Bruno Coelho has claimed a ‘very important’ win at Round 4 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Austria today, the Xray driver becoming the first double winner of the season. Only sixth at the season opener and also enduring a tough weekend in Madrid where he was only 7th, the reigning champion came into the weekend desperately needing a win to keep his quest for a fourth consecutive ETS Modified title alive. While practice saw the Portuguese driver a little off pace on the championship’s first visit to the tight & technical ERC Wiener Neudorf track, qualifying got things back on track as he secured the overall TQ, and bonus championship point, ahead of points leader Ronald Volker. Taking an easy win in A1 as Volker struggled for traction early on, he faced a much stronger challenge in A2 but resisting the pressure from the Yokomo driver he wrapped up his 16th ETS career win. Behind, Alexander Hagberg would t-bone Volker in the final dash to the line allowing Marc Rheinard through to second. The arrival of rain during the third round of mains, meant it looked for a time that Coelho was going to take even more points out of Volker’s lead. Counting one of two, Rheinard was on to take P2 but after a short delay racing resumed and Volker got the A3 win to secure 2nd with Rheinard completing the podium.
Commenting on A2, Coelho said, ‘this one was very hard. Volker was on my back from the start. I was pushing hard to try make a gap but three times I lost the rear which was a warning to slow down’. He continued, ‘Alex made a little pressure on Volker which gave me time to breath and get some space. Even if Alex didn’t crash Volker I had enough to take the win’. Summing up the win he said, ‘It’s been a very good weekend. It didn’t start good but we found a direction to go with the car and it was very good. For the championship this result is very important. I already have 2 throw away results so I needed this win and I need 2 more so we will work hard to achieve that at the next 2’.
Summing up A2, Volker said ‘we changed nothing after A1 and the car felt great again, maybe it was a bad set of tyres. I was all over Bruno but couldn’t make a clean pass. This time Alex wasn’t so nice hitting me quite hard and unnecessarily on the last lap but luckily I was able to win A3. The car was simply amazing. I didn’t expect so much performance out of the car after the rain. A big thank you to Hayato and Jurgen for the package’. Retaining his points lead in the championship, he said, ‘Congrats to Bruno, he did nothing wrong today. For the rest of the season we are still maximum confident to fight for wins and keep our lead in the championship’.
Reacting to his podium finish Rheinard said, ‘I hoped the rain would come’ – the Infinity driver having a faster time for his inherited P2 in A2 compared to that of Volker in A1 which had rain cancelled A3 would have given him second overall. He continued, ‘I still had a chance of second (overall) if I won A3 but after Ronald got a gap I was just driving around to be sure to make the podium especially with Alex gone out (of A3)’. The German concluded, ‘We had a good car this weekend but a podium was the best I could do after the bad luck in qualifying’.
Finishing fourth on tie break with Awesomatix’s Lucas Urbain, Hagberg said, ‘for the second final my car was very good and I could fight with Bruno and Ronald for the lead. On the last lap I misjudged the gap, there was no gap, and I collided with Ronald which cost me one position. In the last one I randomly spun out on the first lap which I can only suspect was the tyres. I didn’t change the car’. On conclusion the Swede said, ‘We showed great pace and I’m aiming to be higher at the next race’ – Round 5 of the ETS taking place at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands in 6-weeks time.
The trip to ERC Wiener Neudorf produced the first double class winner of the season as Simon Lauter claimed the win in Formula and Pro-Stock. The German wrapped up his first Formula win in A2 again finding a way by Top Qualifier and reigning champion Jan Ratheisky. Ratheisky would take A3 to secure second overall with Xray team-mate Matej Dobnikar completing the podium. In Pro Stock, Lauter had to work a little harder for what would be his third win of the season. Winning A1 from the TQ, in A2 team-mate Dominic Vogl took the win after Lauter rolled coming onto the main straight before recovery to take 3rd. This left it a battle of the team-mates going into A3 and battling for the lead Vogl would clash with Lauter sending both cars tumbling, allowing Ratheisky through for the win but resuming in second Lauter would take the overall win to continue Awesomatix’ reign over the Pro Stock class this season. Vogl would stand on the second step of the podium with team manager & ETS Daun winner Max Mächler joining them.
In the Infinity Masters class, Alexander Stocker could enjoy an early beer as he wrapped up his fourth win of the season. The former Pro Stock champion was joined on the podium by Toni Mateo and Werner Schmitzer. In 17.5 Stock, the top step of the podium was also decided in A2 as Top Qualifier backed up his A1 win with another in A2 to claim a popular victory. Winning A3, Tobias Baumbach would finish 2nd overall with the Top 3 completed by third place qualifier Dominik Ruf.