Day 2 of the Euro Touring Series has come to a thrilling close with Marc Rheinard just missing out on a 29 lap run by 0.5 of a second even after getting his Tamiya up on two wheels in the dying moments of the run. The German star again reduced the fastest lap time posting a stunning 10.46 which is over a tenth faster than any of his rivals. Still complaining that his car is difficult to drive, the European 1:10 and 1:12 Champion has a problem which is causing the car to traction roll on left hand turns but is perfect when turning right.
Second fastest in Round 4 of the five qualifiers was Jilles Groskamp positioning the Tamiya Racing Factory team 1-2 in the overnight qualification ranking. With two of the five heats determining the starting line up for the finals, the Dutch driver is now the only one who can challenge Rheinard for TQ honours. Freddy Sudhoff completed the top three for Q4 leaving him an impressive third in the ranking. Another German making an impression is Yannic Prumper who recorded the second fastest lap time of the day despite the quality international field. Prumper had two non-finishes today but a good final qualifier should ensure we see the young talent on the grid for the A Main.
A very impressive display of driving has seen Daniel Wohlgemuth guarantee himself the Top Qualifier spot for the triple A Mains in Pro Stock. The German SMI/Xray driver has shown his opposition the way in all four of the qualifiers and will use tomorrow morning’s final qualifier as a practice run for the afternoons finals.
The final qualifier gets underway at 08:00 in the morning with the first finals of the 2008/2009 ETS, which enjoys backing from Much More, Hot Bodies and Speed Passion, kicking off at noon.
The pace is really hotting up here in Germany as the grip continues to increase and the laps times continue to fall. Running a new prototype chassis plate on his TRF416, Marc Rheinard added to his Heat 1 TQ with the fastest time for Heat 3. The new chassis (compared with original in image below) allows for the batteries to be positioned more to the front of the car and the former World Champion was happy with the handling improvements it made allowing him to set a new fastest lap of 10.56 on his way to the best run of the day. Rheinard will stick with the chassis for the day’s final qualifier but will make small changes to his set-up to try and make the car easier to drive.
Yet again Freddy Sudhoff clocked the second fastest time for the round with fellow Xray driver Steven Weiss enjoying his best run of the day with third. The two Germans had little to report following the run appearing happy with their set-ups however Weiss is changing motor for Round 4 as he looks for a bit more power.
Fastest in the second qualifier, Jilles Groskamp was fourth on this occassion. Running the 2.5mm chassis plate on his Tamiya, the Dutch driver was pleased with the switch. Early mistakes in the run as he got used to the different handling of the thicker chassis meant a second TQ run was not possible but the Speed Passion team driver is not too worried as he is already sure of a place in tomorrow’s A Mains and so will use the remaining two heats to try different set-ups. Groskamp will stick with the 2.5mm chassis. Viktor Wilck, who is still feeling under the weather following his exposure to the elements in England last weekend, and young up & coming German talent Bjorn Prumper completed the Top 6 for the round.
In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth continues to dominate taking his third round TQ as the only driver to record 27 laps. Christoph Thiele was his closest challenger. For defending ETS Champion Alexander Stocker his car continues to be difficult to drive. Summing it up as ‘simply horrible’, the German is starting to loose confidence but will make more changes in an attempt to get the car to work.
He was beaten by his team mate in Heat 1 but second time round Jilles Groskamp made his mark in the second qualifier showing just why he is the reigning ETS Champion. Recording the fastest lap we have seen so far here in Kastellaun with a time of 18.62, the Dutch driver recorded 28 laps in a time of 306.50 seconds to TQ the round from the very impressive Freddy Sudhoff.
While traction roll effecting his Tamiya team-mates, Groskamp’s gluing of the outside wall of his tyres worked perfectly allowing him to push his TRF416 harder without suffering the problems experienced by Rheinard and Wilck. The pair running nose to tail in the heat flipped coming on to the main straight in a rather impressive display of syncronised traction roll. With traction so high Groskamp will switch to a thicker 2.5mm chassis in the next heat.
