October 18, 2014

Chassis Focus – Dirk Wischnewski

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Chassis – Shepherd Velox V10 Pro
Engine – Orcan GT3
Fuel – Maxima
Tires (handout) – Hot Race Tyres
Radio/Servo – Sanwa/Futaba
Body – SRC Spark
Remarks – Former European Champion Dirk Wischnewski is running the basic Velox V10 Pro with some option parts as well as some new prototype parts. Up front there is a new servo saver Ackermann plate which is narrower than the standard version and which helps give the car more steering. There is also a new monoblock engine mount which stiffens the area around the engine to again help give the car more steering. In terms of setup it is based on his European Championship setup from earlier in the year at Valencia with harder front springs and a softer front diff.

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October 18, 2014

Collari fastest in Q2

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Lamberto Collari got Day 2 of the Euro Nitro Series in Fiorano underway by posting the fastest time in the second round of qualifying at the championship’s season finale. Q2 saw a reversal of yesterday evening’s opening qualifier order with Collari topping the round from Q1 pace setter Robert Pietsch.  Behind the two ENS race winners Alberto Picco made it an all Mugen Top 3.  Unfortunately for title contender Simon Kurzbuch and Shepherd team-mate Oliver Mack it was not a good morning with Kurzbuch struggling to the 16th fastest time and Mack retiring with a gearbox bearing failure.

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Changing to lighter oil in the shocks of his OS Speed powered MRX-5, Collari said his car was ‘better’ and overall he was pleased with his run with no major dramas over the 4-minutes. Happy now that he has got his car dialled in to the handout Hot Race tyres being used for this event, he said now they can work on small details such as weight distribution. Setting the fastest lap of the round, the 9-time World Champion said they will work towards a longer race set-up but this would not involve any big changes.

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Pietsch said, ‘yesterday my car was not good in the morning and its the same today’.  Only 0.284 off Collari, he said he lost time at the end of the run with a slower car he could not get passed but overall his main problem was that his Picco powered MRX-5 was a lack of steering.  Trying to get around the problem by adding more brake during the warm-up he said this left the car more difficult to drive.  For Q3 the championship contender will leave his set-up as is opting to wait for the track to come to the car rather than go making changes and ending up with oversteer.

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‘Not really clean’ was how Picco summed up his second qualifier.  With ‘a few laps not consistent’, the Italian said this was more his problem than the cars.  Having had a tough practice which left him to be reseeded in the second fastest heat, he said this is also costing him time with it harder to get a clean run.  Describing his MRX-5 as a little nervous he said as the track warms up he will lose steering so rather than change set-up he will wait as the car should for Q3 match the track conditions.

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WRC designer and driver Andrea Pirani would take his close to production GTX to the fourth fastest time.  Having struggled in Q1 with a lack of rear traction, a change to heavier oil in the rear shocks, WRC now producing their own shocks, had made the car ‘a lot better’. With traction he said now he needs to work on improving steering.  In terms of his prototype car, Pirani said with 98% of the parts now WRC’s own design the first production kits are set to go on sale in 2-weeks time.

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Having made contact with Pietsch in Q1 which cost him 3-seconds, Mirko Salemi had a clean second qualifier to post the 5th fastest time.  The BP Racing team driver ran his RS4 the same as in Q1 and plans to continue with it as is again for Q3. Describing the car as ‘decent’ he said it could be better but with a bad first round he needs another two good runs and making a set-up change now would be a gamble.  Edgy in the cool morning conditions he said it should get better as the day gets warmer.

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Completing the Top 6,  Daniele Ielasi said his qualifier ‘was ok’ despite one mistake at the chicane.  The BMT driver said his RB engine was a little too lean and looking for a little more steering he will make a change to the prototype push rod front suspension set-up of his 984.

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Behind Ielasi, Rick Vrielijnck posted the 7th fastest time, the Dutch driver struggling after a positive showing in practice.  Having been slow in Q1 and not sure why, the Mugen/Picco driver struggled with consistency this morning and plans to make some front end set-up changes for the next round saying the track is constantly changing and they need to adapt better to that.

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Championship leader Kurzbuch said with his Velox V8 lacking steering during the warm-up, he reduced the rear wing and added more brake to try alleviate the problem.  The Swiss driver said the changes were too much and he struggled with the rear end of the car breaking loose under braking.

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October 18, 2014

Chassis Focus – Robert Pietsch

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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.

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October 17, 2014

Q2 Update – Another TQ run from Balestri

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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.

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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.

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October 17, 2014

Pietsch takes first qualifier in Italy

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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