After his DNF in Germany, Bruno Coelho has moved back to the top of the Euro Nitro Series standings with a dominant 1:10 win at Round 3 of the championship in Austria. Taking his third TQ start of the season at Aigen, the Xray driver controlled the race from start to finish, even with his rivals getting a second chance after the first attempt at running the 45-minute encounter was stopped by a rain shower. In the first running, second place qualifier Leo Arnold would suffer a flame out while Thilo Tödtmann would lose drive due to a loose set screw. With cars struggling to make it around the track due to the passing shower, the race was stopped but having just failed to reach 25% distance it meant a complete rerun, luckily for Arnold and Tödtmann. After a wait to allow the track to dry, Coelho led the field away again and never looked back while behind Tödtmann made good use of his second life to secure second with Marco Kaufmann completing the podium as Arnold again had engine issues.
Only missing out on taking all six qualifiers through his own driving error in Q4, allowing team-mate Arnold to take the round, Coelho summed up his final by saying, ‘Everything worked perfect, the tyre change, refuelling, everything’. He continued, ‘We came here for first place because the last race was bad for me and I need to drop a 10th place. The TQ & win are good for the championship and we will try to do the same at the last one. We need to get the title.’
‘I’m a lucky guy’, was Tödtmann’s reaction to his second place. Explaining his issue in the first running of the final, the Shepherd driver said, ‘the set screw came loose in the pulley. I always check them before the race but I will double check them for the future’. On the race proper, the German described it as ‘a safe final’. Choosing to change just the outside tyres, the new surface having very little wear, he said everything worked really good and with a comfortable gap over 3rd place he could drive easy to the finish. A podium finisher last year in Aigen, when he was third for Capricorn, second is his best ENS finish which he said is great for his first season with Shepherd and also after just missing out on bumping up to the Main final at the European Championships in France last week.
Making it two podiums in a row having claimed his first ENS Top 3 at Ettlingen, Kaufmann said the result in Aigen was ‘for sure not bad’. The Xray driver continued, ‘I tried to crash with nobody and do my own race and it paid off in the end’. Like Tödtmann, Coelho changing all four tyres, the German only changed his outside tyres 13-minutes into the race. With a comfortable lead over Gerhard Kandelhart who would finish fourth, he said ‘I was 1-lap up on 4th so at the end I knew I just had to keep the car on the track and I would be safe to the end’.