Chassis – Xray T4 2016 Motor –Muchmore (handout) ESC –Muchmore (handout) Batteries – LRP 7500 StockSpec Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa / Xpert Bodyshell – Protoform Speed 6 Remarks – Swiss upcoming driver Noah Asendorf is set to start second on the A-Main grid here at the Hudy Arena running the 2016 version of the Slovakian built T4. His car is equipped with aluminium steering system, graphite arms, adjustable body posts and Hiro Seiko aluminium and titanium screws. On this track he chose to use a 1.6mm top deck in order to improve the traction 0.25mm narrower hexes.
Bruno Coelho is the new Yokomo Euro Touring Series Champion, the Portuguese ace ending Ronald Volker’s 5-year reign over the World famous championship on only his second attempt. The title marks a number of firsts with it Xray’s first title in the ETS’ premiere class and the first time one manufacturer has claimed a clean sweep of titles with the Slovakian manufacturer having already taken the Pro Stock and Formula titles. As a driver Coelho also becomes the first driver to win both an ETS and Euro Offroad Series title a claim he can add to his already impressive feat of being the only driver to win races in the ETS, EOS and Euro Nitro Series. While Volker was eliminated from the title race at the previous round in Luxembourg, Coelho still had to deal with the possibility of having to share the title with Marc Rheinard. With the former champion needing to take the overall TQ to keep that slim chance alive, the third round of qualifying at the Hudy Arena would decide the title as Coelho’s team-mate Alexander Hagberg topped the penultimate qualifier while Rheinard could manage only a P8, leaving the Tamiya driver likely to finish runner-up for the sixth consecutive season, only a win tomorrow by Volker able to demote him.
‘I’m super happy, this is not one race but the end of six hard races and the result of a lot of hard work and preparations’, was Coelho’s reaction to finally locking down the title. The only multiple race winner this season, he was quick however to revert his attentions back to the job in hand and trying to make it three wins saying, ‘I almost have the TQ because Alex (Hagberg) now has used tyres so it will be hard to be better my time’. He added, ‘If I start first sure sure I will fight for the win for the perfect end to the championship’. Asked about Q3 in which he ended up 32nd after ‘a small mistake’ in which he flipped his T4 he said, ‘I was on used tyres so I expected to finish at the back and was just waiting to see what Rheinard could do’.
Reacting to Coelho’s title, Rheinard said, ‘to TQ and win at the Hudy Arena is like going to the Ferrari track as a Mercedes driver’. He continued, ‘Bruno is champion and I’m second again for the sixth time in a row’. Still the ETS’ most winning driver, the 4-time World Champion was also on used tyres for the third qualifier and felt ‘for old tyres my car was pretty good’. With a best round of a P2 in Q2 to his credit, the German is hoping to end qualifying with a strong run and will switch to the set of tyres he spun out on in Q1. With only 4-laps on the tyres, the spin caused by a suspected tweak in his car, he hopes they will give him the opportunity to TQ the round with only former team-mate Viktor Wilck and Team Associated’s Juho Levanen left with a new set of tyres to run.
Commenting on his TQ run which was 1.4-seconds off Coelho’s Q2 topping time, Hagberg said, ‘the track was a little slower than expected. It heated up too fast this morning which was frustrating’. The Swede continued, ‘the car was still fast and felt good but it was a conservative run to the TQ’. Admitting claiming the overall TQ is a tall order now with the conditions of the final qualifier expected to be even hotter and the fact he will be on used tyres, he said ‘I should be able to put in a good run on old tyres’.
‘I’m happy the gap is smaller now’, that was Luxembourg winner Jilles Groskamp’s reaction to taking a P2 for the round. The Team Infinity driver continued, ‘I had new tyres and did the same tyre prep as before but still the first 2 or 3 corners were not great so I need find what I am missing, maybe I need to leave the tyre warmers on longer’. Feeling the gaps between drivers should be announced during the qualifiers, he said he knew he was swapping the lead with Hagberg but when he heard Hagberg was in lead he ‘settled for 2nd as (he) needed a good run’ so he ‘didn’t take an risks’. Admitting to being relieved by his Q2 result after a bad start had him worried that after a successful Luxembourg race like last year that he might again find himself in the B-Main, he said the aim for the final qualifier is to try better his P5 result. Running an Xray chassis, the Dutchman said any set-up changes will depend on temperatures at the time of the run.
