Dario Balestri has set the pace in the first 1:10 200mm timed practice at the opening round of the all new Euro Nitro Series in Melzo, Italy. The factory Capricorn driver ran the fastest 3-consecutive laps of the Mini Racing Ayrton Senna track over the 6-minute session to head HB’s Teemu Leino by .097 of a second. Behind the two well known racers Xray driver Luca Redaelli was 3rd fastest as the Top 5 was filled by cars from 5 different manufacturers, Shepherd’s Dirk Wischnewski fourth fastest and Dominic Greiner’s Serpent 5th.
Changing to a different pipe & manifold for the first of the two timed practices to test run time, Balestri said this resulted in his own edition of his XRD Racing engine running hotter and having less overall speed. Planning to revert back to the pipe set he ran in free practice, drivers having 2 untimed runs in the morning, he said in terms of his car he will leave it as is, describing it as ‘very good’.
Having been limited to what he could try in yesterday’s open practice day after his luggage with all his spares was lost by his airline, Leino said considering they are having to catch up a little today it was an ‘OK’ run. Having not raced since the World Championships in Thailand in 2012 where he was Top Qualifier on the debut of the R10, the Finn now has all his spares and for his final practice run will try a different & slightly stiffer shock spring. Running Novarossi engines he will also try a different motor.
Running his Picco powered NT1, Redaelli was pleased with his car set-up sighting traffic as his biggest issue with 15 cars running on the large track for practice. Struggling a little with his clutch set-up, for the final practice the Italian will fit a new one along with testing a different front shock set-up.
Making his debut for Team Shepherd, former European Champion Wischnewski said he has a lot to learn but added its getting better every run. Looking to find more steering the German plans to try a heavier rear diff in his Orcan powered Velox V10.
Greiner was another driver looking to find more steering. Having changed to a solid front axle in his Picco powered 747 for the first timed practice, the 21-year said overall there was ‘not much difference’ between it and the gear diff due to how heavy an oil he was using when he ran the diff in the morning’s practice runs. Admitting most drivers are looking for more steering he is undecided as to what he will change for his next run.
Setting the 6th fastest time Francesco Tironi declared himself happy with his early pace. Living just 2km from the track, the multiple World Championship finalist is running in both categories describing the undertaking as ‘not easy’. Feeling quite comfortable with both his Shepherd chassis, in 200mm he will run the rear arms in a lower position to try and improve the car’s steering.
‘Not bad but not good’ was how Eric Dankel described his run to the 7th fastest time. An ENS Pilot Race winner last season, the Capricorn driver tried a different front spring for the run. Having ran a rear spring in the front which he said is perfect for German track conditions he followed his team-mate Balestri’s spring choice. While it made the car more responsive and it was a good direction to take in terms of set-up for this track he said he needs more time to adjust his driving to get the best out of the change.
A 1:8 winner in the ENS Pilot Series, Serpent’s Mark Green is this weekend running 1:10. Setting the 8th fastest time with his Novarossi Virtus powered 747, the British ace said he is struggling to get out of his 1:8 driving style. Confident his car set-up is good he said he is just driving it way too aggressively and he needs to calm it down a bit.
Making a return to onroad nitro after a 3-year absence, Denmark’s Martin Lissau took his Reds Racing powered Shepherd to 9th fastest. With no suitable conditions to practice ahead of the race in his home country, the former 1:5 world Champion said considering the mileage he has with the car its going ok. Looking to find more corner speed for the final practice he will switch to a stiffer shock set-up.
Completing the Top 10 and another driver making a debut for a new manufacturer this weekend was Adrien Bertin. Now running for HB, the former World Champion said he is ‘working & learning how to be fast again’ having not raced 1:10 for quite some time. Conducting just 2-days of testing with the new car in his home country of France before coming out to Italy, the Orion engine’s head of development said the car is super consistent but added he needs to find more slow speed steering from the R10 under braking.