Bruno Coelho has taken an easy win in the opening A-Main at Round 4 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Italy. The Top Qualifier was effectively handed the race early on when second place starter Viljami Kutvonen got out of shape, collecting Marc Rheinard and putting both drivers on the grass. Allowing Alexander Hagberg through to second the Swede would stay there for the remainder of an otherwise relatively uneventful race with Ronald Volker completing the podium. The key pass of the race would be pulled off by Capricorn’s Kyle Branson, the British driver getting a run on Serpent’s Viktor Wilck onto the straight to secure 4th.
‘It was a perfect race for me’, was Coelho’s reaction to A1, his winning margin over team-mate Hagberg almost 1-second. He added, ‘Viljami pushed hard at the start but then had some problem with Rheinard giving me space. It really put the race in my hand’.
Commenting on his coming together with Rheinard, Vijami said, ‘I lost the back end. The steering is so good its on the limit and it was really no more than that’. Setting the fastest lap of the race as he tried to recover after being caught out by Kutvonen’s error, Rheinard said ‘there was nothing I could do’ adding ‘it was a racing accident, there was nothing Viljami could do either’.
‘I was lucky other guys crashed and that moved me up to second. It was straight forward from there’, was Hagberg’s view of the race. Happier with his T4, despite making no changes after the final qualifier, the multiple ETS race winner continued, ‘the car was fast enough to keep Ronald behind’.
Commenting on his race, Volker said ‘I followed Alex for the whole race’. He continued, ‘I tried to catch up but could drive any better as the balance of my car is still not perfect’. The German said while they are ‘improving (the car) step by step basically even if (he) can go faster than the guys in front (he) needs to hope for problems like in A1’ in order to get a good result.
While the Volante Modified A-Main didn’t provide much action, the Xray Pro Stock runners would put on a great race. With Top Qualifier Max Mächler rolling his Awesomatix on lap 4 handing Mattia Collina a popular lead that despite the efforts of Xray team-mate Jan Ratheisky he would hold until the finish. ARC driver Helge Johannessen would complete the Top 3 ahead Nikolai Håheim and a recovering Mächler. In the Serpent Formula class just one race now stands between Ratheisky and a fourth consecutive title as he dominated A1 to win ahead of David Ehrbar and Jacques Libar.
Bruno Coelho is Top Qualifier for Round 4 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series, the Xray driver bagging pole position for the first asphalt race of the season in a reduced qualifying at the Road Race Riccione track in Italy. With overnight rain having delayed the start of the second day’s action, qualifying would be cut to three rounds meaning only Q1 winner Viljami Kutvonen could deny championship leader Coelho his second TQ start of the season. With both drivers having to do the qualifier on used tyres having ran both allocated sets yesterday when Coelho took Q2, it would be Marc Rheinard who would top the third round. Gambling on saving his second set of tyres for today in the hope it would be dry, the Tamiya driver would take a sunny Q3 ahead of Alexander Hagberg, who was also on new tyres, with Coelho the best on used rubber in third. With 2 from 3 to count Coelho’s 19 lap Q2 time would give him pole over Kutvonen with Rheinard set to line-up 3rd. For reigning champion and last year’s race Top Qualifier Ronald Volker a P4 in Q3 would secure the Yokomo driver 5th on the grid.
Doubling his lead in the standings with the TQ bonus point, Coelho said, ‘we need all the points we can get so to get the TQ is very good’. Going into the deciding qualifier, he said ‘I already knew some guys had new tyres and I was only watching Viljami to ensure he didn’t TQ’. Describing his Hobbywing powered T4 as ‘really good on used tyres’, he just tried to build a gap on the Awesomatix driver but early on it was clear his rival was lacking any decent pace on his used tyres. Looking to the final, all three A-Mains scheduled for tonight due to rain being forecast for tomorrow, the 22-year-old said ‘I will try to drive safe without mistakes. My car is really good but you never know and Viljami is also very fast’.
‘My car wasn’t so good on old tyres’, was Kutvonen’s reaction after Q3 with the Finn quick to add, ‘but the final should be OK as we are good on new tyres’. With team-mate Freddy Sudhoff also putting his A800 in the final in P8, when asked if he had a plan for the final, the 23-year-old was quick to reply, ‘Push Bruno and overtake him. I want to win this’.
Rheinard said his TQ of the final qualifier, was the ‘maximum I could do in terms of getting the best starting position’. Describing the run as being ‘pretty close with Alex’, the ETS’ most winning driver continued ‘at the beginning I pulled away but he caught up again’. Looking to the final, the German said ‘the track is completely different to yesterday so it will be interesting to see how everyone is on new tyres. Also one time Air Force 1 and its done’. His Air Force 1 a reference to the bump on the quick entry onto the main straight.
Finishing 3/10th off Rheinard for his best qualifier of the weekend, Hagberg was happy with his Xray. The Swede said his Xray was the ‘same as yesterday’ with him having ‘no traction at the start of the run’ despite being on new tyres. With his driving style requiring a different set-up to that of Coelho, he said, ‘we still need to work on a set-up’ to make him competitive for the final.
His lowest starting position of the season, Volker took some consolation from the fact ‘the gap to Bruno was less than yesterday’. He added, ‘obviously I was on used tyres but we improved the car from yesterday’. While happier with his BD7, he said it is ‘still not as (he) would like it’ and so he will make further small changes for A1. While he would ‘have to see how it works on new tyres’ he would ‘ try to fight to a podium finish’. Behind Volker, Serpent’s Viktor Wilck will line-up for his first A-Main appearance in quite some time the Swede saying, ‘finally I make the A-Main this year’.
