Having celebrated his first calendar year as an Infinity driver by claiming the electric touring car newcomers’ first ETS victory at the season opener in Austria, Marc Rheinard will be looking to extend his lead in the championship on home soil this weekend (2-4 Feb) in Daun, Germany. A brand new venue on the calendar, the holiday resort having successfully played host to the second round of Euro Offroad Series last weekend, Rheinard will be aiming to make it back to back victories at his home race. Winning Round 1 ahead of reigning ETS Champion Bruno Coelho and Ronald Volker, the championship’s most winning driver ended a two year drought of wins and also taking the TQ in Vienna came away with maximum points. That is how he wants to leave Daun on Sunday evening. Rheinard will be joined at the race by Infinity team-mate Akio Sobue, the Japanese diver aiming for a better performance than his 8th last time out.
Qualifying only 4th in Vienna, low by his winning standards, Coelho made the most of the situation to salvage a second after never getting on terms with Rheinard’s pace. Having won 5 of the 6 races last season however, the Xray driver will be determined to get himself back at the top after the 3-month break. Taking the 4WD victory at the EOS, the Portuguese driver has remained in Germany for the week travelling to the nearby Arena 33 in preparation for the switch back to touring car. Team-mate Alexander Hagberg also joined him in testing and just missing the podium at the first round the Swede has his own point to prove this weekend. Interestingly Xray could have a third challenger for the win this weekend in the form of Viljami Kutvonen. The Awesomatix driver qualified 2nd in Austria but struggled in the finals and just recently announced that for 2018 he has departed the Russian manufacturer. The Finn for now is running under the EuroRC banner opting to run an Xray chassis this weekend.
With the most ETS title’s to its credit, Yokomo has gone through significant changes since Round 1 with the most significant being the departure of engineer Yukijiro Umino. Volker’s personal mechanic, the duo had enjoyed huge success including five ETS titles and the ultimate prize – becoming World Champions. Volker successfully ran himself at the DHI Cup and took the win, albeit with a number of key team drivers absent from the Danish event. The German also faces new opposition from within the team from a returning Yannic Prumper. The multiple race winner ran as a privateer at Round 1 using an Infinity but has since signed for Yokomo. Showing good speed on his debut at the DHI Cup finishing on the podium, a rejuvenated Prumper would go on to the win GP3F in France ahead of Volker and Rheinard and will want to prove he is back this weekend in Daun.
In Pro Stock and Formula the season opener saw Jan Rathiesky back in business with the former multiple champion taking the win and TQ in both classes. Team-mate and reigning Champion of the Xray Pro Stock class, Alexander Duchet didn’t have the best of starts to his title defence just making it into the A-Main by qualifying 10th from where he worked his way through to fifth. The Frenchman will be aiming for a lot better this time round. In Formula, reigning champion David Ehrbar had to settle for second behind Rathiesky so he will want to reverse his 3-points deficit this weekend.
Introduced at the season opener, the Infinity 40+ Masters class was brilliantly received and that is highlighted by the fact over 60 drivers have signed up for the Pro-Stock based class in Daun. Miko Peter took the first win ahead of Top Qualifier Christian Drießle and both are in action again this weekend. The new class for drivers aged 40 or more has even attracted ETS organiser Uwe Rheinard to get back behind the controls for the weekend.