Elliot Harper has claimed the Runners-Up spot at the 2010 EFRA European Touring Car Championships after the young British teenager took victory in the third A-Main ahead of Tamiya team-mate Viktor Wilck who completes the podium in Aniche, France. Having wrapped up the title with victories in the opening two legs of the final, Ronald Volker sat out the third leaving the way clear for a straight battle for the final podium placings.
Although Harper was never headed over the five minutes, the race was the most entertaining of the three. Afterwards the World Championship podium finisher said that his team-mate was again faster but he knew if he stuck to his line it was going to be very hard for the Swede to find a way past. The 17-year-old felt he didn’t have as good a car today but he was more than satisfied with the end result. Showing great maturity and professionalism, Harper’s performance here and in Germany has impressed many and one of the first drivers to congratulate him after his leg 3 victory was Volker.
Finishing third overall Wilck was clearly disappointed by not being able to challenge for the overall win today having been on a back foot to Volker from the start of the event. Unfortunately due to the timing of his flight home Wilck was unable to attend the podium presentation, Marc Rheinard having to rush his team-mate to Brussels airport shortly after the 3rd leg.
Setting the fastest lap of the event on his way to third, Hot Bodies driver Andy Moore looked really strong but the new found pace came a little late in the event and the 2006 Champion ends up fourth overall matching his 2008 result having missed out on the final last year. Back to back European Junior Champion Yannick Prumper also enjoyed his best run of the day finishing fourth ahead of Team Associated’s Juho Levanen but in the final order they finished in the opposite order. Completing the Top 6 was out going champion Jilles Groskamp but the Dutch ace was understandably not fully focused on racing today after his father took ill last night and had to undergo surgery this morning. We are glad to report things went well and on behalf of everyone in the paddock we want to wish Frank a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back trackside again very soon.
The Electric Touring Car Euros bring to an end what has been a very busy Summer tour for Red RC. Special thanks to Speed Passion and LRP for supporting our coverage here in France.
Having won the European Indoor Championship from pole earlier this year, Ronald Volker has repeated the feat outdoors winning the second leg of A-Mains here in Aniche, France to regain the EFRA European Championships which he held in 2007. The German didn’t win by as convincing a margin as in the opening leg saying his LRP powered Yokomo BD5 was very loose but opening up a 2 second gap he was still able to control the race ahead of the Tamiya’s of Elliot Harper and Viktor Wilck. Commenting on his win, Volker said he was delighted to win as it made up for the disappointment of his World Championship campaign last month in Burgorf, Germany.
Although the indoor Euros has only been run twice, this being the 12th running of the event on tarmac, he will go into the history books as the first driver to hold both European Touring Car titles consecutively. With the title now sewn up and the final two places on the podium up for grabs Volker will sit out the 3rd A-Main but he will not have long to relax as next weekend he will attempt to retake the German National Championship title which he hasn’t won since 2006.
While the timing screen showed Wilck taking second in Leg 2 it was actually Harper who crossed the line in second with the Swede right on his bumper. The result was later corrected with the times from the back up timing loop declared the official result. Setting the fastest lap of the race Wilck clearly had the faster of the two Speed Passion powered Tamiyas but couldn’t find a way through without risking hitting his team-mate on the very tight and technical Circuit Léo Lagrange track.
The race saw little overtaking with the most interesting battle being for fourth place between former & current World Champions Andy Moore and Marc Rheinard. Moore eventually got the better of the pair who clashed on the last run down the main straight and took the position but the incident cost Rheinard a place as outgoing Champion Jilles Groskamp managed to squeeze past. In the end it wasn’t to matter as Rheinard was excluded from the results when his bodyshell was found to be too low in post race scrutiny. Moore said his Hot Bodies was very fast in the first half of the race and he felt he was closing in on the battle for second but around 3 minutes in his TCX got very loose which the Brit admitted wasn’t helped by the fact he started over driving in an attempt to keep Rheinard behind.
