After celebrating the completion of 10 seasons of world class racing back in July, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series is set to enter into a second decade of high profile competition as Vienna hosts the opening round of Season #11 this weekend (27-29 October). Taking place as part of the ‘Modellbau 2017’ model show in the Austrian Capital, the 58th race of the ETS also marks the 8th consecutive season of Yokomo being the title sponsor of the Uwe Rheinard and Scotty Ernst created championship with the Japanese manufacturer one of a number of teams looking to take on the domination of a certain Bruno Coelho. As back to back champion, Coelho enters into only his fourth season of the ETS as the pre-season favourite. Also champion of the Euro Offroad Series and the Euro Nitro Series, last season the Xray driver claimed a record 5 wins from 6 races and getting fed up of being in the shadow of the Portuguese driver his rivals are more determined than ever to change this over the coming season.
Having had his 5-year reign as the ETS master brought to an end by Coelho, Yokomo’s Ronald Volker wants his title back as the 2017/18 championship will lead the drivers into the World Championships in South Africa.As the reigning World Champion, Volker was the only driver last year to beat Coelho when he won Round 2 in Germany – a carpet race. Overall Season #10 was a difficult one for Volker, the German having struggled to get to terms with Yokomo’s latest offering but armed with a new car there are high hopes he will be able to take the title fight to Coelho. Backing up Volker, Yokomo’s protege Naoki Akiyama is back for another ETS campaign.
Last season’s opening race marked the end of one of the longest standing driver deals of our sport as Marc Rheinard drove his final race for Tamiya in the Czech Republic. Going on to join newcomers Infinity from Round 2, marking the occasion with a podium finish, the 4-time World Champion went on to settle in well with his new team. Sharing the honour of the most career wins in the ETS with Volker, the German will be looking to take that honour back exclusively for himself by claiming a 15th ETS victory and his first not driving a Tamiya. Having become 1:8 Onroad World Champions in the ETS off season, the Japanese manufacturer also have strength in Akio Sobue. The Japanese National Champion has shown great form over the Summer and will be looking to carry that into his ETS campaign. While not an official team driver, multiple race winner Yannic Prumper will also drive an Infinity this weekend and having the German back in the mix for a race win would be an exciting prospect for the championship.
Elsewhere in the Volante Modified class, Awesomatix and Schumacher will strive to take on the big three. Russian outfit Awesomatix will again be led by Viljami Kutvonen and Freddy Sudhoff. Kicking off his campaign with a podium finish, Kutvonen went on to enjoy his best championship finish last season ending up fourth overall behind Coelho, Volker and Rheinard and ahead of Alexander Hagberg and Sobue.Schumacher also enjoyed a podium finish last season with 3rd place in Italy thanks to Elliott Harper and once again the British company will count on home grow talent to lead the team.One to watch this season should be Tim Wahl.The Xray driver was the star of the season finale at Ettlingen with his efforts over the years rewarded with his first podium finish. Huge motivation for the German, he will be looking to open the new season just as strongly.
In Pro Stock, a driver who was little known last season enters into his second ETS campaign as the defending champion. Making his ETS debut at the season opener in the Czech Republic, Alexandre Duchet went on to win that event adding a further win enroute to becoming champion.The Frenchman didn’t have it easy with former champion Jan Ratheisky, Tamiya driver Christian Donath and Awesomatix’ Olivier Bultynck taking the title fight to the final round. In Formula, Serpent’s David Ehrbar lifted his first ETS title with the Serpent driver also denying Ratheisky and Bultynck.