Jilles Groskamp has won the opening A-Main at the penultimate round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg. Starting from second on the grid the Team Infinity driver took an early lead when Top Qualifier Ronald Volker did a 360 on the opening lap with Marc Rheinard falling victim to the out of shape Yokomo. With this allowing Bruno Coelho through to 2nd, the championship leader would close the gap on Groskamp in the closing laps but each time he looked set to mount a challenge he would make a small error. Getting by Volker on his third attempt, the arch rivals making contact each time, Rheinard would recover to finish 3rd while Volker would end up seventh.
‘Same as last year, now I have to keep it together’, was Groskamp’s reaction to A1 referring to last year when he won the opening A-Main but then rolled in A2. The Dutch ace, who is running an Xray chassis in Luxembourg, said, ‘Unlike Ronald I had good grip from the start and when he spun I was able to get around him but Marc hit him giving me an early break’. Setting the fastest lap of the race on his 3rd lap, the 2012 World Champion continued, ‘I then just tried to maintain the gap to Bruno but I had one moment when I lost the rear so was careful after that’. His first ETS outing this season he added, ‘It was nice to bring it home’.
‘Not so bad after starting from 4th’ was Coelho view on finishing second. The Xray driver continued, ‘there was trouble in front and I was able to pass Ronald & Marc but Jilles pulled away over the first four laps’. Describing his T4 as ‘a little loose in the beginning’ he said when it came in he was able to close but on both attempts to set-up a pass ‘(he) made mistakes and touched the curbs’. With his car ‘much better than yesterday’, last year’s race winner said they just need to ‘try to improve (the car) for the start of the race’.
Showing just why he is a four time World Champion with the passes he made on his recovery back through the field, Rheinard said, ‘my car felt pretty good but I was unlucky Ronald spun and my car rolled over. It was not his fault’. Making his way back to the the top, the Tamiya driver said “I knew Ronald’s car was not good but I still lost too much time fighting to get by him’. Eventually getting by on the front straight when they glanced off each other and Volker spun out, he said by ‘it was too late to catch the others’. Looking to A2 Rheinard said, ‘I’m pretty sure I can fight for the win if I can get a normal start’. Outside the Top 3, Freddy Sudhoff would take his Awesomatix to fourth ahead of Serpent’s Viktor Wilck and the Capricorn of Marc Fischer. For P5 starter Alexander Hagberg his race would end with a huge bang as his Xray failed to turn into the sweeper at the end of the main straight.
‘I have no idea why but I had zero traction’, was how Volker summed up a difficult A1. The reigning champion added, ‘at a quick glance the car looks fine so I can only blame the set of tyres’. With no balance in the car he added, ‘It was bad for the entire race and was just drifting around’. With A-Main drivers having a new set of tyres at their disposal for each of the 3 mains, he said hopefully the next set will be good adding ‘if we do change anything on the car it will be only small as the car worked all the times before’.
In the Xray Pro Stock class there were no issues for the Top Qualifier as Lars Hoppe took a tone to tone victory. The big battle of the race would be for second which would go to the Tamiya of P4 starter Christian Donath who demoted Olivier Bultynck to third. In Formula, Serpent designer David Ehrbar took the win in a race that would see no change in the top 3 starting order with Jacques Libar 2nd and Mike Gosvig 3rd.