Having cancelled Day 1 of the event yesterday due to rain, qualifying finally got underway at Round 2 of the new Euro Nitro Series in Aigen, Austria, with Shepherd’s Francesco Tironi taking Q1 ahead of Serpent’s Dominic Greiner and Round 1 race winner Eric Dankel. Tyres was very much the name of the game on the wet track, a set of soft Matrix tyres giving Tironi a distinct advantage, the Italian also recording the fastest lap of 21.287 which was half a second faster than that of Greiner.
Runner-up at the ENS season opener in Melzo, Italy, Tironi said conditions mean racing is all about having the right tyres and luckily for him his tyres which he said were in the range of 20 to 25 shore gave him a ‘good solution’ for delayed opening qualifier. Running a standard airfilter on his Novarossi engine, most of his rivals running some sort of modified filter for the damp conditions, the World Championship podium finisher said the only changes he made to his Velox V10 for the ‘humid conditions’ was to stand up the shock positions and switch to softer springs. For Q2 he said he will only fit a new dry air filter and just wait to see how the track is before choosing what tyre he will use.
Having tried foam tyres on his new 748 Natrix in practice, Greiner said he switched to an old set of Pitshimitzu for Q1 but the track was too dry for the rubber. Having mixed it with Tironi early on in the 4-minute qualifier for the TQ pace, he said his rival had ‘so much more grip’ adding ‘I don’t know how’ he did. Running an ultra low heat sink on his Picco engine, he said if the track continues to dry he will run foams for Q2 but ultimately he would like the track to become a little more wet as he believes on the rubber tyres which are mounted over an old set of foam tyres his car is really good. In terms of set-up he said in these conditions it played little or no part in the performance.
‘Luckily I survived’ was Dankel’s response to his run. Having lasted just four corners in his first practice run of the day due to water getting into his receiver, he said he just drove around and to get third from that he was ‘so happy’. Running a very soft foam tyre he said he is contemplating running a rubber Dunlop wet in Q2 but said he needs to wait to see how the track conditions are nearer the time.
Making a return to onroad nitro racing at ENS Round 1 where he made the A-Main, Denmark’s Martin Lissau claimed the fourth fastest time in Q1. 14 seconds off Dankel’s pace, the Shepherd driver said ‘its all a matter of having the right tyres’. Running a set of rubber 28 Sorex tyres that he had left over from some electric touring car racing he did over the winter, he said at the start they were ok but once the drivers on foam tyres got moisture into their tyres they just pulled clear. Asked about his tyre choice for Q2, the former 1:5 World Champion said himself and his mechanic Tommy Vinge were now going on a ‘treasure hunt’ adding that Shepherd had only one set joking that they might just have to steal them.
‘Wrong tyres’ was how Dirk Wischnewski summed up his uneventful run to the 5th fastest time. The former European Champion said it was ‘a clean qualifier, but just too slow’. Using a rubber tyre, the German said the conditions at the time of the run better suited foam, it having dried quite a bit from practice.
Elsewhere, Dario Balestri would manage only the 10th fastest time, the Italian openly admitting he is ‘not prepared for these conditions’. Like many of his rivals the Capricorn driver tested foam tyres in practice and then switched to rubber for the qualifier this turning out to be a bad call. Top Qualifier at the season opener HB’s Teemu Leino was forced to sit out running on the wet track due to a lack of suitable tyres.
1:10 Qualifying Round 1 times
1. Francesco Tironi – Shepherd/Novarossi – 11/4:00.704
2. Dominic Greiner – Serpent/Picco – 11/4:05.497
3. Eric Dankel – Capricorn/Maxima – 11/4:07.775
4. Martin Lissau – Shepherd/Reds Racing – 11/4:22.129
5. Dirk Wischnewski – Shepherd/Orcan – 11/4:22.713
6. Leonardo Varga – Shepherd/Orcan – 11/4:24.066
7. Patrick Schafer – Shepherd/Sonic – 10/4:01.345
8. Franz Engel – Shepherd/Orcan – 10/4:04.469
9. Bernd Rausch – Shepherd/Orion – 10/4:11.829
10.Dario Balestri – Capricorn/XRD – 10/4:13.240
Track Name – Aigen-Schlägl Club – Modell Auto Verein Aigen-Schlägl Country – Austria Location – Aigen-Schlägl (50km Northwest of Linz) Direction – Clockwise Surface – Asphalt Previous key events hosted – Kyosho World Cup (2008), European B Championship 1:10 (2008) and 1:8 (2013)
Round 2 of the Euro Nitro Series takes places in Austria at the Aigen-Schlägl track. Nestled in the hilly Austrian countryside the track is 602 metres above sea level and is situated in the North of the country just 10km from the German border and 7Km from the Czech Republic. Built in 2006 on land donated by the governments of both Aigen and Schlägl, the club, ‘Modell Auto Verein Aigen-Schlägl’, funded the building of the track with money raised from local businesses whose banners line the 290 metre long track. With around 70 active members the club is predominantly a nitro club although it does also regularly attract around 30 electric racers. Host of two European B Championships, the track’s biggest event has been the 2008 Kyosho World Cup. With a very welcoming staff looking after the ENS racers needs this weekend, club President Martin Mayrhofer was keen to highlight that the track is always open and visitors are always welcome to come and avail of the track for testing.
