May 12, 2018

Coelho extends ETS lead with Andernach win

Bruno Coelho has extended his points lead in the Yokomo Euro Touring Series, the Xray driver today becoming the first double winner of Season #11.  With the fourth round marking the ETS’ return to Motodrom Andernach in German, rain forecast for Sunday led to the decision to condense the event to run over two days. Initially it looked like Coelho’s first time to the tight technical track was going go give his rivals the opportunity to reduce his lead as he struggled to find a set-up for the layout.  Come qualifying however things changed with him TQ’ing the opening qualifying on Saturday but it was Q2 in the evening that ultimately decided the event.  On a TQ run, in what would be the rocket round, Naoto Matsukura touched the curbing on the last lap which was enough for the Infinity driver to hand Coelho the TQ by 5/100th of a second.  This all but decided the TQ, Matsukura starting today’s action by topping Q3 the time that was no match to the Q2 pace of the night before while Viktor Wilck claimed the final qualifier.  In the opening final, Matsukura clearly had the quicker car but he couldn’t find a way pass until a late mistake by Coelho made him open the door.  With both drivers making mistakes in A2 they finished as they started, meaning A3 wold decide it.  Again Matsukura pressured the reigning champion who jumped the curbing in the centre chicane which was his queue to take the lead but both cars touched, with Wilck coming out the main benefactor and taking the A3 win.  For Coelho luck was again on his side as his A2 win was the faster, giving him the overall win ahead of Matsukura while Marc Rheinard completed the podium ahead of Wilck.

‘This was a super hard race.  Not all the time do you need to be unlucky, in Madrid I was dominating but then in the finals I was unlucky, today I was lucky’, was how Coelho summed up his 12th ETS career win.  With the result doubling his lead over Rheinard in the standings to 8-points, he continued, ‘for sure this is a very important race for the championship.  I had never been here before while others had plenty of experience of the track from the past.  It a very difficult track so I’m very pleased to get the win’.  On the A3 decider, he said, ‘we tried something and the car was very good at the beginning but then it started to push.  I made a mistake at the chicane and he crashed me I got a body tuck and he crashed me again.  I am not saying he crashed me on purpose but the luck was on my side’.

Matching his previous best result on his first outing of the current ETS season, Matsukura said, ‘he made a mistake at the chicane and I think I can go but I collected him’.  Finishing out last season also with a second behind Coelho in Ettlingen, the former World Champion said, ‘There was a little mistake from me at the start but I could easy catch him so we showed our car is good.  If I could have got stopped and not touch Bruno I had the chance to win’.  With an ETS victory still eluding him, he concluded, ‘I’m happy with the car this weekend and we are ready for the next ETS’.

Summing up his podium finish, Rheinard said, ‘this was the maximum I could do after A2. It is just shit we didn’t win, Naoto was quicker than Bruno, luck was on his side.’  After the disappointment of the first asphalt round in Madrid last month, he said the podium was ‘a definite improvement’ and while ‘for sure Naoto is fast I was not as quick’.  The German concluded, ‘I know we still have work to do for the next round’.

Taking a popular A3 win, Wilck said, ‘with the lower temperature the car works again.  I could keep a little with Naoto & Bruno’.  Benefiting from their contact, the 3rd place qualifier continued, ‘It is just a shame I spun in A1 & 2 because it could easily have been a podium this weekend’. His best result for quite some time, the Serpent driver said, ‘for sure this was a step forward and hopefully we can continue it in 2-weeks time at the Reedy Race, they are similar tracks’.  Behind Wilck, Freddy Südhoff took his Awesomatix to 5th followed by the Yokomo of Ronald Volker, the World Champion having a difficult weekend.

With Formula decided in A2, going the way of Jan Ratheisky, the Xray driver would make it a double as he won A3 of Pro Stock to claim the overall win.  Behind, A1 winner Mustafa Alp would make it an Xray 1-2 with Max Mächler completing the podium.  In the 40+ Masters class, Top Qualifier Thomas Oehler finally managed to stay in front to win A3 from Christian Drießle and Beni Stutz which is how the would line up for the podium.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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