July 13, 2018

Coelho from Hagberg in opening ETS Slovakia qualifier

Bruno Coelho has taken the opening round of qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Slovakia.  The Xray driver lead a 1-2 for his team topping the times ahead of team-mate Alexander Hagberg and was the only driver to run 18 laps of the Hudy Arena track.  While Coelho’s pace was expected, the start of qualifying produced a marked improvement from Hagberg who just scraped into the top heat with only the 10 fastest seeding time.  With temperatures rising for the first qualifier, it much warmer than in the earlier controlled practice runs and drivers reporting track conditions changed a lot, it was to be Christopher Krapp who stepped up as best of the rest ahead of Yokomo team-mate Yannic Prumper.  Running in the second fastest heat, Viktor Wilck enjoyed a P5 run with Marc Rheinard completing the Top 6 as the best Infinity driver.

Coelho said, ‘Everything was ok but like I told you before the wind might become a problem and that time it was. I think it will get worse for the next one’.  With the day set to end at around 19:00 local with Q2, he continued, ‘I didn’t take any risk at the start because the car was a little loose and I saw Ronald and Akio each had a mistake.  After some safe laps I then started to push a little more over the run.  Having already secured the Season #11 ETS title at the previous round in the Netherlands, he said his set-up was probably not best suited to the warmer Q1 conditions.  He added, ‘I drive with ARS which maybe was not the best in these conditions but it makes the car more difficult and I prefer it like this’.

Explaining his performance gain for qualifying , Haberg said, ‘We improved the car from practice by adapting the set-up to suit my driving better. Now it is a more personal set-up rather than a team set-up’.  The Swede  continued, ‘we will try to continue in that direction with the set-up but I am hopeful there is more to come from my car’.

‘It was a good Q1 despite my problem in CP2’, was Krapp’s reaction to the opening qualifier.  He said, ‘the conditions are completely different. We didn’t practice in hot conditions like this so I am happy with the result but the car had too much steering  now and the rear end was loose so now we need to try get more rear grip.  Having been the fastest Yokomo in seeding with the 3rd fastest time, Ronald Volker’s opening qualifier netted a P7.  The World Champion said, ‘I almost spun on the first lap. We changed the car for the hotter conditions but it was hard to judge how much it was going to change but I expected to be more competitive’.

Prumper said, ‘the track changed a lot, there was more heat and I started with the car feeling quite loose. It got better over the run but I had a mistake a that left me with an 18.1-second lap after I made a mistake but 4th is OK’. Asked about changing the car for Q2 he replied, ‘It will cool down for the qualifier later so I will keep the car the same but tomorrow it is hot so we need to work on set-up for that.’

‘Just a safe run’, was how Wilck summed up Q1.  The Serpent driver continued, ‘I changed to a hard roll centre spring to get the car more stable. It was very stable but not that fast. Still I was able to get an ok run and was close to Chrissy’. The Swede also felt his heat was more effected by the weather saying, ‘the sun was out for half of our run and for the top heat they had clouds back’.  Asked about Q2, he said, ‘I think I might just make a small change to the car but I want to get one more run to make sure I’m in the final’.

‘I lost some spots on the last lap because I had a bad lap’, was Rheinard’s reaction to Q1 as he walked back to his pits.  The last non Xray driver to win at the Hudy Arena, he added, ‘the car is difficult to drive it doesn’t feel grippy enough and gets worse and worse over the run. I don’t know what to do’.  Team-mate Akio Sobue, who was second fastest in seeding, said, ‘I went back to the same spring I used to set my time in CP1 but I had no steering and I don’t know why’.

In Pro Stock, former Champion Alexandre Duchet took the opening qualifier ahead of Olivier Bultynck by a decent 1.7-second margin while Duchet’s Xray team-mate Tom Krägefski was 3rd 1/10th of a second back on the Awesomatix.  In Formula, Bultynck was able to put his Shepherd at the top ahead of this season’s champion Jan Ratheisky with the Tamiya of Simon Lauter completing the Top 3.  The only ETS title yet to be decided, in the 40+ class the first TQ went to Thomas Oehler ahead of title rival Beni Stutz and Christian Stöckl.

View complete event results here.

View the event image gallery here.


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