The outdoor part of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series is now official underway with Akio Sobue topping the first seeding round at the large Osoger RC track in Madrid, Spain. With huge anticipation ahead of the first asphalt round, drivers always looking forward to racing outside, it has it risks and overnight rain delayed the official start to the weekend by 4-hours. Luckily the majority of drivers managed 6 rounds of free practice yesterday (Thursday) on the large track allowing the event to start directly with the first of the 2 seeding rounds. Setting a fastest 3-consecutive laps time of 56.652, Sobue’s advantage was substantial with the Infinity driver’s closest rival Freddy Südhoff some 4/10th off. An impressive start to the weekend from Südhoff, it was Ronald Volker, quickest yesterday, who completed the Top 3, 5/100ths of a second back. For Championship leaders Marc Rheinard and Bruno Coelho, they set the 4th and 5th fastest times respectively with Viktor Wilck completing the Top 6.
Reacting to his pace, Sobue said, ‘the car is good in terms of outright speed but over 4-minutes the others are closer’. The newly crowned TITC Champion added, ‘we need to work on consistency so the drop off is not so much’. A fan of the large track and in particular it’s ‘super flat’ surface, the Japanese ace said he expects the grip to come up for CP2 and they will also change his IF14 set-up to account for that’.
Commenting on his marked improvement over the last ETS race, Südhoff said, ‘Finally my health is better. I had bigger issues than racing at the last round and had to leave early but doctors found something and now I can focus on RC again’. The Awesomatix lead driver said, ‘the past two weeks I could practice in Germany as the weather is good and the set-up we found from that has worked from the very first battery we ran here’. Planning no changes to his car, the German feels based on yesterday the track will stay the same for the second controlled practice. Asked his thoughts on the track he replied, ‘I think its one of the Top 3 tracks in the world describing it has ‘open, fast but still with tight corners. Its a good mix’.
Volker said, ‘Like expected the grip was worse than yesterday’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I purposely didn’t change the set-up to get a feel for the balance. I couldn’t go super fast in the opening laps but I’m happy with the 4-minute pace’. Expecting ‘the grip will be better in CP2’, the World Champion again plans to leave his BD8 set-up unchanged after it showed good pace yesterday.
Summing up his run to the 4th fastest time as ‘average’, Rheinard said, ‘I’m not really happy’. Runner-up in Madrid last year behind Coelho, the Infinity driver said, ‘It looks better than it is on the time sheets’. He continued, ‘For 5-minutes it feels no chance as it just gets slower and slower’. For his next run, the winner of the season opener will try a different rear swaybar and narrower hexes but said the issue is he is ‘lacking steering’.
A driver who everyone expects to see at the top of the timing sheets, Coelho’s P5 in CP1 is a surprise. The Xray driver summed up his performance with ‘it was ok’ adding ‘the car is ok but not super fast’ putting it down to the ‘track conditions are quite tough’. The reigning ETS Champion reported a mistake on his second lap saying ‘at the same time four cars spun out, it might have been the wind but it was strange’. Asked about track conditions compared to last year he was quick to highlight that all cars are ‘now 1-second fastest than last year because of improvements in the cars, bodies, tyres and electronics’ but he feels the track is going to improve over the the day ‘and then we can enjoy more the race’.
Despite setting the 6th fastest time, Wilck felt he had a better car in free practice yesterday. The Serpent driver, who is happy to be back racing on asphalt having struggled at the two carpet rounds, said, ‘we changed from yesterday and it was not better so I will go back and try one more thing with the shocks’. While looking good over 3-consecutive laps, the Swede said the pace is ‘not so good over 4-minutes’ and ‘that is why we will change back. Yesterday was more consistent’.
Name – Asoger RC Country – Spain Location – Getafe, Madrid Host – Asociación de Getafe de radiocontrol Surface – Asphalt Direction – Anti-clockwise No. of ETS Races hosted – 1
After successfully putting Spain on the ETS map last year when the race marked the first ever international event to be held on the track, Asoger RC welcomes back the world’s best touring car drivers as the championship makes the popular switch from indoor carpet to outdoor asphalt racing. Built in 2005, with local government funding, in terms of layout the track remains unchanged from last year with the only difference from 12-months ago being the infield has changed from green to freshly painted blue. Situated in the city of Getafe, which is located 26km south of Madrid, the large track is both quick and flowing making it a hit with drivers. Taking advantage of a delayed start to Friday’s practice caused by overnight rain, the World famous voice of RC Scotty Ernst got to sample the track thanks to Henrik Heitsch, summing up his laps afterwards by declaring it ‘one of the nicest flowing tracks I have ever driven’. In terms of size the track is 318 metres long, something Destiny drivers Jin Sawada and Yugo Nagashima are finding very alien given its scale compared to what they are used to racing on in Japan.
With the two carpet races on this year’s Yokomo Euro Touring Series leaving Marc Rheinard and Bruno Coelho sharing the lead in the points table, the championship moves to Spain this weekend (13-15 April) for Europe’s first major international outdoor race of 2018. With the large Asoger track having made a popular debut on the ETS calendar 12-months ago, it was to be Coelho who would go down as the first winner in Madrid enroute to the successful defence of his championship title. Like last season, the Xray driver again starts off the switch to asphalt at the top of the points but this time he shares it with Rheinard. The Infinity driver won the season opener in Austria ahead of Coelho with the duo swapping positions at Round 2 and now they each want to leave Spain with a second win and break clear of their rivals.