With the exclusion of Rheinard, Loic Jasmin took sixth position after a good battle with Jilles Groskamp while Juho Levanen, the big mover in Leg 1, was seventh and the last classified finisher. Having successfully defended his European Junior title here by virtue of the fact he was the only Junior driver to make the A-Main, 16-year-old Yannick Pruemper pulled up just after three minutes after rolling his Yokomo out of the battle with Groskamp and Jasmin. Unfortunately for Team Corally’s Marc Fisher his race ended with a bang at the first corner as a touch with Levanen in the run into the first corner sent his car crashing into the barrier breaking the front spool.
A-main Leg 2 results
1. Ronald Volker – 15 Laps in 5:03.100
2. Elliott Harper – 15 Laps in 5:04.830
3. Victor Wilck – 15 Laps in 5:04.897
4. Andy Moore – 15 Laps in 5:10.165
5. Jilles Groskamp – 15 Laps in 5:10.457
6. Loïc Jasmin- 15 Laps in 5:12.431
7. Juho Levanen – 15 Laps in 5:12.917
8. Yannick Pruemper – 9 Laps in 3:12.306
9. Marc Fischer – 0 Laps in 0:00.000
10.Marc Rheinard – DSQ
Ronald Volker has taken an easy win in the opening leg of a rain effected European Championship Final here in France which saw the Top 3 finish in the same order as they started. Just as the mechanics cleared the grid rain started to fall with the Race Director making a call for a 5-minute delay to the start but this proved unpopular with the drivers and the decision was quickly reversed. With the race underway the rain increased making the conditions tricky but by around lap 8 the shower had passed and the track was starting to dry.
Volker said while the opening laps were very tricky but once the track started to dry his Yokomo was really good and he was able to control the pace out front. Setting the fastest lap of the race he eventually took a commanding victory over Elliot Harper. The British teenager said he tried to push as much as he could but was unable to do anything about catching the German. The Tamiya driver said the opening laps were tough as he didn’t know how much power to use with traction levels varying each corner. Chasing his first European title Elliot said it is going to be tough to deny Volker his second title but he plans to give it his all in Leg 2 when hopefully conditions will be dry.
Completing the top 3 Viktor Wilck said after seeing Jilles Groskamp spin behind him in the tricky conditions on lap 2 he took it easy, maybe too easy. Finishing 7 seconds behind his TRF/Speedpassion team-mate Harper he said in the dry his TRF416 felt good but overall he just didn’t have the speed to match the Top 2. Finishing sixth, having started fourth, defending champion Groskamp didn’t have a good race. Spinning out on his own accord he then lost further time when he ran into the back of the Team Yokomo of Junior Champion Yannic Prumper.
The big mover of the race was Team Associated’s Juho Levanen who finished fourth. The two times former Champion said on the opening lap it was like some of the drivers had never driven in the wet before as he was able to pass them with ease. Pressured by former World & European Champion Andy Moore in the closing stages of the race, the Finn said he was driving cautiously but was able to make his TC6 wide enough to keep the factory Hot Bodies driver behind. On the opening lap Moore got spun out by Marc Rheinard as the field bunched up. While the World Champion waited and gave position back, Moore felt without the incident he could have been on for a strong result as the set-up on his TCX was really good for the conditions.
The incident also ended any chance of a decent result for Rheinard and the last classified finisher in 9th position. The only retirement of the race was French Champion Loic Jasmin who was pushed from behind as the field started lap three. Hitting the barriers his raced ended on the spot as his Tamiya was broken.
A-main Leg 1 results
1. Ronald Volker – 15 Laps in 5:20.693
2. Elliott Harper – 14 Laps in 5:01.564
3. Victor Wilck – 14 Laps in 5:08.074
4. Juho Levanen – 14 Laps in 5:10.229
5. Andy Moore – 14 Laps in 5:10.706
6. Jilles Groskamp – 14 Laps in 5:15.300
7. Yannick Pruemper – 14 Laps in 5:16.028
8. Marc Fischer – 14 Laps in 5:16.679
9. Marc Rheinard – 14 Laps in 5:17.312
10.Loïc Jasmin – 2 Laps in 0:51.331