After just a short two week break the Yokomo Euro Touring Series is back in action this weekend (May 1-3) as Round 4 of the championship takes competitors to Mattsee in Austria. A venue that first appeared on the calendar last year, the event hosted by the fahr(T)raum Museum, a homage to Austrian automotive pioneer Ferdinand Porsche, brings a unique track to the world famous touring car championship. While classified as an outdoor asphalt race, the US boards style track is actually enclosed under one massive marquee that has been erected just for the ETS’ visit.
At an action packed Round 3, when the championship made a successful & long awaited return to Italy, Yannic Prumper took the win ending a 3-year winning hiatus and the Yokomo driver travels to Mattsee with new confidence. Last year the German pushed his team-mate Ronald Volker to the limit in A2 and then held off intense pressure himself from Marc Rheinard in A3 to finish runner-up behind Volker, so the track style is one which the 21-year-old relishes. With his quest for a fifth consecutive title taking a setback in Riccione when he failed to make the podium for the first time in 15-races Volker will be aiming to put the dramas of Round 3 behind him. Achieving his 10th ETS win in Austria last year his target this weekend is firmly on taking that tally to 12. After achieving his first ETS podium in Italy shooting him into title contention, Yokomo’s Meen Vejrak will be hoping he can go one better this weekend after describing Riccione as a break through race in terms of him adapting his driving to the BD7.
The star performer at Road Race Riccione RC Circuit Marco Simoncelli but ending up only third overall after contact with Volker in the opening two A-Mains, Bruno Coelho will be out to prove a point. Staying on in Italy, the Xray driver would take his first big victory by winning 1:10 200mm at the opening round of the Euro Nitro Series in Bologna. Dropping to fourth in the standings after finishing 6th at the third round, Coelho’s senior team-mate Alexander Hagberg goes into the event in need of a good result if the Swede is to stay in the title chase.
One of the three different drivers to win a race this season Marc Rheinard will be hoping the change of track will help his Tamiya team find the form he showed when he won Round 2 on carpet in Germany. Struggling as the championship moved to asphalt, his World Champion team-mate Naoto Matsukura not even making the A-Main in Italy, Rheinard can’t afford any more disappointing results as the second half of Season #8 kicks off this weekend. While Matsukura is not travelling over from Japan, new recruit Christopher Krapp should benefit from having had more time with his new car since Italy when he had his first outing with the championship’s most winning manufacturer.
Making his HB team debut at Round 3, two time ETS Champion Jilles Groskamp will be looking to build on the knowledge and experience gained from that outing as he makes his first visit to the contrasting fahr(T)raum track. Both his team-mates Andy Moore and Freddy Sudhoff, then driving for Awesomatix, made the A-Main in Austria and the 2012 World Champion, a strong team player who appears very happy in his new environment, should be able to get up to speed quickly between the boards.
After struggling in Italy with both their drivers failing to make the A-Main. Serpent will be hoping to bounce back to form with new signing Viktor Wilck and Marc Fischer. This was a strong event for Fischer last season as he finished 4th overall. Representing the TRF squad last year, Wilck qualified strongly in 3rd but didn’t have good finals ending up 10th.
In the Xray Pro Stock class Marek Cerny will be chasing a hat trick of wins having turned around a poor start to his title defence with victory in the last two outings. 2014 Pro Stock winner Jan Ratheisky is back but the Formula champion will be racing with an injury. Hospitalised after a fall while marshalling at a local race, the popular German was forced to miss Italy. Having just been cleared by his doctors to travel but still unable to prepare his cars himself due to his shoulder injury he has drafted in a mechanic so he can race in Austria. With Ratheisky feeling it will be ‘impossible’ to win in his condition, in Formula Serpent’s David Ehrbar will be aiming for a repeat of his maiden win at Round 3.