By Mike Garrison
Press Release from the Euro Touring Series:
The European outdoor season gets underway this weekend as Spain plays host to the third round of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series. With the 12th season of the ETS producing two different winners on carpet in Austria and Germany, Round 3 will makes the change to asphalt with most drivers making no secret to the fact that this is there preferred surface to race on. The third year the championship has travelled to the Asoger RC track near Madrid, the two previous visits have seen it be a happy hunting ground for Xray. Reigning champion Bruno Coelho took the TQ and victory over Marc Rheinard in 2017 and last year team-mate Alexander Hagberg ended a 4-year ETS winning drought with the win over Yokomo’s Christopher Krapp. While unwanted weather conditions forecast for the weekend could influence the weekend’s action, all the teams will be looking to conclude the first half of the season with what is viewed as an important win given the rest of the championship will be played out on asphalt.
Xray certainly arrive in Madrid with the best track record. While Coelho didn’t have the best of starts to the defence of his third consecutive title, he made amends last time out taking maximum points with the TQ and win over a very impressive performance from Awesomatix’s Freddy Sudhoff. While somewhat unique conditions in terms of humidity and an ever changing track as a result, Hagberg showed the world his asphalt pedigree by winning the recent TITC in Bangkok and comes into this weekend on the high of yet another European 1:12 Championship title. Xray also have new 2018/19 season recruit Elliott Harper, the track and forecast weather something which should suit the British driver.
After his strong challenge on Coelho that was rewarded with a very popular second place in Daun, Sudhoff will be aiming to again be the amateur who puts it up to the pro drivers. Not a full time RC racer like his rivals, the German was 5th last year in Madrid but with Awesomatix team manager Max Machler more and more hands on with the preparation of the Russian manufacturers car this combination seems to be working well as was also highlighted at the World Championships last year in South Africa.
Yokomo came so close to the win in Madrid 12-months ago in the hands of Krapp when the final outcome came down to a tiebreak decided on times. With his only ETS win so far coming from his Kyosho days on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, the German will be aiming for similar success this Sunday. Team-mate Volker, who qualified 2nd last year but finished up 7th in the finals, arrives into the weekend as the championship points leader ahead of Coelho thanks to his Round 1 win and somewhat surprise Round 2 podium given how his weekend started off. Having made the Spanish podium in 2017, he will be aiming to finish ahead of the reigning World Champion.
Infinity will be looking to lay claim on their for first ever ETS win on asphalt in Spain. Fresh from taking the overall win at the OneTen Series Finale in Hong Kong last weekend, Marc Rheinard leads the Japanese company’s strong line-up. Rheinard makes no secret of his preference for outdoor racing and knows he needs a good result this weekend after a disappointing home round in Daun which leaves him fourth in the standings. This weekend will mark the return of Jilles Groskamp to ETS action and his technical input is always beneficial to the entire team. Having made his Infinity debut at the previous round, Worlds podium finisher Viktor Wilck will be looking for a strong showing as will Akio Sobue after he missed the A-Main cut in Germany.
In Pro Stock things couldn’t be any closer at the top of the points table as racing moves outside with Max Mächler and Simon Lauter sharing the lead. With the Awesomatix team-mates having a win each on carpet, Mächler comes into the weekend having taken the win here last year. Again the ETS will also see racing action for Formula, 40+ Masters and the newly introduced Stock 17.5 class class.