Second in the opening two qualifiers, Dominic Greiner finally put his Serpent top of the timesheets at Round 3 of the Euro Nitro Series at the Hockenheimring when he set the pace in Q4. Having had engine issues in Q3, the Round 2 race winner would have a perfect run to head the times from HB’s Teemu Leino, who in Q3 produced his second TQ run of the event, with Serpent team-mate Mark Green completing the Top 3 as the sun starts to come back.
‘Perfect’ was how Greiner described his run praising in particular his Picco engine. In Q3 the cooler conditions left the 21-year-old struggling with an engine that was too rich due its large cooling head, that was perfect for yesterday’s much hotter weather, hampering it from get up to full temperature. Changing to an engine with a much smaller cooling head for Q4, he said the tune was perfect something which was highlighted by his fastest lap time for the round. Making an adjustment to the 748 Natrix’s toe-out in the warm-up before the run he said this suited the conditions and for the penultimate qualifier he said he might go a little more for the next one to further improve the cars steering out of the corners.
Having TQ’d Q3 with the fastest time so far, Leino was content with his second in Q4 which moves hime a step closer to his second overall TQ of the season. Happy with his Novarossi powered R10, making no changes to it between the two rounds, the Finn said inconsistencies in the tyres are the biggest factor to a good run adding his Q4 set was not a good one with the front inside tyre wearing excessively compared to the outside. Planning to leave his car the same for the fifth of the six qualifiers, he said he hopes to be able to wrap up the overall TQ a round early.
‘Difficult to beat the professional drivers but I am happy with third’ was Mark Green’s response to his Q4 run. Having also posted the third fastest time in the previous qualifier, the British National Champion said his Serpent 748 Natrix is ‘well in the ball park’ now in terms of set-up and it just needs ‘some fine tuning to get the last bit out of it’. Running on full size unscrubbed tyres, he said the car worked really good and for Q5 he will again go with a new set of the Enneti tyres. With the car ‘very easy to drive’ he said looking forward to tomorrow that means he has a good finals car.
Backing up his TQ in today’s opening round with a second in Q3, Volker could only manage fourth in Q4. With Robert Pietsch changing to softer shock oil in the prototype Mugen MTX-6, Volker said he was ‘suffering a little with the feel of the car’. Lacking a good overall balance he said it was difficult to drive. With Volker very much just the driver this weekend, Pietsch and mechanic Freddy Sudhoff will revert the rear shocks back to how they ran them in Q3 while going for harder oil in the front.
Posting the fifth fastest time Dirk Wischnewski described changes to his Orcan powered Shepherd as a ‘slight improvement’. Changing the front shock position he said it gave him more steering but still not enough. Having what he described as ‘two rough laps’, the former European Champion will continue to make set-up changes in his quest to get rid of the understeer that has hampered him so far.
Making a spectacular finish to the qualifier as he car got airborne after clipping the curbing at the final corner which cause the car to fly into the pitlane, Eric Dankel completed the Top 6. Having been happy with his Melzo winning Maxima powered Capricorn in the morning’s Q2 run, he said it has just gradually gotten worse since then then. With traffic ruining his Q3, him forced over the curbing as he tried to lap a bunch of cars which resulted in him ending up on his roof, he said while the car has good initial steering in the ‘mid corner it is horrible’. Putting much of this down to the changing track conditions for the next run he will try harder shock oil as well as running a fresh set of tyres having ran used last time out.
After a good Q3 when he posted the 4th fastest time, KM Racing Silvio Hachler would DNF in Q4. Suffering from his Novarossi engine running too lean which was particularly apparent at the end of the straight he said this lead him to making a mistake there. Clipping the curbing in the roll the engine in his HK-1 ‘Meen Version’ would cut out.
Robert Pietsch topped the second round of qualifying at Round 3 of the Euro Nitro Series this morning in Germany. The Mugen driver would set a new fastest time at the Hockenheimring with BMT’s Daniele Ielasi, who crashed out of Q1, posting the second quickest time just 7/10th of a second adrift at the end of the 4-minutes. Last night’s Q1 pace setter Simon Kurzbuch completed the Top 3 with his Shepherd followed by team-mates Lars Hoppe and Italy’s Andrea Lorenzi.
Second fastest in Q1 after traffic issues, Pietsch was happy with his TQ run saying he just tried to get a clean run due to the weather looking very much like the possibility of some rain. Describing track conditions as similar to yesterday he said the big difference was with the engines which today are able to run much better due to the cooler conditions. Suffering one ‘small mistake’, he said overall it was a great start to the day for the Mugen team with Ronald Volker TQ’ing the second of the 200mm qualifiers. Looking to get his Picco powered MRX-5 to rotate better on the left hand corner after the chicane following the main straight he said he will either add more toe-in to the rear of the car or go for a different front spring.