Sudhoff, who is running in the group before Groskamp, is really enjoying his Xray debut describing the car as ‘Perfect’. One small mistake caused him to flip after he clipped a corner dot but the German is running really well at his home round of the Much More back ETS and other than changing to softer springs he will leave his car the same for the third of the five scheduled heats. In the same group, Joel Myrberg also had a mistake on what was potentially a TQ run. Coming onto the main straight he also caught a dot rolling his TC5 and having to run the remainder of the heat with the body tucked under on one side. Still the Swede managed the fourth fastest time just behind Steven Wiess. Just missing out on a 28 lapper factory Kyosho driver Steen Gaversen was much happier with his run and should be one to watch in Round 3. The Dane was another to make a mistake which at this level are costly. A good run by Swede Magnus Vassmar saw him complete the Top 6 in Modified.
In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth, who finished third in this year’s German Nationals, is looking good for overall TQ honours as he topped the round once again after producing a faster time. The round saw five drivers break into the 26 laps with Tommy Bergfeldt taking his Hot Bodies to second from Matthias Lang, Christoph Thiele and the Kyosho of Stefan Jansen.
One rather interesting battle witnessed today in Kastellaun was the lunchtime shot out between the two men behind the Euro Touring Series – Scotty Ernst and Uwe Rheinard. A borrowed pair of Tamiya M03 Suzuki Swift’s, nervously loaned by Dutch competitors Eric Mulder and Patrick Van Der Knaap, were used. The pair claimed to have previous r/c experience but we are not so sure although Scotty’s excuses after the race would lead us to believe he has done this before!! No official result was published by bbk Timing so we dont have any winner’s quotes. Thankfully Scotty is now back behind the mic and Uwe is busy looking after race admin.
European Champion Marc Rheinard has TQ’d the first round of qualifying for the 2008/2009 Euro Touring Series opener in Germany setting a time of 27 laps in 5:01.89 to pip Tamiya team-mate and defending ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp by 9/10th of a second. The German described the run as ‘so, so’ saying the track had a lot more traction than yesterday something that caught out many of the top Modified drivers this morning. ‘In the beginning the car was very good but the car started to feel like it wanted to traction roll as the run went on’. Targeting 28 laps next time out, Rheinard plans to run the same set-up on his TRF 416 and focus more on how he prepares his tyres for the run.
Groskamp is also focusing on tyres having found his car very hard to drive in the high traction conditions. The Dutch ace is gluing the side wall of his front Sweeps to reduce bit and will also try a different additive for Heat 2. Team Associated driver Joel Myrberg was happy with his time considering the number of mistakes he made. Having found his TC5 to be tweaked yesterday he says the car is much better today and with an incident free run he has the pace to challenge for TQ honours this weekend.
Continuing his impressive Xray debut Freddy Sudhoff posted the fourth fastest time despite finding his car harder to drive due to the extra traction. A good clean run, the German said he will use the same set-up again and instead work on his driving style to suit the conditions as the car is very good. Pitting next to Sudhoff and right behind him on the time sheets for Round 1 Steven Weiss, also driving an Xray, was pleased with his car but admitted to a costly driver error on the main straight. Completing the Top 6 Viktor Wilck also made a big mistake on his run at the chicane. The Swede says his car is working similar to Rheinard’s but he wants to rebuild his shocks for his next outing.
In Pro Stock Daniel Wohlgemuth topped the first qualifier with his Xray T2 ‘008 by 4 seconds from SMI team-mate Christoph Thiele. The German completed 25 laps but believes 26 is possible in Round 2 and plans no changes to his car. Thiele is also happy with how his Xray is working and will also leave his car unchanged as he too targets the extra lap over 5 minutes. Making it an all German Top 3 for Round 1, Corally driver Dominik Reschke plans to change shock position to make his RDX Phi more sensative to direction change through the double chicane. Tommy Bergfeldt is the fastest non German, the Swede posting the fourth fastest time at the controls of his Hot Bodies. For defending ETS Champion and recently crowned German National Champion Alexander Stocker he had a terrible run suffering with a car that just wanted to slide around. Having left his car set-up the same as yesterday’s practice, when his Hot Bodies was right on the pace, Stocker really struggled this morning and couldn’t really explain why other than maybe his new race tyres needed to be scrubbed in before the run.
It was two Dutch drivers who shared honours for outright pace in practice today for the opening round of the Much More sponsored European Touring Series. Both Jilles Groskamp and Bart Wubben set a best lap time of 10.80 seconds in the final session of the day. Defending ETS Champion Groskamp is well used to being at the head of the time sheets but Wubben, who is debuting his privately entered Xray, is delighted with his pace. Wubben admitted to making a few too many mistakes today but overall feels the car is really fast. Suffering from traction roll, a problem faced by many drivers in the final practice run, Wubben will reduce his steering for tomorrow’s first qualifier to try cure the problem but goes back to his hotel a very happy man.
