May 11, 2019

Coelho takes easy A1 win

Bruno Coelho has taken an easy win in the opening A1 at Round 4 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Austria this morning.  Starting from the TQ, the Xray driver took advantage of a slow starting Ronald Volker to quickly build a gap and take control of proceedings.  Behind Volker the pack was bunched up before contact between Alexander Hagberg and Marc Rheinard opened things up giving the Yokomo driver the breathing space to get his car up to speed.  After a good battle with Lucas Urbain, Hagberg would eventually find a way passed the Awesomatix driver  to recover to third.

Reacting to his 1.1-second winning margin Coelho said, ‘I started really well and I could see Volker had some trouble at the start with traction.  This gave me a gap.  After that I just controlled the difference between us’.  With pole position a distinct advantage on the tight and technical ERC Wiener Neudorf track, looking to A2 Coelho said, ‘the car is working well so lets hope we can do the same in the next final’.

Summing up his race, Volker said, ‘It’s a new day and the track is different.  I didn’t have grip at the beginning and had to defend position from Alex.  He was very nice and fair’.  The German continued, ‘the grip got better after that but I wasn’t faster than Bruno so I was just trying to keep my P2.  We will make a small change for the next one and hope we can attack from the start’.

Hagberg said, ‘my car was very good from the start.  I had a lot of traction but Ronald was struggling so I had to brake check.  Then Marc hit me’.  He continued, ‘I had a nice fight with Lucas and could get back to 3rd but I am confident I can fight for at least 2nd in the next two (A-Mains)’.

In the opening Pro Stock final, Simon Lauter saw off a strong challenge from Awesomatix team-mate Dominic Vogl before the latter had a mistake in the final run through the chicane which allowed Max Mächler slip through for second.  Lauter enjoyed a second win when he took A1 of Formula after a nice move to get passed Top Qualifier Jan Ratheisky.  A mistake later on from Ratheisky allowed Luke Lee through to second with the British driver finishing just  17/100th off the leader.  In the Masters class and 17.5 Stock it was straight forward wins for Top Qualifiers Alexander Stocker and Luis Moreno.

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May 10, 2019

Coelho Top Qualifier at ETS Austria

Bruno Coelho is the Top Qualifier at the fourth round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Austria, the Xray driver becoming the first double pole sitter of Season #12. After enduring a tough weekend at the first asphalt race of the ETS season in Madrid last month, the ETS Daun winner secured an important TQ on the championship’s first ever visit to the tight and technical ERC Wiener Neudorf track.  Making the gamble to save new tyres for the last of the four qualifiers, Coelho duly delivered the fastest time of the day in Q4 helped too by the wind that caused drivers so much issues earlier in the day having dissipated for the late evening run.  Having gone into the final qualifier with TQ runs from Q1 and 3, Ronald Volker tried to make the most of part run tyres, as a result of his Q2 errors, but it came to an end when he became the latest victim of the entry onto the straight and rolled his Yokomo.  Taking a P2, also on new tyres Alexander Hagberg managed to move ahead of Marc Rheinard to secure third on the grid with Lucas Urbain completing the Top 5 starting positions for tomorrow’s finals.

‘Saving new tyres for the last round was risky for sure but in the end it worked out’, was Coelho’s reaction after Q4.  The World Champion explained, ‘we wanted to try something on the car and test it on used tyres which is why we ran used tyres in Q3.  The changes worked good and I had a really good final round.  The performance is good for a prototype car’.  Looking to the finals, which due to rain forecast for Sunday will be run tomorrow, he said, ‘The finals are going to be super hard.  The track is very tight but fast in places so it is easy to make mistakes.  Also Volker is fast and super aggressive at the beginning of the races but I will do my best to keep him behind me’.

Volker said, ‘I gave it everything.  I was on half run old tyres but it felt phenomenal’.  The winner at the season opener in Vienna last October on carpet, he continued, ‘I was closing the gap he made at the start from being on fresh tyres but then I touched the curb coming onto the straight.  I knew I’d lost it’.  Asked about the finals, the championship points leader said, ‘I am maximum confident with the car going into the Mains but there is no real opportunity to pass and we need to see how the track conditions will be tomorrow’.

Summing up his final qualifying effort, Hagberg said, ‘It was a good run although it was hard to see in some corners with the low sun’.  He added, ‘I knew I needed second to be ahead of Marc on the grid so I am glad that worked out’.  While admitting the track layout was going to make it challenging to pass he said it was easy to make mistakes meaning the finals will be all about driving a clean race.

