Practice has come to a close here in Holland and we are just about to get down to the serious business of the weekend. For the first time we finally got an official indication of where newly crowned 1:12 European Championship Marc Rheinard and DHI Cup Champion Viktor Wilck are in terms of pace. Rheinard was quick enough to post the 4th fastest run of the morning and Wilck looked on a similar pace until he had a big off going on to the straight. Once again it was their team-mate and pre-event favourite Jilles Groskamp that set the pace for the run but the Tamiya driver appeared frustrated coming off the rostrum as it was fractionally slower than Practice 1.
In Pro-Stock local Corally driver George Spitteler produced a good run to put himself top of the time sheets from Ronald Bestman. Jimmy Maddison had his first run of the day but wasn’t happy with the Bestman settings he transfered to his car this morning. He said the car was better balanced but need tweaking for better turn in on the faster corners.
Its been a very cold start to Day 2 of the Dutch leg of the Much More backed European Touring Series with the first of two controlled practice runs now complete with Robert Bestman and Jilles Groskamp setting the pace over the 5 minute run.
Bestman continued were he left off yesterday and was again pleased with his Pro Stock Schumacher Mi3, posting a 16 lap run in 5:11.89 despite the very cold track conditions. His team-mate Jimmy Maddison didn’t make the first practice because he was rebuilding his car to the same spec as that of Bestman. Having switched to his race motor this morning, ETS Round 2 winner Nicolai Nielsen pulled up early as he struggled with a lack of top end speed in his Serpent S400. The Danish driver is at a loss as to know what is causing this. Kyosho driver Vasco Christiaanse posted the second fastest run with ETS Pro Stock Series points leader Jan Van Steeg next up at the controls of his TOP Scythe.
In Mod the general comment from the drivers is ‘its too cold’ but making the most of the conditions is Jilles Groskamp. The Tamiya driver says traction is good but due to how cold it is the batteries are down on power. His team-mates Marc Rheinard and Victor Wilck once again ran no transponders with Wilck commenting after the run that his car was ‘so, so’. Rob Janssen, an A finalist in Denmark, looked good this morning and posted the second fastest run with his Serpent S400 with a run that was 4.8 seconds off that of Groskamp’s 18 laps in 5m 3.16. Third fastest was the S400’s designer Rene Cornella.
Bart Wubben, who together with Cornella and Janssen should provide the main Serpent challenge here at their home track, had an eventful morning. On his way to the track he got caught up in traffic causing him to arrive just before his run and with no batteries charged he was forced to borrow a set but after one lap of practice he pulled up with a total lack of power!
Drivers have one more free practice session before we get down to the serious business of qualifying.
Controlled practice has come to a close here in Holland for the 3rd round of the ETS and its the locals that are showing the way with Hugo van den Berg recording the fastest lap, with a time of 16.27. Vd Berg, driving an Xray T2 ‘008 heads his National rival Bart Wubben, the Dutch Champion managing a 16.36 lap. Jilles Groskamp is third fastest on lap times with 16.52 but the Round 2 winner and track record holder is confident he can achieve a very low 16 second lap in the morning’s two controlled free practices.
Marc Rheinard, winner of the recent LRP Masters, didn’t run a transponder today but the German says his biggest issue is run time. The former World Champion isn’t making a full 5 minute run around the high speed MACH track and says this might be a problem for him this weekend. DHI Cup Champion Vicktor Wilck looked to be running fast with his Speed Passion powered Tamiya but he too is also marginal on a run time.
In Pro Stock Ronald Bestman out did his team-mate Jimmy Maddison to post a best time of 18.41. Local racer Bestman has been testing his Schumacher here all week and has been using the wonders of the internet to perfect his car. Using the track’s four webcams he was able to take set-up advice from Maddison who was watching the car from back in the UK! With the two physically at the track today they have further fine tuned the set-up of their Mi3 with good results.
ETS Pro Stock Round 2 winner Nicolai Nielsen appears to be short on pace but the Danish driver says his Serpent s400 feels really good. He can’t pin point where he is losing the time but feels that come race day he should be OK and in the main mix.
Drivers will have two further opportunities in the morning to fine tune their cars, and for some improve run time, before the first of five rounds of qualifying gets underway at 11:30.
Local ace Jilles Groskamp continues to set the pace in the Modified class here in free practice for the 3rd Round of the Much More backed ETS while Schumacher ace Jimmy Maddison is fastest of the Pro Stock runners around the fast MACH track.
As expected Groskamp, who is sporting a fresh new hair cut, is showing all the Mod runners the fastest way round his home track. Currently the TRF driver is almost 2/10th faster than his nearest rival Bart Wubben. Wubben is another local and together with Serpent designer Rene Cornella the pair are showing the potential of the S400 around the Dutch manufacturer’s base track. Marc Rheinard continues to run without a transponder but according to team-mate Groskamp the newly crowned 1:12 European Champion is on a very similar pace to him.
On his first visit to the Netherlands, Jimmy Maddison is showing why he is Pro Stock Champion of the IIC Vegas Race and DHI Cup as he puts in some fast laps. Running a one off chassis which has different positioning of the cell slots to give the Mi3 better balance on the fast sweeping corners, the Englishman has posted a best time of 18.77 seconds. Local driver Ronald Bestman who is pitting next to Maddison and working closely with him on set-up suggestions is next fastest with an 18.82. TOP driver Eric Mulder is third fastest.
Testing continues with Modified currently out on track.
The sun is shining on the beautifully presented MACH circuit in Heemstede as the drivers in both the Modified and Pro Stock classes have taken to the track for free practice. The track is very fast and very long and the quick racers in Modified are running in the 16 seconds, while in Pro Stock they are getting into the high 18 second lap times. Drivers are working on run times and initial settings to try and catch up with the very quick locals.
Setting the quickest times in Modified currently is local star Jilles Groskamp racing his Tamiya TRF416, with the Serpent S400 pairing of Bart Wubben and Rene Cornella the next quickest on lap times. Marc Rheinard has been on track but isnt running a transponder and team mate Viktor Wilck is suffering from a cold and will take some time to get on the pace. In Stock class, its DHI cup winner Jimmy Maddison that is setting the pace but he has some really tough competition from the large group of local races like Ronald Bestman and Eric Mulder who both have home track advantage.
This weekends round 3 in the Netherlands is going ahead as usual and is looking to be a great race with some super quick drivers present and most importantly the weather is looking like it will be dry. The MACH track will be open all day Friday for practice, while for those racers that cant take time off on Friday and want to still race at this event, Saturday morning there is 2 more practice rounds before qualifying begins. The control tyre has also been confirmed for this weekends race and it will Much More Sweep 32 tyres with Sweep Pink insert mounted on Sweep Rims.
For full information about the event timetable, control tyres, basic rules as well as further information regarding the updated qualifying system go to the new Rules page here or click on the tab in the menu above.
Do you want to race against some of the World’s top touring car racers, while being commentated on by the legendary Scotty Ernst, in a fun and friendly, yet professional racing atmosphere then be sure to get your entry in for round 3 of the ETS by going here.
The organisers of the Much More backed European Touring Series have informed us that their 4th round, which was due to take place in Vienna Austria on the 9th – 11th of May, has had to be cancelled. Due to conflicts with other events on the same weekend in Austria, the host club were unable to hold this event on the same weekend and due to busy schedules there are no other options to move this round to another date. The plan is to race in Austria for the 2008-2009 series so the ETS will be happening in Vienna at some stage.