Action from Leg 2 of the A Mains at the 2008 EFRA Touring Car European Championships at the Nitro 15 track in Vila Real, Spain. The result of this final looked to have secured a first Euro Touring title for Marc Rheinard but afterwards the German driver’s cells failed scrutiny pushing the title battle to go to the wire in Leg 3.
Breaking news here from Vila Real is that Marc Rheinard has been excluded from his victory in A Main Leg 2 after his cells failed post race scrutiny. The cells failed to meet the maximum permitted length as laid down by the sports governing body EFRA. The exclusion hands the win to Sweden’s Viktor Wilck and means the European title is still wide open with anyone of seven drivers still able to win the title.
Revised Leg 2 results
1. Viktor Wilck (SE) 17 05:03.051
2. Andy Moore (GB) 17 05:04.790
3. Jilles Groskamp (NL) 17 05:05.966
4. Ronald Volker (DE) 17 05:06.553
5. Steven Weiss (DE) 17 05:07.854
6. Elliott Harper (GB) 17 05:08.354
7. Alexander Hagberg (SE) 17 05:09.051
8. Marc Fischer (DE) 17 05:11.480
9. Teemo Leino (FI) 16 04:46.269
10. Marc Rheinard (DE) DQ
Marc Rheinard is the new European Electric Touring Champion after backing up his Leg 1 victory with another win in Leg 2. The German won the race after Top Qualifier Ronald Volker rolled out of the lead allowing the former World Champion to claim his first every European Touring car title which he adds to the 1:12 European title he won earlier this year.
UPDATE: Rheinard has been excluded from the results. See news item above.
Marc Rheinard has taken victory in the opening Leg of the A Mains here in Vila Real in what was an incident filled race which saw the Top Qualifier & defending Champion Ronald Volker completing just 4 laps.
From the start it was Volker who led from the hard chasing pack with Rheinard right on the rear bumper of the leading Hot Bodies Cyclone TC. Attempting a number of times to find his way passed the No.1 car the Germans touched coming on to the front straight at the start of lap 5 with Volker’s car going into a slide. Rheinard tried to wait for Volker but his team-mate Viktor Wilck, who was running a very close third, ran into the back of him while Volker made heavy contact with the pit wall ending his race.
Describing the incident Rheinard said, ‘I was a little faster and when I tried to pass Ronald we touched and his car got loose. I tried to wait for him but then Viktor ran into me.’ After the incident which allowed Teemu Leino to move into second the German cruised to an easy victory. Recording the fastest lap of the race Rheinard was happy with his TRF416, ‘The car was super good. I was able to make a better start too after Kiyo (Suzuki) cleaned my starting spot.’
Asked for his account of the incident Volker opted to make no comment other than to say that he has two more rounds.
Taking his Xray to second Teemu Leino described his race as OK. While his T2 008 was working better now the Finn said it is too difficult at this stage to challenge for the title.
Starting from ninth on the grid Alexander Hagberg made the most of the many incidents in the race to take third after getting past Wilck in the later half of the race. Wilck was looking good in the beginning of the Leg but the Swede believes he tweaked his Tamiya when he ran into the back of his team-mate as it was a hand full to drive following the incident.
Fifth placed Andy Moore described his first final as ‘Shit’. The current World Champion clashed with Leino at the first corner and then got caught up in a second incident ending his chances of fighting for the lead. Having also cleaned his grid spot, Moore said his car got off the line straight this time but after the incidents he was too far back to do anything despite his car feeling really good.
Jilles Groskamp, who also got pushed off the track, completed the Top 6 followed by Steven Weiss, Marc Fisher and Harper Elliot who is set to become the 2008 European Junior Champion.
A-main Leg 1 results
1. Marc Rheinard (DE) 17 05:01.632
2. Teemo Leino (FI) 17 05:03.196
3. Alexander Hagberg (SE) 17 05:04.999
4. Vikor Wilck (SE) 17 05:05.298
5. Andy Moore (GB) 17 05:05.707
6. Jilles Groskamp (NL) 17 05:07.371
7. Steven Weiss (DE) 17 05:07.585
8. Marc Fischer (DE) 17 05:09.767
9. Elliott Harper (GB) 17 05:10.364
10. Ronald Volker (DE) 4 01:05.519
The practice finals have just been completed and if the battle in the A Final practice group is anything to go by we are in for a thrilling afternoon of European Championship Finals.
