Dominic Greiner has secured the overall TQ at the season finale of the Euro Nitro Series again taking the second round of qualifying in Fiorano. The Serpent driver became the fourth different Top Qualifier of the season after topping the Q2 times ahead of Top Qualifiers of the last two races Erik Dankel and Teemu Leino. Top Qualifier of the event last year but lasting just 3-minutes in the final before suffering a conrod failure, today’s TQ marks Greiner’s first of the season with the World Champion determined to convert it into his first win of the season this time round. Unfortunately for this season’s other Top Qualifier, Round 1 pole sitter Bruno Coelho was to again suffer engine wows and failed to start the qualifier and with 2 out 3 heats to count it means the Portuguese driver is going to need a good run of bump ups if he is to stand a chance of making tomorrow’s A-Main.
The ENS’ most successful qualifier, this his fifth TQ in the championship’s 12 race history, Greiner was pleased to claim the TQ a round early but only described his Q2 performance as ‘OK’ adding it ‘it was a close qualifying again’. Topping the times by 4/10th, the World Champion said his Novarossi powered 748 WC Edition ‘was a bit loose in the rear’ adding ‘Teemu had the same problem’. Putting this down to the fact ‘the track changed a bit from yesterday’, the German said now that the TQ was wrapped up they could use the final qualifier to try improve the car for the conditions. One item he is considering testing a a new prototype bodyshell from Xtreme Aerodynamics. With rain limiting track time with no dry running on Thursday and then just two dry practice rounds on Friday, he said they hadn’t had the chance to test it so its something he would like to compare to the SRC Spark he has run so far. In terms of the final, he said ‘without a tyre change is not possible but we need more running to calculate tyre wear because so far we have only been able to measure twice (the two qualifiers). He concluded, ‘everything else is fine and like always run time is no issue’.
‘Without mistake this time’ was how Dankel summed up Q2. The Mugen driver was on TQ but said when pitman Robert Pietsch told him he was on a ‘super good run’ he started to push too hard causing him to lose time. The 2014 Champion felt he also had a better set of tyres saying the set he had in Q1, in which he was only P12, left the car to understeer in one direction and oversteer in the other. One of the contenders for this year’s title, the German said for Q3 he will ‘change nothing’ and instead ‘just make no mistakes’. Happy with his ORCAN powered MTX6R, he said his ‘main problem is I push too hard and then start to make mistakes, the car is fine and I just need to drive it’.
‘It felt absolutely loose, in the warm-up I spin three times’, was Leino’s reaction after Q2. The only driver this season to back up a TQ with victory, he continued, ‘it was better in the race but still loose and I had one spin’. Putting the lower traction down to ‘the weather change’ it a much sunnier day today in Fiorano, he said the problem was also compounded by a set-up change after Q1 to give his Team Infinity more steering. He will go back to his Q1 set-up for the final qualifier saying it gave him a ‘more safe car’ which would also be better for the longer final.
Posting the fourth fastest time, Serpent’s Alessio Mazzeo said, ‘I don’t have a good feeling with the car’. Having changed his set-up he said this caused his Gimar powered 748 to ‘lose stability in the chicane and mid corner’. Describing the car as ‘difficult’ adding ‘there is less grip now’, the Vice-World Champion said he initially pushed to try and run with Greiner but he was competitive leading to a mistake after which he decided to just finish the qualifier to make sure he made the A-Main. For the final qualifier, last year’s race winner plans to run ‘a completely different set-up’.
Championship leader Dirk Wischnewski would take his Shepherd to the sixth fastest time behind Italian Xray driver David Loppini despite a late mistake. The winner of the season opener in Bologna, he said, ‘I was running one second behind Dominic and it was going quite ok but then I had a mistake that lost me 2-seconds’. He continued ‘Anyway I got two runs and I’m in the final which was my first goal. Look at Bruno (Coelho) he had two bad runs which leaves him nowhere’. Describing his car as ‘still not super perfect but OK’ for the final qualifier he will try a different diff and anti roll bar set-up to try to ‘improve the overall set-up’ adding the lack of practice had made it hard to try something big up to now. Behind Wischnewski, reigning champion Jilles Groskamp would get a P7 for the round.