March 7, 2009

Leino takes latest qualifying thriller

Former European Champion Teemu Leino has become the latest driver to TQ a round of qualifying at round 3 of the ETS in Poland in what has been a thrilling day of action. The factory Xray driver became the fourth different driver to TQ in as many rounds as he pipped Tamiya Junior team driver Yannic Pruemper by just 9/100th of a second.  The result means that anyone of five drivers can take overall TQ honours in tomorrow mornings fifth and final qualifier.

Leino said a new set of controlled Sweep tyres for the last qualifier of today transformed his car allowing him to set a new fastest lap for the event with a time of 10.92.  The Finn, whose run was the second fastest time over 5 minutes behind that of Andy Moore, will leave his car the same for tomorrow morning’s TQ showdown.

Pruemper’s mentor Toni Rheinard was relieved to see his young star finally completed a solid run.  The 15-year-old was holding the predicted TQ time but a roll on lap 22 cost him 2 seconds. Pruemper who is a member of the Speed Passion team line up quickly regained his composure however, posting his fastest lap of the run two laps later.

Steven Weiss repeated his third round qualifying performance with another great Top 3 run.  Running an unchanged car, the German improved his time by almost 2 seconds and is confident of further improvements tomorrow after his day got off to a difficult start.  Bart Wubben was next up also improving slightly on his previous time but the Dutch driver feels he may have been too cautious and plans to drive more agressively in the morning.

Austrian Hupo Honigl finally broke in to the 27 laps claiming fifth for the round while Michal Bok was fastest of those on 26 laps to complete the Top 6.

After a strong start to the round Marc Rheinard came undone in the exact same spot as he did a round earlier ending his chances of wrapping up overall TQ honours early.  The other round winners Andy Moore and over night TQ holder Jilles Groskamp both came undone following incidents involving Czech driver Bok.

Modified overall after 4 of 5 rounds
1. Jilles Groskamp – 2pts [2 (7) 0 (9)]
2. Marc Rheinard – 2pts [0 2 (2) (12)]
3. Teemu Leino – 3pts [(3) 3 (6) 0]
4. Andy Moore – 4pts [4 0 (35) (33)]
5. Steven Weiss – 6pts [(32) (9) 3 3]
6. Yannic Pruemper – 7pts [(5) (34) 5 2]
7. Bart Wubben – 8pts [(12) (5) 4 4]
8. Paul Lemieux – 11pts [(11) 4 (11) 7]
9. Hubert Hönigl – 11pts [6 (15) (9) 5]
10. Michal Bok – 12pts [(7) 6 (7) 6]

In Pro Stock Meik Niemann took another round TQ from his main rival Daniel Wohlgemuth.  This leaves the German pair with two rounds each but Niemann has the faster time putting the pressure on Wohlgemuth going in the last round.  Hungarian ETS race winner Balint Rajki took his Hot Bodies to third for the round.

With the TQ in both categories up for grabs, five drivers going for that honour in Modified, Day 3 of the Euro Touring Series’ first vist to Poland is set to get off to a thrilling start.  We’ll bring you the outcome followed by full coverage of the triple A-Mains here in Warsaw.

Pro Stock overall after 4 of 5 rounds
1. Meik Niemann – 0pts [(2) (6) 0 0]
2. Daniel Wohlgemuth – 0pts [0 0 (2) (2)]
3. Dominik Reschke – 6pts [(35) 2 (4) 4]
4. Balint Rajki – 7pts [(39) 4 (5) 3]
5. Zdenko Kunák – 7pts [4 3 (10) (18)]
6. Dai Sakaguchi – 8pts [(5) 5 3 (7)]
7. Jakub Plechac – 8pts [3 (9) (8) 5]
8. Oliver Näthe – 14pts [(8) (8) 6 8]
9. Jan Gehrig – 14pts [(14) 7 7 (9)]
10. Jerome Meile – 16pts [10 (13) (42) 6]

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March 7, 2009

Groskamp TQ’s 3rd Qualifier

Three qualifiers have been run here in Warsaw and we have a third different driver taking TQ honours with defending Champion Jilles Groskamp snatching the top spot from Tamiya team-mate Marc Rheinard.  Rheinard had been on target to top the round being the only driver not to roll but on the very last lap he caught a dot flipping his car on its roof resulting in a 15.43 lap, some 3.5 seconds slower than his previous laps.  This handed Groskamp, who posted a new fastest lap of the event with a 10.97, the round with 27 laps in 305.15 with the current World Champion finishing on 306.79.

