Chassis – Mugen MRX5 WC Engine – Picco EMX WC Fuel – Maxima Tires (handout) – Hot Race Tyres Radio/Servo – Sanwa Body – Protoform PFR18 Remarks – The 2011 World Champion and Mugen designer is running some new parts on his MRX5 WC here in Fiorano. On the rear he is using upper links instead of the standard wishbone and so is using a new stronger lower wishbone which has a beefier design and a harder material to prevent flex in the rear end. The upper links, which will be included in the upcoming new release from Mugen, is more re active than the standard configuration due to less friction using a ball instead of the hinge pin. The German who tested here 2 weeks ago has made very little changes to his base set-up apart from using more progressive springs all around from the 1/10th scale car on his 1/8th. One neat feature is the trim tab screw in the front bumper which supports the front of the body and helps to prevent the body from breaking in this area.
Dario Balestri completed a perfect first day at the Euro Nitro Series in Fiorano taking his Capricorn to the top of the time sheets once again in the second round of 1:10 qualifying. Taking almost a second off his Q1 pace, the Italian topped Q2 by 2 seconds from a much improved Serpent of Dominic Greinier. Having been unhappy with his 748 in the opening qualifier, Greiner said it was better following a series of set-up changes but he ended up over driving. Completing just three laps in Q1, the ENS’ only double race winner Erik Dankel would take his Capricorn to the third fastest time 3/10ths off Greiner.
Just missing out on a 15-lap run, Shepherd pairing Dirk Wischnewski and Francesco Tironi posted the fourth & fifth fastest times respectively. Curing the gearbox issues he suffered in the first qualifier, Silvio Hachler completed the Top 6. Also changing to thinner oil in the front diff of his KM Racing H-K1, the 22-year-old said he had improved steering but saving his good Novarossi engines for the upcoming World Championship in Thailand he said his struggle in the power department compared to his rivals. Behind the Swiss driver Euro B Champion Thilo Todtmann posted the seventh fastest time ahead of the Xray of Mario Spiniello.
Euro Nitro Series 1:8 title contender Robert Pietsch took the first round of qualifying at the season finale in Italy, the Mugen driver topping the times from Lamberto Collari. As was the form at the end of practice, Pietsch’s only title rival Simon Kurzbuch completed the Top 3, the Shepherd driver 1.1-seconds off the TQ pace.
‘Not overly happy with my driving’ was how Pietsch summed up the start to qualifying despite posting a TQ run. The top seed for qualifying, the German would make a mistake on his opening lap that would drop him to third. Forced to push hard to make back up the lost time he said this wasn’t ideal but setting the fastest lap of the round he was able to recover. Very happy with his prototype parts equipped MRX-5, he felt his ‘engine was maybe a little rich’ and on inspecting the car afterwards he thinks this could have been due to an issue with a kink in his fuel tubing. Planning to leave the set-up as is for tomorrow morning’s Q2, the former World Champion said the main thing was to drive better.
Less than 3/10ths off Pietsch, Collari declared his first qualifier as ‘good’. Opting to run his OS Speed powered Mugen MRX-5 the same as in the final practice, the Italian will for his second qualifier run a lighter shock oil. Describing the car as feeling a ‘little loose’ on the hand-out Hot Race tyres he hopes the change will make the car more balanced and improve the feeling he has with it.
Having struggled in the final controlled practice, Kurzbuch said he managed to improve his Shepherd and to open qualifying with a Top 3 was a good starting point. Having made ‘a lot of driver errors’ over the 4-minutes, the Swiss driver said he was surprised to end up only one & a half seconds off Pietsch having expected the gap to be much more. Planning to make some fine adjustments to his Velox V8, he said that combined with an improvement from the driver should see him more competitive in Q2.
Having gambled on changing bodyshell for qualifying, Andrea Lorenzi said it paid off allowing the Shepherd driver to post the 4th fastest time. The Italian said the Zytech Ginetta body gave him the extra steering he was looking for at the end of practice and he will continue to run it tomorrow. The 21-year-old said overall it was a good run but not being completely happy with the clutch setting on his Velox V8 in Q1 he thinks there is still more to come.
Running a self designed prototype push rod front suspension system on his BMT chassis, Daniele Ielasi posted the fifth fastest time. Planning to release the front end as an optional part under his own Ielasi Tuning brand, he said the inboard shocks layout gives the 984 greater front stability. Having only raced it previously on a track with low grip he said it is proving even more effective here on the high traction. Commenting he still has a lot to testing to do to get the most from it, he said his big focus for this weekend is his own championship battle for 3rd overall and finishing Q1 ahead of Oliver Mack, with whom he is having that battle, leaves him ‘very happy’ with Day 1 of the the event.
Completing the Top 6, factory Shepherd driver Mack said his car was very good but power was again a problem something he believes is a combination of a bad clutch and his exhaust. Having used his standard clutch set-up he said either he did something wrong building it or its just a bad clutch. With Edo Picco giving him a new engine for Q2 he said he will fit a brand new clutch to it as well as running a different pipe.
