Chassis – Roche Rapide Formula Motor – Hobbywing (handout) ESC – Hobbywing (handout) Batteries – LRP 4300mAh Tires – Ride (handout) Radio/Servo – Futaba / Evo Bodyshell – Protoform PF15 Remarks – Racing for the Hong Kong based company Roche, Olivier Bultynck is here in Trencin running a Rapide Formula equipped with a number of prototype parts. Fitted with front and rear MonTech wings and an optional 2.25mm thick chassis plate, his car features new damper tube link positions as well as a new battery brace with a more forward positioned shock link which makes the shock longer. The front upper and lower arms are also 1mm shorter so as to make the front end 2mm narrower.
Bruno Coelho has taken the opening qualifier at the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Slovakia. With qualifying brought forward due to forecast rain that thankfully didn’t arrive in Trencin, Coelho was top seed for qualifying after setting the pace over yesterday’s 5 rounds of free practice and had no problems carrying that form through to qualifying. Initially followed by team-mate Alexander Hagberg until a small error, Coelho would top the time by almost a second from outgoing champion Ronald Volker. Only 18th fastest in practice which put him in the second fastest heat Yannic Prumper would put in a great Q1 performance to complete the Top 3 ahead of Viljami Kutvonen and Hagberg. Needing to TQ to stand a chance of sharing the ETS title with Coelho, Marc Rheinard would retire from the first of the four qualifiers after suffering a spin, the Tamiya team struggling with today’s extra hot track conditions.
Chasing a third win of the season to cap off an ETS title winning campaign, Coelho described his Q1 performance as ‘a very good start’. The only multiple race winner this season, the Xray driver continued, ‘we ran the car the same as yesterday and it again worked very well even though the asphalt temperature was super high’. He added, ‘the traction was lower but it was the same for everyone’. Pleased that, ‘Alex had super good pace’ until his error, the Portuguese ace plans to run his Hobbywing powered T4 unchanged for the day’s second & concluding qualifier.
‘Decent start to Q1’, was how Volker summed up his performance. Eliminated from the title chase in Luxembourg, the Yokomo driver was ‘happy to match the pace of Bruno & Alex’ but added his LRP powered BD7 started to develop ‘a little too much understeer over the 2nd half (of the qualifier)’. Looking to ‘try fix that for Q2′, the German said ,’I didn’t push too hard as I didn’t want to destroy the tyres’, drivers getting 2 sets for the four qualifiers, and he was ‘OK with P2’ as a result.
Running a prototype VBC this weekend which feature different material arms, Prumper said the car was ‘for sure a big step forward on the previous car’. With Carven Chow making the trip to Slovakia to support the Hong Kong manufacturer’s star driver, a change from a 3 to a 2.5mm swaybar for Q1 would give the car ‘a lot more steering’ with Prumper adding while making it ‘a little loose’ he was still ‘in control’ of it. By far Prumper’s most promising showing since his switch from Yokomo to VBC, his time 8/10ths of a second off old team-mate Volker, the former ETS race winner plans to ‘keep everything the same’ for Q2.
Kutvonen described his P4 as ‘pretty good’ before pausing and adding ‘actually better than expected’. The Awesomatix driver continued, ‘normally in hot weather we struggled but we have done a lot of work on this as a team and its getting better’. Making a dampening set-up change after practice he said this had made his A800 ‘better now’. Happy that both he and team-mate Freddy Sudhoff have ‘found the right direction’ in terms of set-up the Finn plans to continue his testing program with more changes for Q2. Suffering a body tuck on the opening lap, the Round 4 podium finisher said, ‘I need to fix that so it doesn’t happen again’.
‘My car was really good but I made a mistake after the straight’, was how Hagberg summed up his P5 before adding ‘shit happens’. Describing the error as ‘very costly at this level’, the Swede said the plan for the next qualifier is to leave his T4 as is and cut out the mistake.
Not feeling well within himself, Sudhoff said of his on track performance he ‘improved car a lot from yesterday (when his) pace was off a lot to Viljami’. Copying his team-mate’s set-up allowing him to post the sixth fastest time, the German said this improved the car but a contributing factor was that ‘I also found my rhythm’. For the his next outing he will ‘fine tune the set-up more to his driving (style)’.
With Rheinard pulling off after his spin having completed just 4-laps, Christopher Krapp would be the top Tamiya in P7 with World Champion Naoto Matsukura 10th with his TRF419X. Having missed Luxembourg, Krapp said ‘I’m kind of happy with P7 but in terms of the car I’m not happy’. The former ETS race winner continued, ‘yesterday in practice our car was good but we had a problem in the hot conditions. Compared to the practice conditions today is like starting from zero’. With the car suffering, ‘understeer and oversteer’, the German said, ‘other cars handling it (hot conditions) better and we need to work on finding something’. Behind Krapp outing Pro Stock champion Marek Cerny was 8th fastest followed by the Schumacher of Elliot Harper. Elsewere Round 5 winner Jilles Groskamp would pull over after rolling his Xray onto the grass half way through the qualifier while Serpent’s Viktor Wilck immediately played the tyre game pulling over immediately after crossing the start line.
