February 7, 2016

Coelho claims 1st carpet win at ETS Germany


Bruno Coelho has claimed his first carpet win of the Euro Touring Series, the Portuguese driver leading an Xray 1-2 at the second round of the championship in Germany.  Starting the weekend by securing his first TQ on carpet, the 2-time asphalt ETS race winner would flip in A1 handing team-mate Alexander Hagberg the win but a faultless A2 would set the stage for a showdown in the deciding third leg.  While clearly having improved his pace for A3, Hagberg would push Coelho hard but the Vice-World Champion had enough in reserve to cement the win.  In what was somewhat a battle of the second division such was Xray’s pace all weekend, it was Marc Rheinard who would claim the final step on the podium.  The result means Coelho now moves into the joint lead of the championship standings with Round 1 winner Rheinard. Even though he would get passed Rheinard in A3, Ronald Volker would finish fourth with the result marking the Yokomo driver’s first time to miss the podium on carpet since he began his current 5-consecutive seasons reign as ETS champion.


‘Super good’ was how Coelho summed up his 3rd ETS win, this weekend being only his 8th outing in championship.  Describing his new Hobbywing powered T4 as being ‘good all weekend’, the 22-year-old said ‘This race was a big step forward for me on carpet. Last year I finished 8th and now I managed to get the TQ & win. I want to congratulate the whole team as we got four cars in the final, finished 1-2, won Formula and made the podium in Pro Stock’.  Commenting on A3, he said ‘For sure he (Hagberg) pushed much more but I was still comfortable with my car and he didn’t ever get close enough to try to pass’.  Finishing off his rookie season very strong winning the final two outdoor rounds to end up 3rd overall and now a competitive force on carpet, he said he was looking forward to carrying that momentum into the final indoor event on the calendar in Austria in early April.


Making a set-up change for A3, Hagberg said this ‘improved (the) car a lot’ and he ‘felt (he) finally had a car to challenge for 1st place but didn’t really find a place to overtake’.  Finishing second having dominated the event in 2014, he ‘wished (he) had changed the car earlier’.  With himself and Coelho ‘setting the pace from the start (of the event)’ the Swede said he was ‘very happy with how the team worked together’ to achieve and maintain this and he feels they go into the final carpet round in very good shape.


‘In the end that was all we could do this weekend’, was Rheinard’s view of the weekend. Having opened the season with a strong win and won the Muelheim-Kaerlich event last year, the 4-time World Champion said the weekend was far from their expectations but added he was ‘still happy to finish on the podium’.  Admitting Xray have a ‘good car’, the ETS most winning driver said they have the big advantage of being able to test extensively at the Hudy Arena on the same ETS carpet.  With his TRF team making a big step forward for Round 1 with the TRF419, he said what he had this weekend was not as good as before with the feeling of the car taking a step backwards adding ‘we have a lot of work to do to be ready for the next race’. Asked about A3, he said he was lucky to finish 4th as a contact with the barriers while trying to fend off Volker left him to run the rest of the race with a cracked C-Hub, with him luckily able to hold off team-mate Akio Sobue to get 3rd on the tie break with Volker.


Once the master of carpet races with victory for the German a foregone conclusion at the start of the weekend, Volker said he was ‘definitely a bit disappointed as 3rd was possible but the 3rd final was not enough’.  Feeling they ‘didn’t realise their full potential as in Hrotovice’ he continued that while ‘the new car is amazing on carpet’, him winning easily ahead of Hagberg and Coelho at the DHI Cup, he said they still haven’t cracked the ETS carpet.  With the ETS organisers leaving the track in place and offering the drivers the opportunity to do a day’s testing tomorrow, Volker is hopeful the test will help them put that right.


In the Xray Pro Stock class, A3 would also be the decider after Top Qualifier & A1 winner Tony Streit made a mistake in A2 giving Mike Gosvig the win.  With Gosvig having a fraught opening few laps putting the Dane out of contention, it was now a battle between Streit and Ratheisky for the overall win.  Leading for 16 of the 20 laps from the ETS Czech winner, Streit would get out of shape with the lost momentum enough to allow Ratheisky to go to the front. Leaving the two drivers tied on points, Streit’s perfect run in A1 was faster giving the German his second ever ETS win after a four year wait.  Making it a great weekend for Awesomatix, having failed to get any cars into the A-Main at the season opener, Bernhard Bopp’s A800 would complete the podium.  With Ratheisky having wrapped up the Formula win in A2, leg 3 would be won by Olivier Bultynck, giving him second on his debut with Roche with Serpent’s David Ehrbar claiming the final step on the podium.







View complete event results here.

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