RD2 in “hot Austria” on beautiful track in picture perfect location

The Euro Touring Series stopped in Austria for RD2 of the current season. The MAV Aigen-Schlägl organized an amazing weekend for all participants, and everybody had maximum fun on, and off the track. The racetrack in Aigen is one of the best the ETS has ever been to, and the lights are already relatively far on green for a repeat next year.

Let`s head back to Aigen to review the race results and some other interesting things we noticed during the second encounter of ETS Season #15 2022/23.

The ground of the MAV Aigen-Schlägl, an outstanding facility

For most of our frequent ETS racers, it was the first time they travelled to Aigen. It was the first ETS race on this amazing track which was prepared perfectly by the local club. Most drivers had been very surprised by the track and it`s character when they arrived in Aigen as the banking’s and elevation changes looked way more intense in real life, compared to the pictures of the track they have seen before.

Driver and Team performances

Now it is time to analyse the racing action which we saw at ETS RD2 in Aigen. We saw most of the top drivers form RD1 on track with some others joining again. Let`s read what the teams and drivers achieved in Aigen-Schlägl!

Matrix Modified and Awesomatix Pro Stock

Yokomo BD11 continues winning in the hands of new championship’s leader Krapp

Team Yokomo is really on a high with their new BD11 car. The new touring car from the Japanese manufacturer got released shortly before the first ETS race of Season #15 2022/23 in Apeldoorn, where Yannic Prümper took the win in front of Mugen Seiki`s Ronald Völker, and his Yokomo teammate Christopher Krapp. Unfortunately, Yannic Prümper was not able to attend in Aigen and all eyes had been on Christopher Krapp who was the only “top gun” on the line for Yokomo this weekend while also French Yokomo racer Loic Jasmin was not on the list of entries.  
But however, Christopher Krapp was right on pace from the first round of practice and brought a very strong weekend to an end after crossing the line cheering, screaming, and winning the overall race in A2. Christopher was able to take the pole position after winning two rounds of qualifying with his BD11 and drove two flawless finals (A1+A2) ahead of Akio Sobue and Ronald Völker. The BD11 looked very, very strong on both tracks (Apeldoorn + Aigen), and as the track for RD3 in Andernach is completely different we will see what the Yokomo team will achieve there. Krapp is now leading the overall championship and we can look forward to the rest of the season with a lot of excitement.

In the Awesomatix Pro Stock class, Yokomo`s Enrico Jung had a weekend to forget. He said that his car felt really good, and that it had the pace for a possible top 5 finish. But in the end, he made too many costly driver mistakes and ended up in the B-Main (P15) at the end. Enrico made the A-Main at both Arena33 races of last season, so he will travel to Andernach with good vibes for sure. The BD11 is locked and loaded, and Enrico just needs to get the car`s performance on track again for a top result!

Axon drivers Sobue and Ishioka with strong modified performance in Austria

We saw a small, but very strong and super sympathetic team from Axon (Japan) attending ETS RD2 in Aigen-Schlägl. The well-known Japanese top driver Akio Sobue, his teammate Hayato Ishioka, and Axon boss Hidetoshi Mitsusada. They made the trip to Austria directly from Gubbio (Italy), where they attended the worlds warmup race.

Their car, the Axon TC10/2, is not a complete car kit which you can buy at hobby shops. But Axon is offering a conversion kit to transform the Yokomo BD10 into the Axon TC10/2. The upgrade kit includes parts like new upper bulkhead clamps, split shock towers, Bulkhead stiffeners, horizontal rear body posts, super short Axon big bore shocks, as well as a carbon fibre chassis and Topdeck. The car worked good on the demanding track in Aigen, and Akio Sobue was able to line up second on the grid (with winning the second round of qualifying). His teammate Hayato Ishioka also made the A-Main at his first ever ETS event with P10 on the grid. Hayato also had a very good round of qualifying in Q3, where he was leading the head at the four-minute mark before making one costly mistake dropping back to P5 for the round. But overall, a very strong ETS debut from Ishioka.
The Axon TC10/2 conversion kit is a great opportunity for all Yokomo BD10 racers who like to upgrade their existing car without switching to the newest model from Yokomo (BD11). The strong second place finish from Akio Sobue (with a win in A3 ahead of Völker), and the eight place from Hayato Ishioka really showed that their Axon car is ready for top level racing!