Ielasi was happy with his run adding that he should have also been second in Q1 until a mistake put him out. The Italian said finding at set-up for the large flat track is ‘not so easy’ but overall everything with his RB engined 984 was ‘ok’. For Q3, the former 200mm World Champion will switch to a lighter rear rollbar in the hope that this will improve the car’s rear traction.
‘Quite OK’ was how Kurzbuch summed up his run but the championship points leader came close to a second TQ run. A miscommunication between the Swiss driver and his mechanic lead to a 20 second last lap. Running the qualifier on a brand new unscrubbed set of the Enneti hand out tyres, he said he was surprised at how well they worked adding that the warm-up time was enough to bed them in for a good qualifier. Planning on no changes to his Novarossi powered Velox V8, he said the only decision he needed to make was whether to continue with the same set of tyres or go for new ones, a call he would make once he calculated the level of tyre wear.
Hoppe described his run as a save A-Main run but said at the beginning it was not very good. With his Sonic powered Shepherd not feeling as good as yesterday he said he maybe didn’t adapt his driving enough resulting in him over driving the car. By the end of the run he said everything came together. The only change the German plans for Q3 is to raise the gurney flap on his Blitz bodyshell.
Having suffered a rear belt problem on his OS Speed equipped Velox V8 in Q1, 20-year-old Lorenzi was able to run an untroubled Q2 to claim 5th. Struggling with understeer for much of yesterday’s practice, a switch to a thinner front sway bar improved the car for Q1 which they were further able to improve for today by going to softer front shock oil. Now with good steering he plans to run the car as is for Q3.
Having been officially classified well down the order and already starting to strip down his car for a major set-up change, a correction would see Serpent’s Michael Salven end up 6th fastest. Running in the second heat, WRC’s Andrea Pirani would start too early starting the 4-minutes and leaving Salven who at the time was still in the pitlane with a very long first lap. On being notified of the correction the 977’s designer was left to rebuild the car back to the set-up he had just run which is what he started out the event with. Looking to improve on that, including fitting the car with an all carbon chassis plate, he said he has ultimately ended up returning to his standard set-up.
Posting the fastest lap of the round, Mugen’s Rick Vrielijnck said reverting back to his timed practice set-up worked well until he made a ‘stupid mistake’ that left him 7th. Six laps into the qualifier the Dutch Champion would catch the dots through the chicane after the straight resulting in a crash that would cost him close on 6-seconds. Very happy with his car he will leave it the same for Q3.
Electric Touring Car ace Ronald Volker got Day 2 of the Euro Nitro Series in Germany off to the perfect start as he TQ’d the second round of qualifying. A much cooler day at the Hockenheimring, the Mugen driver, who is on loan from Yokomo for the weekend, ran a new fastest time going 0.364 faster than the opening TQ time set by Teemu Leino last night. Once again Serpent’s Dominic Greiner would post the second fastest time with fellow race winner Eric Dankel getting his first full run to complete the Top 3.
Volker, a driver who holds the record as the best qualifier of the Euro Touring Series, was delighted with his TQ run but said this morning’s conditions were quite tricky. Running a prototype of Mugen’s upcoming MTX-6, changes to the set-up by the car’s designer Robert Pietsch and Freddy Sudhoff, gave the ENS debutant the steering he was looking for after Q1 but in combination with a track that had less grip made the car a ‘little difficult to drive’. Struggling in the warm-up, believing it was the set-up change Volker said when he saw his rivals spinning he knew the track was difficult. With a clear track and no earlier incidents like in Q1, he was able to find a good rhythm for the full 4-minutes. With the skies looking ever more threatening he said they will have to discuss what changes if any they will make for Q3.
Winner of Round 2 of the championship in Austria and joint leader of the points standings Greiner said his 748 Natrix ‘felt not so good’. The 21-year-old German said due to the low traction the car was ‘very difficult’ to drive. Expecting the traction to come up once the 1:8 cars have been on the track for their first qualifier of the day he said he doesn’t plan to change anything on the car but instead wait for the traction to come with his car ‘really good’ in such conditions in Q1.
