ETS ROUND 1
OCT 27-29 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Having only entered Electric Touring Car competition in February 2017 with the launch of our IF14, Season #11 of the Euro Touring Series marks the first full campaign Infinity will undertake as a manufacturer in the world's toughest championship. Having made his ETS debut as a team driver at the second round last season and put the car on the podium, Marc Rheinard would go on to finish 3rd in the final Season #10 standings so expectations going into the new season were high. With an all new venue for the opening race, Marc and Akio together with car designer Kotonori Fujiwara would travel to Vienna in Austria. The first of six stops on the 2017/18 calendar, the race would run as part of the country's biggest modelling show with a record 63,000 people coming through the doors of Messe Wien to enjoy model displays including watching the best RC drivers in the world race head to head. With the track surrounded by large crowds of onlookers, the weekend would turn out to be the perfect start to our ETS title aspirations.
Following a slightly slow start to practice on Friday morning with Akio P6 and Marc P10, both would improve things for controlled practice to end the day 5th and 6th fastest based on their best 3-consecutive laps around the track's fast layout. With Marc using practice to put two runs on each of his sets of race tyres he was confident for qualifying. The timetable of the show made for a relatively early finish to Day 1 by ETS Indoor race standards and Marc would return to the track to open Day 2 in style.
Despite being the sixth car in the Q1 starting order, he would deliver a perfect run to TQ the round as the only driver to manage 24-laps. Fastest from Viljami Kutvonen, Q2 would be a repeat of the opening qualifier as Marc again topped the times from Viljami. With Q3 the opportunity for Marc to claim his first overall ETS TQ since the season opener two year's previous, he wasn't going to let the opportunity pass and although a much closer battle he did it being fastest this time ahead of Bruno Coelho. The fourth & final wasn't going to change Marc's grid position but it would decide how they lined-up behind him for the A-Main, but such was his growing confidence with his IF14 he went on to complete a clean sweep with another TQ run. Q4 would prove to be Akio's best qualifier with him fourth fastest which together with his P7 in Q2 would put him 8th on the grid for Sunday's finals. Choosing to race an IF14 in Vienna as a privateer, Yannic Prumper would make it three Infinity's in the final with him lining up 10th.
Taking up his TQ position on Sunday morning for the first A-Main, Marc made a blistering start helped by a slow first lap from the No.2 starting Viljami. With a gap over the field, Marc could control the race from the front to finish 2.5-seconds ahead of Bruno. With just one race separating Marc from claiming the IF14's first ETS victory, A2 would see him deliver another faultless drive. Again finishing ahead of Bruno he did it adding an ETS win to the car's growing list of achievements. With the win wrapped up even Marc himself admitted it has been a very long time since he last had the chance to sit out A3 and just watch the racing. For Akio the weekend would end with him finishing as he started with 8th, the result not a true reflection of his speed. Yannic would get 9th for his efforts.
Leaving Vienna with the maximum championship points possible, a bonus point reward for the TQ, Marc will strive to further extend that lead on home soil when Round 2 takes place in Daun, Germany. Although that race is not for 3 months, Marc and the rest of the team will still be busy because as the ETS is the toughest championships in the World you can't afford to rest on your laurels. There is a little leeway however to take a day or two off to celebrate our first ETS win!