After a difficult opening qualifier Steven Weiss is starting to show good form here in Poland.  The 2007 European Championship Top Qualifier recorded the third fastest time for the heat just ahead of fellow Xray driver Bart Wubben.  Weiss changed tyre additive which greatly improved the steering on his LRP powered T2 009 while Wubben made a series of changes that also improved the feel of his similar package.

Yannic Prumper equalled his first round with fifth fastest time while Teemu Leino completed the Top 6.  Having TQ’d the second qualifier, with the fastest 5 minute run we have seen here so far, Andy Moore exited early after traction rolling off the track ending any chance of a fast time.

In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth’s run of topping the time sheets came to an end as he had to give way to Meik Niemann.  The German SMI Motorsport driver didn’t match Wohlgemuth’s fastest time from the second qualifier but took the TQ for the round by a second.  Dai Sakagucki posted the third fastest time.

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March 7, 2009

Moore goes fastest

Former World Champion Andy Moore put in a great second qualifier here in Warsaw to go fastest overall bettering the Round 1 TQ time set by the current World Champion Marc Rheinard.  A widening of the front track width transformed the Englishman’s Hot Bodies allowing him to go top of the overall times as he knocked 3.3 seconds off the previous TQ pace.

It was a close fought round between Rheinard and Moore but the German had to deal with the front of his bodyshell, run for the first time in this heat, catching on the carpet.  Despite this the Tamiya ace was also able to improve on his opening TQ time by 7/10th.

Third for the round and making it three different cars in the Top 3 was Xray factory team leader Teemu Leino.  Changes made to his car improved turn in allowing him to run a faster pace but the Finn plans further changes as he would like a little more.

Next up was Trinity/Xray team driver Paul Lemieux, the American very happy with his car saying all he needs now is a clean run.   The US Champion had a quick roll after catching a dot and got up on two wheels on a number of occassions.  Also driving an Xray and fifth fastest for the round was Dutch driver Bart Wubben.  Current lying second in the ETS points standings, Wubben made big changes to his T2 009 which he says have made it drivable now.  Czech driver Michal Bok completed the Top 6.

Elsewhere Yannic Pruemper was once again fastest on lap time with an 11.00 second lap.  The youngster set the early pace and was again on target for a TQ time but caught a dot.  After a second mistake the protege of Toni Rheinard pulled up early to save his tyres.  Reigning ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp had a series of rolls early on that destroyed any chance of a good run.  The factory Tamiya/Speed Passion driver will now switch to a similar set-up as used by Pruemper.

In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth enjoyed another TQ run improving by 2 seconds.  Second went to Dominik Reschke who ripped a wheel off his Corally in the opening heat while Zdenko Kunák took third ahead of Hungarian ETS race winner Balint Rajki.

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March 7, 2009

Rheinard tops first Qualifier

Marc Rheinard has topped the first qualifier for the third round of the Euro Touring Series.  The German who won the 2008/2009 ETS opener at Kastellaun, just narrowly pipped team-mate Jilles Groskamp with the pair seperated by just 7/100th after 27 laps.  Rheinard, whose Tamiya started to get very loose in the last minute of the heat, benefited from mistakes by his rivals with most of the front runners rolling their cars during the run. Groskamp traction rolled his Speed Passion powered TRF416 coming in the chicane on his penultimate lap costing him 2 seconds.

Taking third for the round, Teemu Leino was top Xray despite a costly 3 seconds mistake.  The Finn plans to change shocks on his factory Team Orion powered T2’009 as he could do with a little more steering.  Making it three manufacturers in the Top 4, Hot Bodies team driver Andy Moore had a strong heat recording 27 laps in 308.08.  Setting the third fastest lap time of the round the former World Champion could have been fastest but for some issues with traffic.

Fastest in practice Yannic Pruemper was again the fastest man in terms of lap times being the first to break 10 second with a 10.98 time.  The young sensation was looking very strong for TQ honours but on lap 18, having just posted his fastest lap, made a mistake over the dots launching his car into the barriers costing him a massive 4 seconds.  Another incident while lapping traffic cost him further time. Completing the Top 6 was current 1:12 European Champion Hupo Honigl from Austria.