Having retired from Q1 due a broken manifold spring, Capricorn’s Eric Dankel said while it was not a perfect run he was now at a good point for the rest of the day. Having struggled with no feeling from his car yesterday, the Round 1 winner switched to the car he used in Melzo which he said was ‘much better’. Sending the car airborne when he caught a dot coming onto the main straight, he said he also ran too low a rear ride height which towards the end of the run as the tyres worn down caused the car to bottom out.
Setting the fourth fastest time was Mark Green, the Serpent driver happy with clutch and gearbox adjustments he made to his Novarossi powered 748 Natrix for the qualifier. With the car more set-up for hot conditions experienced yesterday, he said this resulted in him having oversteer. Expecting today to continue to be much cooler he said for Q3 he will make changes to dial out some of that oversteer.
Changing the bump steer on his Orcan powered Xray, Alexander Hagberg was much more positive having struggled yesterday. Running Protoform’s new VRS bodyshell on his NT1, the Swede said his car was ‘better’ today but added he still ‘need(s) to find a little more traction’. For Q3 he said he will focus on a roll centre change.
Completing the Top 6 was Teemu Leino. Unlike his rivals the HB driver said his Novarossi powered R10 felt really good in the warm-up. Unfortunately his engine however ran hot and richening it off for the start of the run combined with the car being fitted a complete new set of bearings which free it up quite a bit his gearbox was changing to early leaving him unable to break below at 20-second lap time. For Q3 the Finn said the only change they will make is to re-set the gearbox.
Setting the fastest lap of the round KM Racing’s Silvio Hachler would end up 7th fastest. The Swiss driver felt he got a bad set of tyres but was encouraged by his outright pace feeling with a good set of tyres he can mix it at the front. For Q3 he will make a camber change as he looks to get more rear on power grip.
Elsewhere Team Shepherd’s Dirk Wischnewski made a costly error when he pulled off a lap too early while on a Top 5 run. The former Hockenheimring race winner said afterwards ‘shit happens’ with the former European Champion adding his biggest issue is still trying to dial out the cars understeer which after a number of changes since Q1 was still as bad as ever.
A much cooler start to Day 2 of the ENS Round 3 at the Hockenheimring, with some less than friendly clouds in the sky, it is going to be a busy day for drivers with 5 rounds of qualifying on the schedule. With the first round of qualifying taking place last night, the best 3 (updated) of the 6 qualifier will count towards tomorrow’s grid order.
Simon Kurzbuch made it a perfect opening day to the Euro Nitro Series for locally based manufacturer Team Shepherd as he TQ’d the opening 1:8 qualifier at the Hockenheimring in Germany. The Swiss ace topped the closing action on Day 1 of the championship’s third round almost 1-second clear of Mugen’s Robert Pietsch with Shepherd team-mate Lars Hoppe completing the Top 3.
‘All worked perfectly’ that was Kurzbuch description of his TQ run. Leaving his car as it was when he topped the first timed practice and only changing to a different Novarossi engine for Q1, the 22-year-old said this worked perfectly for the cooler conditions of the late evening run. Suffering only one minor moment when he had to slow due to a car sitting in the middle of the straight on its roof, he said the rest of the 4-minute run couldn’t have been better. Asked about his plans for tomorrow’s second qualifier, the championship points leader, who has finished the opening two rounds on the podium, said he will just leave everything as is and try to repeat the run again.
Having made a spring change to his Picco powered MRX-5 for the qualifying, Pietsch said the softer rear end was ‘much better’ but traffic issues at the start cost him a lot of time. With a slower car joining the track from the pitlane just in front of him, the 2011 World Champion couldn’t get passed for four laps. Eventually getting passed he said his lap times improved by up to 1/2 a second a lap and with a clear track ahead of him he was able to run good laps and recover from running only 6th fastest. The season opener Top Qualifier plans to make no changes for Q2.
Making a lot of changes to his Sonic engined Velox V8, Hoppe said the car was now very good but he lost time early on in the run. Planning to scrub in a set of the Enneti controlled tyres in the final practice he suffered a broken rear drive shaft after just two laps and so for the early part of the qualifier he lost time on the larger tyres.
Making his first outing since rejoining Mugen, Rick Vrielijnck would post the fourth fastest time with his Picco fitted MRX-5. Changing the rear spring on the car for the qualifier and despite setting the fastest lap of Q1, the Dutch ace said the change resulted in less traction. With ‘a racing line of only 50cm’ he said the lack of traction lead to inconsistency and for tomorrow he will revert back to the same set-up in ran in the first timed practice saying his issues were most likely down to the wind rather than set-up.