Mugen Seiki with strong pace in practice, three cars in the modified A-Main, and some problems in hot conditions

Overall, the weekend was not too bad for Mugen Seiki and their lead drivers Ronald Völker, Robert Pietsch, and Eric Dankel. The race started very good, especially for Völker and Pietsch who both topped the free practice sessions on Thursday. Their gap to the rest of the field (over three laps) also looked very promising for them and everybody had Völker in mind for a possible TQ in Aigen-Schlägl. Also the controlled practice was very good for the team with Völker in third position. Pietsch and Dankel dropped down to 10th and 11th and started qualifying in the second fastest heat. 

As it got even hotter on Friday afternoon, Ronald scored a third place in Q1, just 0.5 behind TQ Krapp. But as Q2 got underway on Friday evening, the track temperatures had been as hot as never before and suddenly Ronald lost some pace and couldn`t fight for a top 3 result. In Q3, which Ronald did on used tires, he was on pace again with another third for the round. In the last round he was laying down a TQ run on new tires and lined up third on the grid.
Dankel and Pietsch also made the A-Main with their times coming from the second fastest group. So, it was a little up and down for the Mugen team and it seems like they need to improve their car for super-hot conditions on a high-speed track like this. The reigning champion Ronald Völker was not missing a lot from his car, but that was enough for not being able to TQ the event at all.
In the triple A-Mains of the Matrix Modified class, Ronald Völker tried everything to improve his third position on the grid, but after finishing 3rd, 2nd, and 1st he had to settle for third overall on the podium beside race winner Krapp and second placed Sobue. Robert Pietsch and Eric Dankel finished 10th and 11th overall.  Three cars in the A-Main and one on the podium was a good result for Mugen Seiki, but as we all know how competitive Ronald Völker is, he will try a lot to improve the car in hot conditions for the next race on a tracklike this again.
In Awesomatix Pro Stock class, the highest ranked driver was Kevin Sparbier who finished 18th overall. He had some good pace in practice and qualifying but was not able to make the cut. In this class, there is still some room for improvement for the Japanese manufacturer Mugen Seiki.

Awesomatix in control of the Pro Stock class with Lauter victory in Austria – Rheinard finished fourth overall in Modified

What is still a little complicated for most other teams, is looking like a walk in the park for Awesomatix. They are winning race after race in the Pro Stock class and are now counting five victories in a row since Xray`s Alexandre Duchet was the last “non Awesomatix” race winner last season at Arena33 (ETS R2 #14). The A800MMX touring car is on rails at every race and when you watch the top guys like Mächler, Lauter, Mikkelsen, Bultynck, Kunkler (to only name a few) driving, you can easily see that they are full of confidence, trust, and enjoyment with their Awesomatix rides. Everything seems to be close to perfection and we cannot see anybody to break that winning streak right now!

In Aigen-Schlägl, Simon Lauter was the fastest Awesomatix driver and took the overall win from pole position in front of Max Mächler and a very quick Frederik Mikkelsen. All the others Awesomatix drivers had been on an almost similar pace and the top 6 positions all went to A800MX drivers. Another good example for the strength of the Awesomatix car was Toni Rheinard`s sixth place in Aigen. For sure, everybody knew that Toni was a very strong top driver in the past. But when you arrive to an ETS race with almost no practice for 2-3 years, it is not easy to battle with the top guys immediately. Toni got the job done and the speed of the Awesomatix A800MMX helped him to achieve this great result for sure!   

In the Matrix Modified class, the Awesomatix team is still waiting for a race win at the ETS since quite some time. Marc Rheinard and Lucas Urbain showed great pace in Austria, and especially Marc was only 0.3 seconds away from winning the first two rounds of qualifying. In the end he started fourth on the grid and had no more chance to fight for the win in Austria. This was another good example; how important a pole position can be in high class RC racing.
Lucas Urbain finished fifth overall after strong fights in the midfield, and Dominic Vogl bumped up from the B-Main and took P8 overall. As easy as the racing programme looks for Awesomatix in the Pro Stock class, it is a different story in Modified. The pace is always good and close to the absolute top, but in the end the luck was not on their side and they have to aim for a win again at RD3 in Andernach.