In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth was the clear pace setter finishing 8 seconds up on Meik Niemann, the two Germans the only drivers to record 25 laps.  Czech driver and ETS Round 2 podium finisher Jakub Plechac completed the Top 3 ahead of Slovak young gun Zdenko Kunak.

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March 7, 2009

Pruemper sets final practice pace

15-year-old Yannic Pruemper remains the fastest man here in Modified at the third round of the Much More backed Euro Touring Series.  The Tamiya Junior team driver topped the time sheets for practice number 7 coming to within 4/100th off the outright fastest lap of the event which the German set yesterday in the fourth session.  Pruemper used the opening run of Day 2 here in Warsaw to scrub in new tyres for the qualifiers and once the tyres came up to speed he pulled up early.

Closest to the rising young star was fellow countryman Marc Rheinard who managed an 11.11 second lap.  The current World Champion said his car was a little loose but plans to run the same set-up for the first of the five qualifiers.  Jilles Groskamp was next up.  The defending ETS Champion ran special bulk heads on his Tamiya which had been designed for the World Championships, a tarmac event, but the Dutch driver didnt like the feeling of the car on the carpet so will revert to the standard versions.

Xray’s Steven Weiss set the fourth fastest lap despite trying a different tyre additive for the run which he felt wasn’t as good as the CS Tyre additive.  The German said his T2 009 feels good and other than reverting back to the additive used yesterday he will run the car the same for the opening qualifier.  Teemu Leino and Paul Lemieux completed the top six.  Andy Moore complained of a few incidents with traffic running new tyres on his factory Hot Bodies Cyclone TC to posted the seventh best lap time.

In Pro Stock Corally driver Dominik Reschke was fastest from the Tamiya of Dai Sakaguchi setting a best lap of 12.00 seconds.  Reschke said his car could be better, working well only for 4 to 5 laps.  The German National Pro Stock front runner will try harder shocks for his first qualifier.  Fastest overall in practice with a 11.93 lap, Daniel Wohlgemuth played around with tyre additive on his Tamiya managing only the 11th fastest time but the German is confident he will be strong over 5 minutes.

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March 6, 2009

Lemieux fastest in Day 1 final practice

Day one of the Polish round of the Much More backed Euro Touring Series has come to a close and in the final practice session it was Trinity team driver Paul Lemieux who posted the fastest lap time, the third fastest lap of the day.  The Xray driver posted an 11.11 second lap to top the session from Andy Moore who also improved with a 11.16.

Lemieux says he is pretty happy with his car but admits that he needs a good nights sleep, the long 20 hour three stop flight from Milwaukee now catching up with him.  The US Champion is confident that his pace will allow him to battle for TQ honours come qualifying.

Andy Moore said his Hot Bodies felt good at the start of the run allowing him to record his fastest lap time but it quickly went off, spinning out on right handers.  This was later traced to a problem with his rear left tyre.  Marc Rheinard also had an issue with a tyre after the glue came undone.

Jilles Groskamp was third for the run sharing the same lap time as former team-mate Teemu Leino but both failed to improve their fastest lap time set a session earlier.  The Dutch Speed Passion team driver said he can’t match the outright fastest lap time of young Yannic Pruemper but is very happy with his overall run time as his Tamiya can run very consistent laps.

In the final practice session of the day for Pro Stock, Tamiya driver Dai Sakaguchi topped the time sheet from the Corally of Dominik Reschke but overall Daniel Wohlgemuth ends the first day as the fastest of the handout 9.5 turn Speed Passion motor field.

Day 2 of the ETS presents the 100 plus entry here in Warsaw with one final practice session followed by four of the five qualifiers, two of which will determine the grid for Sunday’s finals.

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March 6, 2009

Pruemper sets pace in Warsaw

We tipped him as a star of the future in our coverage of DHI Cup he made the A Main and here in Warsaw, among a world class driver line-up, 15-year-old Yannic Pruemper is setting the pace from none less than reigning World Champion Marc Rheinard.  Under the tuition of Marc’s brother Toni,  the emerging young German star stopped the clocks with an 11.04 second lap compared with Rheinard’s best of 11.10 while Jilles Groskamp ran a 11.13 to give Tamiya the Top 3 after five rounds of practice.