Groskamp, who over 5 minutes is fastest, was pleased with his day and will leave his Speed Passion powered Tamiya as it is for the first two qualifiers tomorrow. With the best two of the five scheduled heats to count he will be hoping to secure two clean runs which will then allow him to run some set-up ideas he would like to try that may improve his TRF416 car further.
bbk Timing Systems, the official timing partner for the ETS, have been monitoring drivers best three consecutive lap times here today which gives a good indication of who is running consistently fast laps. This shows European Champion Marc Rheinard as the quickest ahead of fellow countryman Freddy Sudhoff. Sudhoff, another former Serpent driver making his Xray debut here in Kastellaun, is delighted with his new SMI drive describing the car as ‘super easy to drive’. Groskamp is showing as the third fastest just .03 slowing than team-mate Rheinard over three laps. Joel Myrberg who was very fast in the earlier runs is showing fourth but in the last run found his TC5 is tweaked and is now busy rebuilding his car. Wubben and Steven Weiss, who qualified P2 here last year, complete the ‘Super Pole’ style ranking.
In Pro Stock, again using BBK’s 3 lap timing as a good indicator as to who is setting the pace, Christoph Thiele is the man to watch. Top Qualifier at the DHI Cup, Thiele is one of Europe’s top Pro Stock drivers and armed with his Xray he will be a tough challenger to ETS Champion Alexander Stocker and his Hot Bodies.
So practice is over and now its straight into Heat 1 tomorrow morning for the 163 competitors with the first cars due on track at 08:00. Red RC will bring you extensive coverage of the days action as it unfolds.
Drivers have completed 3 practice runs here at the opening round of the Euro Touring Series and the general news from the pits is that drivers like the layout of the track for this year’s event in Kastellaun and that the new Sweep QTS tyre is a big improvement over that developed by the ETS last season.
Jilles Groskamp is, as expected, setting the pace with his Tamiya TRF416 and likes the track but says the chicane is hard. Possible to straightline, the Dutch driver says its hard to get right but if you do you can post a very fast lap and if you dont its going to be a very slow one. Jilles is planning to make the front end of his car wider for the next run to try and make it slightly easier to drive.
Up there with Groskamp is Team Associated driver Joel Myrberg. The Swede is really happy with how his TC5 is working but plans to try heavier shock oil in his next run as well as using it to scrub in tyres for the first of tomorrow’s qualifiers. Most of the top Modified drivers are reporting that the new controlled tyre works better on the second run. Former Euros Top Qualifier Steven Weiss driving his Xray is also on a front running pace.
Viktor Wilck, who is suffering from a cold he picked up on his impressive 1:8 nitro buggy race debut at the Novarossi GP in England last weekend where he finished on the podium, has so far only completed one run having decided to rest this morning. Tamiya team mate Hupo Honigl has been forced to miss the event due to illness. Wilck and current European Champion Marc Rheinard are both sporting very flash custom graphics on their pit equipment thanks to new sponsorship from Backbone of Japan.
New Danish Champion and factory Kyosho driver Steen Graversen is reporting he still has work to do as he struggles to get his car to work on the controlled tyre. The Dane has tested the tyre at home and found them to work well but so far here he can’t find the right setting.
Elsewhere one of Europe’s emerging young talents Christer Andersson from Finland is trying to evaluate if a spool or oneway on the front of his TC5 is the way to go. Former Serpent factory driver Bart Wubben is here but at the controls of an Xray T2 008 rather than an S400 and is really pleased with the new car although the leading Dutch Championship contender admits he himself is a little race rusty.
Defending Pro Stock Champion Alexander Stocker is pleased with his runs so far but says the track is not as easy as it looks. Vice Champion George Spitteler is also happy with his pace despite his car being a little loose on the rear. Having secured backing from TOP and Corally following his performance in the 07/08 Euro Touring Series, Spitteler is quietly confident of another good showing this weekend.
One interesting new product on display here is the new SPX Stock Spec speedo from LRP. Although the ESC, which features four specific Stock mode settings that actively advance the motors timing relative to the speed, has been used before by the likes of Stocker at Andernach back in June more drivers are using the exciting new product here this weekend. Andreas Myrberg from LRP, who is here supporting his brother Joel this weekend, tells us the SPX Stock Spec ESC is being shipped now and will be available in shops very soon.