Bruno Coelho has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Slovakia. The Xray driver topped the times at the Hudy Racing Arena from Serpent’s Viktor Wilck as a number of drivers suffered heavy damage following offs. Reigning champion Ronald Volker destroyed his Yokomo when it made contact with the barriers after flying off the track at the Arena main straight left hand kink. Alexander Hagberg would suffer similiar faith. The only driver who can deny Volker a fifth consecutive ETS title, Marc Rheinard would also crash out of the qualifying after a mistake over the curbing in the infield launched his Tamiya into a catch wall resulting in a broken wheel. With Rheinard a DNF, it was Akio Sobue who would be the top Tamiya with the Japanese star completing the Top 3.
Opening the qualifier with his fastest lap, being one of only 4 drivers to do a 17-second lap, Coelho said his T4 was super fast at the beginning of the race. Seeing both Volker and Rheinard crash out and then a mistake from practice pace setter Yannic Prumper, the Luxembourg winner said he switched to a ‘super smooth’ driving style so as to avoid any mistakes. In the end the approach paid dividends as he took the round by 3/10ths from Wilck. Very happy with how his car ran the 5-minutes he said for Q2, despite it taking place in much cooler conditions due to it being the closing run of the day, he would ‘just check it over’ and leave it unchanged. Asked about his crash, team-mate Hagberg said he was just driving his ‘normal line and the car spun out without warning’. The Swede, who was holding P2 at the time, said his ‘tyres were ok’ and the only thing he can think of for causing the off is that he caught some air under the car.
Wilck, while pleased to open with a P2 was also slightly frustrated by a loss of power towards the end of the run. The Swede said his Speed Passion motor had been a little hot in practice but going from 4 to 5-minute runs for qualifying the extra minute was enough to push it over the limit. Describing his S411 as very easy to drive in anticipation of cooler Q2 conditions he said he will make a small set-up change for the night time run.
Star of Round 4 of the ETS at Mattsee in Austria, Sobue was pleased with his TRF419 in Q1. Running in the second fastest heat the Japanese driver said while he had ‘a clean run’ there was time to come from the driver. Another driver contemplating a set-up change for the drop in track temperature for the second qualifier, he said in addition to the car changes he would drive the round more aggressively. Team-mate Christopher Krapp would post the 9th fastest time. The German said going up in the rear diff oil instead of curing his oversteer made it even worse. Set to go back on the diff setting he will also switch to the same shock towers and shock set-up as Sobue. Running 3.0mm thick towers on his TRF419, he will switch to the 3.5mm Sobue ran and reportedly make the car feel more direct to drive due to the extra stiffness.
With Volker’s sudden exit from the track, it was Meen Vejrak who would be the fastest Yokomo for the round finishing 4th ahead of team-mate Loic Jasmin. Describing it as a good start to qualifying, the Riccione podium finisher said his car was OK but pushed more than he would like. The 2012 nitro touring car World Champion also reported a lack of ‘punch’ from his electrics and the Thai driver will change the settings for the next one. ‘Suprised’ was Jasmin’s reaction to his P5 time. The multiple French National Champion and Luxembourg A-Finalist said his BD7 felt both slow and strange to drive, something he put down to the hot weather at the time of the qualifier. Admitting he didn’t drive the 5-minutes very well he said there is time to be gained there and he would also make a set-up change.
A driver who probably knows this track better than anyone else, Xray designer Martin Hudy completed the Top 6. With the office where he designed the T4 overlooking the track, he said the result was ‘better than expected’. With his ‘car very good’, he said after a ‘super good start’ his driving would cost him some time. Getting caught by Sobue, he started to overdrive allowing the Tamiya to pass him. Once following Sobue however he said his driving improved again. For Q2 he said he knows the car is good and he just needs to concentrate on his own driving rather than the other drivers on the track.
