The fifth running of the EWS International event got underway yesterday, Friday, with many drivers taking the opportunity of three rounds of free practice on the Friday evening of the ever-growing event in the south-east of the UK. In the Modified class, World Champion Ronald Volker set the best three laps, just ahead of compatriot Marc Rheinard Ronald seemed happy with his Yokomo, and said whilst he was used to the bumps in the track after racing at the previous edition of the event, he liked the kerbs which allowed him to drive “fully on it”.
Running close to Marc on the track in each of the rounds, he said he thinks they have a similar pace but also noted that “Olly [Jefferies] is fast as expected”. Marc, making his first visit to the EWS venue, said he plans to leave his Infinity chassis as it is for tomorrow, and now focus on running in race tyres. A fan of the layout, he, like Ronald, expects the racing to be close tomorrow but plans on closing out 2017 with a win.
Olly Jefferies set the third best time, noting he needed focus on improving the consistency of his Xray, but described it as “not a bad start” and that he had chosen to use the evening running to scrub in his race tyres. Fourth fastest was France’s Lucas Urbain, the VBC driver another to be making his debut at the EWS venue. Pointing out the similarities to his home venue, MRC Longwy, he said he loved the venue and the layout, and the bumps made the track challenging and left his car, which often he finds too easy, a little hard to drive. Brits Kyle Branson and Andy Moore completed the top six.
In Super Stock, Jimmy Maddison set the best three-lap time, four tenths of a second ahead of event returnee Martin Hofer. Jimmy, making his official debut appearance driving for Yokomo, described the start to the event as simply “Mega”. Expanding more, he said whilst he was really happy with the car, he still needed to decide whether to run a carbon or alloy chassis, with his focus on making the car easy to drive over a five minute run. Martin said his car was “fine”, and echoed Jimmy’s thoughts that an easy-to-drive car was needed. Complimentary of the venue, describing it with just the word “fabulous”, he noted that he was enjoying the track layout, and was a particular fan of racing “on carpet but with kerbs you can actually drive” – the unique EWS kerbs making the track drive more like an outdoor circuit. Daniel Blake was best of the Xray crew, setting the third fastest time, with Ashley Wiffen and Richard King rounding out the top five. Defending race winner Zak Finlay set the sixth best time.
In Formula, British driver James Millbank set the best time, in front of ETS Champion and Serpent designer David Ehrbar. The event continues today with seeding rounds and qualifying.