After a rain delayed started to the day, it was Bruno Coelho who would top the first round of controlled practice on the Yokomo Euro Touring Series return to Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. The reigning champion’s first time to the track, with rain also hampering yesterday free practice, the Xray driver put in the fastest 3-consecutive laps ahead of free practice pace setter Ronald Volker with a time of 43.641 compared to Volker’s 43.682. Backing up Yokomo’s strong performance in free practice, Yannic Prumper would record the third fastest time ahead of the Infinity of Akio Sobue and Serpent of Viktor Wilck with Loic Jasmin’s Awesomatix completing the Top 6. As the only two remaining challengers to preventing Coelho from making it a hat trick of ETS titles, Marc Rheinard and Alexander Hagberg could only manage 9th and 11th in CP1 and will be hoping for better in CP2 in order to make the top heat for qualifying.
Summing up practice as going ‘very good’, Coelho added, ‘because we were never here before we had to change a lot to find a set-up. It was hard work but we got there’. The Portuguese ace was cautious about the weather conditions saying, ‘I hope the track doesn’t change too much between rounds with the wind and the rain but the but the car is working well so we will see’. Asked about plans to test anything in CP2, he replied, ‘we are on the point with the set-up but we always want more so we will use the track time try more things on the car’.
Commenting on his practice, Volker said, ‘it was fine but for CP1 I tried a different diff set-up. The balance was better but I had too much understeer so I will go back to the previous set-up’. Chasing his first win of Season #11, the German continued, ‘otherwise it is going well. I am there in contention along with my team-mates’.
Prumper was pleased with his practice form after making a ‘big change’ to his car in free practice. Describing the track as ‘one of the best in Europe’, the German said, ‘I copied Nicholas’ (Lee) set-up and it was a big improvement. After 5 or 6 laps the droop was too much but that is gone now after the change and my 5-minute pace is strong’.
‘The car is good now but before it was difficult’, was how Sobue summed up his CP1. The Japanese driver said he had struggled with his car getting loose but after both front and rear droop adjustments for the first of the two timed practices the car now has a ‘front to rear better balance’. Having raced here once previously as part of the Tamiya team, he admitted to finding the track ‘difficult’ highlighting the end of the straight has been causing him issues with him missing his lines either turning in too early and then too late the next time round. Team-mate Rheinard put his off pace time down to the fact he ‘did get the first three laps’. A three time ETS winner at Apeldoorn, he said ‘at the end the car is ok so I think the diff is too hard and that is why it is not good in the beginning. I will go softer (with the diff) for the next one’.
A former podium finisher at the track, Wilck said, ‘the feeling is OK for 4 or 5 laps but then the drop off is too much so I need to find something for this’. The Serpent driver added, ‘I might change the active toe-in or the diff. I’m not sure’. On a walk through the main pit area he said, ‘I am going to try to spy a bit’.
While Jasmin was happy with his 3-laps, the French driver was open that it wasn’t a true reflection of his pace. He said, ‘the first minute was good but then there is a drop off and the car starts getting loose. I need to find something to get more consistency’. A fan of the track and in particular the new finer asphalt since the last ETS visit, he said, ‘One idea I will probably try for my next run is to go with a softer diff’. Behind Jasmin, former winner of the race Jilles Groskamp posted the 7th quickest time ahead of Christopher Krapp, Jan Ratheisky and Lucas Urbain.