In the Xray Pro Stock class, the top 3 times would come from the second fastest heat with Patrick Gassauer topping Q1. Behind the Team Magic driver, Xray’s Tom Krägefski was second fastest followed by Marco Siegenthaler. Fastest in the top heat, already crowned champion Jan Ratheisky would get P4 ahead of Olivier Bultynck. In the Serpent Formula class David Ehrbar set the pace followed by Ratheisky and Bultynck.
Name – Hudy Racing Arena Country – Slovakia Location – Trencin (120km NE from capital city of Bratislava) Host – Hudy/Xray Surface – Asphalt Direction – Anti-clockwise No. of ETS Races hosted – 3 Previous Winners –Bruno Coelho (2015), Marc Rheinard (2014), Ronald Volker (2013)
For the fourth year in succession the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia plays host to the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series. Widely regarded as the world’s greatest RC facility, the Xray/Hudy owned track first opened its doors to international racing when it welcomed the ETS in 2013 with Ronald Volker taking the win to cap off the successful defence of his inaugural ETS Modified title. Located in the city of Trencin, most drivers flying to Vienna airport in Austria and making the 2-hour drive, the track was built in 2006 on the grounds of a former soccer stadium. The impressive 25,000 square metre facility also includes the factory of both Xray, Europe’s only true r/c car manufacturer, and tool & accessory manufacturer Hudy but it is the Arena which commands most of the facility. In addition to the facility, the Hudy’s have ensured services at the track are also top quality with an excellent local restaurant brought in for the weekend as well as a local barista to ensure great coffee for the over 300 racers who have travelled the world for the now traditional end of season event & celebrations, a party at the track on Saturday night always popular.
While the 320 metre outdoor asphalt track with its 75 metre long straight that covers a depth of 28 metres hasn’t changed in 12-months the view from the driver’s stand has. Set to add a fourth track, two indoor tracks already in place, a new structure has literally popped up across from the main straight. Completing the full set of track options, the building which is the same size as the existing indoor arena area will house two covered dirt offroad tracks. A covered as opposed to an indoor track, the new structure will have open sides in which completely separate 1:8 and 1:10 dirt tracks will be built. The current plan is to have the building completed before winter but the intention is the track will only be used during the late Spring to early Autumn months.
Following five years of having the same champion in Ronald Volker, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series will crown a new champion or champions this weekend (22-24 July) at the Season #9 finale at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia. In a season that has produced 4 different winners in the Volante Modified class over the five rounds to-date, Volker’s quest for a sixth consecutive title came to an end last time out in Luxembourg when the Yokomo driver missed out on an essential podium finish. With championship returnee & former champion Jilles Groskamp taking the win it was the two that joined him on the podium that are left to battle for the title. Finishing 2nd behind Groskamp and ahead of Bruno Coelho, former champion Marc Rheinard needs a perfect weekend in order get back the title he last held in 2010 but even if he does he will have to share it. Third in Luxembourg, Coelho is so far the season’s only double winner and if Rheinard was able to equal that feat at what is the home track of the Xray driver it would mean that for the first time in ETS history there would be joint champions. One of the most competitive seasons with no single driver or manufacturer dominating, the reason the top prize may have to be shared is that both drivers counting rounds including the number of TQ’s are identical in all tie break scenarios.
A driver who burst onto the scene once last season’s ETS moved outdoors, Coelho has the advantage of the fact he will be champion no matter how Rheinard performs. However as this will be Xray’s first time to win the title in the premiere class, the Portuguese star will want the Slovakian manufacturer to enjoy the full title glory and not have to share it with 3 time champion manufacturer Tamiya.Having already given Xray its first Euro Offroad Series title this year when he took the 4WD crown, Coelho also has the benefit of home advantage although that didn’t prevent Volker from taking the Hudy Arena hosted European Championships title recently.Another feat Xray will like to have all to themselves is the fact that Coelho’s crown will make them the first manufacturer to hold all three ETS titles in one season with Jan Ratheisky having already got the job done in both the Xray Pro Stock and Serpent Formula classes.
A driver who normally excels when the odds are stacked against him, for Rheinard the weekend needs to go his way from the start as the bonus championship point for the TQ is essential to the ETS’ most winning driver’s chances of what would surprisingly be only his second ETS title.
