This weekend (2-4 December), the Yokomo Euro Touring Series will celebrate the start of its 10th season when over 300 racers from 29 countries travel to Hrotovice in the Czech Republic for the opening race of the six round championship. From small beginnings when the rst ETS race was held in Vejle, Denmark in March 2008, over the 51 races that made up the subsequent 9 seasons the championship has established itself as one of touring cars’ most coveted titles with both drivers and manufacturers. Only 4 drivers have achieved the top prize and defending that title in Season #10 will be Bruno Coelho.
The only multiple race winner last season, the only other race winners being the three champions that had come before him, Coelho will be looking to open his title defence with a win at the very same venue he made his debut. Having held more ETS races than any other venue, this being it’s seventh appearance on the calendar, Coelho made his carpet racing debut here in 2014. Just scraping into the A-Main qualifying 8th, next time round he made the podium behind Marc Rheinard and Ronald Volker but third time round, having since registered his rst win on carpet, Coelho will be looking to reverse that result come Sunday evening.
Having enjoyed reigning over the ETS as champion for 5-consecutive seasons, Ronald Volker wants his title back and as the newly crowned World Champion the Yokomo driver is in con dent form. Interestingly each season the German went onto become champion he did so by winning the season opener with last year the rst time he didn’t win Round 1 or in Hrotovice. Sharing the top spot in the statistics for the most race wins with long time arch rival Marc Rheinard, a Czech win would see him overtake Rheinard for the rst time as the championship’s most winning driver.
Kicking off his season perfectly in Hrotovice 12-months ago when he took the TQ and win, unfortunately the end result would turn out the same for Rheinard as he again nished runner-up in the championship. Champion in Season #3, the Tamiya driver has been Vice-champion ever since and with talk that this may possibly be the last ETS outing for Tamiya’s TRF race team, the loyal 4-time World Champion will be determined to win once more with them and extend Tamiya’s tally as the most winning manufacturer in the ETS’ premiere Modi ed class. Winning the inaugural ETS title with Jilles Groskamp, the iconic Japanese model manufacturer has enjoyed 21 races wins and 3 titles.
Outside of the three title favourites, Coelho’s team-mate Alexander Hagberg should be in the mix as well as Rheinard’s team-mate Christopher Krapp, both drivers among the ETS’ exclusive list of race winners. Multiple race winner Yannic Prumper begins his second season with VBC Racing and will be looking to put what was learnt last season to good use. Team-mate Lucas Urbain showed strong promise with the car in Japan last weekend so both drivers together with new signing Marc Fisher will be aiming a strong showing. The rst ETS encounter since the World Championships in China in August, Serpent’s Viktor Wilck will try to continue on from his impressive podium nish and try for a similar result, something that eluded the 2 time winner & 4 time Top Quali er last season. On the back of his best ETS campaign, nishing 5th in the standings, Awesomatix’ Viljami Kutvonen wants more podium nishes having done so twice last season.
In Pro Stock and Formula, Jan Ratheisky is the man to beat as champion of both classes. Wrapping up a 4th consecutive Formula title early last year having won the season opener, he would also become the rst driver to do the double when he claimed the Pro Stock title as well making it a clean sweep of the ETS for Xray. A big change for Formula this season is the switch to new handout electrics from Scorpion Power who have created a high quality motor featuring a rev limiter. Ratheisky won both A-Mains in Hrotovice last season but his rivals will be trying even harder to topple his reign in particular of Formula.