oversight by the normally meticulous Dutch driver. With his only challenger for the pole out, Rheinard still pushed on to TQ the round in a new fastest time of 25 laps in 302.80 followed very closely by Xray’s Martin Hudy who will line-up third on the grid.
In Pro Stock the overnight TQ holder was Jakub Plechac but local ace Balint Rajki was to deny the Czech National Champion that honour this morning. Having won three of yesterday’s four qualifiers, Plechac got collected while lapping in the final heat allowing Rajki to take his second heat win and having recorded the fastest 5 minute run in yesterday’s fourth qualifier this handed the Hungarian pole. Finishing second for the round to claim third on the grid was 15-year-old Zdenko Kunák who Rajki believes could be his biggest challenger in the triple leg finals.
Toni Rheinard and Jakub Plechac are the overnight TQ holders at the Hungarian round of the 2008/2009 Much More backed Euro Touring Series round 2. Rheinard produced the fastest run of the Budapest event in the final of today’s qualifiers and as a result tops the qualification ranking from defending ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp who also has two rounds to his credit. Driving his brother’s Tamiya this weekend, Toni Rheinard recorded 25 laps in a time of 5:02.96 in the penultimate heat after a close run with Martin Hudy who posted the fastest lap. In the end the two where seperated by just one second.
Rheinard said the car was more consistent and easier to drive after he increased the droop by 0.5mm all round. The German plans to use tomorrow’s fifth and final heat to scrub in new tyres for the three leg finals. Hudy also appeared happier with his car which was good enough to set the fastest lap of the round. A change from a 3.5 to a 4.0 motor made for a smoother drive and while the car felt slightly slower on the straight the car was better in the corners.
Having made a mistake in the third round Bart Wubben had a clean fourth round allowing him to post his third Top 3 run of the day putting him fourth on the grid overnight. His fellow Dutchman Groskamp saw his traction roll problem esculate. Finishing fourth fastest the Tamiya Factory Racing team driver is not 100% sure while the problem became so bad but will try running a wider front on the car.
In Pro Stock we saw Plechac’s great run come to end due to driver error, something the 18-year-old was quick to take blame for. The winner of the opening three qualifiers Plechac’s mistake allowed top local driver Balint Rajki to take his Cyclone to the top of the time sheets. Rajki said a change of tyre additive had transformed the car, allowing him to post the fastest time we’ve seen for the category. Second fastest driving an Xray was 15-year-old Slovak driver Zdenko Kunák, the teenage racer doing a good job here today. Having fitted a front spool and lenghtened the wheelbase on his TOP Scythe, Jan van Steeg is much happier with his performance and thats reflected in the Dutch National Pro Stock Champion’s top three run times this evening.
So Day 1 of the second round of the ETS, which also enjoys support from Hot Bodies and Speed Passion, has come to a close. Drivers can now enjoy an early evening with plenty more action awaiting them tomorrow with one more round of qualifying followed by three leg Mains for all finalists. Our coverage continues in the morning.
Toni Rheinard has TQ’d the third qualifier of the ETS here in Budapest. The German topped the time sheets for the round from Jilles Groskamp who was hampered by grip roll during the run. Rheinard said he had a steady run but was quick to highlight that he only topped the round because Groskamp, who again posted the fastest lap time, rolled his Tamiya. Jilles said he tried more additive on his front tyres and it didnt work. His Speed Passion powered TRF416 World Edition having far too much steering resulting in him rolling twice.
Third fastest was factory Xray driver Martin Hudy. The Slovak racer said his car works really well in the beginning but then starts to suffer from excessive steering and lack of rear traction. In an attempt to solve the problem, Hudy will change from his current LRP 3.5 motor and fit a 4.0 version of the X12 into his T2 009. Fourth fastest was Czech driver Michal Bok. A close friend of Hudy he is running the same set-up and as a result is reporting the same problems. Having finished third in the opening two qualifier, Bart Wubben’s strong run ended with an early mistake and he could only stop the clocks with the seventh fastest time.
In Pro Stock Jakub Plechac continues his domination. Having shortened the wheelbase on his HB Cyclone the Czech National Champion again improved his time to make it three out of three. Second fastest for the third round was young Slovak driver Zdenko Kunák driving an Xray while Dutch TOP driver Jan Van Steeg made it three different cars at the top of the time sheets.
He said after TQ’ing the first round that he could go faster and thats exactly what he has just done running 25 laps to head the second heat from his team-mate for the weekend Toni Rheinard. The Dutch driver changed additive for Round 2 which he said made the car a lot better giving his Tamiya more traction and making it more consistent. The only driver to post an 11 second lap time, Groskamp also said the car was now not as effected by the offline fluff as the new additive doesn’t seem to pick it up as much. Rheinard, who also made 25 laps, was pleased to finish his run but said he is loosing too much time to Groskamp in the opening minute of the run as his car wants to push in the corners.
