Once again the A Mains produced thrilling action with Ronald Volker putting in a superb performance to take Leg 2 victory denying team-mate Atsushi Hara an early overall victory. In Pro Stock we again had a terrific battle between Alexander Stocker and Meik Niemann but in the end Stocker won to become the inaugural Euro Touring Series Champion.
Modified was a great display of world class driving by Hara and Volker as the Hot Bodies pairing raced side by side for the entire race. Starting from pole Hara lead away but Volker was right with him showing his challenge in Leg 1 was a sign of things to come. With Hara on old tyres and Volker on a fresh set of Sweeps the latters car looked better allowing him to pressure the former World Champion. A touch on the main straight at the mid point of the race failed to seperate the two but then with a minute and a half to go Hara caught a kerb at the end of the straight flipping his car which landed rubber side up and in the right direction but Volker was through. The LRP team driver held the position to force the result of Round 4 of the ETS to go to the 3rd and final Leg.
‘New tyres gave me the edge for sure and my car was better than Atsushi’s’, a very pleased Volker said after the race. ‘I’m going to try for another win but I wont be too unhappy finishing second to Hara. He’s going to have an edge over me because he has new tyres for the Leg.’ Hara was quick to point out his poor decision but appears confident for Leg 3, ‘I made a mistake running old tyres but I have new ones for the next run so no problem.’
Completing the Top 3 in the Leg was Tamiya’s Jilles Groskamp who came out top of a close battle with Paul Lemieux and Viktor Wilck. The Dutch driver, the first ever Euro Touring Series Champion, is determined to repeat that result in Leg 3 and be on the podium here in Germany but admitted it would be tough starting from 8th on the grid.
In Pro Stock we also witnessed great driving and sportsmanship as Stocker and Niemann renewed their Leg 1 battle. Stocker initially set the pace up front but at 3 minutes Niemann was on his case. Pushing hard the Top Qualifier lost the rear end coming out of the tricky chicane allowing the No.2 car to nip through but the pair made contact at the next corner. In a great sporting gesture Stocker waited on the Xray driver letting him back through and they resumed the hot battle. With a minute to Niemann clipped a curb allowing Stocker to make the pass for the win. With two wins the Hot Bodies driver secured the overall Andernach win to become the 2007/2008 Pro Stock Champion of the Much More backed ETS.
A Main Leg 2 Modified
1. Ronald Völker – HB/LRP/LRP/LRP – 17L 5m 13.73
2. Atsushi Hara – HB/Nosram/Orion/Orion – + 0.35
3. Jilles Groskamp – Tamiya/Nosram/SMC/Speed Passion – + 4.12
A Main Leg 2 Pro Stock
1. Alexander Stocker – HB/LRP/LRP/Speed Passion – 16L 5m 13.84
2. Meik Niemann – Xray/LRP/Speed Passion – + 0.75
3. Dominik Reschke – Corally/GM/GM/Speed Passion – + 1.36
Videos of all A-mains to be online later in the day.Check out our image gallery here.
Both Top Qualifiers for the Much More ETS Finale have delivered Leg 1 victories in the A Mains, but Atsushi Hara and Alexander Stocker didn’t get it easy being pushed hard over the 5 minutes.
First A Main to run was the Pro Stock class in which there was a great battle between Stocker and the No. 2 car of Meik Niemann. At the start Niemann’s Xray took the early lead being chased by Stocker. A move by Stocker saw the pair touch and this lost the pole sitter some ground but the ETS title hopeful got back into the groove catching the leader, again the pair touched with Niemann coming off the worse. This allowed Stocker to cruise to victory followed by Niemann with the No.8 car of Kai Maurus completing the Top 3.
In Modified, Hara lead from start to finish but came under pressure from Ronald Volker in the mid part of the race. The Japanese ace looked very comfortable from the start with the Top 3 running in a steady rythm but all of a sudden European Champion Volker found great pace and started to close on the leader. Looking like he would challenge his Hot Bodies team mate for the win the German rode a curb giving Hara the comfort zone needed to take A Main Leg 1. Andy Moore had an uneventful race starting and finishing 3rd.
