September 1, 2016

World Champions head ENS Austria entry


After a two & a half month break, the Euro Nitro Series resumes with the third round taking drivers to Austria this weekend (September 2-4).  With the World’s biggest prize keeping them occupied during the break, it is newly crowned Nitro Touring Car World Champion Dominic Greiner who leads the 1:10 entry while 1:8 World Champion Simon Kurzbuch heads the 1:8 field for the championship’s 3rd visit to the Aigen track.  With the race marking the start of the second half of the season, the weekend could be crucial to deciding the 1:8 title but with 1:10 having produced two different winners so far it is an opportunity for more drivers to join the race to become champion.

Winning the World Championship with a dominant performance in the 1-hour main in Italy, the ENS’ long time outright fastest 1:10 driver will be hoping to finally bag a win of the season.  Last year the Serpent driver was part of one of the most exciting races of the year when he battled it out with then HB team-mates Teemu Leino and Jilles Groskamp.  Greinier also took his first ever ENS win at Aigen a year earlier and comes into the weekend fresh from winning another German National title.  Due to his busy schedule of both the nitro and then the electric touring car World Championships, reigning champion Groskamp will miss Austria leaving the 2015 winner Leino to head a no less strong Team Infinity line-up. Having given Team Infinity their first ENS win at Round 2 in Germany in June, Leino is joined in 1:10 by Francesco Tironi and Worlds finalist Carmine Raiola.  Winner of the season opener, Dirk Wischnewski heads the Shepherd challenge along with Ettlingen podium finisher Patrick Nahr.  At Mugen Erik Dankel can be expected to be in the mix for the win while Xray will be looking to Leo Arnold for a good result.

Having made the first two rounds look easy, and shown he’s not just quick in 1:8 but also in 1:10 with his Nitro Touring Car Worlds podium finish, a win in Aigen would clinch a second ENS title for Kurzbuch.  Having lost the title to Dario Balestri last year, it is the 1:10 World Championship Top Qualifier who is expected to be the Shepherd driver’s biggest rival.  The Capricorn driver didn’t have a good weekend in Aigen last year but will be no less determined to add his first win as the reigning champion there this year. Top Qualifier on the last visit to Austria, Robert Pietsch will be aiming for a similar performance as he tries to make up for a very disappointing Round 2 where the 2011 World Champion didn’t even make the final.

Lamberto Collari will make his first visit to the Aigen track for an ENS encounter, the 9-time World Champion looking to lead Team Infinity’s quest for a first win as a manufacturer.   Elsewhere, star of Ettlingen Toni Gruber will be looking to back up his second place with another podium finish for ARC.  At Serpent, Merlin Depta will lead the team’s efforts with him hoping he can finally finish at least in the same position he qualifies, the first two finals of the year proving difficult for the personable German. Round 3 of the ENS will feature controlled tyres from Hot Race, with Italian tyre company’s owner Nicola Marrone racing himself in Aigen.


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