Bruno Coelho continued his reign at the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Slovakia, the Xray driver winning A1 ahead of team-mate Alexander Hagberg. While a widely predicated result, Coelho didn’t have things entirely his own way with Hagberg for a time looking like he might be able to mount a challenge. Overshooting the carousel a number of times, Coelho was clearly struggling with his car but the Top Qualifier was able to hold on, crossing the line 3/10th in front of Hagberg. Behind them, Michal Orlowski would complete the Top 3 finishing as he started with a 2-second advantage over Viktor Wilck.
Reacting to his win, Coelho said, ‘It was OK but the last qualifier I had a crash and maybe something is broken in the car from that. The first 5-laps it was impossible to drive’. He continued, ‘it was super difficult and was loose in the rear off power so for sure we will look for the problem’.
On his race Hagberg said, ‘At the start there was no grip but I was able to keep up with him (Coelho) and closed in the end but not enough to mount an attack’. One of three of this season’s race winners, taking victory in Madrid, he said we need to work on getting the car better for the first minute of the race and if we can do that hopefully I can mount a bigger challenge tomorrow’.
Orlowski said, ‘It started off pretty good and I was right with Alex. I had a small chance to pass but couldn’t get it done’. The Schumacher driver added, ‘my tyres warm up more than theirs (Xray) which allowed them to pull away. After that I settled for 3rd. I’m glad I kept my position. The car is very good so I will run it the same again tomorrow.
Commenting on his A1 performance, Wilck said, ‘the beginning was good and I felt I was pressuring Orlowski but after 2-minutes it felt like I overheated the tyres. I then had a moment on the curbing and had a slide. We have to change the set-up for tomorrow’. Behind Wilck, Ronald Volker would move up one position, at the expense of Yokomo team-mate Christopher Krapp, to finish 5th just ahead of Infinity’s Akio Sobue.
The first encounter of the Pro Stock A-Main would also see Top Qualifier Alexandre Duchet lead from tone to tone all but for a split second. Xray team-mate Jan Rathiesky looked to have sneaked through on the second last corner but Duchet retook him in entering the final corner to win by 3/10ths. Olivier Bultynck was in the lead bunch but got caught at the line and had to settle for third. in Formula, contact between Bultynck and Rathiesky would allow Simon Lauter and Matej Dobnikar battle it out for the win with Lauter just hanging on for the win from fourth in the grid. In 40+, Top Qualifier Thomas Oehler suffered an early error to come back to the front to take the win and move closer to becoming the classes inaugural champion. Behind Roberto Fabiano saw off Christian Drießle for second.
Chassis – Xray T4 2018 Motor – Muchmore (handout) ESC – Muchmore (handout) Batteries – EZ Power Graphene 6600mAh Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Savox Bodyshell – Montech Racer
Remarks – Attending his first ETS asphalt race of the season here in Slovakia, former ETS Pro Stock race winner Nico took the third round of qualifying and starts the A-Main 5th on the grid. Running a more kit standard car than fellow Xray drivers Alexandre Duchet and Jan Ratheisky, which can’t be photographed. Optionals on his T4 2018, include full aluminium steering set-up, low friction belts and harder red blades, all from Xray and then brass weights in the centre of the car, under the speedo, and a brass servo mount and brass battery mounts which are all produced by 7075.it.
Michal Orlowski took a surprise TQ in the final round of the qualifying at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series, the Schumacher driver securing the ‘best of rest’ position on the grid in Slovakia behind the Xrays of Top Qualifier Bruno Coelho and Alexander Hagberg. With a number of drivers saving their third set of tyres for the fourth & final qualifying, including Hagberg, it was expected the Swede would top the times with Coelho having already taken the overall TQ in the previous round and used his tyre allocation. Instead Hagberg struggled and it was Orlowski who was fastest by 2/10th from Awesomatix’ Freddy Sudhoff and Yokomo’s Ronald Volker who were also on new tyres. The end result was that Orlowski would demote Viktor Wilck to fourth on the grid ahead of Christopher Krapp and Volker.
‘I didn’t change anything on the car. I put on a new set of tyres and just drove’, said a very pleased Orlowski. He continued, ‘It was close the whole run. Freddy was behind me so I could see the gap. I had one slightly bad lap but I’m happy with how I drove. Hopefully I get good sets of tyres for the finals’. With the Hudy Arena a happy hunting ground for the Euro Offroad Series double champion in that championship, the teenager said, ‘In touring car I have always been quick here but had no luck. I made the Euro A-Main here but never in the ETS. I had pace for A-Main but something always prevented me from getting in. We broke that trend today’. Asked if he could take the challenge to the Xrays in the final, all drivers having new tyres for each of the triple A-Main, he replied, ‘Alex was on new tyres now and he wasn’t very fast but they showed crazy speed in Q1 & 2 yesterday. I will try my best’.
