After baking in the heat for the first two days of the event, today rain showers interrupted the running of the finals at the ETS Season Finale in Slovakia. Having run all four rounds of qualifying in anticipation of rain arriving, the rain arrived overnight delaying the start and then when things did get underway subsequent showers meant further delays in getting through the timetable. While getting the first round of A-Mains completed for most, during A1 of the Volante Modified the rain arrived caused it to be stopped with over 2-minutes to go after which the skies would open. Despite efforts to dry the track, overcast conditions meant it was going to take too long to dry to be able to resume racing for the day and and at around 17:30 the call was made that racing would resume tomorrow.
In the first of the Pro Stock A-Mains a brilliant pass on the final lap that earned him a ‘class dismissed’ from Scotty Ernst saw Olivier Bultynck take the win. The Awesomatix driver made the pass on Dominic Vogl after the pair come off the sweeper at the end of straight and while Vogl would try to take it back he would go off the track but able to regain his composure to keep second just ahead of Simon Lauter. Top Qualifier for the race, Lauter undone his qualifying efforts with an error on the second lap that he somehow managed to land rubber side down to only drop to third. In the other two Touring Car A-Mains that ran, it was an relatively easy 40+ Masters win for new Champion Alexander Stocker despite Toni Mateo keeping him honest during the race. In Stock 17.5, Top Qualifier Daniel Pöhlmann converted for the win finishing after seeing off a late challenge from Cham Dassanayake with Tobias Baumbach completing the Top 3.
In Formula, the title still undecided, Jan Ratheisky controlled the race from the TQ from start to finish with title rival David Erbhar unable to do anything about the German eventually finishing 1.4-seconds back. Able to get by Jitse Miedema, Matej Dobnikar completed the Top 3.
Chassis – Tamiya TRF 103 Motor – Scorpion Power System (handout) ESC – Scorpion Power System (handout) Batteries – LRP 5800 Tires – Volante (handout) Radio/Servo – Sanwa/SRT Bodyshell – Protoform F26
Remarks – Running his trusty Tamiya TRF103 for the event Simon is using RC Carbon Store’s conversion kit. Using the kit gives different front and rear geometry including a wing to chassis mount. Simon says the wing to chassis mount is the most important element of the kit. With two wheelbase options, long and standard, he has chosen the long version which for him makes the car easier to drive with the same lap times.
Alexander Hagberg has TQ’d the final round of qualifying at the ETS Season Finale in Slovakia, the result giving the Swede second spot on the grid behind Xray team-mate and newly crowned Champion Bruno Coelho. Having wrapped up the overall TQ with a trio of TQ runs, Coelho would lead away Ronald Volker in Q4 but all the attention was on Hagberg and Lucas Urbain as they had new tyres for the final round. Initially it was Urbain’s Awesomatix that set the pace, the Frenchman opening with a blistering fast 16.941 lap but quickly that pace faded with Thimo Weissbauer moving to the top of the timing screen. Soon however Hagberg took charge and he stayed there to post the fastest time of the day ahead of Coelho, the cooler night conditions allowing him to be the only driver to make 18 laps of the reverse layout Hudy Arena track. Again so close to Coelho, their pace on new or used tyres pretty much equal, Volker would conclude qualifying with a P3 which is where the Yokomo driver will start tomorrow’s finals. Crossing the loop fourth fastest, Urbain will start in that position with Christopher Krapp completing the top half of the grid.
With all but the Pro Stock and Stock 17.5 TQ decided in Q3, Alexander Stocker the 40+ Masters TQ, Jan Ratheisky the Formula TQ (both drivers taking all four rounds), it was already crowned Champion Simon Lauter who becomes the Pro Stock Top Qualifier. The Awesomatix driver backed up his Q1 topping performance with another TQ in the final round ahead of Q2 winner Dominic Vogl and Q3 pace setter Max Machler. This is the same order in which they will start tomorrow’s rescheduled A-Main. With rain forecast for the afternoon, the current timetable will see two rounds of Mains run tomorrow with an opportunity of dry conditions to run the 3rd round on Sunday morning before the rain returns again. In Stock 17.5, it was to be a tie as Daniel Pöhlmann TQ’d Q3 & 4 with the the last one the quickest of the day giving him the overall TQ over Q1 & 2 winner Dominik Ruf.
Bruno Coelho has taken the overall TQ at ETS Slovakia and with it his fourth consecutive Euro Touring Series title. Only Yokomo’s Ronald Volker could mathematical end the Xray driver’s reign over the Championship but he needed to go into the Season #12 Finale A-Mains as the Top Qualifier. With Coelho taking the first two qualifiers, Q3 was a decisive run for both drivers but again it was the final lap that would be Volker’s undoing as he again handed it Coelho. While Coelho will aim to cap of his successful title campaign with his 5th consecutive win at the Hudy Arena, Volker will try to hold on to his 2nd place from Alexander Hagberg and Lucas Urbain who go into the fourth & final qualifier with the advantage of still having a new set of tyres.
Reacting to what is his 4th TQ of the Season, Coelho said, ‘for sure that was a like a final qualifier and the pressure was on but at the end everything was OK. Not only did we get the overall TQ but also Championship. I’m very happy for this’. He continued, ‘our (himself & Ronald) pace is exactly the same and it has been all about small mistakes today. One more time there was nothing between us at the end’. Still focused on the job in hand for the weekend rather than celebrating his title win, the World Champion said, ‘I’m still not happy with the car so we will try something different for the final qualifier. Even though we will be in used tyres we see can we learn anything from it for the finals’.
‘The same story as Q2, this time I blew it going into the last lap. I went sideways and that basically was it’, was how Volker summed up the penultimate qualifier. As in the previous round, the German led Coelho on pace on the second last lap on this time he dropped 3/10ths with the error. Despite setting the fastest lap, he said, ‘losing all qualifiers to Bruno when we had the same tyre strategy means I need to make sure Alex and Lucas cant jump me on the grid’. He concluded ‘the late timing of the last one should mean my used tyre disadvantage is less’.
Posting the third fastest time of Q3, Hagberg said, ‘I was too slow to fight for the TQ. The first two were a little faster’. The Swede continued, ‘I have new tyres for the last qualifier so I hope I can take advantage of that and TQ to get 2nd on the grid’. Asked where he felt Coelho & Volker were getting their edge from, he replied, ‘my car is too lazy in the chicane. I need to make t more reactive. We will try to improve that for the last qualifier’.
Again managing the 4th fastest time, this time ahead of Loic Jasmin and Marco Kaufmann, Christopher Krapp said, ‘It was pretty the same story as before, I was just too slow’. Having change the flex set-up on his Yokomo, he said, ‘it was a little better but not what I needed. The car drive too easy but that’s not fast’. Looking to give himself a fight chance of a podium, he said, ‘I will change the rear end of his car and run a different, lighter, ARS system for Q4’.
Also securing the TQ in Q3 with the perfect hat trick of fastest time was reigning Formula Champion Jan Ratheisky. The Xray driver was over 2-second quicker than Infinity’s Jitse Miedema while title main rival David Ehrbar ended up with P5 for the round. In Pro Stock, Max Mächler became the classes third different driver top the times. The Awesomatix team manager TQ’d the round from Frederik Mikkelsen and Kevin Nielsen, with Q2 pace setter Dominic Vogl out this one as Q1 winner Simon Lauter ended up outside the Top 10.