It was an easy Sunday morning drive for Bruno Coelho in A1 as the Xray driver took a dominant A1 win at ETS Italy. Top Qualifier at the Riccione track, the reigning champion would immediately break away from the pack to win ahead of Ronald Volker and Elliott Harper, the Top 3 remaining the same from start to finish. Behind, 4th place starter Marc Rheinard would fall back after an altercation with the track’s infamous bump, snatching back 5th at the line from Serpent’s Viktor Wilck to finish behind his Infinity team-mate Jilles Groskamp.
‘A very good start, although the first two laps were a little difficult’, was Coelho’s reaction after the race. Moving a step closer to his third win of the season, the championship leader continued, ‘we are still not perfect with the tyre prep. We tried many different ways already but its still the same. Normally you have more traction at the start but instead there is a strange traction. The lap times are there but it is super loose in the rear and then after 3 or 4 laps its perfect’. Bolting away from his rivals at the start, his first lap would be the fastest of the race with him the only driver to manage a 15-second lap. Having gapped the field he said after that he just ‘tried to make no mistakes and get to the end’ adding ‘I’ll try to do the same in the second one’.
‘Not much I could do’ was how Volker summed up the race. The Yokomo driver said, ‘I started with understeer already. Bruno was everywhere faster’. Describing it as an uneventful race, when asked about Harper closing in on him, the World Champion replied, ‘Elliot came close and I had to defend but gladly he never got too close and at least I could stay second’. A track which hasn’t been good for the 5-time ETS Champion on the previous two visits, the German was clearly frustrated with the lack of performance from his BD8’s current set-up which he said they will change for A2.
Featuring at the sharp end of an ETS A-Main for the first time in a long time, summing up his race Harper said, ‘the first few laps were not very good but having said that I did set the second fastest lap of the race on my second lap’. The Schumacher driver, who TQ’d the third round of qualifying, continued, ‘the first lap was hectic, the feeling was not direct and a ‘skatey’ but then the tyres came in’. On his battle with Volker the British driver said, ‘there was less pressure when something happened to Marc (Rheinard) and I could close a little bit on Ronald but I couldn’t challenge him. Still it was a good run’. Planning to make changes to his Mi6, he concluded, ‘hopefully then I’ll be able to challenge Ronald in the next one’.
While the Volante Modified A-Main didn’t set pulses racing, the Scorpion Power Formula and Xray Pro Stock encounters did. In Formula there was a great battle between Top Qualifier David Ehrbar and reigning champion Jan Ratheisky. Around three & a half minutes in however Ehrbar’s would take a tight line onto the straight and catch the grass sending his Serpent tumbling to the infield and allowing Ratheisky to take the win ahead of Infinity driver Jitse Miedema and Olivier Bultynck. In Pro Stock, it was also the Top 2 starters who went at it. Starting from pole Mattia Collina was putting in a great drive to resist the pressure of Max Mächler but coming onto the straight the Awesomatix driver would collect the Xray with Lars Hoppe there to pick up the pieces and the win ahead of Christian Donath and Henrik Heitsch.