Hagberg described his final qualifier as ‘not good’ adding ‘I had no traction’. He added, ‘either it was too hot or the tyres were not good and I need to discuss this with my team-mates’. Asked if he believed he could challenge Coelho for the win, he replied, ‘Of course we will go for the win. Anything is still possible’.
‘Orlowski made an awesome run’, was Wilck’s reaction after Q4. Running the qualifier on used tyres and well off the pace, the Serpent driver added, ‘at least I only dropped one place (on the grid)’. Looking to the final, A1 taking place this evening with A2 & 3 on tomorrow, the former Hudy Arena podium finisher said, ‘for sure I have a chance of the podium’ but cautioned, ‘this track is not known as a place you can overtake. We will see but always something happens up front’.
In the Xray Pro Stock class it is outgoing champion Alexandre Duchet who will start from pole. The French driver secured his first TQ of the season with a P2 run in Q4 behind Xray team-mate Jan Ratheisky. This left them tied on points but Duchet’s TQ run from Q1 was faster than Ratheisky’s Q4 pace and so he secured the overall TQ. Behind them Olivier Bultynck will start third for Awesomatix. In Formula, while Bultynck had already wrapped up pole in the previous round the Shepherd driver would complete the clean sweep with a TQ in the final round. His nearest challenger from behind with come from Ratheisky with Matej Dobnikar starting third and the Tamiya of Simon Lauter fourth. In the Infinity 40+ class, Thomas Oehler took an important TQ. Taking the bonus point from his title rivals means Beni Stutz is out of the chase with only Christian Drießle who starts third having a chance of the title but he must win.
Bruno Coelho has claimed his 5th overall TQ of the season at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series season finale in Slovakia. Having already successfully defended his ETS title at the previous round in Apeldoorn, the Xray driver wrapped up the overall TQ at Hudy Arena in somewhat impressive style. Having led a 1-2 for his team in both qualifier’s yesterday, Q3 would see him spin off towards the end of the straight and need to be marshalled after ending up on the grass. Despite dropping 3-seconds as a result of the second lap incident, he could still recover from the lost time and top the round from by almost two seconds from Marc Rheinard who was the next fastest driver in the top heat. Overall for the round it would be Viktor Wilck, running in the second fastest heat which had the benefit of slightly less sunny conditions, who would finish P2 ahead of Rheinard with Ronald Volker fourth – 3rd to 6th for the round covered by less than 3/10ths.
Explaining his off, Coelho said, ‘I had a body tuck which caught the tyre and I spun out. I think maybe it (the body tuck) was from the wind. Luckily I didn’t crash and hit anything’. He continued, ‘the car felt very good and that is why I continued. I pushed maximum to get back to the point so it worked out perfect’. Describing his car as ‘amazing’, the Portuguese ace said, ‘today we prove it again how good our car is. It is not just because it is our home track. We did the same in Apeldoorn and I had never been there before. I’m lucking forward to the finals’.
‘Not bad, just a clean run’, was Wilck’s reaction to his P2 run adding ‘yesterday would have been a good run but I rolled on the curb’. Using up his third and final set of tyres, the Swede said, ‘maybe I got lucky the last heat had more sun than us but the times are very close for the second group at least’ – this a reference to Xray and in particular Bruno’s huge advantage over the rest of the Modified field. Sitting third in the qualification ranking behind the two Xray’s but with no new tyres for the final qualifier, the Serpent driver concluded, ‘I just have to wait and see because Yannic (Prumper) and Akio (Sobue) still have new sets (of tyres)’.
Rheinard summed up his best run so far by saying, ‘at least I’m now in the A-Main’. The Infinity driver, who is the only other driver to register a TQ this season when he took pole at the opening round, continued, ‘everyone has the same speed on new tyres except Bruno. He goes 3-seconds on the grass and still takes it by 2-seconds. They have found something on new tyres’. Holding fifth on the grid but also using up his third set if tyres, the German said, ‘I guess I will drop some spots (in the final grid order) but the guys with new tyres have to finish the run so lets see what happens’.
Another driver posting his best qualifying so far, Volker said, ‘I could have been better. It is very close between P3 and P6 and fourth is surely not what I wanted’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘I was on used tyres in Q2 so for the hot weather today I have 2-times new tyres which should be to my advantage. I can still go P3 on the grid but it will be difficult’.
Setting the fifth fastest time, Michal Orlowski said, ‘I didn’t have a very good start. I had a rough first lap but then I was able to put in good laps. I had a couple more bad laps and overshot the carrousel so I’m glad to get 5th’. A driver who is nowadays better known as one of the best electric offroad racers in the World and who is double champion of the Euro Offroad Series, the Pole continued, ‘I should be in the A-Main and I still have one set of tyres for the last one so maybe I can go up the grid’.