Outside of the title chase, Volker is not travelling to Slovakia to make up the numbers and clearly frustrated by driving standards in Luxembourg will be out looking for nothing less than victory as a warning to his rivals that he means business for the upcoming World Championships in China.Relishing the environment of his new surroundings at Team Infinity and having claimed his first ETS win in 7-years, Groskamp is another driver who will be out to make a statement at the Hudy Arena ahead of the World Championships.The 2012 World Champion also has the benefit of running an Xray at the very same track on which it was largely developed.Concluding a season in which he was overshadowed by his team-mate Coelho, Alexander Hagberg would like to finish off a campaign that has produced Top 4 finishes in 4 of the 5 races by claiming the top step on the podium.Another former ETS race winner looking to end the season on a high and boost his World Championship prospects is Christopher Krapp. Having missed Riound 5 this will be the Tamiya driver’s first outing since his podium finish at the Reedy Race of Champions.With Groskamp a very welcomed ETS returnee in Luxembourg, this weekend will see another returning World Champion in Atsushi Hara, this being the iconic Japanese driver’s first ETS outing in two years
Jilles Groskamp has won the penultimate round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg, the event marking the 50th running of a round of the world famous championship. An instrumental supporter of the championship in its founding years and becoming its inaugural champion, the win is only the 2012 World Champions’ 5th and his first since winning a second ETS title in 2009. Behind the Infinity driver, Marc Rheinard kept his title hopes alive by finishing second ahead of Bruno Coelho who completed the podium at Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”. Unfortunately while winning A3 would give reigning champion Ronald Volker 4th overall, it was one position below what the Top Qualifier needed to keep alive his hopes of retaining his crown.
‘I wanted to make a nice 3rd final and finish the race in a nice way. It’s nice to win at ETS again’, was how Groskamp summed up his first win in the championship in 7 years. His first ETS outing the season, the Dutch driver who won his 2009 European Championship title at the same track added, ‘I feel especially bad for Ronald and that I ruined his championship and I really apologise for that. I didn’t know it as I am not in the championship’. Recalling A3 he said, ‘I didn’t want to challenge Ronald and my main focus was on Marc but when he rolled I knew the pressure was off but then I flipped but it was OK, I knew I still had the overall win’. As his car lay upside down Coelho would collect it causing the body shell to invert which is how he would finish the race losing a place to Rheinard. Commenting on his performance over the event having chosen to run an Xray chassis, he said, ‘all weekend the car has been really good for me and it’s a good option for the World Championship’. Set to also race at the ETS season finale, with Infinity planning to have its own car for next season, he plans to also bring a Tamiya to the Hudy Arena event saying ‘I guess the Xray will be fast there as it’s their own track but Marc’s car looks good so I will try one’.
‘I knew I had to win to have a chance of overall victory today. It didn’t happen but 2nd overall is still OK, we had the pace and the car was good’, was how Rheinard summed up the day. Having clashed with Coelho in A2, the German complimented his rival saying, ‘Bruno made a nice pass on me’ but the Portuguese driver would hand it back with a mistake later in the race. In third he said he ‘tried to catch Groskamp saying ‘Jilles was not that fast’ but catching the curbing and rolling his Muchmore powered TRF419X he said his chance of the overall win was gone. While today’s result reduces his deficit in the championship from 5 to 4 points, Rheinard said his options for the the season finale very straight forward, ‘I have to TQ and win the last one’.
With today’s result moving him one step closer to the title, Coelho’s biggest concern after A3 was to work out the various scenarios based on either of his rivals winning at the Hudy Arena. Having already given Xray their first Euro Offroad Series title this year and now looking to give them their first ETS Modified title, second today would have done that but he said after getting caught in mistakes of both Rheinard and Groskamp in A3 ‘there was no chance to get him’, him being Volker. With his Hobbywing powered T4 ‘again really impressive’ he would first lose time when Rheinard spun in the Laguna Seca section and he collected him and then again later when Groskamp rolled and made heavy contact with his car, both surviving to finish the race. Having won in Slovakia last year and needing only a second place in the case that his only rival Rheinard TQs and wins there, even Rheinard admitted that given the points scenario and that the title is to be decided at the track where the T4 was developed Coelho already has one hand on the champion’s trophy.
‘I am both angry & really disappointed to have been robbed like this of a chance to fight for the championship’, said Volker. Having been taken out of the lead of A2 in a controversial incident with Groskamp he added, ‘winning A3 meant nothing to me because my goal was always the championship and after yesterday it was all going to plan but today it was all over because of what happened in A2’. A driver who since under taking his first full ETS campaign in 2010/11 has gone on to be crowned champion five times in succession, Volker concluded, ‘I am going to be frustrated by today for a few days but hope I can get some consolation at the Euros next week’.
With the Xray Pro Stock and Serpent Formula winners decided in A2, the third A-Main would determine the rest of the podium. Belgian Olivier Bultynck would win both encounters to finish runner-up to Lars Hoppe in Pro Stock and David Ehrbar in Formula, Jacques Libar adding local interest to the podium with third. In Pro Stock after a great A3 battle with the Schumacher of Nicolai Lindegaard, Tamiya driver Christian Donath would take the final step on the podium.