‘It was a good race. I was very comfortable although my car was a little pushy at the front’, said Hara after the race and is confident that he has a little in reserve over his competitors. Volker echoed those sentiments, ‘I’m really happy with the result. My car is working good but I don’t think I can catch Hara unless he makes a mistake’. Both drivers said the rising track temperature were slowing the track hence the rather slow race time, and that the heat could play a factor in Leg 2.
A Main Leg 1 Modified
1. Atsushi Hara – HB/Nosram/Orion/Orion – 17L in 5m 11.80
2. Ronald Völker – HB/LRP/LRP/LRP – + 1.74
3. Andy Moore – HB/Nosram/Orion/Orion – + 2.80
A Main Leg 1 Pro Stock
1. Alexander Stocker – HB/LRP/LRP/Speed Passion – 16L in 5m 18.64
2. Meik Niemann – Xray/LRP/Orcan/Speed Passion – + 3.71
3. Kai Maurus – HB/LRP/LRP/Speed Passion – + 4.60
The final round of qualifying for the Euro Touring Series has been completed at a blistering pace with all the signs that we are in for an intense evening of Finals here in Germany.
Modified saw another round victory for Atsushi Hara who yesteday wrapped up the TQ but the Japanese ace wasn’t saving himself for the finals instead setting the quickest run of the weekend and becoming the first driver to break into the 18 laps. Closest to the former World Champion in the final qualifier was Dutch ace Jilles Groskamp, the Tamiya factory driver also making 18 laps in heat No. 11, the final of 55 heats run at the event. Current World Champion Andy Moore, Pre Worlds winner Viktor Wilck and 2004/2005 World Champion Marc Rheinard also broke into the 18 laps setting us up for a thrilling finale to the inaugural ETS Series.
In terms of the A Main Modified grid Hot Bodies have secured the top 3 spots with Hara on the pole followed by European Champion Ronald Volker with Moore in 3rd. In total four manufacturers are represented in the final with Steen Graversen the first non HB driver with his Shin prototype Kyosho in fourth followed by American ace Paul Lemieux’s Xray and Rheinard’s Tamiya.
2007 Euros Top Qualifier Steven Weiss will start pole for the B Final with his Xray just ahead of the top Austrian Team HB driver Thomas Pumpler.
A Main Grid Modified
1. Atsushi Hara – Hot Bodies – 0
2. Ronald Völker – Hot Bodies – 7
3. Andy Moore – Hot Bodies – 9
4. Steen Graversen – Kyosho – 10
5. Paul Lemieux – Xray – 11
6. Marc Rheinard – Tamiya – 11
7. Viktor Wilck – Tamiya – 13
8. Jilles Groskamp – Tamiya – 15
9. Bastian Schaefer – Hot Bodies – 19
10.Christopher Krapp – Kyosho – 23
In Pro Stock we had another closely contested qualifier with two drivers breaking into the 17 laps for the first time of the weekend. Meik Niemann won the round from overall Top Qualifier Alexander Stocker as the two set a blistering pace around the Andernach circuit and as a result the Xray driver will line-up alongside the Hot Bodies racer on the front row of the grid. Third in the heat was Tony Streit with Matthias Lang fourth and the pair will line up in the reverse of that order on the grid for what is set to be an intense 2 legs of racing.
Stocker won the opening round of the ETS at Kastellaun and is currently on form to become the inaugural champion if he can finish ahead of the other three championship contenders who have made the final – George Spitteler, winner in Heemstede, Tony Streit and Christoph Thiele. Unfortunately current points standing leader Nicolai Nielsen’s challenge for the title looks dead as he qualified only 3rd for the B Final. There is a very slight chance the Danish racer can lift the title but he needs his challengers to hit trouble. Vasco Christiaanse is another to drop out of the title chase as he starts pole in the B.
A Main Grid Pro Stock
1. Alexander Stocker – Hot Bodies – 0
2. Meik Niemann – Xray – 5
3. Matthias Lang – Xray – 8
4. Tony Streit – Hot Bodies – 8
5. Dominik Reschke – Corally – 9
6. George Spitteler – Corally – 17
7. Dai Sakaguchi – Tamiya – 17
8. Kai Maurus – Hot Bodies – 20
9. Steffen Koch – Yokomo – 20
10.Christoph Thiele – Xray – 22
As predicted following the blistering pace he set in timed practice yesterday, Atsushi Hara has TQ’d for the finale of the inaugural Euro Touring Series at Andernach in Germany. The former World Champion has been in a league of his own despite the world class field competing here this weekend. Winning the first two heats with ease Hara was expected to secure pole for the A Mains in the third round but the Japanese ace made a rare driver error and pulled up early. Round 4 however it was back to business for the Hot Bodies team driver taking the win to achieve an unbeatable zero score and guarantee himself TQ.
