Alexander Hagberg has won the second A-Main at the ETS in Spain, the Xray driver the benefactor of A1 winner Bruno Coelho clashing with Ronald Volker as the latter led the race. Starting on pole, just as the field came around to complete the first lap Coelho would get his Xray on two wheels over the curbing allowing Volker through just before the loop. Pushed hard by Coelho, the pair pulled clear of Hagberg but on lap 6 they clashed as Coelho tried a pass. With Volker taking a long time to find his composure as Coelho waited for the Yokomo driver to resume the lead they were quickly swallowed up by most of the grid. With Christopher Krapp, now running 2nd, struggling with a damaged car after he was collected by Volker in the warm-up, Hagberg could control the race for an easy 4-second win. Krapp would come under pressure from Awesomatix’s Freddy Südhoff, with Marc Rheinard joining the battle for a brief time before the Infinity driver outbraked himself trying a pass for second, but the Yokomo driver held on for 2nd.
Having not looked like a contender for the win until the final qualifier, Hagberg, who benefited from a bad start from Volker in A1 to get second said, ‘Obviously I got a bit lucky there was some commotion in front of me but my car was very good’. He continued, ‘I already had a gap on the guys behind me so the rest of the race was easy as I didn’t have to fight with anyone. I will try to repeat it in the next one’.
Given a stop and go penalty for his incident with Volker, Coelho said, ‘I got on two wheels after I touched the curb and Ronald was able to go by. After that I was behind trying to overtake and when he opened the door I went for a pass but he closed the door and we touched. It was my fault we touched so I waited but he had some glitch in his head and kept full throttle and (his car) was just spinning and spinning on the track. We could have finished 2nd & 3rd if he just had went smooth. After we continued I got a stop & go and the race was done’.
Giving his account of the incident, Volker first explained his crash with Krapp. ‘I just didn’t see the car and collided with Chrissy on the front straight. It was low speed but there was still damage to both cars. My steering was not 100% straight after it’. He continued, ‘after my bad start in A1 I started off my safe and when Bruno made a mistake on the first lap I went through but I was struggling because my car was not going straight but we were still pulling away from Hagberg. I was just a very dumb move from Bruno, we had plenty of time’. Clearly frustrated with his rival, he said, ‘that move ended my race for the win or even the podium. I really can’t believe he can’t drive smarter. There is no doubt about his skills but he needs to get that shit together’.
Having managed a P3 in the first A-main despite forgetting to tighten his top deck screws, Krapp was counting his good luck once again after A2. The former ETS race winner said, ‘this time the top deck was broken after the crash from Ronald in the warm-up. I had no chance to follow Hagberg because the car was tweaked but I somehow survived the race and came out with a 2nd’. Have one of his most competitive ETS weekends for a number of seasons despite his troubles in the finals, he said, ‘I hope I have a fresh car for the last one so I can really fight for position and make the podium’.
In Pro Stock and Formula, A2 produced repeat winners with Max Mächler and Olivier Bultynck making it 2 out 2 to wrap up the overall victories at the Asoger track. Top Qualifier, Mächler took his Awesomatix to the A2 win ahead of Bultynck and Ratheisky as he had done in A1 to claim his first overall victory of Season #11. In Formula, Team Shepherd’s Bultynck claimed his second overall win of the season winning A2 ahead of the battling Jitse Miedema and Ivan de La Calle. In Masters, Beni Stutz, who got a stop & go in A1, took the win ahead of Top Qualifier Thomas Oehler meaning the overall win will be decided in A3.
Bruno Coelho took and easy win in the opening A-Main of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Spain this morning, the Top Qualifier taking full advantage of the 2nd place battle between Alexander Hagberg and Ronald Volker. Off the start Volker’s Yokomo would get loose from 2nd on the grid allowing 3rd position starter Hagberg to slip through to second at the first corner. While Volker would put the Xray driver under pressure looking to take back the position he couldn’t and in the second half the race the pair were evenly matched with Hagberg leading Volker to the finish line but that wasn’t how they would finish. Just metres from the loop, Volker’s car would stop with an electric problem leaving the World Champion as a non-finisher. The main benefactor would be his team-mate Christopher Krapp would would complete the Top 3 having held off Freddy Südhoff.
Summing up what was a very straight forward race win, Coelho said, ‘Yes, that was a good final for me. Volker lost the rear at the start and Alex could go by and then with them battling I could go away’. The reigning champion, continued, ‘after that I could manage the race without any stress’. Asked about track conditions, it a much cooler day in Madrid this morning, he said, ‘It was a little loose especially in the high speed corners but I expected worse’. Looking to A2 he concluded, ‘I will just try to drive a similar race again’.
Having bumped himself up to 3rd on the grid with a tyre strategy that saw him TQ the final qualifier, Hagberg said, ‘I could pass Ronald in the first corner after he got sideways at the start and then just tried to hold onto to second’. The Swede added, ‘my car was very good in the second part of the race which worked out good. I will try to do the same again in A2’. Commenting on the track conditions, he said ‘it was a little lower grip than yesterday but quite OK’.
‘First of all, losing the start to Hagberg ended my race’, was Volker’s reaction after. The German went on, ‘My car got sideways from the grid. I easily had the pace to fight Bruno but was stuck behind Alex for the first half of the race. At the end we had the same speed’. Asked what caused his car to stop he said, ‘2 corners to go it stopped. The battery was completely empty for some reason. It didn’t feel like it was slowing on the last lap as I could still run with Alex but it just suddenly went. I don’t know why’. He concluded, ‘I’m more upset about my start because it stopped me fighting for the win’.
Krapp said, ‘given I forgot to tighten my top deck it was a pretty good result. I got lucky when Ronald shutdown. I hope they can fix the problem for A2’. The German continued, ‘I was not really an exciting race. It started ok but then my car faded because the top deck was loose so I will be sure its tight for A2’.
In Pro Stock Max Mächler managed to make his TQ stick taking the win ahead of Olivier Bultynck and Jan Ratheisky who both pushed the Awesomatix driver hard. In Formula, Bultynck used up his 9 lives to hold on for the A1 win while Ivan de La Calle managed to get by Ratheisky late in the race for second. In the Masters class, Top Qualifier Thomas Oehler had a very short race turning in early and pulling a wheel of his car on the opening lap with Christian Drießle going on to take an easy win over Christophe Puntil and Scotty Ernst.