Featuring a 65 metre long straight in terms of the layout which rises by 5 degree, Mugen/Picco team driver Robert Pietsch said the biggest challenge of the track is the gearbox set-up. A previous race winner at Aigen-Schlägl, the German said with the gearbox good up the hill on the downhill it changes too early but he said its impossible to get a good balance. He said driving the downhill section you feel you can carry more speed than you can and its important to get off the throttle in time or it leaves you wrong for the chicane. He added the line through the chicane is key to a good lap as getting it wrong leaves you slow for the following two corners. Describing it as a fun track to drive, he said on a dry track, something we will hopefully get to see this weekend, the traction levels are medium but with the asphalt rather abrasive he said tyre wear is pretty high.
Unfortunately there has been no let up in the rain that caused the cancellation of Day 1 of the Euro Nitro Series but today the decision has been made that racing will go ahead albeit with a much reduced programme with just 2 qualifiers making up Day 2’s action. With the first of those qualifiers getting underway at 13:00 local time, the morning will see the running of two rounds of optional controlled practice. The knock on effect of the weather is that tomorrow’s schedule will see two further qualifiers, 2 of 4 to count, followed by reduced length Mains.
The organisers of the Euro Nitro Series have opted to cancel Day 1 of the second round of the championship in Aigen, Austria, due to rain. A dry but cold track greeted drivers this morning but just after the 1:8 drivers took to the track for the first of their rounds of open practice, the 1:10 racers having got to complete their run, the first shower of the day arrived. Waiting to let the rain pass the weather was to further deteriorate with the Race Director making the call at lunch time to cancel today’s programme and give racers the time to prepare wet cars for tomorrow. With most of the racers having enjoyed plenty of dry running yesterday, Day 2 will start irrespective of it being a wet or dry track with the first of four rounds of qualifying. The track remains open today for an drivers wishing to get in some wet practice but the majority of racers are retiring to their hotels.
Chassis – Hot Bodies R8 Engine – Orion CRF R21 Fuel – Runner Time Tires (handout) – Contact Radio/Servos – Futaba/Orion Body – Matrix R18
Remarks – After his debut in the ENS season in 200mm class, former World Champion Adrien Bertin has switched to running 1/8th scale here in Aigen, with a pre-production example of the Hot Bodies R8. Having tested the car for two afternoons on his home track, he said the feeling was great from the beginning and that led to his decision to race it here. He talked us through the car’s design, pointing out what Miyashita’s main goals were. First of all, he wanted to obtain a nice flex on the car without losing any precision, so he focused on designing a radio tray that would allow that. Adrien himself pointed out the importance of the flex highlighting that the missing screw on top of his servo saver made a huge difference, giving the car more steering while reducing a bit its reactivity. He was also delighted with the many adjustments allowed in both the front and rear end. Back to the radio tray, its design is a key factor in obtaining another goal the Japanese designer was looking to achieve: a lower centre of gravity, of crucial importance to help reduce the roll and make the car faster especially in the direction changes.
Remarks – Dominic Greiner is running a pre-production example of the brand new 200mm car by Serpent, the 748 Natrix, here in Aigen. The car is almost final spec with only some minor tweaks needing to be made before production begins. The car’s designer Michael Salven ran us through the main new features that distinguish this car from its predecessor. The car is lighter, with special attention paid to the weight of the two differential, while the engine has been moved towards the rear end for better weight distribution and can now be removed from the chassis together with its mounts. The radio tray is also new and provides a lower CG and a better weight distribution, the tank being longer and more narrow to bring the servos towards the center of the car. We’ve been told the new shape of the fuel tank also positively affects the engine’s performance. On the rear, the anti-roll bar is now linked further outwards on the suspension arms and is more effective even when using a thinner wire, with its mount also working as as a brake disc guide. At the front a brand new steering block with interchangeable pivot balls mounts and steering braces allow for more adjustments while with flex being a big concern the car now features different possibilities to adjust the car’s overall stiffness.