Setting the seventh fastest time, Alberto Picco declared he was so far 90% there. Making one driver error, he said he was very happy with his engine speed, registering a top speed of 110 kph, but looking for more traction from his MRX-5 he said they still needed to ‘fix a few details’ with the car. Behind Picco, Mugen’s Rick Vrielijnck posted the 8th fastest time followed by Hot Race tyres owner Nicola Marrone’s Serpent and young Swiss driver Noah Asenddorf.
Dario Balestri backed up his blistering practice pace by TQ’ing the opening round of qualifying on Day 1 of the Euro Nitro Series season finale at Fiorano in Italy. The Capricorn driver was the only one to complete 15-laps of the Mini Autodromo Jody Scheckter circuit with fellow countryman Francesco Tironi just missing out on the 15-laps to post the 2nd fastest time. A round that would see Balestri team-mate & champion elect Eric Dankel retire after 3 laps due to broken exhaust springs, Serpent’s Dominic Greiner would complete the Top 3.
Asked if it was a perfect opening qualifier, Balestri said ‘perfect is very hard but the run was good’ despite some traffic issues. ‘Very happy’ with how his new C03 and XRD engine ran, him being the only driver to run regular 16-second laps, he said the run had the potential to be faster but he chose to run a brand new set of the Hot Race controlled tyres. Set to leave his car unchanged, the 2-time European 200mm Champion will run a set of tyres he scrubbed-in in controlled practice in Q2 which he said should further improve his pace.
The only other driver to set a 16-second lap time in Q1, which was almost 2/10ths off Balestri’s best, Tironi said his Shepherd was worse than in practice. Having went for a slightly harder front shock, he will revert to the light 500w oil he ran in practice as well as making some additional changes to try and make his Velox V10 easier to drive. He said while his car wasn’t good the most important point was that he open up qualifying with a 2nd which is important for the ENS qualifying format which sees points from the best 3 of 5 rounds counting rather than nitro racing’s traditional outright fastest time.
‘A horrible run’ was how Greiner summed up Q1, the German describing his 748 as being ‘like a Mustang to drive’ as it had ‘no steering’. While Serpent designer Michael Salven feels a change of bodyshell is the issue, Greiner still running a lightweight Spark body, but one with a lot less paint, the Round 2 Race winner & Round 3 Top Qualifier will make a radical set-up change for Q2. With the car ‘terrible for the first 3-minutes’, he will change the rear diff, camber, ant-roll bars and go back to a front bumper with no holes in it.
Xray’s Mario Spiniello posted the fourth fastest time, the Italian saying he went for a ‘safe first run’. Having struggled for steering in practice a change to a lighter front diff improved this for Q1. Still looking to get a bit more steering from his NT1, having run the front anti roll bar at 45 degrees for Q2 he will change it to flat.
While his ‘pace was so so’, Dirk Wischnewski said the run was ‘bad’. On lap 9 of 14 while running a Top 3 pace, the Shepherd driver made a mistake coming onto the straight resulting in an 18-second lap. Describing the run as ‘not a good start’, he said while he doesn’t have the pace to TQ, his car is capable of Top 3 runs. For Q2 he will go to a lighter oil in the front diff of his Orcan powered Velox V10 in the hope of finding more steering.
Running Capricorn’s C02 chassis as University exams prevented him from testing with the new C03, David Loppini completed the Top 6. The 20-year-old from Rome said his practice pace was hampered by his low heat listing but having been reseeded to heat 2 he was better able to focus on his driving. Switching to softer shock and diff oils for the first qualifier he said this also helped improve the feeling of his G-Mar powered car.
KM Racing’s Silvio Hachler posted the seventh fastest time despite a problem with second gear. Starting the run off working as he set it, the Swiss driver said towards the end it started to shift early. Reasonably happy with the handling of his Novarossi powered HK-1 saying it was better than practice but with room to improve, for Q2 he will run the second gear from his spare car.
Chassis – Capricorn Lab C03 Engine – XRD F12 Fuel – Maxima Tires (handout) – Hot Race Tyres Radio/Servo – Sanwa/AME Body – Protoform SRS Remarks – Double ENS round winner Eric Dankel is running the Capricorn Lab C03 here in Fiorano, a car with a number of important updates over its predecessor. The radio plate, through the removal of 2 screws, can be transformed into a floating version, a feature that is more common in 1/8th scale. Through the use of eccenters in the front and rear blocks the diffs can be adjusted higher or lower which changes the feeling of the car on the track. A single piece ARB on the front, changed from the previous multi piece version, has less play and also allows the car to have more corner speed while a new coated chassis plate, with adjustable servo saver mount, helps adjust Ackermann. A new much needed radio box is now included and new shock absorbers all around are easier to build and smoother due to the new way they are assembled. In terms of setup Eric has just made the car harder than his standard setup due to the higher grip here compared to his home track in Germany.