Chassis – Tamiya TRF419X Motor – Muchmore (handout) ESC – Muchmore (handout) Batteries – Carson 6000mAh Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa Bodyshell – Blitz GSF 0.5 Remarks – Top Qualifier in the ultra competitive Pro Stock Class, Christian Donath is running the TRF419X from Tamiya with an ultra lightweight GSF bodyshell from Blitz. Using his standard outdoor setup which includes SMJ progressive springs front and rear, the stock Tamiya springs not hard enough, he has also cut the top deck for more traction and rotation in the corner. Choosing to use lightweight spool outdrives, Christian has also machined his own front lower rear suspension block which give the front arms more toe out helping to give the car more corner speed.
Despite efforts to get the track dry to allow for a second round of qualifying today at ETS Slovakia, the decision has been made to defer Q2 to the tomorrow’s final day at the penultimate round of the championship. Having just managed to get the first round of qualifying completed after a wet start to the day and Friday having been a washout, the rain returned to the Hudy Arena as Q2 got underway stopping the action once again. Starting as a light drizzle it worsened and while many drivers took to sweeping and drying the track once the rain stopped, the evening drop in temperature and lack of sunshine mean’t it never completely dried. Opened for free practice, cars struggling to get around, the decision was then made to call it a day. With Sunday’s forecast showing a nice dry day in Trencin, the organisers have set a 07:00 start time so as to get a second round of qualifying in ahead of running the finals. With just two rounds of qualifying, drivers will count their best round with the fastest time the tie breaker leaving overnight Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho in a strong position to take the overall TQ. Such an outcome would secure the Xray driver back to back ETS titles.
Making its debut here at the ETS in Slovakia, Team Magic are showing off their new E4 RS4 touring car. Featuring an all new 2.4mm chassis, the main bulkheads front and rear have been positioned closer to the centre of the car and feature wider spaced mounting points to eliminate flex in this area. A complex single piece central motor & spur gear mount replace what was previously 5 pieces and now give the option of different flex points for further adjusting the car’s balance. A central flex plate between the motor mount and all new servo mount is combined with a damper tube which helps control the forward flex in the car. Finally the car sports all new big bore shocks, with claims that they are shorter than those currently in use by the other cars on the market yet can accommodate up to 25mm springs. Still using non anodised parts for this event, the car only arriving in Europe on Monday, it is expected to be released in mid July.
With rain effectively wiping out yesterday’s action at the Hudy Arena, qualifying at Euro Touring Series finally got underway this afternoon with Bruno Coelho taking an important TQ run in the first of the 3 rescheduled qualifiers from a surprise Naoto Matsukura. With drivers getting only 3-minutes of running yesterday, they would again have to play the waiting game this morning as further rain delayed proceedings at the 5th round of the championship. Getting another 3-minute practice run once the track had dried after the morning downpour the expectation of further rain meant the stakes for Q1 were high. Having topped Thursday’s sun drenched free practice, it would be Marc Rheinard who led away the top heat but a minute in the Infinity driver would make a mistake. This left team-mate Matsukura to go to the top but a strong finish from Coelho, who had issues with his Xray being blown around the track by the wind, allowed the champion elect to TQ by 7/10ths from Matsukura with Alexander Hagberg getting third ahead of Rheinard. For Coelho’s only remaining title contender, Ronald Volker, the event is proving hugely challenging with the Yokomo driver describing his P6 as a ‘miracle’.
‘Super difficult’ was Coelho’s reaction afterwards. Looking to put to bed a back to back ETS titles with the overall TQ, he continued, ‘it was not the car but the conditions. The wind caused me to lose the car 3 times. When the car is not right you know where you can have problems but with the wind it surprises you. It even pushed me up onto the grass’. Going for his third win in a row at what is his Xray team’s home track, the said, ‘Fortunately while Matsukura got close to me I knew I was faster and he only caught me because of the wind. I tried to force to the end and I was able to get first’.The significance of Q1 was highlighted by the fact as the second round of qualifying got underway it started raining again, although one positive is that tomorrow is showing as good meaning the finals should run without interruption.
