Bruno Coelho resisted another challenge from Naoto Matsukura to take a tone to tone win in the second of the A-Mains at ETS Andernach. Having let Matsukura through in A1 after touching the curbing, Coelho would have a moment in A2 also, but just beforehand Matsukura had dropped back with a moment of his own. Right on the bumper of the Xray, the Infinity driver looked to make a late inside pass in the chicane but he went over the curb and rolled allowing Coelho to take it by close to 2-seconds. As he did in the first encounter, Marc Rheinard would make up one position to complete the Top 3, this time ahead of Alexander Hagberg.
‘For sure that was a hard final, one of the hardest I’ve had’, was Coelho’s summary of A2. The reigning champion continued, ‘Naoto was faster than me for the first 2-minutes. It equalled out then but he was still faster. Steering in the right side is the still a problem for me and that is where he was faster’. With Matsukura not a title candidate, the Portuguese driver said, ‘we made a lot of changes and they were not successful but I am still happy with the win. At least we will come away with 2nd plus the TQ point for our first time here and that’s good for the championship’. Needing to keep Matsukura behind him in A3 to become this season’s first multiple winner, he concluded, ‘I will fight for first in the third one’.
Matsukura said, ‘In the beginning my car was more fast but after 2-minute we ran the same times. There was a little mistake from me and then a little mistake from him’. He continued, ‘I was back on him for the last two laps and tried to get him on the inside of the chicane but I was too much inside and had a roll’. Chasing his first ever ETS victory, he concluded, ‘normally with no mistake I can’t pass. I need to put more pressure on him in the last one. I will keep the car the same, it was good’.
Having a rather lonely race, Rheinard said, ‘I was just slightly slower than them but I was already about 1.2 (seconds) behind after two laps before getting by Viktor’. With the chance of his second win of the season gone, the Infinity driver said, ‘I will try to save my podium in the last one. I’ll try to make sure nothing happens’.
In the other A-Mains, Jan Ratheisky made up for his incident A1 of Pro Stock to see off a strong challenge from Xray team-mate and A1 winner Mustafa Alp with Alex Kunkler coming through for third. In Formula, Ratheisky claimed the first overall victory of the weekend with yet another dominant drive ahead of Luke Lee and Helge Johannessen. In the 40+ Masters class, Benzi took the win ahead of A1 victor Christian Drießle, meaning its all to play for in A3.
Naoto Matsukura has taken the opening A-Main at the fourth round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Germany. The Infinity driver would pressure Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho through the race eventually able to take an advantage of an error with one & a half minutes remaining. Looking to have the quicker car, Matsukura would himself survive at early mistake when he ran wide on the straight with his car making clearly audible contact with the steel boards. Dropping him back a little, the Japanese driver quickly got back with Coelho and when the leader touched the curbing and opened the door he went through for the win. Behind Marc Rheinard would get by Viktor Wilck to complete the Top 3 ahead of Freddy Sudhoff, with Wilck dropping back to fifth.
Summing up his win, Masukura said, ‘My car was pretty good and at the beginning I made a big attack. I ran a little on the outside of the straight where there was no traction and I hit the wall but the car was ok. Later Bruno made a little mistake and I could take him’. The former World Champion added, ‘with no mistakes it is super difficult to pass. The next one I will push again and wait for a mistake’.
‘It was an ok final’ was Coelho’s reaction. The Xray driver continued, ‘I was leading until I think three laps to go. My car was pushing a little in the 180 corners, Naoto was faster for sure. Like I said before we have not yet 100% found the set-up for the car so actually second is not so bad’. On his error, the Portuguese driver said, ‘I touched the curb and it caused me to open. I could have made a fight side by side but decided it was better not too, there are still two finals to go’.
Rheinard said, ‘I took it easy in the beginning. I want to give Viktor breathing room. Then he spun out and I was catching the other two but I ran out of time. Naoto was faster than Bruno’. The Infinity driver added, ‘the problem is qualifying. Third on the grid would have given me a better chance to fight with them. I hope Naoto can get the same result in the next one and then maybe I can fight with Bruno’.
In the opening Pro Stock final, a great move for the lead by Olivier Bultynck came to nothing as Top Qualifier Jan Ratheisky tried to retake the position just as they came up to start their last lap. The Xray hit the Awesomatix causing the Belgian a body tuck allowing most of the field to go by. This allowed Mustafa Alp to come through for the win ahead of ETS Madrid winner Max Machler and Alex Kunkler. Ratheisky was later penalised for the move. In Formula, Ratheisky had the perfect race to take an easy win over Olivier Bultynck, who was promoted to second after Luke Lee rolled, with David Ehrbar completing the Top 3. In the 40+ Masters class Christian Drießle got by Top Qualifier Thomas Oehler early on for the win with Özer Yürüm getting passed Beni Stutz for third.