It is set to be a full house for the opening round of the 2014/15 Yokomo Euro Touring Series with over 350 entries from drivers around the world set to descend on the SportV-Hotel in the small Czech town of Hrotovice this weekend (5-7 December). Entering its eighth season, the weekend marks a significant milestone in the history of the World famous championship as it will be the 40th running of an ETS race. The fifth time the popular venue has played host to the championship, the race promotes Hrotovice to the most visited and longest serving location on the ETS calendar with the hall having undergone an extension since last year’s encounter creating room to build a larger track than before. Renewing their successful partnership with the championship’s founders Uwe Rheinard and Scotty Ernst, defending champion manufacturer Yokomo will continue as title sponsors for a fifth consecutive season and having won the season opener for the last four years the Japanese company will be hoping to maintain that form this weekend.
Defending 4-time back to back champion Ronald Volker is unquestionably the man everyone must strive to beat in the premiere Ride Modified class. The Yokomo star will be looking to open his new campaign as he has done for the last four years with a victory, a victory that would again put the German equal with arch rival Marc Rheinard as the most winning driver in the championships history. Rheinard headed a Tamiya 1-2 at the season finale at the Hudy Arena and after pushing Volker hard for the win at last weekend’s Charity Race in Italy he starts the new season with greater confidence. Runner-up to Volker each season since relinquishing his 2009/10 ETS title to his fellow German, Rheinard will also be hoping to benefit from having raced in Hrotovice two weeks ago at the MIBO Cup while Volker was racing in Asia.
Winners of two rounds last season, Xray will be looking to Alexander Hagberg for a successful start to the new season. The Swede, twice an ETS winner on carpet, took a very convincing victory at Round 2 in Germany to put him in contention for the title along with Rheinard & Volker. Eventually finishing 3rd in the overall standings, Hagberg has since achieved the biggest prize of his career becoming the nitro touring car World Champion just last month in Thailand. Hrotovice will also see World Championship star & runner-up Bruno Coelho make his first ETS appearance, with Xray having high hopes for the talented Portuguese driver. Other drivers who can be expected to be in the mix are Freddy Sudhoff, the Awesomatix driver finishing on the podium there the past two seasons, Serpent’s Marc Fischer, who was second to Volker there during the 2012/13 championship, and Yokomo’s Yannic Prumper who enjoyed the win at the recent MIBO Cup encounter attended by Rheinard.
Once again Pro Stock makes up the majority of the capacity entry with defending champions Xray continuing as sponsors of the Much More powered class. Back to back champion Marek Cerny and Xray team-mate Jan Ratheisky will start out the season as title favourites, the pair between them having won all six rounds of the championship last season. While Cerny got the Pro Stock title, Ratheisky would successfully defend his title in the increasingly competitive Formula Class. Now entering its fourth season Round 1 has attracted an impressive 61 entries.