The 2019 edition of the EWS International took place last weekend. Ronald Volker initially set the pace during qualifying in the Modified class, and then on Sunday morning made it a clean sweep by topping all four rounds with his development Yokomo chassis. Behind him, long time Marc Rheinard secured second on the grid for Infinity, the German also running a prototype car as Infinity continue to test their upcoming IF14-II. Lucas Urbain was the big mover on Sunday morning, with third place in Q4 moving the Frenchman up to third on the A Final grid. Yannic Prumper and Christopher Krapp rounded out the overall top five, with the Xray trio of Alexander Hagberg, Bruno Coelho and Elliott Harper not able to replicate the pace they had shown throughout practice and having to start the finals from deep in the field. The A Final line up was completed by former event champion Kyle Branson, and Awesomatix’s Loic Jasmin. Alex Thurston was the unlucky BQ driver, missing out on the final place on a tie-break with Loic by three-tenths of a second.
The first A Final will no doubt be remembered as an all-time great race in Touring Cars, as Ronald led the field away with Marc right behind him. The two Germans pulled a small gap over Lucas, and treated the crowd to a fantastic race as they battled nose-to-tail for the entire run. Marc hounded Ronald and, despite a few side-ways moments from the Yokomo driver as the pressure from arguably the best head-to-head racer in the Touring Car class began to show, Marc was never able to find a way past his compatriot as the pair traded laptimes throughout. Behind, Lucas had a comfortable run in third place for most of the race, as Bruno was the mover in the field, getting past two cars on the opening lap and then pulling off a firm but fair move on Yannic at the two-minute point. Bruno chased down Lucas but had lost too much ground at the start, leaving the current World Champion to settle for fourth in the opening leg.
Leg 2 saw similar action to the first, as Ronald and Marc once again opened a gap to the French driver over the first few laps. This time, however, Ronald looked a little more in control of his car, which featured most of the new parts that will be used in the up-coming BD10 release, and he pulled a gap of around one second over Marc. Despite the Infinity driver doing all he could, Marc was unable to mount the same challenge to apply the necessary pressure to the number one starting car. Again, Lucas held a solid third place as Bruno again seemed more comfortable with his Xray T4’20 as he challenged Yannic for the fourth spot. This time, Yannic was able to hold the Portuguese driver off, as the defending race champion remained in with a chance of an overall podium finish. Out front, Ronald kept his car on the carpet and took the victory, to confirm his second overall EWS International title – only the second driver to win twice at the British event.
The third leg closed out the weekend’s racing and, with the overall title in the bag, Ronald chose not to run the race and leave the other drivers to fight for the podium places. Marc got a clean start but Lucas managed to stay closer to him than he had in the first two legs. Behind, a high-speed freight train formed up as the remaining seven cars circulated almost as one. For the first four minutes, none of the world-class drivers put a wheel wrong and the drivers put on a perfect display of driving. However, as it appeared inevitable, with just three laps to go some contact between Yannic and Christopher dropped them down the field, which allowed Bruno to make the gain up to third place, pulling his teammates Alexander and Elliott into fourth and fifth. But this mattered for little, as Marc took the win to secure second overall, with Lucas second in the race and thus third overall.
Touring Modified final results:
1. Ronald Volker – Yokomo/LRP
2. Marc Rheinard – Infinity/Muchmore
3. Lucas Urbain – Awesomatix/Orca
4. Bruno Coelho – Xray/Hobbywing
5. Yannic Prumper – Infinity/Maclan
6. Alexander Hagberg – Xray/Hobbywing
7. Christopher Krapp – Yokomo/Racing Performer
8. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/Tesla
9. Elliott Harper – Xray/LRP
10.Loic Jasmin – Awesomatix/LRP
Over in the Super Stock class, despite Frederik Mikkelsen sitting on top of the standings after Saturday, it was the current race champion, Christian Donath, who secured pole position by topping Sunday’s final qualifying round. Frederik would start second on the grid, with Max Machler third to make it an all-Awesomatix top three. Xray drivers Oliver Havranek and Leo Arnold completed the top half of the grid, in front of Alexander Stocker, Martin Hofer, Manuel Wagner, Jimmy Maddison and Andrea Valerio – meaning seven nationalities would be able to fight for the win this year.
Christian led off the field in A1, and it quickly developed into a top-four battle, as the leaders opened up a two-second gap to Leo. As the gaps changed each lap, it looked like it was really a fight for first and second between Christian and Frederik, and third and fourth between Max and Oliver. Despite doing all he could, Frederik couldn’t find a way alongside Christian until the very last lap. Going down the back straight, the Danish driver looked to the inside, but Christian closed the door just in time to take the win by two tenths of a second. Behind, Max held on to third, as the last lap action allowed him to close to within a few tenths of Frederik.
The second final saw much of the same, as again the top four separated themselves from the pack. Again, Frederik was the one keeping Christian honest, but a small mistake from the Danish driver just past the half-way point gave Christian a healthy lead and allowed the German to control the pace. As before, Max then closed on Frederik in the second half of the run, but again came up just short on challenging for second place, finishing up four-tenths back this time at the finish. This all meant that Christian took home the win, and another title at the EWS International – the first driver ever to win back-to-back titles in any class at the event.
The final leg would decide the rest of the podium, and up front we saw more of the same as Frederik led Max and Oliver. Half way through, Oliver and Max came together, allowing Leo into second place, Max dropping to third and Martin Hofer moving into fourth. The action wasn’t over, however, as with the field tightly bunched, and small mistakes would change around the placings. Max re-gained second place, Leo dropped to fourth and the big winner was Italian Andrea Valerio, moving from tenth on the grid up to third by the end. Frederik took an easy win to solidify the runner-up position, with Max completing the overall podium in third.
Touring Super Stock final results:
1. Christian Donath – Awesomatix/Hobbywing
2. Frederik Mikkelsen – Awesomatix/LRP
3. Max Machler – Awesomatix/Hobbywing
4. Oliver Havranek – Xray/Hobbywing
5. Alexander Stocker – Awesomatix/Hobbywing
6. Leo Arnold – Xray/Orca
7. Andrea Valerio – Xray/Hobbywing
8. Manuel Wagner – Xray/Orca
9. Jimmy Maddison – Xray/Hobbywing
10.Martin Hofer – Yokomo/LRP
In the Front Wheel Drive class, it was domination from Alexander Stocker, who took the overall win with a perfect score in qualifying and the first two finals. Chris Condon was best of the rest, securing second on the grid and maintaining that place after the finals. Paul Hill didn’t fare so well in qualifying, lining up sixth on the grid, but moved up in the finals to complete the podium places.
Finally, in Formula, Luke Lee secured the overall TQ after a fight with Michael Lee, the pole position being decided by just one-tenth of a second after the four rounds. But it was Michael who came out best after the finals, with wins in A1 and A3 to take the overall victory. Luke took A2 and second overall, with James Greener rounding out the podium after starting third on the grid.