I couldn’t ask for more, basically we are all on the same speed.”
Ronald Volker has taking a straight forward win in the opening modified A-main at the ETS season opener in Vienna. Starting from pole position the Yokomo driver was unchallenged as the chasing pack were held up by their own battles. Alexander Hagberg would manage to get by 2nd place starter Marc Rheinard after a mistake from the Infinity driver allowed the Swede to stick it down the inside. On a track that is very difficult to pass, the rest of the race had little in the way of opportunities and despite a last lap effort by Bruno Coelho on Rheinard, it was a very processional race. Volker, who claimed the bonus championship point for TQ yesterday, said ‘I couldn’t ask for more, basically we are all on the same speed but they were in a battle so I could drive my race, the track was again a bit different’. Asked about his plans for A2 the former champion said ‘it is up to me to put in a clean run and repeat it for A2’.
There was not enough time for me to catch Ronald and plus I had to drive defensively.”
Making a very clean pass on Rheinard, following a mistake, Alexander Hagberg pulled off one of the only real moves in the race to bring his Xray up to 2nd. Asked his thoughts on A1 he replied ’I thought my car was pretty good, I was expecting Marc to put a stronger challenge on Ronald than he did but then he rolled over’. Once in 2nd he had to defend and as not able to go after the leader saying ’there was not enough time for me to catch Ronald and plus I had to drive defensively’, continuing ‘I wish I could have gone to the front earlier’. Asked about A2 he simply said ‘I hope I can get passed Marc and catch Ronald but the problem is not enough time, my car is good, really competitive, its definitely fast enough to fight for the win’.
…then Alex made a small mistake and I tried to get by him but I was just on the outside and couldn’t go.”
Hitting the curb on the left side of the track on lap 9 saw Rheinard lose a spot to Hagberg, commenting on the incident saying ‘It started ok, I could keep the pace with Ronald but in the middle of the run I made a stupid mistake which cost me position and Hagberg went by’. As the race developed and despite a small mistake by Alex which allowed Marc alongside, the car started to push more and he fell back in the sights of an improving Coelho, who made a last corner passing attempt which turned the German over onto his roof, passing the line upside down, but maintaining 3rd. Asked about the 2nd A-main he simply said, ‘lets hope for no mistakes’.
We miss something this weekend and we are still trying to find out what, but now it is already too late.”
‘It was ok, started 4th finished 4th’ was how Bruno Coelho summed up his race, continuing ’we changed a lot of things for today so at the beginning I had to have the feeling of the car as it was completely different compared to yesterday but in the end I was getting used to that so we will see in A2’. Questioned about his last lap coming together with the Infinity driver he said ‘I knew it was the last corner so I tried to overtake, as he made a mistake at the chicane before, so I was trying to have the move there but he closed very well so I had no chance to overtake’. On A2 and his chances he replied ‘We miss something this weekend and we are still trying to find out what, but now it is already too late.
In the Pro Stock class, Simon Lauter continued his dominance of the opening round as he took an unchallenged win in A1 ahead of his Awesomatix team mate Max Machler in 2nd, with Jan Ratheisky the Xray meat in the Awesomatix sandwich as Frederik Mikkelsen, Olivier Bultynck and Christian Donath completing the top 6 for the Russian marque.
Formula A1 was a more entertaining affair as pole man Lauter was tagged by Ehrbar at the start which allowed Andreas Stiebler through to the lead from 3rd on the grid. While Ehrbar dropped back he was able to recover, making a nice pass on then 2nd place Matej Dobnikar, and mount a challenge on the leader on the closing laps but was not able to make it stick and so Stiebler could hold on for the win, with Ehrbar 2nd and Dobnikar in 3rd.
The opening A-main of the Masters 40+ class saw Alexander Stocker continue his perfect run as he took the win by over 8 seconds ahead of 2nd placed starter Toni Mateo, with Roland Wagenpfeil coming from 6th on the grid to claim 3rd. The Yokomo Stock class A1 also saw Daniel Pohlmann (above) continue his perfect score as he won ahead of Mark Valent and Markku Seppälä.
We have the extra point and with that feeling going into tomorrow I’m very confident for the finals.”