Xray drivers with solid A-Main finishes in Austria while not being in the mix for overall win

The Xray team left Aigen with some top 10 trophies in the bag. In the Matrix Modified class, Oliver Havranek finished 6th overall and showed his pure speed and race craft. It is always great to watch him driving as he is always pushing very hard while still having everything under control. Hie teammate Marc Kaufmann was also right on pace in Aigen and finished directly behind Havranek in seventh place. His highlight of the weekend was the third-place finish in Q2 which helped him a lot to get up to seventh place on the grid at the end of qualifying. The X4 cars of Kaufmann and Havranek looked very strong and “racy” on track in all weather conditions. With Kaufmann and Havranek being absolute top drivers, Xray is still missing the quality of Alexander Hagberg and Bruno Coelho at the races. They always had been in the mix for overall victory – especially Bruno.

In the Awesomatix Pro Stock class, we saw two Xray X4 drivers in the A-Main. Stefan Schulz made it into the “big show” for the first time with a second place run in Q4 sealing fifth place on the grid for the reigning FWD champion. Hie teammate and routineer David Ehrbar celebrated his ETS touring car A-Main comeback in Aigen too, and qualified ninth with his X4. Both showed great racing in the mains and walked away from Austria with 7th (Schulz) and 11th (Ehrbar) positions.
For Xray, the situation in the Pro Stock class is the same as in modified – top drivers on the line, X4 cars in the A-Main, but no real shot for the overall win without Duchet or Ratheisky. But after we already spotted Jan Ratheisky on the list of entries for RD3 in Andernach, we are excited what he can do against the strong Awesomatix competition. Jan showed that he has the potential to win any ETS race he is going to – will we see him on top for Xray at Arena33?

Good debut for the ARC A10 with double A-Main appearance in Austria

ARC released their new A10 touring car some days before the race in Aigen-Schlägl. For ARC, the A10 is a car with a lot of new updates and parts as it has a new and modern “state of the art” chassis layout. The A10 made a strong debut with Lars Hoppe qualifying 10th on the grid for the Awesomatix Pro Stock A-Main where he finished 8th overall after the triple A-Mains.

Helge Johannessen from Norway won the B-Main. The car looked competitive out there and will get even stronger as soon as the team has gained some more knowledge about all the setup parameters and the car`s reaction to setup changes.
Henrik Heitsch raced in the Orca 17.5 Stock class and booked scored a fifth place overall for the A10 after lining up fourth on the grid. Not a bad debut for the new ARC A10 in a very competitive field of racers in Austria. The new ARC looks like a brilliant alternative on the market now!

New Serpent Medius X20`23 missing the A-Main while still looking fast on track

The second brand new car in Austria was the Serpent Medius X20`23 which got wheeled by Serpent team driver Sören Sparbier and some customers as well. Sören, who made the A-Main at ETD Rd1 in the Netherlands with a prototype car, was 5th after the free practice sessions on Thursday. But as controlled practice started, he dropped down to P14 finding himself in the second fastest qualifying heat of the Awesomatix Pro Stock class. He had two top 10 runs in qualifying but ended second on the grid for the B-Main. There, he had an amazing fight with Lukas Ellerbrock (Xray), Adam Izsay (Xray), and Helge Johannessen (ARC). Sören had some bad luck as he had to stop the car with a broken spur gear in the deciding laps of the race. He would have had a serious chance to bump up into the A-Main. His driving was on point, and we can expect him to be strong again at RD3 at Arena33 in August. The new Serpent Medius X20`23 looks like a strong contender on track!

Hobbywing Frontwheel

The return of the champion – Xray`s Schulz wins FWD class in a surprisingly dominant way

In the Hobbywing Frontwheel class, we saw the return of reigning ETS champion Stefan Schulz to the field of drivers. In practice all drivers had been very close, and Schulz was sitting in fifth position on Thursday evening. As the controlled practice started, Schulz somehow picked up the pace and was very dominant until the end of the weekend. He won three out of four rounds of qualifying (with one DNF) and had a gap of 4 seconds to the rest of the field in every run. All the other drivers just had no chance to match the pace of Schulz on track – something which we have not seen since a while in any way! In the FWD class. In the end, Stefan celebrated his first win of the season in his first race and is now back in the fight for a second consecutive ETS title.

