Dominic Greiner looks to be having no issue picking up where he left off in the Euro Nitro Series, with 1:10 class returnee topping seeding at the season finale in Italy. The Serpent driver, whose last ENS outing in 1:10 was at the same venue 12-months ago when he took the TQ and victory, set the fastest 3-consecutive laps in the second of the two controlled practices. As in free practice Bruno Coelho, who was quickest after CP1, was his closest rival with Alessio Mazzeo completing the Top 3. Returning to racing after a 5-month break, Italian David Loppini made it three Xrays in the Top 6, seeding P4 ahead of WRC’s Toni Gruber and Mugen’s Dirk Wischnewski.
Having struggled with his car in the first controlled practice, ending up second fastest between Coelho and Mazzeo, Greiner said, ‘we changed completely the set-up between rounds. In the first one it was not easy to drive so we went back to a set-up from yesterday and went harder in the shock oil. With this it was stable and easy to drive. The only thing that could have been better was the engine tuning. It was a bit too rich but overall I am happy, we are good now for qualifying tomorrow’.
‘We still need to work a little in the car’ was how Coelho reacted to finishing up second fastest. The Championship leader adding, ‘it is missing steering off power but we found a problem afterwards so that should fix this and improve the corner speed’. Chasing his first ENS title to complete the E triple crown having already become ETS and EOS Champion, the Portuguese driver wasn’t happy with his registered time which was 2/10ths off Greiner’s pace, saying ‘I didn’t get three good laps because I was always making mistakes but with better steering I think tomorrow will be better’.
With the track proving quicker for CP2, Mazzeo would end up 3rd with his opening time after an early mistake in the second run left him with a chunked rear right tyre causing his car to be loose in the rear. The Italian said, ‘The car is very good once the tyre is not broken and it is very consistent so we are looking good for qualifying’.
Loppini was pleased with his P4 seeding saying having not raced for 5 months his main focus so far was on getting back the feeling for driving. Having made the final of the ENS Season Finale on all three previous occasions, the 23-year-old said his car is now good after they did a lot of work with the rear diff to find a good solution to giving him a safe but fast car. Looking to further fine tune his 2017 NT1, he will switch from the traditional front anti-roll bar to the blade set-up for the first qualifier as well as change to a harder clutch spring to get more initial punch from his engine.
‘Now it works better’, was European Champion Gruber’s reaction after seeding. The German said changing to a softer rear diff had made his car more stable contributing to a better overall balance. Focusing now on improving the steering, he will adjust the top chassis flex, move the chassis weight from the front to the rear position as well as make a caster change.