Despite his car dumping with three laps to go, Bart Wubben again set the third fastest time just missing out on 25 laps with a time of 05:00.06. The Xray driver thinks his short run time is due to build up of carpet fluff around the bearing of the centre layshaft. He will fit new bearing for the third round but as an extra precaution he plans to reduce the power profile on his LRP Sphere TC speedo. Unfortunately for fellow Xray driver Martin Hudy he encountered problems with traffic resulting in damage to his car which would sidelined him.
In Pro Stock Jakub Plechac was the first driver to break into the 23 lap range to again top the time sheets, this time from Zdenko Kunák and Blazej Orlowski.
The first round of qualifying for the second round of the Euro Touring Series has been completed here in Budapest and it was defending champion Jilles Groskamp who set the pace from former team-mate Martin Hudy. Groskamp produced 24 laps in 5:00.80 with Hudy just 2/10ths adrift.
All the leading drivers are reporting that track conditions are very inconsistent and afterwards are having to deal with large deposits of carpet fluff building up in their cars. Groskamp says its vital to be very smooth because going even slightly off line the tyres pick up the fluff from the brand new carpet making the car very loose for the next few corners. The Dutch drivers says he can go faster and will play around with the application of tyre additive for the next round.
Hudy described his first qualifier as difficult. At the beginning of the race his Xray was pushing but in the latter part it developed oversteer as the rear tyres started to loose traction. The Slovak driver will change to a harder front roll bar for the second heat in attempt to make the car more consistent over the run.
Despite describing his run as ‘Pretty Horrible’, Bart Wubben took his Xray to the third fastest time. The Dutch Champion is hoping the track will get more consitent but will play around with tyre additive to try and get a better balance in the car. Michal Blok, Zdenko Kunak and Zdenek Hamak completed the Top 6. Former German National Champion Toni Rheinard had his first heat come to nothing after a front wheel nut came loose in the later stages of the 5 minute run.
In Pro Stock Czech National Champion Jakub Plechac driving a Hot Bodies topped the round ahead of local driver Balint Rajki who is also running a Cyclone TC in the class. Plechac was very pleased with his car so much so he plans no changes for his second outing. Despite his Mazda body rubbing the ground throughout the run Rajki was happy with his opening time but the Hungarian plans a body change for the next outing. With the top 3 covered by just one second, Dutchman George Spitteler was third fastest at the controls of his TOP.
One interesting incident in the National Class here in Budapest involved Uwe Rheinard, the man behind the ETS. Having missed out on practice due to his race admin duties, Uwe’s debut in the series started off in the wrong direction when his car ran in reverse as he tried to do his warm-up lap for the first heat. It turns out that Toni Rheinard had wired the motor the wrong way but to give the Speed Passion team driver some credit he was able to rewire the motor in time so that his father got to take up his starting slot for the heat.
The Euro Touring Series is in new terrority this weekend as Hungary hosts the second round of the 2008/2009 Much More backed series, and the host club have made a strong first impression choosing a excellent facility in which to hold the indoor carpet event.
Heading the entry here in Budapest is reigning ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp. Fresh from a vist to the Tamiya factory in Tokyo, the Worlds Finalist will as normal face opposition from a Rheinard but not the new World Champion. Marc is taking a well earned break following his amazing Touring Car World title victory in Thailand three weeks ago. Instead Groskamp will be up against Toni Rheinard who is a late entry to the event. Toni has borrowed one of his brother’s Tamiya’s for the weekend and is looking forward to battling with the Dutch racer who he is pitting next to.
Others who will be looking to take the challenge to Groskamp’s Tamiya TRF416 World Edition is former team-mate and factory Xray driver Martin Hudy. Martin, along with his father Juraj who is the creative mind behind all Xray’s cars, is making his first appearance in the Euro Touring Series. Another quick Xray will be that of Dutch National Champion Bart Wubben who is one of a large contingent of Dutch racers who have made the trip East to Hungary this weekend. Wubben made an impressive debut with the T2 at the series opener in Kastellaun and having had more time with the car since then should be a stronger podium challenger here.
Gabor Forrai and Balint Rajki are local drivers who will be looking to impress here on home soil and aiming to make sure the visiting Pros don’t have it all their own way.
Current Vice-Champion George Spitteler heads the Pro Stock entry. With defending Champion & Kastellaun winner Alexander Stocker absent this weekend, the Dutch Toyko Optional Products team driver will be looking to capitalise. All cars competing in Pro Stock are running handout 9.5T motors from series sponsor Speed Passion.
