“A really great battle with Marc” was how winner of A1 Ronald Völker described what certainly seemed to be one of the most exciting Touring Car races of the last decade to all the spectators trackside at the second round of the ETS in Daun. With Volker leading off the field, the Team Yokomo driver was immediately under pressure from the second starting car of Marc Rheinard. For the first half of the race, the two champions raced literally nose-to-tail, Volker’s car not looking as safe as it had done in qualifying. At the half way point, Rheinard twice got alongside Volker going through the teardrop section on the left side of the large Daun circuit. But both times, Ronald was able to fight back at the following corner and hold onto the lead.
“It took everything out of me” was Volker’s initial reaction to the race, both drivers visibly exhausted after the intense five minute race. “I really struggled with the new bumps on the track, which were on my usual lines. I had to figure out new lines during the race”. After the half way point, having seen off the immense challenge from his long-time rival, he said he had “figured it out, and then I could make a small gap, which was enough”.
“An intense and nice race” was how Rheinard reacted to the battle. The TONISPORT backed driver, piloting an Awesomatix chassis for the first time at an ETS race this weekend, described it as a “good fight, a clean fight. I could make some nice moves to the inside, but he fought back fairly”. Feeling like he had a quicker car in the middle of the run, the recently crowned 1:12th scale World Champion said “seeing his exhaustion afterwards showed me how tough a race it was. I’m looking forward to going again in A2 but hope this time I can come out on top”.
Behind the two Germans, it was Bruno Coelho who managed to get past Yannic Prümper for third, almost un-noticed as the attention was focussed on the battle up front. Coelho was able to move his XRAY to within striking distance of the top two, but in the second half of the race when Ronald was able to pull his gap, the gap opened up again.
In Pro Stock, Jan Ratheisky led the field until one and a half minutes remained, when he clipped a kerb and allowed Olivier Bultynck, who had been shadowing him until that time, to get past. Ollie explained that he “tried to stay in touch with Jan, but make sure not to make a mistake as Alexandre Duchet and Simon Lauter were close behind. But then Jan made the mistake, I saw the opening and went for it”.
In Formula, it was also disaster for Ratheisky, as with a comfortable lead he took a roll with just two laps remaining. Sitting upside down, he could do nothing as Matej Dobnikar swept through to take the lead and the win. A frantic fight for third had David Ehrbar coming through to take the place ahead of Luke Lee RC.
Front Wheel Drive was a treat for the crowd as Marwin Riedelbauch spent five minutes less than half a second behind pole sitter Henrik Heitsch. Riedelbauch closed the gap a number of times, but long-time ETS supporter Heitsch held off the pressure, including a drag race along the front straight to the finish line.
In Masters, a small drama on lap one for Alexander Stocker saw him take a half spin and a trip across the kerbs and green infield carpet. But he recovered and held onto the lead, and from there extended the gap each and every lap. Andreas Weyhoven held second and Werner Schmitzer took third.
Stock 17.5 was led by pole man Dominik Ruf for the first half of the race, but then he rolled his car onto its roof as he exited the back section of the track. This gave second place starter Joachim Altenhof a nice lead, which he didn’t give up for the remainder of the race. Alexander Muller got through to second, as Ruf was left with a third place finish.
|06.||Frederik B. Mikkelsen||592pts|
|03.||Martijn v. d. Heijden||569pts|
|04.||Steven M. Olsen||598pts|