May 31, 2015

Coelho endorses huge following with first ETS win

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Bruno Coelho has won the fifth round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Luxembourg, a fourth place in the final A-Main enough for the A2 winner to secure his first overall win in the world famous electric touring car championship.  An event that would see four drivers go into A3 with a chance of the overall win, the new star of touring cars Coelho would become only the 11th different winner of the ETS’ premiere class helped by Xray team-mate Alexander Hagberg taking the win ahead of Marc Rheinard.  Again briefly taking the lead only to again roll his HB Jilles Groskamp would complete the podium at the unique Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” track.  For reigning champion Ronald Volker his chance to secure a fifth consecutive title will have to wait until the season finale at the Hudy Arena after he put his Yokomo on the grass while leading, leaving him to end the event 5th overall.  Rheinard’s second today means the Tamiya driver still has a very slim chance of the title.

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A driver who burst onto the international scene when he finished runner-up at the World Championships in Florida last October, Coelho said it was ‘super good to finally get an ETS win’.  Still in his first year as a full time factory driver the win is a breakthrough in terms of lifting the huge expectations that had fallen on the soon to turn 22-year-old.  With his spectacular driving style and fighting spirit gaining the Portuguese driver a huge following around the world today’s victory proves that his true talent is substantiated.  Looking back on his first season of ETS, he said bad results at the opening two rounds where a combination of carpet being a totally new experience for him and nerves having got the better of him adding the poor performances where fully down to him and not his equipment.  Once the championship moved outdoors on to asphalt, familiar territory for the long time nitro racer, his speed became apparent but clashes between himself and Volker denied him from harnassing that pace but today that all changed.  ‘All the problems between me and Volker are now behind us, we talked it over at the start of this weekend. I think you just have to look at the great racing we had in A2 to see that’.

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Commenting on this third final, he said it was a difficult race as his T4 would be ‘super good’ and then become completely loose as if something was broken.  On passing the stranded car of Groskamp on lap 2 he said the car without warning just did a donut dropping him back to 7th. Recovering to fourth behind Serpent’s Marc Fischer, he said while he could catch them the car kept randomly breaking loose dropping him back again an issue he could only put down to the wind. Complimenting Hagberg on his ‘perfect drive’ to take the A3 win he said it turned out to be a pretty important win for him by the Swede.  With the next round of the ETS at his Xray team’s home track he said while racing always brings pressure today’s win means he can go there with less pressure.

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Claiming only his second podium finish of the season, Rheinard said ‘from 6th on the grid to finish 2nd is good but I wanted more’.  The Tamiya driver, whose only other podium finish was when he won Round 2 in Germany, said when he saw Volker crash he thought I have to go for the win.  He said after being able to catch Hagberg his car ‘suddenly had no pace anymore’ and towards the end it ‘started to push more and more to the left’ ending his challenge for what could have been a very significant win for the ETS’ most winning driver.  While the result gives him a really small chance of the regaining the title he lost to Volker four years ago, he said realistically the title is decided as he needs the perfect weekend and for Volker to finish 3rd or lower.

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‘I had it in the bag and I threw it away again’, was how Groskamp summed up A3.  Despite having been so close to a first ETS win for a number of seasons, the 2012 World Champion said ‘I got too excited at the car being amazing and at being back again mixing it for the win.  Now that we have the car so good I just need to get the driver good again’.  His first podium for his new HB team whom he only joined in March, he said the weekend was a huge step forward and he is really excited for the season finale. Feeling he had the best car in the finals, his PRO5 posting the fastest lap time of A3, he said he wouldn’t touch the car for the Hudy Arena and ‘will just put it on the track there as it is working so good’.

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Having struggled in the opening two mains, Hagberg would discover this was related to an electrics problem that was effecting how the car drove.  Fitting a new speedo and motor for A3 the nitro touring car World Champion said it worked fine again but unfortunately the problem was discovered too late. While ‘a shame to miss the podium’, losing out on the tie break for third with Groskamp, he said the win was an important one for his Xray team as it helped Coelho secure the win, the Slovakian manufacturers fourth ETS win.

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‘A massive massive disappointment’ was how Volker summed up how his day had gone.  Having had a somewhat below par Day 1 at the event, Day 2 was t a perfect day with three TQ runs that netted him an 18th overall TQ.  Today however he would again struggle.  While ‘big time annoyed with the tyre situation’, many drivers having issues with quality consistency between sets, he said this time however it was his own fault that he threw away the opportunity to win.  Having opened up twice so as to avoid contact, opening up in A2 to Groskamp & Coelho and then Groskamp again in A3, he said he was very disappointed that he ‘messed up in the sweeper’ by putting a wheel on the paint which put his car into the grass while leading. Having had become somewhat of a sparring partner for Coelho at the last two rounds of the championship Volker paid compliments to Coelho on what he said was a ‘deserved first victory’.

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In Formula, with Olivier Bultynck sitting out A3 having wrapped up his first victory of the season with wins in the opening two encounters, it was David Ehrbar who would take the win ahead of Jacques Libar to secure second overall.  Finishing third, Jan Ratheisky would complete the podium in Luxembourg and with it become the first ETS Season #8 champion securing his third consecutive title in Formula.

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With two different winners in the opening two mains, the Xray Pro Stock class would be decided in A3. Starting from pole position defending champion Marek Cerny, winner of A2, would lead away from A1 winner Lars Hoppe but on lap 8 the title contenders would clash in the sweeper. While Hoppe would get a Stop & Go, Cerny would retire his Xray. This left Serpent’s Julian Borowski go to the lead which he would hold to the end followed by Schumacher driver Nicolai Lindegaard. The win would give Borowski his first overall ETS victory and he would be joined on the podium by Lindegaard and Hoppe.

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