Posting his first Top 10 run with the third fastest time of Q3, Meen Vejrak said, ‘finally a good run, now my car is comfortable to drive’. Having struggled yesterday, the former ETS podium finisher said his car was much better today. Asked what the issue was yesterday when he could only managed a P17 and P21, the Yokomo team driver reply, ‘I had no rear bite, I had no everything’. Looking to make his Scorpion powered BD7 ‘a little more stable’ for Q4, the Thai driver said ‘I hope I have a chance to make the A-Main’. Team-mate Ronald Volker would end up only 11th despite running new tyres on his LRP powered example of the BD7. Suffering a spun onto the grass when he touched the paint on the curbing the German said ‘even without this I was off the pace’.
Setting the fourth fastest time, Yannick Prumper was very happy to book his first A-Main appearance since joining VBC. With extra factory support this weekend, the German said, ‘this was an important run as it puts me in the A-main which is the first time with VBC and this shows we have made big improvements with the car’. Running on new tyres, the multiple race winner adjusted the toe in for the fresh rubber saying the change ‘added a little push but overall made the car easier to drive’.
‘I needed a safe run after a random spin in Q1 and a random flip in Q2’, was former World Champion Andy Moore’s reaction to a P5 time in Q3. The Team Infinity driver, who like team-mate Groskamp is also running an Xray this weekend, ran his second set of tyres but said while it was a clean run it was not as fast as he would have liked. The British driver said, ‘the steering I had yesterday I need to find again’. With only a P12 from yesterday, he concluded, ‘I still need one more (result)’ if he is to make his first A-Main appearance of the season.
Making a very welcomed return to the ETS, Atsushi Hara completed the Top 6 of the penultimate qualifier. The multiple world champion said, ‘Fresh tyres for sure helped’ him get the result’ but added after he crashed on the first lap of Q1 he needed to make a safe run. Running a Kyosho as a privateer on his return to the championship, he said while he tested the car in Thailand before the event that was on other tyres and so he was left to find a set-up for the ETS handout Volante tyre. Describing the event as starting off ‘very bad’ after he ‘changed many things’ the car he is now starting to get the car to his liking but admitted he is still learning the car and needs more track time against the world class level that is the ETS. While the car is easy to drive he needs to get ‘just a little more speed’ out of it. Asked about the upcoming World Championship in China, a unique event in that no one will have driven the track prior to start of the event, he said while he is undecided on which car he will race its is looking more likely he will stick with the Kyosho adding the aim is to be ‘the first privateer to beat the factory drivers’.
Chassis – Team Associated TC7 Motor –Muchmore (handout) ESC –Muchmore (handout) Batteries – Reedy 5600 Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Ko Propo Bodyshell – Protoform Speed 6 Remarks – Protoform’s very own Eric Epp traveled all the way from California to compete in the ETS Final, running an Associated TC7. His car is equipped with front double joint driveshafts and its steering is fixed to the chassis. He chose to run a Mazda Speed 6 bodyshell in order to achieve more corner speed. His body is cut 5mm forward and is equipped with an Elite wing and an anti-tuck system.
Chassis – Awesomatix A800 Motor –Muchmore (handout) ESC –Muchmore (handout) Batteries – LRP 7500mAh Stock Spec Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Futaba Bodyshell – Protoform Speed 6 Remarks – Awesomatix team manager Max Machler is running an updated version of the A800 that features a linear steering system which will soon be available as an option part. He is also using pre-production wider front & rear hubs that increase the Russian designed car’s track width.
Euro Touring Series champion elect Bruno Coelho completed the perfect day at the season finale in Slovakia as he claimed another TQ run in the second round of qualifying leaving the Xray driver to hold the overnight TQ. Having TQ’d the opening qualifier from outgoing champion Ronald Volker, the second time of asking Coelho topped the times ahead of his only remaining title rival Marc Rheinard however the German’s hopes of sharing the ETS title with the Portuguese ace now looking like increasingly unlikely due to both having used two their sets of tyres while others have a new set still at their disposal for tomorrow’s remaining two qualifiers. Also on new tyres, Freddy Sudhoff would complete the Top 3 just ahead of Alexander Hagberg who was the quickest driver on second run tyres. On used tyres, Volker would suffer an ‘unnecessary roll’ which would leave him with a P16 for Q2 but some consolation for the German is that he still has a new set for tomorrow. After a strong P3 in Q1, Yannic Prumper was again on a good time leading the second fastest heat until he put his VBC on its roof opting to pull off once marshalled.
