This weekend (6-8 Feb) Round 2 of the Yokomo Euro Touring Series travels to Muelheim-Kaerlich in Germany with the big interest of the weekend set to be on the debut performances of a number of the championship’s leading drivers who since Round 1 last December in the Czech Republic have switched teams. The most significant of these new signings is that of multiple ETS race winner Viktor Wilck. Racing with championship’s most winning manufacturer Tamiya Racing Factory as long as the ETS has been in existence, the Swede will strengthen Serpent’s aspirations to be a winner in the premiere class as he joins podium finisher Marc Fischer.With the German round again as it did last year breaking a new record in terms of the size of the event with over 420 entries, the other big debuts to watch will be those of Freddy Sudhoff and multiple World Championship finalist Elliot Harper.
Having led the charge for Awesomatix bringing the Russian team podium finishes, Sudhoff has switched over to HB doubling the size of their factory effort. Winner of two ETS encounters with Atsushi Hara, the Japanese manufacturer will have high hopes as it gives its new PRO5 chassis its first outing in the championship. Adding to those hopes is the fact that long time team driver Andy Moore now has an equally quick team mate in Sudhoff with the chance to share set-up data sure to benefit both drivers.
Another ETS podium finisher, Harper makes his return to the championship having made only two outings last season. Driving then for Durango, who at the end of 2014 opted to discontinue their factory team, Muelheim-Kaerlich will be Harper’s first international race with Schumacher and should greatly improve their potential for the indoor rounds. Elsewhere fast Swede and regular A-Finalist Magnus Vassmar has made the switch from Xray, winners of the second round last year, to an expanded VBC Racing line-up.
In terms of the championship title contenders their has been no changes since Round 1. Four time consecutive champions, Ronald Volker and Yokomo took the win at the season opener and the German will be looking for a repeat of that performance at his home event. Last year Alexander Hagberg caught everyone by surprise as he dominated the second round taking the win from Yannic Prumper with Volker third. Having finished second at the season opener, the Swede fresh from victory in the US at the Snowbirds will be looking to build on his best ever start to an ETS campaign. Top Qualifier at Round 1 but finishing just 4th in the final, Marc Rheinard will be hoping for a better result this time round despite having no team-mates. Losing long time team-mate Wilck to Serpent, the 3-time former World Champion was expected to be joined by new TRF signing Naoto Matsukura but Tamiya have decided not to send the new World Champion.
In the Xray Pro-Stock class, which has been the reign of Xray, the weekend will mark a more concerted effort from Ride Modified Champions Yokomo. With the title of the ETS’s most popular class eluding them they have signed two key contenders in former Champion Martin Hofer and former race winner & title contender Oliver Franke. They face a formidable challenge however as they take on Xray’s defending champion Marek Cerny, Jan Ratheisky, who comes to Round 2 fresh from an impressive haul of wins at the Snowbirds in the United States, and ARC’s Round 1 dominant winner Lars Hoppe. In the Formula class one interesting entry is that of Touring Car World Championship star Bruno Coelho who along with class regulars will be hoping to give Xray team-mate & defending champion Ratheisky a run for his money.