‘One of the worst days to have’, was how Rheinard summed up qualifying.  Having shown great speed, setting the fastest lap in Q3 before throwing away a TQ run by rolling coming onto the main straight, he continued, ‘to come close to the TQ twice and then to end up fourth especially on a track that so hard to pass on is frustrating when you know you have a good car’.  The Infinity driver added, ‘I made the mistake myself in Q3 and in Q2 I just missed out by 4/10ths when I made some bad laps. Others had more luck today’.

‘I’m very happy.  I made some mistakes but the car was super awesome in the last one on used tyres’, was the reaction of Urbain to his P5 on the grid.  Out qualifying Awesomatix team-mate and ETS Madrid winner Freddy Sudhoff, the Frenchman is ‘super confident for tomorrow’ describing his car as ‘near perfect’ meaning he can ‘just drive and have no worries’.  Also making the A-Main at the previous round, he said it was ‘awesome’ that there would be 3 Awesomatix’ on the grid tomorrow with new recruit Tim Wahl putting his example 10th on the grid.

The Xray Pro Stock overall TQ would also be decided in Q4, with Simon Lauter topping the times for a second time in the final round to secure his third TQ of the season.  The Awesomatix driver and championship leader will start on pole ahead of team-mates Dominic Vogl and Max Mächler with Xray’s Jan Ratheisky having work to do in fourth if he is to prevent the fourth win of the season for the unique Russian designed car.  With 17.5 Stock and Formula TQs settled in Q3, Alexander Stocker wrapped up another TQ despite a poor final qualifier.  Topping Q4, Toni Mateo will start second with Q1 winner Werner Schmitzer lining up third.

View complete event results here.

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May 10, 2019

Volker bounces back in Q3

After spinning out while on TQ run in the second round of qualifying, Ronald Volker bounced back to top Q3 at the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Austria.  The Yokomo driver produced the quickest run of the day so far, with a 0.289 of second advantage over the Xray of Alexander Hagberg with Q2 pace setter Bruno Coelho completing the Top 3 despite being on used tyres.  Second fastest in each of the opening two qualifiers, Marc Rheinard was looking strong to go one better, but in a similar error to that of Coelho in Q1, he rolled coming onto the main straight on lap 12 of 17.  The only driver to manage a 17-second lap for the round, with any chance of a result gone the Infinity driver pulled up.  Volker’s second TQ run means only Coelho can deny him pole for Saturday’s finals with the Portuguese driver having the advantage of being on new tyres while Volker will be on used.

Commenting on his latest TQ run, Volker said, ‘for sure I am happy with a TQ run in Q3 as many guys were on new tyres’.  He continued, Even though it didn’t feel as comfortable as in Q2 I just tried to make no single mistake.  I had some slides but overall it was a clean run’.  Looking to the fourth and deciding qualifier which is scheduled to take place after 20:00, the former World Champion said, ‘we will make a small change to the car for the late conditions but the pressure is on Bruno to deliver a TQ run’.

‘It was a good run.  We improved the car since Q1 and have a better set-up now’, was Hagberg’s view on Q3.  The Swede continued, ‘I didn’t realise it was so close to Ronald.  Scotty didn’t announce the gap so I didn’t know it was only a couple of tenths.  If I did I would have pushed harder.  Anyway it is a good result and good points.’  Like team-mate Coelho, he has new tyres for the final qualifier saying, ‘I will push for a TQ run in the last one’.

Coelho said, ‘I was on used tyres and expected to be slower.  I’m very happy with 3rd on used tyres’.  The reigning Champion continued my time was only half a second off my TQ time from the run before’.  Having made set-up changes to his car to try and get the more steering he was looking for he said the changes felt good and he hopes thet work as well when he’s on new tyres’.

Coming into the event on the back of his first ever ETS win, the penultimate qualifier finally saw Freddy Sudhoff put together a decent run.  The Awesomatix driver said, ‘the car has been good all day long but finally the driver improved as well’.  He said a speedo set-up change  ‘allowed (him) to get a better rhythm with the car and a better overall feeling’.  Another to use up his tyre allocation, the German is not overly concerned about running used tyres in the final qualifying saying he believes it won’t as big as disadvantage as the car is easier to drive on used tyres and that the advantage of new is only in the first lap or two.

In the Scorpion Power System Formula class, reigning Champion & current points leader Jan Ratheisky extended that advantage as he produced a third TQ run to claim the overall pole and bonus point that goes with it.  Also being decided in Q3 was the Stock 17.5 TQ which will see Luis Moreno lead away tomorrow’s A-Main grid.  In the Xray Pro Stock class Dominic Vogl continued his rise to the front.  P3 in Q1, and then P2 in Q2, the Austrian hit the top in Q3 ahead of Awesomatix team-mates Max Mächler, Simon Lauter, Olivier Bultynck and Christian Donath.  The TQ will be decided in the fourth round as will the Infinity Masters class which saw a repeat of Q2 with Alexander Stocker getting a TQ run ahead of Toni Mateo.

