Ronald Volker travels to Luxembourg this weekend looking to claim a fifth consecutive title in the Yokomo Euro Touring Series. Securing 4-in a row when he took victory at the huge track famed for its Laguna Seca style feature corner, a perfect weekend for the Yokomo driver would be enough to put the title beyond the reach of the German’s three remaining challengers.
Heading that challenge is his own team-mate Yannic Prumper, winner of Round 3 when the ETS made a return to Italy, who currently sits second in the standings. Only fourth in the standings due to carrying a 9th place finish at the previous round in Austria, long time title rival Marc Rheinard is also in the hunt but the last driver to be ETS champion before Volker’s reign he needs to finish on the top step of the podium come Sunday. Having just beaten Volker to a record 5th title at the Reedy International Touring Car Race of Champions last weekend in California, the championship’s most winning driver will be hoping he can carry his form back to Europe. Albeit only an outside chance, the only other driver left with a mathematical chance of being crowned champion of Season #8 of the ETS is Xray’s Alexander Hagberg but he needs to TQ and win as well as for Volker to finish off the podium to go to the season finale at the Hudy Arena still in the game.
While the championship title will be the focus of Volker and his challengers, the second outdoor race of the season has attracted a number of potential winners whose only target will be only trying to add a first ever ETS race win. One of those drivers is reigning World Champion Naoto Matsukura. Having switched from Yokomo to Tamiya, the Japanese stars hasn’t had the greatest of starts with his new team with him missing the A-Main on his first ETS outing in Italy. At the Reedy Race he was also never a serious contender but he is confident that a combination of the big track and a growing knowledge of his TRF419 he can turn this around in Luxembourg. One of the stars of Round 4 in Mattsee, fellow Japanese TRF driver Akio Sobue will be looking to build on an impressive run including taking a number of wins at the Reedy Race. A drivers who relishes small tracks, Luxembourg could be a shock to the system for the 20-year-old but an finalist at the WorldChampionships in Florida he is still fast no matter what size of track he is faced with.
Star of those Worlds, Bruno Coelho is another driver looking for that first win with most predicting its not a mattter of if but when he will get the job done. The arrival of the Portuguese talent has generated renewed interest in touring car racing especially his rivalry with Volker which has seen incidents at the last two ETS encounters.
Claiming his first ETS podium in Italy and joining Rheinard & Volker on the podium at the Reedy Race, former nitro touring car World Champion Meen Vejrak appears to have really found his way with Yokomo’s BD7 and the Thai driver is certain to be one to watch again in Luxembourg. The driver Meen pipped to that podium finish at Tamiya Raceway, Christopher Krapp showed he’s now fully up to speed with his Tamiya and the popular German is determined to deliver a first podium for new TRF team.
Others to watch will be Frenchman Lucas Urban. A driver who shot to prominence when he was the star of the 2009 European Championships in Luxembourg driving an aging Losi chassis, the now VBC team driver just missed the podium last year. Making a return to the ETS at this event last year after a long absence and finishing on the podium, 2012 World Champion Jilles Groskamp has always been quick at this track. Winning his first European title there, he will be looking to help put his new HB team in the mix for at least a podium finish after a character building outing in Mattsee. Team-mate Freddy Sudhoff, who showed great speed at the Reedy Race, will also be hoping the weekend is one where everything comes together with his new team. Chasing their first ever ETS win Serpent will pin their hopes on Viktor Wilck while the potential of up & coming star Michal Orlowski and his Schumacher should add interest to the weekend’s Ride Modified class action.
In the Xray Pro Stock class, last year’s event produced a great battle between Xray’s Marek Cerny and ARC’s Lars Hoppe. With two wins a piece from the opening four races the two are set to once again to do battle as leading title contenders. In Formula, despite missing Italy due to a shoulder injury, Jan Ratheisky could be celebrating his 3rd consecutive title in the class if he finishes on the podium but having won three from three its very likely the Xray driver will lift the title in style.