Top seed for qualifying, Yannic Prumper said ‘I messed it up on my own’. Setting the fastest lap of Q1 with a 17.816 lap time, the ETS Italy winner rolled over his BD7 on lap 6 costing himself over 2-seconds. The Yokomo driver would also run the last three laps without any turbo, overheating suspected to have caused this issue losing him another second in time. Giving his take on his off, team-mate Volker said he did nothing different to the lap before and he could only put the crash down to the car catching air. He said ‘I had the fastest car on the main straight but probably it’s too fast and this led it to lose down force’. The German said one positive of the crash was that it happened in the first 30-seconds of the run and not towards the end so the tyres are still good.
HB’s Freddy Sudhoff would lead the HB challenge in Q1 with Andy Moore going with him in the Top 10. Setting the 8th fastest time ahead of Krapp, the German said his PRO5 was surprisingly good and he could have managed a Top 4 if it was not for a mistake over the curbing which cost him over 2-seconds. He said the car was maybe too easy to drive and as a result he didn’t give it his full attention leading a lapse in focus and the mistake. He said a change in direction with the set-up after practice was a big step forward and he was happy he now had a good base set-up to work from. Moore would also fall fowl of the curbing. The British driver said his Hobbywing powered PRO5 ran well for the first minute but the set-up is burning up the front tyres and his pace then drops off so he has no choice but to make changes for the next one.
In the first round of qualifying for the Xray Pro Stock class title contenders Lars Hoppe and Marek Cerny both had issues. While Formula Champion Jan Ratheisky would top the times from Nico Catelani, championship points leader Hoppe would finish only 19th fastest while Cerny would break. Hoppe said his ARC was not as good as in practice with the only change being a new set of tyres for qualifying. Making a mistake on the opening lap he said after this his driving was also not very good. For Q2 he will switch from a Blitz LSF to a GSF in the hope of improving the car. Defending champion Cerny put his error down to his tyre prep. Planning to be more ‘careful’ preparing his tyres for Q2 the Czech driver said he will also start off with a safer opening lap after which he is confident he will be able to push.
View the complete event results here.
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Friday, June 26, 2015
Chassis – VBC Racing Lightning F15
Motor – Hobbywing 21.5 (handout)
ESC – Hobbywing (handout)
Batteries – LRP 4700 mah
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Futaba/Hirosaka
Bodyshell – Protoform F14
Remarks – Belgian star Oliver Bultynck is debuting a pre-production version of the new VBC F15 formula car. The new design features a wider and shorter chassis that allows either an in-line or transversal lipo position. The shock is now longer, and the side flex now features two dampening tubes instead of one. The servo has been moved towards the center and the steering system now features an aluminium ackermann lever.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Chassis – ARC R10 2015 Black Edition
Motor – Muchmore (handout)
ESC – Muchmore (handout)
Batteries – Xcite RC 7400 mah
Tires – Ride (handout)
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox
Bodyshell – Blitz GSF
Remarks – One of the two drivers still in contention for the overall Pro-Stock title, Lars Hoppe is here running the latest “Black Edition” of the ARC R10 2015. His car is equipped with a full low friction transmission and low friction ball cups. The transmission also features front and rear double joint driveshafts, while the chassis is equipped with the rear stiffener from the ATS system. He is also using the definitive production version of the new floating steering system.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Yannic Prumper topped practice at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series season finale at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia. The Yokomo driver was fastest over 3-consecutive laps from team-mate Ronald Volker. The only driver in with a chance of denying Volker & Yokomo their fifth consecutive ETS title, Marc Rheinard completed the Top 3 just ahead of former team-mate Viktor Wilck, the pair having claimed a TRF 1-2 at the event last year.
Having topped free practice, Prumper backed that up by again topping timed practice and the 21-year-old will now lead away the top heat in qualifying later today. A fan of the 320 metre long track, the ETS Italy race winner described his Much More powered BD7 as ‘difficult to drive but fast’. Commenting that over the second half of the run he is able to run at between one & two tenths a lap faster than his rivals for the opening qualifier, two rounds scheduled for today, the German will run the car unchanged.