Pruemper, as with all the leading drivers, really likes the track layout and reports his TRF416 as being easy to drive even when he pushes hard.  Running a similar set-up to that used at the DHI Cup, the youngster looks really strong over 5 minutes.

Rheinard described his car as so so but its very rare that the two time touring car World Champion ever describes it any other way as he tries to squeeze the absolute limit from the car that took him to the World title in Thailand.  The 22-year-old was however very complimentary of the new Speed Passion Gran Turismo 2.0 PRO Blue Edition speedo which he ran in Practice 4 and 5. The speedo was FedEX’d to Poland yesterday from Sweden where it was being tested by Tamiya team-mate Viktor Wilck.  Wilck is absent here this weekend due to a clashing Swedish National race.

Defending Champion Groskamp is focusing on tyre additive.  The Dutch racer said his TRF416 was better this morning when the traction was lower but is still pretty pleased with his early pace.

Heading the Xray’s challenge is American ace Paul Lemieux who is just 1/100th off Groskamp and 1/100th up on team-mate Teemu Leino.  Describing the track as ‘great’, the US Champion is playing with motor set-up as he gets to grips with running five cell packs, one less than he used to.  Leino, who had a 5am start this morning so as to catch his flight from Finland, is happy with the progress of his T2 009 so far saying he is just trying small adjustments as the track grip improves with each run.  Czech driver Michal Bok completes the Top 6 for Xray.

Hot Bodies ace Andy Moore is running the eight fastest time have tried two different cars.  Finding his car a little edgy, the former World Champion will scrub in a new set of race tyres in today’s final practice.

In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth heads a trio of Germans at the controls of Tamiya’s with a best time of 11.93 from Dai Sakaguchi on a 12.07 and Oliver Nathe.  Serpent’s Nicolai Nielsen is fourth fastest with his S400 from ETS Round 2 winner Balint Rajki driving a Cyclone TC.

Drivers have one more round of free practice this afternoon before Day 1 of Poland’s first ever international touring car event comes to a close.

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March 6, 2009

ETS arrives in Poland

The third round of the Much More backed 2008/2009 Euro Touring Series has arrived in Poland where a World Class entry has descended on the capital city Warsaw. After a three month break, the ETS reaches its mid point with defending Champion Jilles Groskamp facing his toughest line up so far in the second edition of the series. The Tamiya Racing Factory driver won Round 2 in Hungary back in December and leads the current standings from fellow countryman Bart Wubben who took a podium finish at last weekend’s 1:12 Stock Euros.

Heading the list of potential race winners come Sunday evening is defending World Champion Marc Rheinard. The German won the opening round and while he was abscent in Hungary the Tamiya star has been busy adding victories to his CV winning the DHI Cup in January and the first ever Indoor European Championships in February. Another member of the TRF team here this weekend in with a chance of victory is Hupo Honigl who is a late entry to the event. The Austrian was crowned 1:12 European Modified Champion in Italy last month but will be looking to shake the BQ monkey off his back having taken the unenviable 11th fastest time in qualifying at Worlds and both the indoor and outdoor touring car Euros.

Taking the fight to the Tamiya boys will be a very capable Xray line which features US Champion Paul Lemieux who has made the long trip across the Atlantic. The RC America backed driver is really looking forward to his first ETS Carpet surface outing and having finished on the podium on his series debut at Andernach last year is determined to make another strong impression on the series. The Trinity driver, who won the recent Snowbirds race in Florida, says his biggest problem here this weekend will be adapting his driving style to suit the corner dots something he is not used to in the States. So far that doesn’t seem to be hampering Lemieux too much as he heads the time sheets (after three practice runs) from Groskamp when super pole timing is used. The other big Xray challenge comes from factory driver Teemu Leino, who flew in this morning from Finland, and former European Championship Top Qualifier Steven Wiess.

Former World Champion Andy Moore has also made the trip to Warsaw and heads the challenge of the third big factory team Hot Bodies.

In Pro Stock we also have a very strong line up including all three podium finishers from Round 2 of the Speed Passion and Hot Bodies supported Euro Touring Series. Balint Rajki took the win from pole in Hungary but Jakub Plechac and Zdenko Kunák will be out to change the podium order this weekend.

Today drivers have 6 opportunities to practice on the well designed OSM Club track with a final opportunity to tweak their cars tomorrow morning before we get down to the serious business of qualifying.