Ronald Volker is the top seed for qualifying at the Euro Touring Series in Daun, Germany, the Yokomo driver pipping early pace setter Bruno Coelho in the second of the two timed practices. Only sixth fastest in the first timed round, almost 6/10th off Coelho on two laps of the unique track layout, Volker would surprise even himself with his improvement turning things around to a 3/10th advantage over the reigning champion. With the track over a second faster over 2-laps, Yannick Prumper maintained his Top 3 pace, outpacing Marc Rheinard who was second quickest in the the first one. Behind Rheinard, Christopher Krapp would post the fastest time with Rheinard’s Infinity team-mate Akio Sobue completing the Top 6.
‘Actually I’m a little surprised at how much the car improved from the first one’, said Volker. The 5-time ETS Champion added, ‘I knew the car would be better but not by this much’. Changing to a harder diff and benefiting from tyres being on their second run he said, this ‘improved the balance and the grip a lot’. He continued, ‘I was only 6th or 7th in the previous practice but now I am pretty confident for the qualifiers. I will keep it the same for Q1. It was a good team effort with 1st, 3rd and 5th and Naoki (Akiyama) has better speed than 11th’.
Despite dropping off the top spot, Coelho declared his second run as ‘very good’. The Xray driver said, ‘on 5-minutes the car is very good so it is looking good. I’m confident for qualifying’. Asked about track conditions, he replied, ‘there was more grip mainly from the tyres but I think the track improved a little too but I feel it is getting more and more bumpy at the end of the straight and on the section you drive away from yourself. It’s difficult’. Running a new prototype motor from Hobbywing in his T4 and working on speedo set-ups to suit, he said they opted for the same speedo set-up as the previous run with him ‘happy’ with the feeling of the motor on the challenging track layout.
‘My car was too easy to drive’ was Prumper’s reaction after the final practice. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘It is good for 5-minute but I could push everywhere with no risk of crashing which is not great for a hero lap’. Planning to air on the side of safety for Q1, the multiple ETS race winner will make just a small change for qualifying to make the car slightly more aggressive. With his BD8 ‘still overweight’ he will remove weight from the car which by his own admission wont be a big change but should be a slight improvement.
Rheinard said the change in traction didn’t particularly suit his car. Describing his car as ‘starting to push too much’ and having also ‘lost some of its corner speed’. The German said, ‘between the first and the second run on the tyres their is a big difference in traction’. Putting most of the extra traction down to tyre, he added , ‘I think the track was much the same as before’. Looking to the first of the four qualifiers, Q1 taking place this evening, he said, ‘I will keep the car the same for Q1 and go for a good Top 10 result’.
‘Surprisingly high traction’ was Krapp’s summary of the final practice. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘It was not really better for me, the car pushed a lot. I didn’t want touch the set-up of the car but now I need to find more steering’. He concluded, ‘every run I feel I am better learning the track so I think everything should be good for qualifying’.