May 20, 2017

Escandon TQ’s 2nd qualifier at ENS season opener

Eduardo Escandon has TQ’d the second round of qualifying at the season opener of the Euro Nitro Series in France.  The Spaniard, who had transponder issues in Q1 but was later credited with a P5, topped the Q2 times from Leo Arnold with Kyle Branson once again completing the Top 3.  With Q1 pace setter Bruno Coelho get hit by Eric Dankel on the last lap while on a target for a second TQ run, it was the Shepherd of Escandon who had the best pace to take advantage of the incident to finish just 7/100th up on Arnold.  Having opened his ENS account as an Xray driver backing up Coelho for a 1-2 in Q1, like his team-mate it looked like another good run but half way through the Italian would make a ‘stupid mistake’ hitting the curbing in a slow corner and flipping his car.  After a tough opening round, Q2 would prove more positive for reigning champion Teemu Leino as the Infinity driver posted the 5th fastest time behind Dankel.

Having made the switch from KM Racing to join Shepherd over the off season, Escandon was clearly pleased not just with his TQ run but also with his new team.  Asked how the event was going, he replied, ‘I’m really happy with my new car and team are really good people to work with’.  Having ‘played safe’ on his Q1 run, the second round would not start so well as he had a mistake on the first lap but putting in clean laps for the remainder of the 4-minutes he was ‘really happy’ to post the TQ time.  Now with ‘two good runs’ that will lock him into tomorrow’s 45-minute A-Main, he said, ‘I a still discussing it with my mechanic but as I am safe in the A-main I will make a little change to see if we can get a little more steering’.

Having lacked rear traction in Q1, Arnold said, ‘the car was much better and had more traction but now the problem was I had a super shit setting on the clutch’.  Setting the fastest lap of Q2, the Frenchman said ‘with this right it should be even better for the next one’.  Another driver with two runs that will put him up towards the front of the A-man grid, he also plans to test for other changes in the remaining two rounds. Asked what happened to him in Q2, team-mate Coelho replied, ‘I was taken out by Dankel’.  He continued, ‘he said I had got sideways but everyone watching said he took me out, anyway the car was still good so its no problem’.

‘I would say it was a bit better’ was how Branson summed up his car after Q2.  Making changes to his Capricorn, he said it now had more steering and while harder to drive overall the steering ‘felt pretty nice’.  For Q3, the World Championship finalist will ‘work on getting more on power traction’.

Having set the pace in Thursday practice, Dankel said, ‘the car was better before the rain’.  The ENS’ inaugural champion, the Mugen driver who suffered a 3-second mistake in Q1 felt they improved the car for Q2 however in the last corner before the straight he can feel nothing with no feedback from the car as to what it is doing’. Asked about his incident with Coelho, the German said, ‘I let him by at the previous corner and then in the next corner he was slower and I just nudged him. There was no body tuck’.

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