Bruno Coelho took an easy win of a completely static A1 final at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series season finale at the Hudy Arena, with not one pass being executed over the 5-minutes as the 10 cars finished exactly as they qualified. Top Qualifier Coelho made an early break over Xray team-mate Alexander Hagberg allowing the newly crowned champion to cruise to a 1.3 second victory. 1.9-seconds back from Hagberg, Awesomatix’s Viljami Kutvonen completed the Top 3 with the Finn having no problems fending off the Yokomo of Ronald Volker. The only attempted pass of the race came from Yannic Prumper as the VBC driver tried to find a way passed Team Infinity’s Jilles Groskamp but the German couldn’t get it done.
With many drivers joking as they left the drivers’ stand that the ETS should introduce DRS to help with overtaking, Coelho agreed it was ‘boring for all drivers’ as there was ‘no overtaking and no body even made mistakes’. On his own race, his fastest lap 2/10th faster than anyone else, he said, ‘my car was perfect on new tyres which allowed me to push a the beginning to pull away. Once I had a lead I could control the race, it was a little bit too easy (of a race)’. Looking to A2, which takes place in the morning, the new Season #9 Champion said, ‘everything was perfect and I hope it will be the same for tomorrow’. Another dominant performance in A2 would secure him a third win of the season and cap off a perfect campaign.
Hagberg described his ORCA powered T4 as being ‘a little loose at the start’ and losing time as result at the beginning he said he, ‘couldn’t make it back up later on’. While he couldn’t catch Coelho, the Swede said there was ‘no threat from behind’ so it wasn’t any pressure as a result. Asked about improving his car at the start for A2, the reigning Nitro Touring Car World Champion, replied, ‘we will try to find something overnight and put on a better show tomorrow.’
‘It was OK, on the negative side the Xrays were faster but on the positive all the others were slower’, was how Viljami summed up his final. While he would stay with Hagberg for the first few laps he said there was ‘no real pressure from Ronald behind’ so it was an easy race. Feeling the diff in his LRP powered A800 was too soft for the temperatures he said depending on conditions at time of the A2 start he might go harder with the diff.
While the first Volante Modified encounter was dull, the preceding Pro Stock race was entertaining with Top Qualifier Tom Krägefski having to see off two different challengers. First to mount a challenge was P2 starter Noah Asendorf. While the the pair duelled it out, from fifth on the grid, champion Jan Ratheisky found his way third and started to close. A mistake by Asendorf as the race reached half distance dropped the Swiss driver out of contention for the win with Ratheisky there to take over the challenge. With Ratheisky all over the bumper of his T4, Krägefski stood up to the pressure to hold on for the win by 0.114 of a second with Asendorf getting third. In Formula, it was an easy win for Ratheisky as the Top Qualifier & back to back champion won by a massive 6-seconds from Matej Dobnikar. Dobnikar benefited when the battle for second saw Jitse Miedema getting in to the rear of Serpent’s David Ehrbar. With Miedema waiting on Ehrbar to take back position Dobnikar slipped through with 3-laps to go for second followed by Miedema.
In a bit if a surprise, Awesomatix’s Viljami Kutvonen took the final round of qualifying at the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series but it is newly crowned champion Bruno Coelho who will start the A-Main at the Hudy Arena from pole. With only Hagberg with an outside chance of denying Coelho his X TQ of the season by taking the fourth & final qualifier, Kutvonen caught them all by surprise as he gambled on saving his second set of tyres for the run. Only a 16-lap run due to the extra hot conditions of the midday run, the Finn outpaced Ronald Volker by just 2/10ths of a second with Hagberg only a further 4/10th off despite both being on used tyres. With a P4 in Q1, the result puts Kutvonen 3rd on the grid behind the Xrays of Coelho & Hagberg and ahead of Volker & Jilles Groskamp.
‘Tyre strategy’ was Kutvonen’s response to his TQ run continued, ‘I saved a set of tyres for the last one and it paid off quite well’. With Coelho and Hagberg managing 17-lap TQ runs in the previous rounds, the ETS Italy runner-up said, his ‘pace on new tyres was not as good as expected’, adding it was ‘super loose’. Feeling his car will be better for the first final when conditions will be cooler and all drivers will be on new tyres, when asked if he can challenge the Xrays he replied, ‘its difficult to say, Alexander is crazy fast on both new and used tyres’. Feeling his LRP powered A800 is better now than Q1 when, with all drivers on new tyres, he was a competitive fourth quickest, he said ‘I think I should be ok for the final’.
Losing his Hobbywing powered T4 coming onto the straight on the second lap, Coelho described Q4 as ‘super hot and difficult track conditions’. Running used tyres he continued, ‘with new tyres for the final it should be a lot better’. Winner of the event last year from the pole, the Portuguese driver said his plan for the final is to ‘try to make no mistakes and see what happens’. On his opposition he added, ‘I hope Alex don’t attack too much but for sure he will’.
Commenting on his final qualifier, Hagberg said, ‘I had a problem with a bit of fade again towards the end if the run’. Putting some of the fade down to the track being ‘so hot’, he said for the final ‘the important thing is the team wins’. Asked if he can challenge Coelho for the win, he replied ‘I’ll try to fight for win but we have to be sure we don’t fight & end up letting someone else win’.
While ‘Very, very disappointed to lose out on 2nd by 2/10ths of a second’, Volker was pleased that his Yokomo was ‘finally amazing’ again. Making a ‘very big set-up change in the direction of Meen’s set-up’, he said his LRP powered BD7 was transformed but his start was less than ideal as he spun on the first corner of the first lap. Posting the fastest lap of the final qualifier despite being on used tyres, the former champion said the 2-seconds lost cost him a TQ run and P2 on the grid. Looking to the final he said ‘If my car is as good as it as in Q4 I should be able to put pressure the guys ahead’. A win could see the German demote his long standing rival Marc Rheinard to third in the overall standings. Pulling off half way through the qualifier, Rheinard described the run as ‘a disaster’ adding he had ‘just no grip’ and he lines up P8 behind Awesomatix’s Freddy Sudhoff and VBC Racing’s Yannic Prümper. Completing the top half of the grid Groskamp starts fifth.
In the Pro Stock class it will also be an Xray on pole with Tom Krägefski the Top Qualifier. The German took his first ETS pole on a tie breaker with Swiss driver Noah Asendorf. Both drivers had a TQ run each but it was Krägefski’s Q3 time that was faster. Behind them Marco Siegenthaler starts third ahead of the Team Magic of Q1 pace setter Patrick Gassauer. In the Formula class, champion Jan Ratheisky is the Top Qualifier looking for his 5th clean sweep of the season having missed Luxembourg. Behind the Xray driver, Luxembourg winner David Ehrbar will start 2nd with his Serpent with Roche driver Olivier Bultynck third.
Chassis – Kyosho TF7 Motor –LRP X20 4.5T ESC –LRP Flow Batteries – LRP 5600 LCG Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Futaba Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R Remarks – Making his comeback to the Euro Touring Series after a 2-year hiatus, former World Champion Atsushi Hara chose to run a Kyosho TF7 as a privateer for this event. His car features lower shock towers meant to be used with shorter shocks, both pre-production items. He has also chosen to use lightweight front outdrives.