September 30, 2017

Greiner claims early ENS TQ for 1:10 return

Having not raced 1:10 in this season’s Euro Nitro Series, Dominic Greiner has returned at the season finale to endorse with authority just why he is the World Champion of the nitro touring car class.  The Serpent driver claimed his 6th ENS career TQ in Fiorano when he made it 3 from 3 in the penultimate round of qualifying. Becoming Top Qualifier he is the only driver who will have started an 1:10 A-Final from pole position every season since the championship was created in 2014. Providing the main challenge to Greiner has been the Xray pairing of Bruno Coelho and Alessio Mazzeo but both drivers have admitted they have struggled to match the German’s pace.

Enjoying being back racing in 1:10 having taking time out to prepare for the recent 1:8 World Championships saying ‘I know this class better’, Greiner said, ‘I’m happy with the result but the car set-up is still not perfect’.  With a difference in tyre batches throwing drivers a curveball in the opening round of qualifying the 2-time ENS race winner hasn’t been able to get his 748 Natrix back to the feeling it had when he topped the final seeding practice. He said, ‘the car is fast but I’m not super happy with the feeling yet so we will test some things in tomorrow’s final practice’. With the Novarossi backed driver able to use the final qualifier as a test session, he used the track time to run a different engine which he plans to use in tomorrow’s 45-minute main.  On strategy, he said, ‘Without a tyre stop is not possible but I need to check with Thomas (Günsel) how the wear is and then we can decided what we will do’.

Able to take the final qualifier from Xray team-mate David Loppini, Mazzeo having issues, Coelho said 1:10 is a similar situation to his form in 1:8.  The Champion elect said, ‘Q3 was a super clean round but I had no chance against Dominic.  The car feels OK but it is just slow compared to him’.  With little more to say on the matter he concluded, ‘we have to find something for the final but I don’t know what it is’.

Securing 3rd on the grid with the third qualifier his fastest run of the day, Mazzeo said, ‘that one was quite OK.  The car was fast but it was very hard to drive consistent for 4-minutes.  It was on the limit of a mistake all the time’.  He added, ‘Dominic is very fast at this track as always and we have to find a set-up that gives me confidence to push in the final tomorrow’.  Asked his thoughts on tyre wear, the former European Champion replied, ‘It is strange, I think the wear depends on the sets of tyres you will get because there are differences in the tyres we are using this weekend’.  A driver who would like to see a move away from a single tyre supplier saying the different tyre manufacturers should be able to race one another to prove their products he said, ‘I think everyone will have do one stop in the final’.

Claiming his best ENS starting position, fourth, Loppini said the tyre situation has him ‘going crazy’.  Having improved his car for the second qualifier after everyone struggled with difficult cars for Q1, he said described the third run as ‘shit’.  He said, ‘I had no grip in the rear for first 2-minutes and then for the last 2-minutes I had no grip in the front. The tyres are are a lottery’.  Maintaining his record of having made the A-Main every year at Fiorano, he said while happy with the result of qualifying his concern is whether he will be lucky with his tyres for the final and he hopes for the final practice he can find two sets of tyres that are equal and work with his set-up.

Behind Loppini, Shepherd’s Thilo Tödtmann will line up 5th helped by a P4 run in the final qualifier. Coming into the weekend holding second in the championship standings, the German is looking good to finish as Vice Champion with 3rd placed Marco Kaufmann qualifying for the B but still able to bump up and 4th place Leo Arnold opting to race 1:8 here in Italy.  Tödtmann’s team-mate Eduardo Escandon completes the top half of the grid, the Spaniard ending off a disappointing qualifying with an encouraging Top 3 run in the final qualifier.  Behind the ENS Germany podium finisher young Italian Manuel Strano lines up 7th.

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