A very pleased Matsukura summed up his first competitive ETS showing for a long time with, ‘This feels good for me to have no mistakes and to be able to drive a controlled race. Before I was not able to battle at the front. I’m super happy’. Working the IF14’s designer Kotonori Fujiwara as his mechanic this weekend, the 2014 World Champion said this was also a big factor in his performance.Warming up for the event with a win at the most recent round of the CETC in China, in terms of his car he said, ‘my car was pretty good but after 3-minutes it started to get a little push and then Bruno could pull a gap.I will change the set-up for the next one to make it more consistent for the full run’.
Helping Xray to take a 1-2 here the last two years, Hagberg summed up the first qualifier as ‘pretty good’ but like his team-mate said the windy conditions made it unpredictable.Describing it as ‘a safe run’, the Swede said he took ‘no risks considering how unpredictable the weather is’ adding ‘3rd is a good result to have’.Pleased with the performance of his T4 he said, ‘I will leave it the same and just push more in the next one’.
Fastest in free practice, Rheinard said, ‘it didn’t feel as before, it felt loose so I didn’t have the right feeling to push the car’.Coming into the event on the back of his 6th Reedy Race of Champions win, he continued, ‘I made a mistake, without it I could have got third but that’s still not what it should have been.At least I got 4th I suppose’.
Posting the fifth fastest time, Freddy Sudhoff said, ‘that was pretty good, everything went fine’.He added, ‘actually since the firstpractice I have been confident with the set-up and the track’.The Awesomatix driver said, ‘I took it a little easy due to the weather so I did not have any hot laps but it was a good start’.Asked about the wind effecting his car the German replied, ‘a few laps in the car pushed a little more but it wasn’t a big problem for me’.For Q2, which looks now like being the only other qualifier they will fit in due to the latest rain, he will leave his kit standard A800 unchanged.
Finishing almost 5-seconds off Coelho’s pace, Volker didn’t hold back on his issues.The World Champion described his car as ‘horrible in the opening laps’ highlighting that the problem has been there since Thursday’s free practice.He continued, ‘there is absolutely no rear grip, its a miracle finishing P6’.Running last in the heat, the German said he had to use the time to know when it was the last lap so he could launch his car across the finish line, the 2/10th gained the only reason he got 6th as apposed to a P10.He concluded, ‘We are totally off the pace in the beginning and need to do big changes in order to get up there but thats going to be very tough’.Behind Volker, team-mate Christopher Krapp was the next fastest Yokomo with newly crowned Reedy Race Open Champion Jin Sawada taking his Destiny to 8th for the round.
In the Xray Pro Stock class it was the Tamiya of Christian Donath that took the first TQ. During the first attempt at qualifying yesterday, the rain arrived before all the Pro Stock heats were completed but getting the remaining three heats done today it was Donath who was fastest from the Yokomo of former Champion Martin Hofer with Xray’s Tom Krägefski completing the Top 3.Best of the winners so far this season would be ETS Italy winner Max Mächler who was fifth fastest.In the Scorpion Power Formula class Shepherd’s Olivier Bultynck took Q1 ahead of Jan Ratheisky and Tim Benson with Tonisport owner Toni Rheinard coming out of retirement to set an impressive P4 time ahead of double winner David Ehrbar.
After basking in the sunshine in free practice yesterday, drivers didn’t fair as well on the official opening day of ETS Round 5 in Slovakia as a number of rain showers effectively wrote off any meaningful running at the Hudy Arena. Waking to rain this morning in Trencin with further rain showers over the morning, a dry track finally appeared after lunch allowing a round of 3-minute practice to prepare the track for qualifying. With further rain forecast for the morning, the schedule was brought forward to run two rounds of qualifying over the rest of the day but 9 heats in to the 27 heats the heavens opened again bringing a stop to proceedings.
Consulting with Martin Hudy on how the track dries and how late it would be possible to run, the track not having flood lights, it was felt the track could be made ready to complete the first round of Xray Pro Stock qualifying as well as Q1 for the Scorpion Formula class. Running another round of practice, Modified having had the call made that their day was done, the track conditions however wouldn’t come up as expected and so the ETS made the decision to call time on the a frustrating day. Unfortunately showers are been forecast again for the morning but from lunch it looks like the event might be able to get going with Sunday showing clear of any chance of rain.