In the Xray Pro Stock class, Awesomatix driver Max Mächler claimed the overall TQ ahead of Italy’s Mattia Collina, the Xray driver TQ’ing the final qualifier. Schumacher’s Nicolai Lindegaard completes the Top 3 ahead of current championship leader Jan Ratheisky. In Formula the reigning champion Ratheisky is on target to wrap up another title as he starts from pole ahead of Roche’s Olivier Bultynck and Serpent’s David Ehrbar.
Chassis – Awesomatix A800 Motor –LRP X20 4.5T ESC –LRP Flow Batteries – LRP 5600mAh Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Highest Bodyshell – Protoform LTC-R Remarks – Finnish driver Viljami Kutvonen is running an updated version of the latest Awesomatix touring car. His A800 is fitted with prototype steering arms with a different Ackermann angle and rear suspension arms with a bigger toe-in while the rear upper arms mounts, already in pre-production, feature a bigger distance between the two links to make the whole suspension block stiffer.
Bruno Coelho put in what could turn out to be an important TQ run when he topped the second round of qualifying at the Italian round of the Euro Touring Series. With the threat of rain tomorrow at the Riccione track, Q2 would see the Xray driver post the only 19-lap run as he headed the times from Q1 pace Viljami Kutvonen, the Finn 3/10th shy of making the extra lap. Making it a very good first day for the A800 on its asphalt debut, Kutvonen ‘s team-mate Freddy Sudhoff having been 11th in both practice & Q1 would find form to complete the Top 3. Adding to the Russian manufacturer’s joys, Max Machler would take the second Pro Stock qualifier leaving him as the provisional overnight TQ holder.
Having made a mistake on the opening lap of Q1 when he got a P2 behind Kutvonen, Coelho said, ‘it was all good this time, there was no mistake’. Starting the second qualifier behind the Awesomatix driver, the championship leader ‘pushed hard at the beginning to catch Viljami’ and once he was close to him he ‘just drove safe to the end’. Making changes to his Hobbywing T4, the newly crowned Euro Offroad Series Champion said this was ‘a big improvement’. With ‘more forward traction’ and the car ‘more stable than before’ this gave the 22-year-old ‘more confidence’ to drive the car on. Describing the car as ‘not perfect but super close’ for tomorrow he plans some further ‘small changes’.
Improving his Q1 time by half a second Kutvonen said the second round ‘was ok but not as good as (the) first one’. He continued his car ‘didn’t have so good rear traction’ adding ‘I don’t know why’. Describing Q2 as a ‘super good result for the team’ referring to Sudhoff’s improvement and Machler’s TQ, he said ‘I hope its dry tomorrow so I can fight for the TQ’. One of many drivers to use their second allocated set of Volante tyres, he said the A800 ‘on used tyres is OK’.
Asked about his new found pace, Sudhoff replied, ‘honestly it was just myself’. He continued ‘Viljami showed the car is good’ and once I set the car to myself I was able to get back into the Awesomatix rhythm’. Asked if he would change his car for Q3, the German said, ‘it is up to the weather tomorrow and some drivers still have new tyres but I know our car is good on used tyres’.
Improving on his Q1 performance by setting the fourth fastest time, Ronald Volker said, ‘I was hoping at least for a Top 3 run’. Making changes to the set-up of his Yokomo for Q2, the reigning champion said, the ‘car was completely different to the previous run. This time it had a lot of understeer’. With the ‘balance & grip not good’ he said he didn’t have enough to battle for a Top 3. Sitting fifth overnight, he said ‘we need to work on set-up again for Q3 if it happens’.
Deciding to run tyres for a second time, Alexander Hagberg was pleased with his P5 run calling it ‘decent’. The best placed driver on used tyres, the Xray driver also made a set-up change to his T4 declaring he ‘thought it was better’. With a new set of tyres at his disposal, the Swede said depending on the weather ‘he could be in a positive position tomorrow’. Behind Hagberg, Kyle Branson would complete the Top 6 with his Capricorn despite momentarily stopping on the track after his transponder missed a lap that was later awarded back by time keeping.
Seventh fastest Marc Rheinard was another on used tyres. The Tamiya driver said ‘I took the risk to run old when everyone else was on new’ adding ‘I hope there is plenty of sunshine tomorrow’. Highlighting he was only 9/10th off long standing rival Volker, he was happy that on the used tyres his ‘pace was ok’. Behind the 4-time World Champion his former team-mate Viktor Wilck would take his Serpent to P8. Told to allow both Viljami and Coelho through, the Swede was not happy with Scott Ernst’s call, feeling it cost him a Top 4 run.
In the Pro Stock class, it was Jan Ratheisky who would be closest to Mächler with the Schumacher of Nicolai Lindegaard completing the Top 3. In Formula, having retired in the first qualifier, Ratheisky would TQ ahead of Q1 pace setter Olivier Bultynck. Fenix driver Matteo Berlincioni would post the 3rd fastest time in front of Serpent designer David Ehrbar.
Chassis – Xray T4 2016 Motor –Muchmore (handout) ESC –Muchmore (handout) Batteries – LRP Stock Spec 5800mAh Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Highest Bodyshell – Montech Nazda2 Remarks – Top Xray driver in seeding practice, Italian driver Mattia Collina is running a pretty standard version of the T4 2016 with an ARS rear end. Fitted with Hiro Seiko aluminium screws, his car also features graphite wishbones and C-hubs, as well as an aluminium steering system and rear aluminium uprights.