‘Did what we needed to do, the car was perfect’, was how Coelho summed up Q2. Running new tyres on his T4, he said ‘the track was a little slower than expected’ but he was ‘still able to do faster lap times’. Bettering his Q1 pace and able to go 17-laps, 1.7-second clear of Rheinard he hopes the time will be enough should someone TQ Rounds 3 & 4 tomorrow. Having used both his sets of the Volante handout tyres, he said for tomorrow he must ‘just wait to see how the remaining qualifiers work out with the drivers who still have a new set’.
Rheinard said after his unexplainably bad car in Q1 they got two cars ready for second qualifier. Having checked over his first car after it spun out in the first round, he said on the warm-up lap it did the exact same thing. Changing to his spare car, he said ‘at least it was drivable’ allowing him to put a P2 on the board after his earlier DNF. Not sure what the issue is with his ‘better car’, he will for Q3 copy across the set-up to the spare car but added as the cars feature different chassis plates he is not sure how it will work. Despite also being on new tyres, Rheinard’s best lap would be 2/10ths off that of Coelho. The fastest Tamiya in Q1, Christopher Krapp would complete the Top 10 in Round 2 choosing to save his second set of tyres for tomorrow.
Still not feeling right, Sudhoff said while he had new tyres on his Awesomatix for Q2 he felt he had also managed to further improve his A800. Missing out on 17-laps, he said the changes while making it faster left the car ‘a little more edgy to drive’ adding ‘that its the only weak point now’. Planning to make some changes for the morning’s Q3, he said his ‘own energy should be higher after a good night’s sleep’. Faster of the two Awesomatix’ in the first round, Viljami Kutvonen would post a P8 time on used tyres.
Best of the drivers on used rubber, Hagberg said his Xray ‘was very good but faded too much at the end’. Happy with his T4 on used tyres the Swede will use his second set of new tyres to ‘try to move up the grid’, him currently holding third overall in the qualifying standings. Hagberg’s team-mate Marek Cerny, the outgoing Pro Stock champion who has made the switch to the premier Modified class, backed up his Q1 Top 10 performance with another to post the ninth fastest time.
Having struggled with his Xray in Q1, Team Infinity driver Jilles Groskamp posted a P5 time on partly used tyres. Commenting on the first qualifier, the ETS Luxembourg winner said, ‘I had zero traction and thought maybe I made a tyre prep error. I couldn’t believe the car was so bad’. Pulling off half way through after he rolled, the 2012 World Champion used the same set of tyres for Q2 only this time he changed both his tyre warmer settings and his prep. Having to open to allow Rheinard through, losing 2 to 3 tenths of a second which was enough for a Top 3 finish, the Dutch ace was still ‘super happy with 5th on old tyres’ adding the result put him ‘back in the game’ with it ‘nice to still have a new set of tyres for tomorrow’.
A driver to gamble on pulling off at the start of Q1 to save tyres, Viktor Wilck would only get a P6 admitting himself he ‘expected more’. The Serpent driver said his Project 4-X was ‘at the beginning a little loose and at the end had way too much push’. Running a Top 3 pace he said the car’s drop off caused him to fall back to sixth adding ‘it was the same at the Euros, it loosing too much at the end (of the run)’. Asked what changes he could make for Q3 to cure his understeer, the Swede, ‘I’m not sure at the moment’.
‘A shit load better than the first one’, was how former British National Champion Olly Jefferies described his run to P7 in Q2. The Xray driver said he ‘couldn’t get around the track in the first one’ adding ‘I think the rear right tyre was dead as it just kept swapping ends’. ‘Just switch(ing) to another set of tyres’, his T4 was ‘9-seconds faster’. Looking to tomorrow he said, ‘I think my car is good on used tyres’ but he will take a closer look at the other set of tyres to figure out the problem adding the hot conditions of Q1 would really show up a bad tyre.
In the Xray Pro Stock class having impressed with a P3 in Q1, Marco Siegenthaler went two better to take his Xray to a TQ run. Behind the Swiss driver would be Noah Asendorf also driving an Xray with Yokomo’s Nico Catelani, last year’s Hudy Arena Top Qualifier, completing the Top 3. In the Serpent Formula class, already crowned back to back champion Jan Ratheisky reversed the order of Q1 to TQ ahead of David Ehrbar. Dutch Team Infinity driver Jitse Miedema would take third driving an Xray ahead of Roche driver Olivier Bultynck.