In addition to the normal Modified and Pro Stock categories that form the Euro Touring Series, which also enjoys support from Hot Bodies, the Hungarian leg will feature three other classes to reflect the national racing scene in the country. These are the 13.5 turn Touring class, the 10.5 Lipo Touring and the superb looking Formula 1 class.
Drivers will have five rounds of qualifiying, four of which are scheduled for today, which will determined the grids for Sunday afternoon’s triple Mains.
Marc Rheinard and Alexander Stocker are the first winners of the 2008/2009 Much More backed Euro Touring Series, winning the opening round in Kastellaun, Germany after the fight for top honours went down to the third A Main in both categories. With a win each the Modified class was between Tamiya team-mate Rheinard and Jilles Groskamp. Having TQ’d the event and the only driver to record 29 laps, the former World Champion looked like he had victory in the bag after Leg 1 but defending ETS champion Groskamp set a blistering pace in Leg 2 recording the fastest lap of the weekend on his way to a thrilling victory over Rheinard. This set up a head to head battle for Leg 3.
Having broken clear of the rest of the field from the very first lap and running noise to tail ‘the show was on’ for the large crowd of spectators. Groskamp got a great opportunity to pass the No.1 car when it caught a corner dot but opted not to risk diving down the inside of Rheinard at the next corner. Applying intense pressure on the leader, lap 21 of 28 saw Groskamp hand the current European Champion the break he needed when he flipped his TRF416 in front of the rostrum. This also allowed Freddy Sudhoff, who put in a great performance all weekend, to catch up and eventually find a way passed to cross the finish line in second and claim third overall behind the two professional Tamiya Racing Factory drivers.
In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth looked like he was going to convert his TQ into overall victory after an early challenge from Leg 2 winner and defending Champion Alexander Stocker appeared to faded in the third. With Wohlgemuth’s Xray seemlying unstoppable Stocker’s Hot Bodies suddenly found a new lease of life eating rapidly into the leader’s cushion. Closing him right down a beautiful move before the double chicane put Stocker in front where he would stay to claim victory for the Leg and overall. The German National Champion was clearly delighted at repeating his 2007 win which gets his ETS title defence off to a perfect start.
So the curtain has come down on a great opening race to the second edition of the Euro Touring Series. 163 competitors travelled from around Europe to Kastellaun this weekend and from the J Final all the way up to the A Main we experienced super racing helped greatly by the legendary commentary of Scotty Ernst, one of the men responsible for creating the ETS. Round 2 takes top level touring car racing to new territories when on December 6/7 the series travels to Budapest in Hungary. Red RC will be there to bring you full race coverage.
The winners of the opening round of the Much More Euro Touring Series will be decided in the third A Main here in Germany after Jilles Groskamp and Daniel Wohlgemuth denied Leg 1 winners there second win and early overall victory. Groskamp and Leg 1 winner Marc Rheinard again showed they were the class of the Modified field but this time the Dutch driver managed the keep four wheels on the ground and make a brilliant move on his team-mate. Getting a better run onto the main straight Groskamp put his Tamiya down the inside as they enter the first corner on lap 17. Rheinard immediately fought back and later in the lap the two touched but great sportsmanship saw Rheinard wait and let his great rival back into the lead. The former World Champion tried again to pass but the ETS Champion, who set the fastest lap of the weekend in the race, had it covered taking the win to force a head to head in the final leg. Once again Freddy Sudhoff completed the Top 3 while Joel Myrberg got the better of Yannic Pruemper to take fourth.
In Pro Stock, Leg 1 saw Alexander Stocker get the better of Top Qualifier Wohlgemuth but on this occassion the Xray driver was determined to keep the defending Champion behind him and thats exactly what he did taking the win by 2 seconds. Christoph Thiele made it another an all German Top 3.
Elsewhere there was a slight interuption to the start of the Pro Stock F Main 2 as Scott Ernst and Uwe Rheinard made a presentation of a birthday cake to the only female competitor here this weekend Melanie Koepe. A landmark birthday, the presentation did not put Melanie off the job in hand as she went on to go one better than Leg 1 taking her Xray to fifth.
On interesting spectator here today is leading LRP team driver Ronald Volker who so brilliantly took the fight for victory to Atsushi Hara at the final of last season’s Euro Touring Series. Volker was unable to compete here this weekend as he has just returned from Thailand where he enjoyed a successful test for the World Championships which take place next month. Jilles Groskamp heads back to Holland tonight to get his bags ready for Thailand as he goes out to the RCS track for testing with Tamiya.