Jilles Groskamp has moved closer to securing his second ETS TQ after he won the third round of qualifying at his home track today with the fastest Mod run of the event so far. Winning the opening heat, Groskamp had to give way to fellow Dutchman Hugo Van der Berg in the second heat and in the third the pair fought it out for win with the victory finally going the way of the international Tamiya team driver. Third fastest was Luke Van Essen driving a Corally who was running in a different heat where he was was quickest from his brother Sven Van Essen.
Viktor Wilck set the fourth fastest time managing his best points haul of the day but the young Swede is still struggling to go the full 5 minutes. For the last heat today he will make his last attempt to make the time with his current car configuration but is considering a motor change for tomorrow, possibly switching to a 4.0T brushless motor. Marc Rheinard appears to be struggling here in Holland but you can never rule out the German star and once he gets run timed sorted he should be back in the hunt.
Leading Dutch National Championship racer Vasco Christiaanse has TQ’d Pro Stock at the third round of the Much More backed European Touring Series after putting in the perfect performance, taking a hat trick of wins in the opening three heats. With 3 of the 5 qualifiers determining the grid for tomorrow’s three leg finals, Christiaanse will line up on pole position with his Shin edition Kyosho TF5 Stallion. While the poleman can now relax and conserve his tyres, the fight for 2nd on the grid is still very much on with ETS Round 2 winner Nicolai Nielsen, DHI Cup Champion Jimmy Maddison and local ace Ronald Bestman all in the hunt. Drivers have one more qualifier this evening with the fifth & final heat scheduled for tomorrow morning.
Hugo Van den Berg bounced back having been the pace setter yesterday to take Heat 2 victory from Heat 1 winner Jilles Groskamp. Van den Berg took the win for the Mod class by 3/10th of a second but the run was slower than that set in opening round of heats. Bart Wubben took third spot just ahead of Serpent team-mate Rene Cornella with the Serpent pairing looking strong around here. Both Rheinard and Tamiya Racing Factory team-mate Vilck dumped on the final lap and so did not finish.
In Pro Stock, Heat 1 winner Vasco Christiaanse made it two out of two by winning the second qualifier in a slightly slower time that he put down to a couple of errors he made during the run. Second fastest was Schumacher’s Ronald Bestman who was much happier with his pace having shadowed Christiaanse for the entire heat. Team-mate Jimmy Maddison was third but is still not completely happy with his Mi3 and is now changing shock oils & spring for the third qualifier.
Round 1 of qualifying has just taken place here at the MACH and its Vasco Christiaanse and Jilles Groskamp who are first to register qualifying wins at Round 3 of the ETS. Christiaanse, who is at the controls of Kyosho’s TF5 Stallion Shin edition, produced the quickest Pro Stock run we have seen so far today as the sunshine came out and track temperatures started to rise. The Dutch driver told us his car is really good since he fitted all his race equipment but believes there is more time to come and will make some small adjustments to give him some extra steering for the second round of the heats. Chris Van Der Hagen driving a Tamiya took second while Jimmy Maddison was third ahead of practice pace setter George Spitteler. ETS Series leader Jan Van Steeg could only managed 8th fastest in the run.
In Modified Jilles Groskamp took the win from team-mate Marc Rheinard but once again his time was slower than that he posted in the first timed practice this morning. Splitting the Tamiya factory team is current Dutch Vice-Champion Hugo Van Den Berg with his Xray T2 ‘008 who posted the third fastest run just ahead of Viktor Wilck while Rene Cornella is top Serpent in 5th position.
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.