Describing his practice pace as ‘good so far’, Volker said ‘the Top 5 is all very close and it’s all about the tiny things in determining who will top the opening qualifier.’ Winner when the championship first visited the famed facility in 2013, the German added because of how close everyone is it’s going to be ‘hard to check out’. Although a fan of the layout he knows it is not an easy track and there is always the chance of having bobbles and this is going to be key to the opening qualifier. Asked about his car he replied that they will make a slight set-up change as they try to improve the LRP powered BD7’s overall balance.
‘Everything pretty close’ that was how Rheinard summed up practice adding ‘no one is standing out as being faster’. Having just made little changes between practice rounds, the multiple World Champion will keep his Much More powered TRF419 the same for Q1 and ‘just drive careful’. Last year’s Top Qualifier and race winner, he said the high grip on the curbing can easily cause crashes and he said qualifying will be determined by the driver who makes the least mistakes.
Fourth fastest, Wilck said his Serpent has been pretty good all day although for the final practice he had an issue with a vibration after changing to a new set of tyres. Feeling he could have run a faster 3-lap pace without the imbalanced tyres, the Swede said while Prumper is a little faster after that everyone is really close. Pleased with his Speed Passion powered S411 he said other than fit a new set of tyres he would leave the set-up unchanged for the opening qualifier. Team-mate Marc Fischer would complete the Top 10 in timed practice. Having ran between 4th & 7th fastest in the free practice rounds, the German said his car was ok until the final practice when while feeling good to drive it just suddenly didn’t want to turn in.
The nearest thing to a home race due to their cars being manufactured just metre away from the track, Xray’s Bruno Coelho and Alexander Hagberg posted the 5th & 6th fastest times respectively. Registering his first ETS win at the previous round in Luxembourg, Coelho said his car was really good but the problem was all the mistakes he made. Setting the fastest lap, with only Prumper also managing a 17-second lap, he said a little more steering would be nice but he will leave his LRP powered T4 unchanged for Q1 and instead ‘drive a little more safe’ than he did in practice. Hagberg said ‘things are ok’ adding he is ‘not super fast but consistent’. Describing his ORCA powered T4 as ‘easy to drive but lacking a little corner speed’ he said ‘3-laps are not the best indication’ of everyone’s pace and he is confident over 5-minutes he will be strong due to his consistency. The Swede added that on new tyres it is particularly easy to flip on the curbing and he predicts a lot of drivers to make mistakes in Q1.
Seventh fastest Christopher Krapp felt he has ‘pretty solid pace’ going into the qualifying. The factory Tamiya driver said while he would like to find another tenth of a second in outright pace he feels over 5-minutes his Orion powered TRF419 feels really good. ‘Maybe a little too easy to drive’, something he said is maybe not such a bad thing as a lot of drivers made mistakes in the practice rounds, he will go to a heavier rear diff oil for Q1 which he said should bring more steering.
HB’s Jilles Groskamp would put in the 8th fastest time, the HB driver’s event not getting off to the best of starts. Binding issues with his radio yesterday meant he lost two rounds of practice. Switching from his Sanwa Exzes-Z to a borrowed older Exzes-X, the Dutch ace has overcome the issue but said he is still playing catch up to his rivals after the loss of the valuable track time. Compared to Luxembourg, where he had race winning pace, the HB/HPI Racing driver said his PRO5 feels like it has something wrong with it with understeer being an issue. 3/10ths off on outright pace he believes he will be a lot closer when qualifying starts and it’s 5-minutes that count and not 3-consecutives laps.
View the complete event results here.
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Friday, June 26, 2015
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 – 2
Previous Winners –Marc Rheinard (2014), Ronald Volker (2013)
Having had the honour in 2013 of being the first international race to be held at the Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series is back for a third visit to the World’s greatest RC facility. With the finale of the Season #8 of the ETS attracting a record 365 entries from a record 36 different countries, the words ‘amazing’ and ‘wow’ have never been heard in as many different languages as drivers walked through the main entrance. Located in the city of Trencin, the track was built in 2006 on the grounds of a former soccer stadium. The massive 25,000 square metre facility also includes the factory of both Xray, the only true r/c car manufacturer in Europe, and Hudy but it is the Arena which dominates the grounds. In typical Hudy fashion everything at the Arena is about attention to detail even down to such things as getting a highly rated local cafe in to provide two baristas to ensure racers, who like their coffee, can enjoy a high quality coffee between rounds in the track’s equally impressive restaurant area.
