In contrast to the tight boards style track of Round 4 held at the fahr(T)raum Museum in Mattsee, Austria, the Yokomo Euro Touring Series travels for the first time to Luxembourg this weekend (6-8th June) to what is rated by many drivers as one of the greatest outdoor tracks in Europe – Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg”.
The penultimate round of the championship, the event marks the return of former champion Jilles Groskamp, the reigning World Champion having some great memories of the track as it was where the Tamiya Racing Factory driver won his first major title back in 2009. Another significant name on the 240 plus entry list is that of r/c racing legend David Spashett who despite many years of being involved in the championship as a sponsor will make his first race outing.
Amassing an impressive 4 World Championship titles and 13 European crowns, Spashett will go up against the biggest current day names of the sport including Groskamp having entered the Ride Modified class in which he will be driving an ARC R10.
While there will be much interest in how both Groskamp and Spashett get on, in terms of the overall championship the weekend is set to focus on Team Yokomo’s Ronald Volker who could secure his fourth consecutive ETS title come Sunday evening. Winner of Round 2 of the championship, only Xray’s Alexander Hagberg can deny the German ace from wrapping things up before the season finale at the Hudy Arena in Slovakia next month.
A two time champion of the ETS, winning the first two seasons, Groskamp returns the championship for the first time since 2012 when he made his last appearance during Season #5 at Apeldoorn where he was part of an all Tamiya podium. A staunch early supporter of the ETS concept and still the championship’s third most winning driver, last season was the first time the now Thailand based Dutch ace missed a complete season, but his return comes at a track he relishes. The venue of his 2009 European Championship title when he beat Marc Rheinard and Volker, the only two drivers who have more ETS race wins to their names, he will be hoping he can repeat that success again this weekend.
A season that has produced three winners from four races, Volker’s win at fahr(t)raum making him the first double winner, the large Mini Circuit “Ville de Luxembourg” should make for super close racing. Most famous for its Laguna Seca corkscrew style corner, it is the perfect stage for producing winner number 4 of Season #7. Yannic Prumper put in one of the drives of the season in A2 at Round 4 putting his Yokomo team-mate Volker under immense pressure. In A3 the 20-year-old then saw off a strong challenge from 3-time World Champion Rheinard. Both drivers are hungry for their first win of the season and having nothing to lose in terms of the championship can go all out to achieve it.
Rheinard was much improved in Austria, despite losing his way a little in qualifying, and this weekend he will again have the support of TRF418 designer Kiyo Suzuki and top Japanese racer/Tamiya employee Takayuki Kono. He should also benefit from Groskamp’s presence, his team-mate known for technical input. Serpent’s Marc Fischer, still in search of that first Modified win for both himself and his team, has shown he has the speed finishing fourth in Mattsee and the German will be one to watch. Although he didn’t have a good return to the series at Round 4, Freddy Sudhoff should be another to watch as Awesomatix continue to improve their car on asphalt.