Ronald Volker is the top qualifier for the opening round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series having taken the final round of Qualifying. Set to start on pole position, Marc Rheinard will set off directly behind him while Alexander Hagberg, Bruno Coelho and Freddy Sudhoff complete the top 5. The German Yokomo driver commented, ‘Im very happy to get the overall TQ, it was tough going into Q4 as we all had similar speed’. Having made an adjustment on the rear diff for the final run he said the car felt the best it had done all day, ‘the balance was great so the car was quite easy to drive’. Volker also took the first points on offer, securing the bonus point for TQ, saying ‘we have the extra point and with that feeling going into tomorrow I’m very confident for the finals.’
I knew that if Bruno finished 3rd I have a faster first position so it was only Hagberg that could beat me if he TQ’d this round.”
Winner here 12 months ago, Infinity driver Marc Rheinard was pleased with his starting position despite a bad final run. ‘I think 2nd is still a good spot, I messed up myself on the first lap (of the final heat) and I had to let everyone by’, said the former World Champion. Having to let Sudhoff past following his roll, he was able to retake the Awesomatix driver later in the heat. ‘I knew that if Bruno finished 3rd I have a faster first position so it was only Hagberg that could beat me if he TQ’d this round’ said Rheinard, Bruno ending up 4th while Hagberg only just missed out on the TQ.
You put in an almost a perfect run and you are just 2 tenths too slow.”
Speaking to Hagberg, the Swedish Xray driver said ‘I mean it was a clean run, I didn’t make any obvious mistakes’, despite this he missed out on the top spot by 2 tenths of a second. Continuing ’I did what I could, I thought the car was alright, I could maybe find a little more speed from the car, but it’s going to be hard, you put in an almost a perfect run and you are just 2 tenths too slow’. Asked on his strategy for the final, he simply stated ‘We will try to race it out and see what happens’.
On this track it is super difficult to pass, but of course nothing is impossible.”
Showing so much speed all weekend but not quite able to pull it together, Bruno Coelho finished the last round 4th, which is where the World Champion will start tomorrow’s triple A-mains. ‘It was not a good qualifier for me, the car was very difficult to drive in the first minute’ said the Portuguese driver, ‘I lost a lot of time, and as the car began to be a bit more stable I tried to force a little bit more to get back the time that I lost in the beginning, but I made a mistake and it was over for me’. Asked on his strategy for the final and his chances from the middle of the pack he said ‘on this track it is super difficult to pass, but of course nothing is impossible’.
In the Pro Stock class, Awesomatix driver Simon Lauter made it a clean sweep of qualifying by also taking the final qualifier, as well as wrapping up the Formula class TQ spot in what has been a very good day for the German. Starting behind him on the grid in Pro Stock will be Max Machler and Lukas Ellerbrock, with Jan Ratheisky and Tim Benson completing the top half of the grid. In Formula, the line up behind Lauter, consists of David Ehrbar who lost out on the TQ on tie break, followed by Andreas Stiebler, Olivier Bultynck and Jan Ratheisky.
Having also wrapped up the top spot in the Masters 40+ class, Stocker also took a clean sweep, this time ahead of Peter Miko who will set off from 3rd on the grid, just behind Toni Mateo. Thomas Oehler will start the defence of his title from 5th on the grid. In the stock class Daniel Pohlmann was the 3rd clean sweep of qualifying as he took all rounds to start in front of Mark Valent from Hungary, with Keving Sparbier in 3rd.
Remarks – Having made the switch to the Awesomatix team at the beginning of the season, the young talent has dominated ProStock qualifying here in Vienna with his A800X Evo. Equipped with a set of long suspension arms conceived for high grip conditions, his car also features a pre-production aluminium chassis designed to work with the middle motor conversion that will be available just in the next days.
Remarks – Xray team driver Alexander Hagberg is using the latest 2019 version of the Slovakian brand’s T4 equipped with several option parts such as steel front outdrives, an aluminium “Flex” chassis, progressive front springs and 1.6mm top deck. Running his standard ETS setup, he said the biggest step forward was brought by the LCG LiPo pack that made his car noticeably quicker in direction changes thanks to the reduced roll.