Behind Schulz, Robin van Gog had a great weekend with his Awesomatix A800FX and was battling for second place with Netherlands race winner Steven Olsen who was also running strong as always with his Awesomatix A800FX Evo. In the end, van Gog took second (his best ETS result so far) and Olsen stepped on the last remaining spot on the podium beside Schulz and van Gog. Mugen Seiki driver Kevin Sparbier had great fights with Toni Rheinard in the finals and finished fourth overall ahead of Rheinard in fifth. The FWD cars looked amazing on this track and all drivers highlighted to drive their cars here in Austria – another huge aspect to come back to this venue next season!

Scorpion Formula

Another first-time race winner as Stiebler celebrates victory in Austria

Schumacher`s Andreas Stiebler was on a high at ETS Rd2 in Aigen-Schlägl. After a lot of strong races in the past years, he finally was able to step o the top spot of the podium in his home country. He was in Aigen with his father, and they worked very hard to top practice, seeding, qualifying, and to walk away with maximum points from the weekend. For Andreas everything seemed to work out very smooth, until he suffered from a DNF in A1 due to a blocked ball bearing in the front of his Schumacher Icon2.

It is always a bad feeling to suffer from technical problems, but when you are leading A1 from pole position that creates some high pressure on anybody. Stiebler was not cracking under this pressure and got the job done with two brilliant drives ahead of a hard challenging Xray driver René Kölbel. Robin van Gog finished third with his Infinity car and Luka Jovicic came in fourth with his Libar Engineering Formula car making it four different manufacturers in the first positions right in front of Herbert Weber`s Xray in fifth place. With two different and “first time” winners out of two races, the Scorpion Formula class is very interesting at the moment, and we are looking forward to finding out who will be on top at RD3 in Andernach in about three weeks.

Orca 17.5 Stock

Reile wins again and extends his championship lead while Donath moves up to second place

Dominik Reile showed again that he is the man to beat in the Orca 17.5 Stock class since Thomas Bemmerl switched to 13.5T Pro Stock racing. Reile was the fastest driver all weekend long and earned himself a well-deserved pole position. In the finals, Daniel Pöhlmann started second and was able to win A1 after Reile made a (unique seen) mistake on track. After this imperfect result in A1, Dominik Reile showed a real masterclass in the second and third leg where he never looked back to seal the overall win in Aigen-Schlägl in a dominant way.

Jasmin Donath was able to score two second places in A2 and A3 where she just drove amazingly well. In the end, Pöhlmann and Donath finished tied on points with overall P2 going to the hands of Pöhlmann because of his win in A1. Nevertheless, a great weekend for Jasmin Donath who took over second place in the championship behind leader Dominik Reile and new third placed driver Daniel Pöhlmann. A great weekend for Reile who was able to stretch his championship lead up to 8 points now. Wolfgang Swoboda completed an all Awesomatix A800MMX top four in front of Henrik Heitsch who was doing well with the new A10 touring car from ARC.

ToniSport 40+ Masters

Mateo back on top of close competition in 40+ Masters class

After coming short to ETS RD1 winner Elibert Sievers in the Netherlands, reigning ToniSport 40+ Masters champion Toni Mateo (Awesomatix) was able to win the race in Austria. Toni had a very hard fight in qualifying to take pole position as the field of drivers onca again was very fast and close. Mirco Thalheimer (Xray) looked to be the slightly faster driver in some rounds of practice and qualifying, but he had to line up second on the grid in front of Manuel Stankowitz who is always a potential top 3 finisher in the master’s class.

In all three final runs, the master’s aimed for the best possible result from their different starting position, and we saw hard and mostly clean races until Awesomatix driver Toni Mateo won A2 and A3 to become the overall race winner. Mirco Thalheimer (Xray) finished second and Manuel Stankowitz third.
Elibert Sievers, who was leading the championship after the first race in Apeldoorn, qualified for the A-Main in Aigen as well, but lost his lead to Toni Mateo who is now on top. Toni Mateo told us that he really likes the track in Andernach and we will have an eye on him during the next race there. But as there are so many fast guys in the 40+ Masters class, it is hard to predict who will be on pace for a top 3 at Arena33.

Next stop for the ETS is RD3 at Arena33 in Andernach

After this amazing second race of Season #15, we are changing locations again and will race in Germany. The well-known Arena33 in Andernach will be the hosting track from 18. – 21. August 2022. We are already looking forward to another great weekend of racing at the Euro Touring Series. We hope you liked this small recap of our action-packed weekend in Aigen-Schlägl! See you very soon in Andernach!

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SEE YOU THERE!