This weekend (Oct 12-14) the Yokomo Euro Touring Series descends on Muelheim-Kaerlich in Germany for the opening round of the world famous electric touring car championship’s sixth season with a record 316 entries signed up for what will be the 28th running of an event in the series created by Uwe Rheinard and Scotty Ernst. With Yokomo as title sponsor for a third consecutive season, it is the Japanese company’s star driver and reigning back to back champion Ronald Volker who heads the world class entry with all of last season’s five winners back to try lay claim to the prestigious title.
The winner of the season opener for the past two seasons, dominating the Muelheim-Kaerlich event 12-months ago from pole position when the venue made its first appearance on the ETS calendar, Volker this year not only faces strong competition from Tamiya, Kyosho and Xray but also from his own team-mate. Having went three years without a win in the series Yannic Prumper took victory at last year’s season finale giving the 18-year-old a major confidence boost which should see him a contender for the 2012/13 ETS title.
Runner-up for the past two seasons of the ETS and now no longer a reigning World Champion, Marc Rheinard should be more determined than ever to try win back the title he lost to Volker three season’s ago. Tamiya are still the most winning manufacturer in the ETS with 15 victories to their credit. Nine of those wins came from Rheinard but last year the German ace could only manage a single victory for the 3-time champions and he will be looking to set that record straight this year. Team-mates Viktor Wilck, who has one ETS win to his credit, and Elliot Harper had disappointing campaign’s last year and will also be hoping to up their game this season.
Having secured their first ETS title last season when Zdenko Kuna?k won the Pro Stock Championship, the biggest class in the series, Team Xray will be hoping they can claim the coveted Ride Tires Modified title this season building on the strong performance of Alexander Hagberg who took the company’s first win on his way to third overall in last year’s standings. In addition to Hagberg, the Slovak manufacturer who will attend the opening round armed with thieir all new T4 chassis, will have a second fast Swede in the form of Magnus Va?ssmar who on a number of occasions last season showed great speed.
Another team to enjoy their first taste of victory in the premiere class during 2012 was Kyosho. While the smallest of the big four factory teams in terms of driver line-up, they have a great talent in Christopher Krapp. The World Championship finalist and winner of the ETS’ first Gran Canaria encounter, Krapp enjoyed a podium at the season opener last year despite only qualifying sixth. With Kyosho having just signed ETS Pro Stock race winner John Bruins, this should benefit Krapp as they will be able to share set-up ideas and get the TF6 SP dialled in earlier in the event, something that hampered Krapp last season.
Also hoping to add to the mix this year will be previous race winning teams Associated and HB. Although the teams didn’t win during Season No.5 they have very capable drivers in former World Champion Andy Moore and multiple former European Champion Juho Levanen. Levanen who took a win in Season 4 had a trying 2011/12 season failing to make the A-Main and the Finn will be hoping he can return to his previous form. Elsewhere Serpent, who have become an Associated sponsor of the ETS, will be looking to build on some strong showings from Marc Fisher last season who will be joined in the team by David Ehrbar who is a multiple ETS A-Main finalist.
Attracting over 170 entries, the Xray Pro Stock class is set to once again be ultra competitive with a long list of capable drivers ready to battle Zdenko Kuna?k for his title. Running a controlled 13.5T Motor/Speedo combo from Speed Passon, Pro Stock produced five different winners last season and saw Kuna?k, Tony Streit and Oliver Franke end the series tied on points. Introduced to the ETS programme last year at the second round of the series, this will be the first visit for the Speed Passion Formula class to Muelheim-Kaerlich. Continuing to grow with every race defending champion Herbert Weber will face his biggest competition yet with over 30 cars set to take part this weekend. All three classes in the ETS will continue to run on a hand out tyre from Japanese company Ride.
The 2012/13 Yokomo Euro Touring Series will kick off with practice on Friday followed by four rounds of qualifying and triple mains for all competitors. As official media partners of the series, Red RC will be in attendance publishing regular updates throughout the three day event.