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May 10, 2019

Coelho tops Q2 from Rheinard

Having rolled out of contention for a TQ run in the opening qualifier at the ETS in Austria, Bruno Coelho has delivered an error free TQ performance on his second attempt.  The Xray driver topped the times by 4/10ths from Marc Rheinard, the Q2 pace 3/10ths slower than the opening time set by Ronald Volker.  Again leading away the field, Volker looked to be on target for 2 out of 2 as he pulled clear in the early laps but on his fifth lap he spun out in the chicane and spinning again on the following lap the Yokomo driver decided to pull off.  This promoted Rheinard to the top of the timing screens but ultimately two bad laps from the Infinity driver was enough to allow Coelho to come out on top.  Behind, Lucas Urbain backed up his P5 in Q1 with an impressive drive to claim 3rd ahead of Yannic Prümper, Akio Sobue and Freddy Südhoff.

Commenting on the run, Coelho said, ‘Now it was a solid round.  The round before I was also in the Top 3 before my mistake but this time Volker stopped for some reason so now it was only me and Marc.  I had to force a bit more to get it but at the end I did it.’  Pleased with the result, the reigning Champion admitted they still have work to do on the car set-up saying they needed to find more steering, something they have been fighting up to now.  Asked about the track conditions, the World Champion replied, ‘a couple of times I missed the corner by a couple of centimetres cause of the wind and I also lost the rear at the end of the straight’.  He added while the wind was a challenge and an unpredictable one, ‘you have got to be close to the curb to be fast and that’s a risk you have got to take.  It’s the same for everyone’.

Reacting to his run, a slight frustrated Rheinard said, ‘I had three really bad laps especially the last lap . I don’t know if it was the wind or just me’.  He continued, ‘It was difficult as I didn’t know the gap because Bruno didn’t start with us.  I guess I went a little too easy when Ronald was done’.  The multiple World Champion concluded, ‘It’s still an OK result but I needed that TQ’.

Making a change to his car Urbain said, ‘I reduced the rear droop and I don’t know if it was this or that there was less wind but that was the best car I have ever had on asphalt.  It was like it had a magnet holding it to the track’.  The Awesomatix driver said he is now not sure where to push more in the next one and risk more or just ‘run laps’ as he has been doing.  With a P5 and and P3, he said it is unlikely he will improve his overall grid position given the results of others adding ‘if I can stay in the first half of the grid it would be insane’.

‘Better than before’, was Prumper’s thoughts on Q2, the Infinity joking ‘the gap is only 2.5-seconds now’.  He added, ‘It was another clean run and another result but I will try to push more so as to get a little faster lap time.  I’ll keep the car the same’.

Asked what happened on his run Volker explained, ‘I started perfect and had quite a gap after a few laps but suddenly the car spun in the chicane and on the lap after I spun again and I stopped to save tyres.  I am disappointed for this but I know I have the pace to TQ’.

In the Xray Pro Stock class Florian Joos had a great run to TQ the second qualifier.  The 15 year-old Belgian’s first ever ETS TQ run, he topped the times from Dominic Vogl and Christian Donath with Q1 pace setter Simon Lauter recovering to P4 after an early mistake.  In Formula Jan Ratheisky made it 2 out of 2, the Xray driver this time going fastest from team-mate Luke Lee with Andreas Stiebler third.  In the Infinity Masters class, Alexander Stocker went one better that in the first one for a TQ run ahead of Toni Mateo and Peter Miko.  In Stock 17.5, Luis Moreno continued to be the benchmark with the top seed producing another TQ run, this time ahead of Marwin Riedelbauch.

View complete event results here.

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May 10, 2019

Volker takes opening qualifier at ETS

Ronald Volker has taken the opening round of qualifying at the fourth round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series in Austria.  With the Championship making its first trip to the technical ERC Wiener Neudorf track, Volker maintained his practice form in the difficult conditions to top the times ahead of No.2 seed Marc Rheinard.  With a roll coming onto the main straight eliminating reigning Champion Bruno Coelho from the TQ hunt, it was Xray team-mate Alexander Hagberg who completed the Top 3 ahead of Akio Sobue, Lucas Urbain and Yannic Prumper.  Describing the track during practice as ‘the most difficult track I’ve been to so far’, ETS Madrid winner Freddy Sudhoff had an error fill Q1 which left the Awesomatix driver 10th behind Coelho. With bad weather showing in the Vienna area for Sunday, it is going to be a busy Friday for drivers with the schedule being brought forward to run all four rounds of qualifying today to hopefully allow enough time to run all triple finals tomorrow.