Housing three tracks, two asphalt and one carpet, the ETS is running on the 320 metre outdoor asphalt track. Featuring a 75 metre long straight away, the 4.5 metre wide track covers a depth of 28 metres with the front running Ride Modified drivers running 18-lap seconds. With its super smooth surface and perfect curbing, the track’s key feature is the main straight’s left hand kink.
Friday, June 26, 2015
The Yokomo Euro Touring Series concludes its 8th season this weekend (June 26-28) at the World famous Hudy Racing Arena in Slovakia with the sixth & final round highlighting the championship’s continued world wide appeal. Attracting a record 365 entries, the season finale will also mark a new record for the number of nations represented with the flags of 36 different countries set to hang at the 45th running of an ETS race weekend. On the track the main focus come Sunday will be on crowning champions with both the Ride Modified and the Xray Pro Stock titles still to be decided.
A championship widely regarded now as one of the most prestigious titles the sport has to offer, defending champion Ronald Volker is close to extending his reign over the ETS to a fifth season however as seen at Round 5 in Luxembourg nothing can be taken for granted. Expected to sow the title up there, the Yokomo driver ended up not even making the podium handing his long time arch rival Marc Rheinard an outside chance of capturing back the title he last held in 2010. Last year the Hudy Racing Arena proved a successful hunting ground for Tamiya with Rheinard heading a TRF 1-2 with Volker third.
A season that has produced four different race winners, Volker, Rheinard, Prumper and Coelho, one driver looking to add his name to that list will be former 2-time champion Jilles Groskamp. Moving from Tamiya to HB/HPI Racing this season, the 2012 World Champion came so close to winning in Luxembourg and backing that up with a Euro Nitro Series 1-2 behind team-mate Teemu Leino in Austria, it is clear the Dutchman is revelling in his new surroundings. Knowing the speed is now there, Groskamp’s confidence has never been higher. Joining HB’s regular ETS squad of Groskamp, Andy Moore and Freddy Sudhoff for his first outing of this season will be JJ Wang. The Shanghai driver will be one to watch after displaying some impressive race craft at this year’s Reedy Race of Champions that grab the attention and respect of a number of touring car’s establishment.
The driver who has injected a new lease of interest into the world of electric touring car racing, Bruno Coelho proved last time out that he is the real deal by claiming his first ETS win. With this weekend the home race of his Xray team, the factory where the T4 is produced overlooking the track, the Portuguese star will be hoping to carry the momentum of Round 5 and give the Hudy family cause for great celebration. Team-mate Alexander Hagberg, one of the seven world champions competing this weekend, qualified P2 in Luxembourg and won A3 would like nothing better than to end his campaign with a win having occupied the other two podium positions this season.
Elsewhere, having finished second in Slovakia 12-months ago Viktor Wilck would like to conclude his first ETS season with Serpent with a strong showing. The 2-time race winner, both with Tamiya, has shown flashes of speed with his new team and maybe this weekend he and team-mate Marc Fischer will pull it all together to give the marquee its first win.
In Pro Stock, the ETS’ biggest class with 388 drivers having registered championship points so far this season, Lars Hoppe is looking to end Xray and Marek Cerny’s title reign. ARC driver Hoppe and Cerny have had a great championship battle sharing two wins each but there is no love lost between the duo after they clashed in Luxembourg allowing Serpent’s Julian Borowski to claim his first win. With already crowned Formula Champion Jan Ratheisky, team-mate to Cerny, going out of the title chase at Round 5, it is advantage Hoppe going into the decider but last year Cerny pulled it off after a late turn around of his campaign that saw him go head to head for the title with Ratheisky. All of the action from the Hudy Racing Arena will be streamed live via Red RC.
Thursday, June 25, 2015