February 26, 2017

Volker bounces back with convincing ETS Germany win

Ronald Volker bounced back to his former carpet racing glory days with a convincing ETS Germany win, the Yokomo driver carrying his impressive form from the opening practice on Friday right through the weekend to wrap up the overall win with another dominant performance in the second A-Main.  Having made A1 look easy, A2 would see a slight error from the Top Qualifier just before the halfway mark. While it would allow Bruno Coelho to close, Volker was never really under threat and at the end would finish with more than a second lead over the Xray driver with Marc Rheinard again completing the Top 3.   The German’s 14th Euro Touring Series career win, matching Rheinard’s record tally, the win was an important one both in terms of closing the gap to ETS championship leader Coelho but also mentally with the World Champion having struggled since winning the sport’s top prize in China last August.

‘Super happy to get it done after A2, it was the perfect weekend and all the work before paid off’, was Volker’s reaction to his win as he took congratulations from other racers many using the words ‘welcome back’ to sum up his win.  With the race marking his longest spell without a win in the ETS, the 5-time Champion said, ‘we worked so hard to be prepared for this round because we were behind after Round 1 and I needed a come back’. Asked about his A2 error, he said, ‘I saw Bruno was closer this time after 1-minute and tried to pull a gap but slightly touched the curb at the end of the straight and got out of shape.  I almost lost the lead.  I tried to pull a gap again as I was thinking to myself I definitely don’t want to have a battle with him (Coelho) so I had to make sure he wasn’t close enough to make an attack’.  Looking to the next round of the ETS, which takes place in Spain in early April, Volker said, ‘outdoor won’t be easy’.  He went on to say, ‘for sure we need to do work testing because the conditions in April are going to be different to the TITC and the Worlds, the last two outdoor events I have done but first we must wait for the weather to turn so we can test outdoors’.

Reacting to Volker wrapping up the overall win in A2, Coelho said, ‘It is not the result I expected for the weekend.  I’m here to win not finish second’.  Top Qualifier & winner of the season opener, the Portuguese driver said, ‘I will try to keep second for the overall points but it’s not a result I wished for’.  Having struggled to match Volker’s pace this weekend, although he would set the fastest lap of A2, the winner of this event last year said, ‘We tried 3 different chassis, we tried IRS and PPS but with five different cars I still did the same lap times so the problem was not with the car.  Franci (Francesco Martini) said maybe the problem is I’m broken.  He was joking of course’.  Putting his deficit to Volker down to a lack of traction, he said, ‘the forward traction was not there so maybe our tyre prep was wrong but I had zero traction compared to Ronald and even on the small straights he could pull away easy’.

Again finishing 2.5-second back on Coelho and having to fend off his Infinity team-mate Akio Sobue, Rheinard said switching to his second set of tyres for the race left him to struggle at the start as the set was ‘too fresh’.   Unable to break below a 12-second lap time, both Volker & Coelho having a number of 11-second laps, the 4-time World Champion is confident the tyres will work better in A3 allowing him to finish on the podium on what is his first ever ETS race not driving a Tamiya.

In Pro Stock and Formula the overall winner would also be decided in A2. In the Xray Pro Stock class,  Top Qualifier Marcus Kreder held onto his lead slightly longer but again an error would give A1 winner Olivier Bultynck a lead the Awesomatix driver wouldn’t relinquish although Kreder did make a late charge, breaking his car coming on to the main straight as he tried a move on the Belgian.  With the Top 2 having gone the extra lap while the car wouldn’t finish Kreder would still get second for the leg with Noah Asendorf completing the Top 3.

The Scorpion Formula class was a like an exhibition drive for Serpent designer David Ehrbar as he again made light work of his rivals.  Top Qualifier for the race, the result gives Ehrbar the perfect score in the championship with the German having done the same at ETS Czech.  Behind Ehrbar, Jan Rathiesky would get second for the leg ahead of fellow Xray driver Asendorf.

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