Racing a heavily self modified P81 while he waits for an all new car from Italian manufacturer Motonica, Belgium’s Robin d’Hondt set the 5th fastest time. Having struggled in practice, the 2-time Worlds finalist said his miscalculation of the Enneti tyre offset meant his car was far too wide in practice. Struggling with the corner at the end of the straight, he said reducing the width for qualifying had made the car ‘way better’. Still looking for more steering for Q2 he will move the body more forward. Also suffering with his clutch slipping towards the end of the run he will fit a new one for tomorrow.
Completing the Top 6 was 19-year-old Timo Schroder. Making changes to the ackermann on his Shepherd he said this gave him more direct steering. Now happy with how the car his running he said his focus for the next qualifier will be on getting a better tune on his XRD Engine which he said was not set so well for Q1.
Heading the Serpent challenge was Merlin Depta who would take his 977 to the 7th fastest time. The German said the run was good except for one mistake, him catching a corner dot on the last lap which resulted in his slowest lap of the run. Having reported braking issues in the final free practice, for Q2 he hopes to source teflon material so he can make up new pads which he hopes will allow him to run deeper into the corner at the end of the track’s 75 metre long main straight.
Teemu Leino TQ’d the opening 200mm qualifier of the Euro Nitro Series at the Hockenheimring, the HB driver narrowly outpacing Dominic Greiner who was left rueing a mistake that would cost the Serpent driver over 1-second. Leino, who was unavailable for comment having made a speedy return to his hotel after the qualifier, would have a slight incident of his own in the race. On the second lap, the Finn would have a coming together with Ronald Volker, the Mugen driver coming off worst but eventually recovering to take third for the round. For last year’s ENS Pilot race and Round 1 winner Eric Dankel, Q1 would see a DNF for the Capricorn driver due to a broken manifold spring.
‘A stupid mistake’ was how Greiner described his clipping of the corner dots at the end of the main straight on lap 4. The Aigen race winner said his Picco powered 748 Natrix was perfect and it was just the driver that let the package down. Determined to make up for the mistake in tomorrow morning’s second of six qualifiers, the 21-year-old said there is no need to change anything other than eliminate that one mistake.
Setting the fastest lap of the race, somewhat nitro rookie Volker said overall he was happy to open qualifying with a Top 3 result especially considering his lap 2 incident. Opening the door to allow Leino through he said Leino also went wide causing the pair to make contact with his Mugen MTX-6 Prototype getting spun around. Loosing almost 2-seconds and dropping to last in the 11 car heat, the 4-time ETS Champion said while he struggled with the feeling of the car for the first 1-minute he was then able to make back up some of the lost time. For tomorrow the German said they will make a small adjustment to the set-up as he would like to have a little more steering.
Making the change from running a spool like Greiner to revert to a front gear diff, Serpent’s Mark Green would post the fourth fastest time saying he was ‘very happy with that’. Commenting on the set-up change he said it didn’t make much difference to the performance of his Novarossi powered Natrix 748 it just suited his driving style more and that overall led to more consistent laps that he could manage using his team-mate’s set-up. Looking to further improve on consistency for Q2, the British National Champion feels his clutch and gearbox settings could be improved on a little. Planning to see how the conditions are for the first of the morning’s qualifiers he said he might also make a roll centre adjustment on the car.
Having raced the opening round of the championship in Melzo in 1:8 just missing out on a podium finish, KM Racing’s Silvio Hachler has switched to 200mm this weekend. Running the World Champion manufacturers HK1 ‘Meen Version’, a simple front bumper change lifted the Swiss driver into a competitive form as he set the 5th fastest time. Only his second ever 1:10 nitro race, the 1:8 World Championship finalist replaced the cars foam bumper for a plastic version from a shepherd resulting in ‘a lot more steering’ and a 3/10th of a second improvement in lap times. Describing 1:10 as being ‘harder to drive’ than 1:8, he said he was ‘very happy’ with his run despite a last lap mistake that cost him over one & a half seconds.
Completing the Top 6 and the fastest Shepherd driver, Dirk Wischnewski said the run was ‘clean, no problems but just too slow’. Struggling with on power steering from the start of the event, the former Hockenheimring race winner and joint championship leader said hopefully overnight they can come up with a solution to the problem so he can get back in the race tomorrow.
Making his first appearance of the full ENS Championship, have raced the second of the Pilot Races last year, Alexander Hagberg would set the 8th fastest time behind Serpent driver Toni Gruber. The factory Xray driver said he is a ‘little confused’ as his NT1 is proving insensitive to set-up changes. Like Wischnewski, the Swede is hopeful some over night thinking will lead to him having a more competitive car tomorrow.