It is Ronald Volker who sits third in the standings, five points adrift, having put his Yokomo on the final step of the podium at the opening two rounds. However, the World Champion knows he needs to find something big this weekend if he is to remain in the hunt for the title he held for so long before losing it to Coelho. 2018 has seen a lot of change at Yokomo, and that clearly has had an effect. Failing to make the A-Main at the TITC earlier this year, the German is working his way through the restructering of the team and with the ETS’ switch of surface will want to re-establish himself as a contender for race wins. Rejoining Yokomo for 2018 after a number of disappointing seasons at VBC Racing, Yannic Prumper showed on his first outing back with the team in Daun that he hasn’t lost his raw speed. Finishing fourth behind his team-mate, the former ETS race winner is certain to one to watch this weekend.
Another potential winner this weekend is Akio Sobue. Fourth at the race last year, the Japanese Infinity driver returns to Europe off the back of claiming his first major international title having won the TITC in Bangkok last month. Infinity will be in Spain with its biggest line-up of the season so far with Jilles Groskamp making his first ETS outing of Season #11. Fifth at the race last year, the former World Champion will boost the team’s potential to gather set-up information throughout practice and qualifying which could prove vital due to the weather looking changeable.
Fresh from wrapping up yet another 1:12 European Championship victory last weekend in the Netherlands, Alexander Hagberg comes into Round 3 fourth in the standings. The Swede had a tough time in Spain last year ending up 8th but with Xray designer Martin Hudy now looking after the multiple ETS race winner expect much better things this time round.
Outside the big three teams, this weekend marks the debut for two new drivers signings at Awesomatix. Top French drivers Loic Jasmin and Lucas Urbain have both joined the Russian manufacturer which lost its star driver Viljami Kutvonen. Both Jasmin and Urbain will be looking to Awesomatix frontman Freddy Sudhoff to help get them up to speed with the unique car given especially Urbain, whose deal was only announced this week. For Kutvonen, Spain marks his debut with Mugen where he joins 1:10 nitro ace Erik Dankel to boost the Japanese company’s foray into Electric Touring cars.
In Pro Stock and Formula both of last year’s Spanish winners will be out for repeat wins.Alexander Duchet had a difficult season opener and was absent from Round 2 so he really needs to hit the top this weekend. Xray team-mate Jan Ratheisky has had the perfect start to his campaign with with the TQ and win at the first two rounds to lead the points from Awesomatix’s Max Mächler and Xray’s Mustafa Alp. Ratheisky also leads the Formula standings with a one point advantage over the Serpent of reigning champion David Ehrbar for whom Spain was his worst result of last season when he finished 8th. Winner last time out from 3rd on the grid, Shepherd driver Olivier Bultynck sits 3rd in the standings. Having taken the TQ in Madrid last year but beaten in the finals by Ratheisky, the Belgian will be looking to complete the perfect weekend this time round.
Marc Rheinard grabbed 2nd overall with a late victory in A3 over Ronald Volker at the Euro Touring Series second round in Germany, a result that sees the Infinity driver share the championship lead with race winner Bruno Coelho. With Coelho wrapping up his 11th ETS career win in A2, the closing race of the first ever event at Daun was a dual between touring car’s two great rivals with Volker leading away the 9 car field, Coelho watching from the sidelines. Off the start immediately Rheinard had Volker under pressure but a mistake by the former looked to decide the result when he put his car on its side at the same corner that would later determine the final podium order. Managing to right the car himself, the deficit looked too big but a determined Rheinard was closing. A slight mistake from Volker then set-up the final showdown and with two laps to go Rheinard slid his car down the inside of the Yokomo, contact sending an unhappy Volker wide. With Volker getting caught at the line, the final lap was a lap of victory for Rheinard.
Reacting to his second place, Rheinard said, ‘Its the perfect ending, well obviously 1st would be best but now myself and Bruno have a TQ and a 1 & 2 each. To end the carpet season on the same points is a good start’. A driver who is openly not a huge fan of carpet racing, on A3 he said, ‘I refreshed my shocks before the race and the car felt even better than before. I was really confident because I knew I was a little faster than Ronald but then I rolled, luckily it landed on the tyres. After that I just tried to close the gap and I could see at the end of the straight sweeper that I was closing the gap. One time Ronald went wide and in this direction it was at the only corner on the track where you could make a pass’.
‘Disappointed to finish 3rd’ was Volker reaction. He continued, ‘the car pushed quite a lot in A3 and that’s why I was under pressure from Marc’. The World Champion was also not happy with his rivals move. ‘It was not a clean pass. My car flew into the barrier, sure I went a little wide the corner before the hairpin but I was still ahead. He basically forced his way through. Sure he had to try and there was a big gap behind us but my car flew way too far so in my opinion it was not ok. The referee said nothing so I have to live with it’. Despite his grievances, he concluded, I’m happy with the team result. We made the podium in both Modified and Pro Stock and a great job from Bruno. He was a deserving winner this weekend.’
Chassis – Xray T4 2018 Motor – Hobbywing 5.0T V10 G3 ESC –Hobbywing XR10 PRO Batteries – Sunpadow 5600mAh Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Bruno Bodyshell – Montech Racer Remarks – Claiming the TQ and win at ETS Daun, Bruno had every reason to be happy with his car package this weekend especially as it is his first ETS with a number of elements making up his race winning package. In the electrics department, he is using Hobbywing’s new 5T V10 G3 motor with the power coming from his new battery sponsor Sunpadow. Having launched his own brand, Bruno, here in Germany it was a great debut for his new T4 specific servo – the BR1-BC-1863X. In terms of his T4, the car mainly features aluminium upgrades on the standard plastic kit parts. These include the steering, diff eccenters and all the shims. The car also has a steel spool outdrives. Other options include T7075 brass weights.