‘One of the harder 5-minute run you can have to drive due to the difficult conditions’, was how Volker summed up Q1.  The current Championship points leader continued, ‘the grip is lower than yesterday and the wind is stronger with makes the chicane incredibly hard to judge each lap’.  Struggling in CP1 this morning and unable to post a Top 10 time, the Yokomo driver said, ‘for CP2 we made the car much more stable for the conditions and that helped us in Q1 to TQ.  I didn’t have any full spins or crashes but many times I was sliding.  Luckily I didn’t lose too much time’.  Looking to Q2, the German concluded, ‘if it keeps like this it won’t be easy to get another good run.  There is no chance to go flat out for 5-minutes so anything can still happen’.

Completing the 5-minutes 7/10ths off Volker, Rheinard described his first effort as ‘a solid start’.  The Infinity driver continued, ‘I had to fight the wind a couple of times.  Twice, when I was closing the gap on Ronald, I got up on two wheels.  Luckily Ronald & I made less mistakes than the others’.  Pleased with the performance of his car, he said the track was the biggest challenge for everyone concluding, ‘these are the most difficult conditions I’ve ever had on asphalt’.

‘Slow & Steady.  My focus was on having a clean run’, was Hagberg’s reaction to his P3.  The Swede continued, ‘the conditions are very difficult.  The wind makes it inconsistent but I will try to push harder in the next one.  It is really about taking risks or not but if you push too much you’ll have mistakes.  The track changes lap to lap cause of the wind’.

Running in the second fastest heat, Sobue summed up his run as a ‘maximum safety drive’ adding the ‘wind is making the middle chicane super difficult’.  The Japanese driver plans to repeat his cautious approach for Q2 hoping it will bring him enough points to lock down an A-Main starting position.  If he can secure this he said he will take more risks in the final two qualifiers.

Heading the Awesomatix charge in Q1, Urban said, ‘I was running under the radar in practice but I knew I had a good car and it was just down to me to drive it.  I had a half spin on the first lap and another on lap 4, both at the chicane.  The wind was being a bit of a dick’.  The Frenchman concluded, ‘the car is really good so it is all about the driving’.

‘That’s the first time my car felt drivable but there is still a lot of pace missing compared to the front guys’, was how Prumper summed up the opening qualifier.  The Infinity driver added, ‘my car was very bad all day yesterday in practice.  I couldn’t keep it on the track so I completely changed my set-up.  I don’t know what the problem was but I copied Marc’s set-up and that allowed me to get some average points so now I can try make the Main.  That wasn’t looking possible yesterday’.

In Pro Stock, it was also  the championship points leader who topped Q1 as Simon Lauter topped the times Jan Ratheisky, who after seeding found himself in the second fastest heat.  Also running in the second fastest heat Oliver Havránek completed the Top 3 ahead of Awesomatix’s Max Mächler.  In Formula, Ratheisky topped the opening qualifier with Andreas Stiebler joining him as the only driver to complete a 14 lap run.  In the Masters class, Werner Schmitzer denied Alexander Stocker the TQ run while in the 17.5 Stock class Luis Moreno was fastest over the 5-minutes.

View complete event results here.

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May 10, 2019

Track Focus – ERC Wiener Neudorf

Track Name –  ERC Wiener Neudorf
Country – Austria
Location – Wiener Neudorf (20km South of Vienna)
Direction – Anti-clockwise
Surface – Asphalt
No. of ETS Races hosted – 0

The first new outdoor track addition to the ETS calendar since Ettlingen two season ago, ERC Wiener Neudorf is situated just south of the Austrian capital of Vienna.  Built 15-years ago, this is the first international race to be hosted by the very small club of approximately 15 members. With most ETS drivers on their first ever visit to the 65m by 38m track there is an overwhelming reaction that the layout is very technical.  Claiming his first ever ETS win last time out in Madrid, Freddy Sudhoff called it the ‘the most difficult track I’ve been to so far’ adding ‘it is very difficult to get a rhythm’ – the long chicane particularly challenging.  Adding to the difficulty of the layout is a strong wind that has arrived at the track today (Friday) with big gusts blowing cars offline.

Asked his thoughts on the track, Championship points leader Ronald Volker replied, ‘I like the technical nature of the track.  Most ETS races are on bigger tracks.  This place has a more challenging infield section which I like’.  Like Sudoff, he added, ‘the wind has picked up so much today it’s not as much fun to drive compared to yesterday.  You are fighting to stay on the track but hopefully the wind dies down’.  Describing the track as ‘super technical’, Bruno Coelho added there is ‘not so high traction’ with him labelling the grip levels as ‘medium’.  Enjoying the track in Thursday’s free practice, he said today is almost impossible to do 5-minutes without mistakes due to the wind.  With high curbing, once the wind blows the car offline it gets launched into the air by the curbing.

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