The Yokomo Euro Touring Series reaches a crucial stage this weekend (June 14-16) in terms of the title chase between Yokomo and Tamiya as Traiskirchen in Austria hosts the penultimate round of the World famous electric touring car championship. While defending champion Ronald Volker leads the current Ride Modified standings from Yokomo team-mate Yannic Prumper, a recent upsurge in the performance from the Tamiya Racing Factory team that yielded victories at the last two rounds has put their two drivers back into contention for the prestigious crown. However the pressure is on Marc Rheinard and Viktor Wilck to continue that form this weekend if they want to go to the season finale at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia in July with a chance of the title.
New to the ETS calendar last year when it hosted the 2011/12 season finale, which also ended in a four way drivers battle for the title, Traiskirchen was the venue of Prumper’s first international win as a factory Yokomo driver. The only one of this year’s title contenders without a win so far this season, the German will be keen to repeat his 2012 performance at the roofed asphalt track where he also collected €400 for winning the first ever ‘Dash for Cash’ which has since become part of the schedule at every ETS race weekend. Team-mate Volker, who is chasing a hat trick of ETS titles and is the only driver to make the podium at all 4 rounds so far, with 2 wins & 2 third place finishes, will be determined to get back to his early season winning form as victory on Sunday would put the title beyond the reach of his rivals.
Rheinard, who since winning last month’s fourth round of the ETS has won the famous Reedy Race of Champions in the USA, appears to be regaining the confidence and pace that we came to expect from him during his reign as 3-time World Champion. The German ace has never been happier with his TRF417 and at Apeldoorn the team clearly showed they have the car to beat on asphalt. Despite a terrible start to the season which saw him miss the cut for the A-Main at Rounds 1 & 2, Wilck has the potential to end the season with the greater points haul of the two Tamiya drivers thanks to his win & second place finishes in the last two outings.
While the main attention will be on the four title contenders, one driver who will be hoping to mix it with them for the Round 5 win is Team Xray’s Alexander Hagberg. A title contender last year, the Swede finished 2nd in Austria. It hasn’t been a good campaign for Hagberg so far with Apeldoorn a particularly tough event as he and the rest of the team failed to make the A-Main. With the season ending at what is his team’s home track where he did a lot of the development work for the T4, he will be hoping this weekend is the start of a flourishing close to the season.
In the biggest class of the ETS, Xray Pro Stock, Round 4 saw the championship thrown wide open. Having won rounds 2 & 3, the first qualifier in Apeldoorn signalled that Xray’s Marek Cerny was on target for a hat trick but it would all go wrong for the Czech racer and he would DNF the other 2 qualifiers missing the cut for the main event. This played into the hands of reigning champion Zdenko Kunak who after a slow start to his title defence would TQ & win in Apeldoorn to claim maximum points, his first win with Yokomo, and put himself in with a chance of becoming back to back champion. In the Speedpassion Formula class, Jan Asmer makes a return to the championship having missed the Dutch round. With three wins this season already to his credit, the Serpent team driver is very likely to secure the title of this growing class.
Round 5 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series officially gets underway with controlled practice on Friday and culminates with triple mains for all drivers on Sunday. All the action from Traiskirchen can be followed on RedRC where regular updates and video action will be published throughout the weekend.