2018 ETS ROUND 6
JULY 13-15 TRENCIN, SLOVAKIA
Round 6 of the Euro Touring Series took our EP team to the World famous Hudy Arena for the finale of the championship's 11th season. The sixth time the ETS has travelled to the Slovakian venue, racing at your rivals own test track always makes the prospect of an end of season victory all the more challenging. That said, the weekend got off to a promising start in free practice. After seven runs, both Marc and Akio produced Top 3 pace with Marc just a tenth of a second off the top of the time sheets.
In controlled practice, while Marc would struggle to get in three fast consecutive laps, Akio maintained his form at the front. Second fastest in CP1 he was just 0.038 off the top. Changing to a harder front spring for CP2, Akio didn't like the change but with only 2-drivers in the Top 10 managing to better their times he seeded 2nd for qualifying. Having opted to run ARS on his IF14 for the two seeding runs, Marc ended up P8 leading him to revert back to running, as he did in free practice, without ARS for qualifying.
With the weather hot and humid, this would influence qualifying. With plenty of fast moving clouds above, breaks in this coverage brought almost instant temperature changes effecting the traction levels. In Q1, after switching back to the spring with which he set his best seeding time, Akio struggled with a lack of steering. For Marc, the first of the four qualifiers showed improvement but a bad last lap cost him positions and he ended up P6. With Saturday's action concluding with Q2, before the drivers could enjoy a beer or two at the ETS' end of season presentation night, Akio would bounce back with a P3 run. A small set-up change and a cooler track making for a better car.
Q3 on Sunday morning would prove to be Marc's best. Opting to use his third set of allocated tyres he was third fastest. Having pulled up in Q2, this was an important run to lock him into the A-Main. With the final qualifier dominated by drivers who saved their last set of new tyres, the final ranking left Akio and Marc to line up 8th and 9th respectively - difficult positions from which to make any impact on the race. Akio would manage a P6 in A1 and after a DNF in A2 he was again able to make up 2 places in A3 to finish 6th overall. For Marc they would be tough finals. Finishing 10th in A1, A2 & 3 ended with DNFs. A season that started so well with Marc winning the opening round of the championship it was not the end we had worked. Still we could celebrate the overall standings as Marc took second, one better than the season before, with Akio's efforts securing him 8th for the season.
In 40+ Masters we also claimed a season end podium thanks to Beni. Winner at the previous round in the Netherlands, he qualified 4th and was able to move up a position in the finals thanks to an A3 win that helped him cap off the season with another podium and 3rd in the overall standings. In Formula, Jitse didn't have the best of finals having qualified his IF11 8th but he ended the car's debut season with a promising 6th overall. In Pro Stock, Dominic flew the Infinity flag in the A-Main ending his ETS season 8th overall in the championship's biggest class.
Our first full ETS season as a touring car manufacturer, we have to give a special thanks to all our drivers for their commitment and effort over this campaign. Our quest to become ETS champions continues so bring on ETS Season #12.