Top Qualifier Ronald Volker lead intially but came under intense pressure from the Tamiya pairing of Marc Rheinard and Viktor Wilck. Getting past his team-mate, Wilck was the first to challenge Volker but was unable to find a way passed. It was then Rheinard’s turn to have a go at the defending champion the pair swapping decals through the hairpin at end of the back straight. Finally Rheinard found a way through and despite very close attention from Volker over the final few laps Rheinard took an important physcological victory with Wilck third.
After the practice Rheinard complained about the dirt on the no.2 position of the grid. Located off the racing line, the German said the car had no traction leaving the line and for the opening few corners his tyres were dirty. Once the tyres cleaned themselves his TRF416 was good although over the last few laps he felt the car started to go off. The former World Champion says he should be OK if he can get the starts sorted.
Volker tried tyre warmers ahead of the practice and wasn’t happy with the results. The Hot Bodies/LRP driver said his car suffered badly from understeer and so he will not use them for the actual finals. Wilck was upbeat about his Speed Passion powered Tamiya and feels he has winning pace. The Swede made a mistake when he rode a curb which caused his car to spin but other than that is confident he can challenge for the victory.
So the stage is now set for three thrilling A Main Finals with the practice proving that the race for the title is wide open.
Reigning European Electric Touring Car Champion Ronald Volker has successfully completed the first stage of his title defence by securing the TQ, putting his LRP powered Hot Bodies at the front of the grid for tomorrow’s triple A Main Finals.
Volker has been on form throughout qualifying securing victory in four of the five heats with the only blotch in his text book performance being a stripped front belt at the start of Heat number 2. Volker, who was confirmed as the Top Qualifier after Heat 4 when Viktor Wilck got in trouble for late marshalling, produced the fastest time for the final qualifier ahead of a very improved Teemu Leino.
With a fresh spool fitted to his car for the run Volker said his Cyclone TC was the best it has been yet and it felt really good. Asked if the TQ honours brought on any extra pressure the German said it didn’t and knowing that his car works so well he felt really good ahead of the finals. Speaking about who he expected to provide the greatest challenge tomorrow he was quick to name fellow countryman Marc Rheinard who will start from P2 on the grid.
Second fastest in the final run and looking much happy then he has since the start of qualifying was Teemu Leino. The Team Xray driver has finally found a set-up that helps his T2 008 to get the most from the controlled Sorex tyres. The Finn says a very quick opening lap will be so important to the results of the final and believes he has cracked the tyre warming temperature needed to give him a fast opening lap while not causing the tyres to go off as much during the run.
Rheinard appeared much more upbeat with his car after the final heat describing it as pretty good. Finishing a second off Volkers time, the Tamiya Racing Factory team driver admitted to making a ‘stupid mistake’ during the run when he jumped the curb at the chicane and ran onto the dusty part of the track. A former World Champion who knows his competitors very well said the competition here is super close and believes anyone of the 10 drivers in the A Main can win tomorrow.
The final is an impressive line-up of World class drivers. While Volker and Rheinard occupy the front row behind them we have Pre World’s Race winner Viktor Wilck and current World Champion Andy Moore. Wilck is enjoying a very good season, having also won the DHI Cup earlier in the year, and Moore’s title says enough about his abilities although the Englishman is still struggling to find a consistent full race distance pace.
Row three is made up of two more international champions with Teemu Leino, the TITC Champion, and Jilles Groskamp who is the Euro Touring Series Champion. On the penultimate row it is Corally ace Marc Fisher and last year’s Top Qualifier Steven Weiss while top Swede Alexander Hagberg and Euro Warm Race winner Elliot Harper completing the line up for what is set to be three cracking Legs of racing tomorrow. The unfortuate and dreaded 11th place went to Tamiya team driver Hupo Honigl who actually finished on the same points as Harper but the latter had a higher finish in his best run.
Final qualifying order
1. Ronald Volker (DE) [Hot Bodies] – 2pts
2. Marc Rheinard (DE) [Tamiya] – 4pts
3. Viktor Wilck (SE) [Tamiya] – 5pts
4. Andy Moore (GB) [Hot Bodies] – 6pts
5. Teemo Leino (FI) [Xray] – 6pts
6. Jilles Groskamp (NL) [Tamiya] – 7pts
7. Marc Fischer (DE) [Corally] – 8pts
8. Steven Weiss (DE) [Xray] – 9pts
9. Alexander Hagberg (SE) [Xray] – 11pts
10. Elliott Harper (GB) [Xray] – 15pts