EURO TOURING SERIES 2016/2017, Rd. 2
FEBRUARY 24-26th - Germany
The Euro Touring Series held the second round of the 2016/17 season in Germany over the weekend of February 24-26th with Marc and Akio travelling to Muelheim-Kaerlich. The second of the two carpet races on the 6 round calendar, for Marc this event is very much his home race as he lives only 15-minutes from the Sports Hall in which the ETS’ biggest race is held each year. For Akio the journey was a little longer but travelling from Japan a few days early, together with Marc he was able to get in some pre-event testing at Arena 33 in Marc’s home town of Andernach. Run by Marc’s brother Toni, all the championship front runners made use of the new permanent indoor track with the test helping the two Infinity newcomers to before more familiar with our ProtoTC chassis on carpet ahead of its first ETS appearance.
Attracting 337 entries, the temporary track layout that awaited drivers on Friday was fast and flowing. With one round of free practice to start the event, two rounds of timed practice followed with Marc and Akio getting the weekend off to a solid start. Over 3-consecutive laps Marc would set the third fastest time with Akio 5th to put both drivers in the the top heat for qualifying.
Day 1 would end with the first round of qualifying and Marc was again in the Top 3, missing out on P2 by only 8/100ths of a second. Unfortunately for Akio, a decision to try a set-up change in Q1 did not work out and he ended up 16th fastest. With a new split timetable try out on Friday leaving the Modified class drivers tight for time between runs, the decision was made to revert back to the traditional schedule for Saturday.
Round 2 of qualifying would prove Marc’s best as he netted the second quickest time with Akio also fairing much better. A new set-up had made his car super easy to drive and making one of the biggest improvements on the Q1 times he took fifth. Going one better in the third round Akio would secure himself an A-Main starting position while Marc was again 3rd fastest. This put the focus for the final qualifier on trying to improve their starting positions. Trying a different shock set-up, Marc wouldn’t better his earlier results which were good enough to put his ProtoTC third on the grid. Akio would cap of qualifying with his best run, a P3 securing him fourth.
It would be an early start to Sunday’s finals day, drivers arriving at 06:30 for the A1 08:00 start time. In the first encounter the main battle would turn out to be between the two Infinity drivers. Contact with the curbing would cause Marc to spin out allowing Akio to close right up but he couldn’t find a way passed and they finished as the started. A2 would again see Marc have to fend of his team-mate, a switch to his second set of tyres leaving him to struggle at the start until the new tyres came in. With a second win of the day in A2 giving Ronald Volker the overall win and allowing him to sit out the final leg, Marc & Akio effectively started 2nd and 3rd which was how they finished. Overall this gave Marc a promising first podium finish since joining the team with Akio also showing strong with fourth overall. Having missed the podium at the ETS season opener in the Czech Republic back in December, Marc’s third in Germany behind Volker and Bruno Coelho moves him up to third in the standings with Akio sitting 6th after also bettering his result of the opening round.
An encouraging first ETS performance with our own prototype car, the championship will now move outdoors for the rest of the season. A new venue on the ETS calendar, the Spanish Asoger track located in Madrid will hold Round 3 on April 7-9th. The team is looking forward to attending this race and continue the development of our new EP Touring Car program.