2018 – ETS ROUND 1
OCT 26-28, VIENNA, AUSTRIA
After being successfully included for the first time on last season’s Euro Touring Series calendar, Messe Wien was again the destination for the opening race of the new season. Entering into the 12th season of the ETS, the weekend would put our hobby in front of huge crowds attending the ‘Modellbau 2018’ hobby exhibition. For our EP drivers, while racing in front of big crowds brought about a special atmosphere ultimately their goal was on getting results on the track. Last year Marc took the victory in Austria and together with Akio and Yannic the goal was to repeat that result as a step towards achieving Infinity’s first ETS title. In Pro Stock, it was a home race weekend for Dominic and he wanted to impress while in Formula Jitse would represent us with his IF11. In terms of the carpet track, its narrower than normal layout made it challenging to drive.
Friday opened the new season with 3 rounds of free practice for the 216 entries which was followed by 2 controlled rounds that would determine the qualifying heats. In free practice, Akio led the way with the fourth fastest time while Yannic was P6 and Marc, who tried a lot of different set-ups, ended up P9. Improving his car for controlled practice, being particularly pleased with his set-up for the final run of the day, Marc would improve to P4 in seeding just ahead of Yannic while Akio ended up 8th.
With four rounds of qualifying providing the action on Saturday, Q1 resulted in a P3 for Marc after further improving his set-up but he was less happy with his driving after putting in number of rough laps. He made up for it in Q2 with TQ run despite a crash ahead of him on the last lap costing him 1-second. Switching tyres for Q3 he didn’t have the same traction as before and ended up 5th fastest ahead of Akio. Switching back to his first set of tyres for the final round unfortunately a first lap driver error denied him the chance to vie for the overall TQ and he would start second in the A-Main behind Top Qualifier Ronald Volker. With P5 in Q1 his best run of qualifying Akio would end up a disappointing 8th on the grid. In Pro Stock, with a best run of a P3 in Q2, Dominic lined up 7th while in Formula Jitse took advantage of the new for Season #12 bump up system by winning the opening B-Main to start 11th in the A.
The first round of finals didn’t start so well as a mistake in the middle of the run cost Marc a position to Alexander Hagberg. Also suffering with more understeer than before he had to protect the third place from Bruno Coelho. Making a small change for A2 to improve the car, Marc didn’t drive the best opening laps allowing Volker some breathing space but by mid race he was on his rear bump however the tight nature of the track meant a pass wasn’t possible. Taking the A3 win, Marc secured 2nd overall, a result he was happy to open the season with as the speed was there to win but ultimately Volker make less mistakes. For Akio 7th overall wasn’t the result he had aimed for but he’ll put that right at the next ETS. Dominic improved one position to finish 6th in Pro Stock while Jitse had to settle for 11th. With a rather lengthy gap to the second round of the ETS which will take drivers to Daun, Germany, in February, each of the drivers will use the time to make improvements so as to be in the mix of electric onroad’s most competitive championship in the world across all categories.