The penultimate qualifier was extremely close and Kyosho’s Steen Graversen who ran in the heat after Hara pushed hard missing out on beating the latters run time by just 11/100th of a second. Marc Rheinard also had a chance of TQ’ing the round but dropped off the pace in the dying moments finishing third overall 3/100th behind Graversen. Overnight the qualification is Hara on pole, Ronald Volker 2nd, Steen Graversen 3rd, Andy Moore 4th, Paul Lemeiux 5th with Marc Rheinard completing the Top 6.
A few big names struggling around the tight technical Andernach circuit include Dutch Champion & Serpent team driver Bart Wubben who is only 21st, Japanese star Shin Adachi who is down in 23rd followed by Corally lead driver Marc Fisher. Former French National Cyril N’Diaye lies a very lowly 28th unable to get his car to work for him and its a similar story for factory Associated driver Joel Myrberg in 29th.
In Pro Stock, with Alexander Stocker having already tied up the TQ after three rounds, Indoor German National Champion Dominik Reschke TQ’d the fourth qualifier ahead of Meik Niemann with Stocker third. Points leader Nicolai Nielsen currently sits 13th in the overnight qualification standings and will have to put a very strong performance in the final heat in the morning if he is to make the A Final and keep his title hopes alive.
Top Qualifier Equipment Checklist
Modified Atsushi Hara (JPN)
Chassis – Hot Bodies Cyclone TC
ESC – Nosram Matrix
Cells – Team Orion SHO4200
Motor – Team Orion Vortex Race 3.5
Tires – Sweep 32 (controlled)
Radio – Futaba 3PK
Body – Protoform Mazda Speed 6
Pro Stock Alexander Stocker (D)
Chassis – Hot Bodies Cyclone TC
ESC – LRP TC Sphere
Cells – LRP 4600 Fat Cobra
Motor – Speed Passion Ultra Sportsman 9.5 (Handout)
Tires – Sweep 32 (Controlled)
Radio – Sanwa M11
Body – Protoform Mazda Speed 6
Ronald Volker has TQ’d round 3 of qualifying here in Andernach after both Atsushi Hara and Paul Lemieux went out with unforced driver errors. Hara and Lemieux had ruled the opening two heats but where both forced to pull up early when they made mistakes allowing European Champion Volker to win the heat and top the times for the round.
‘My car was better. I ran with no additive on my tires, just cleaned them, and the car was better at the start of the run. I lost a little time when Hara came back onto the track after his mistake but other than that it was a good run. I think for sure Hara is still the quickest but I am happy to take the TQ for the round’, commented the young German.
Asked about his demise Hara replied, ‘I just made a mistake. I had planned to use new tyres for the heat but I found out I can keep a set from qualifying for the finals so I used the same set from Heat 1 & 2 again and the grip was not so good.’ Lemieux was also quick to put his hand up and accept he just made a driver error. The American star didn’t break anything but his front body clips came undone forcing him to pull up.
Andy Moore had his best round finish taking second followed by Steen Graversen, who was on target to TQ until he had a roll going onto the back straight. Bastian Schaefer, Marc Rheinard and Jilles Groskamp completed the Top 6 fastest runs.
Who will line up on the pole for the Pro Stock was decided in Heat 3 with local ace and ETS Round 1 winner Alexander Stocker making the opening three heats his own to TQ his Hot Bodies Cyclone TC. The German Indoor Vice Champion put in three faultless drives to claim the perfect zero score but says both Matthias Land and Meik Niemann will be tough opposition come tomorrow’s finals. In terms of the championship title at present only two drivers, George Spitteler and Vasco Christiaanse both from Holland, are in a top 10 qualifying position and therefore are the only two who can challenge Stockers bid for the title.