ETS ROUND 3

ETS ROUND 3

APRIL 7-9 MADRID, SPAIN

The start of the outdoor season for electric touring car in Europe officially got underway last weekend as the Euro Touring Series visited Spain for the first time.  An all new venue, our EP team travelled to the third round at the ASOGER track in Getafe, Madrid, in confident form after some productive pre race testing with our ProtoTC.  A large 318 metre long track, it would prove popular with drivers, them all agreeing it was more challenging to drive than the layout suggested on first inspection.  With Marc having attended the Warm-up event, his mileage meant the team had a good set-up base from which to begin the first of four asphalt races on the ETS calendar.  With over 230 entries, the race was the first time Marc and Akio would be joined by Jilles and Naoto with all four really gelling together for a combined team effort.
A great run in controlled practice would see Akio post the 2nd fastest time followed by Naoto and Marc.  Unfortunately in the second of the two timed runs, when the track was at its fastest, Jilles would experience problems that prevented  him from posting a time reflective of his actual pace.  As a result he ended up in the second fastest heat.
With the first round of qualifying bringing Day 1 to a close, the team would have a very encouraging start.  Akio again lead the way posting a P2 run just ahead of Marc.  Despite not being in the top heat, Jilles made it three ProtoTC cars in the Top 5 with P5.  Recovering from a lap 2 error when coming on to the main straight, Naoto would recover to post the 8th fastest time.
A cold start on Saturday morning for Q2, Akio looked on target for another P2 run but an error on the last lap left him with a third.  Really happy with his car, he was less happy with his driving.  It was a similar story for Jilles. On a potential Top 2 run, he clipped the curb coming onto the straight rolling his car onto its side.  Luckily it landed on its wheels and he could continue but the 2.5-seconds lost left him with fourth.  Making sure to put in a clean run after his Q1 error, but opting to run used tyres Naoto ensured another round of 3 cars in the Top 5.   Also running old tyres Marc was P7.
In the second half of qualifying Marc delivered two great runs, TQ’ing both rounds to end up tied on points with Bruno Coelho. The tie break would favour the ETS Champion so Marc started second on the grid.  With Akio lining up 4th, Jilles 5th and Naoto 10th, Infinity would be the most represented car in the final.  All four drivers would take great encouragement from this performance.
The arrival of Sunday meant finals day.  A1 wouldn’t go down as an exciting race with the Top 5 all maintaining station for the entire 5-minutes.  Confident conditions for A2 would put him in a better position to attack Coelho from the start, Marc did exactly that but unfortunately as the field came out of the first right hander of the lap his car got side ways and spun dropping him down the field.  Akio would finish 3rd with Jilles and Naoto crossing the loop in 5th and 6th respectively.
With the overall win decided in A2, Marc went into third A-Main determined to secure second overall and go one better than the 3rd he claimed at Round 2 in Germany on his ETS debut with the ProtoTC.  Starting from the front, he pulled clear to win with ease ahead of Ronald Volker who had to fend off Akio.  With Marc on the podium, Akio 4th, Jilles 5th and Naoto finishing 8th on his first A-Main at an ETS in 2-years, it was smiles all round for the team.  Representing Infinity in the Formula class, Jitse Miedema would further add to a successful weekend by finishing on the podium.  After such a positive start to the outdoor season the team are already looking to the next round of the ETS which will bring them to Riccione in Italy on May 12-14.  We can’t wait!

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