Having his worst qualifying run so far, Krapp took full responsibility for the performance summing up Q3 with ‘shit driving, I threw away 3rd’. The Yokomo driver continued, ‘the car is actually ok but the Xray is in a different World. Bruno was in front of me (after his off) and pulled away. I felt like a beginner. My focus now is to be best of the rest’.
In Pro Stock Nico Catelani would become the third different driver to top the times. His first outdoor ETS of the season, the Italian Xray driver was quickest from the Awesomatix of Olivier Bultynck with Jan Ratheisky third. Having taken the opening qualifier Alexandre Duchet ran a P4 time to remain in provisional pole. In Formula Bultynck continued to reign as he wrapped up the overall TQ with another heat win. Behind the Shepherd driver, Matej Dobnikar set the second fastest time with Britain Luke Lee third. Christian Drießle livened up the 40+ title fight as he took Q3 as championship points leader Thomas Oehler hit trouble and was a DNF. The other title contender, Beni Stutz also got a DNF for the round.
The first official day of action at the season finale of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Slovakia has ended with another dominant display from Xray as their two star drivers repeated the 1-2 result of the opening qualifier. Q2 again saw Bruno Coelho go quickest ahead of Alexander Hagberg however this time the TQ chase was a little more interesting as a third of the way into the qualifier Coelho had a bit of moment on the curbing. While this put Hagberg to the top, Coelho was able to recover the time and at the end of the 5-minutes the separation was almost 6/10ths. In what the other manufacturers are themselves referring to ‘the battle for best of rest’, it was Akio Sobue who set the 3rd fastest time from Q1’s best of the rest Christopher Krapp. Over 3-seconds off Coelho’s pace, Sobue’s Infinity had just 2/100th of an advantage over Krapp’s Yokomo with Yannic Prumper and Freddy Sudhoff rounding out the Q2 Top 6.
Reacting to the qualifier, Coelho, ‘It was very good yes but it was windy so at the start I was very careful. I then pulled away from Alex but hit the curb and touched the grass and he could catch me but I was able to pull away again. I don’t know what else to say, it has been a very good day’.
Hagberg said, ‘my car was even better this time. The track was also better which suited the car better’. The British based Swede added, ‘I realised I was very close to Bruno but got over ambitious and pushed over the limit but it a good result and I am looking forward to tomorrow’.
Sobue said a combination of a cooler track than in Q1 and a ‘small set-up change’ improved his car. The Japanese driver continued, ‘it still pushed but it was better than before and now I need to think about what we do for tomorrow. I need one more good run’. Admitting doing anything about Xray’s pace would be a tall order he said the challenge for everyone else is the not just finding the right set-up but how to adapt for the constantly changing track conditions.
‘I’m a bit disappointed when I see the gap to Xray and I disappointed just to miss out to Akio’, was Krapp’s thoughts after Q2. The ETS Madrid podium finisher said, ‘Again I went a bit wrong with set-up. The track changed again but not as I expected and there was not that much grip’. He continued, ‘It looks now like we are battling for the best of the rest but we will still try to find something for tomorrow to catch them (Xray)’. Asked where he felt Xray’s advantage lay, he replied, ‘they know exactly what to do for the track conditions and we just don’t have that knowledge. We did have the same conditions in practice yesterday but maybe we will be able to benefit from what we learned today in the final two qualifiers’.
On his P5 run, Prumper said, ‘I messed it up again on my own. I flipped on the 2nd lap and again on the 5th and lost 1-second. The car is quite good. It’s hard to drive but it’s fast’. He continued, ‘unfortunately at their home track Xray are too strong but it would be crazy if they weren’t strong here. Maybe tomorrow everyone else can improve’.
‘Finally no mistake’, was Sudhoff’s reaction to his Top 6 time. The Awesomatix driver said, ‘in the first one I spun and lost 1-second so this time I took it easy to get a safe 5-minute run. The car is very balanced and easy to drive. It has a little understeer but I just adapt my driving for this. I have a 6th and a 9th so another Top 6 tomorrow would be good’. Topping the second fastest heat group, Viktor Wilck posted a P7 run behind Sudhoff.
In the Scorpion Power Formula class there would also be a repeat TQ with Olivier Bultynck again putting his Shepherd at the top from Jan Ratheisky. In the Xray Pro Stock second qualifier, Tim Benson just outpaced Ratheisky by half a second to TQ the round with the Top 3 completed by the Q1 topping Alexandre Duchet. The Infinity 40+ class, Thomas Oehler doubled up with another TQ run, this time ahead of ETS returnee Francesco Martini with Apeldoorn winner Beni Stutz third.