April 5, 2014

Collari opens ENS 1:8 qualifying with TQ run


After some rain delays, 1:8 qualifying at the opening round of the new Euro Nitro Series saw Lamberto Collari top the first of the four qualifiers in Melzo, Italy.   Driving a privately entered Mugen/OS combination the 9-time World Champion topped the round from the BMT of Daniele Ielasi with Mugen’s Robert Pietsch completing the Top 3 of what was an extremely competitive affair with the first 8 drivers covered by just 1.8 seconds.


After a 3-hour delay to proceedings this morning at the Mini Racing Ayrton Senna track due to overnight rain, light rain having already caused the postponement of Q1 of 1:8 yesterday evening,  when the drivers did take to the track the general feedback was that conditions were loose.  Having been some what under the radar for most of yesterday’s practice runs, Collari said a change of shock oil and springs on his MRX5 for Q1 had improved the feeling of his car even though conditions were ‘loose from (the) rain’.  Pleased with his run, the ENS  running point qualifying rather than Fastest time, the Italian legend will make a few further changes to his OS powered chassis in anticipation of  improved track conditions, the sun now shining at the track.


Having only driven his new BMT984 for the first time on Thursday, former 200mm World Champion Ielasi said he was ‘really really happy’ to start his qualifying with a second.   Switching to RB engines for the 2014 season, he said his engine was set a little too lean on the bottom end with this costing him some time – his separation from Collari over the 4-minutes being just 1/10th of a second.  In terms of his chassis set-up he said the feeling he has with the car is good and so for Q2 he will leave it as is.


‘A solid run’ was how Robert Pietsch described his opening qualifier.  The former World Champion said his MRX5, on which he is running a prototype chassis, the same as Takaaki Shimo & Atsushi Hara ran at the World Championships in Japan, was good but his engine was a little down on power.  For Q2 the German will fit a new Picco engine leaving everything else as is.


Having pre-run tyres in yesterday’s timed practice run in preparation for qualifying, with the track conditions a little off Alberto Picco ran his opening qualifying on a brand new set.  Describing the run as ‘very conservative’, the Italian still managed to post the fourth fastest time.  On the large diameter tyres he said his was unable to push but feels saving the tyres for the later qualifiers is a good call.  Looking to get more grip for Q2 he moved the position of the bodyshell on his self modified MRX4 along with changing the rear upright geometry.


Making his race debut for KM Racing this weekend, World finalist Silvio Hachler said he went for a safe run and overall he was pretty happy with 5th.  Having to learn a lot about the Novarossi powered K8, and not having another competitive driver to work with, the 22-year-old Swiss driver said under braking the rear end of the car is a little loose but he isn’t exactly sure what is the best changes to make to rectify this.


Driving a prototype chassis from WRC, the number of new manufacturers an encouraging development for 1:8 Onroad,  Anrea Pirani was pleased with his car’s performance but maybe not his own driving.  In contention for a TQ run a late mistake left the Italian 6th as he lost 1-second when he got out of shape through one of the tracks high speed corners.  Having arrived on Wednesday for testing last night he gave the car a full rebuild saying that this improved the feeling of the chassis, the three days of track time having taken its toll.  Planning to leave the car as is for Q2 he said he will instead wait for the track to improve.


British driver Kyle Branson used a fresh set of tyres for Q1, Matrix being the handout tyres for ENS Round 1, saying that this cost him a lot of time early in the run with him ending up 7th fastest.  With his Capricorn improving over the run he plans to run the same set of tyres in Q2, drivers having to leave tyres they wish to reuse in a controlled area before leaving the pitlane after their runs.  Looking to make the C801 a little easier to drive for Q2 he will add toe out to the front as well as adding a 1mm shim to the top of the rear hub.


‘Not so bad, not so fast’ was how Oliver Mack summed up his run to 8th.  With the times ‘so close’, he said a lean bottom end on his Sonic engine meant he twice suffered from it starving for fuel costing him precious time.  While his Shepherd Velox V8 was ‘not so easy to drive’ compared to yesterday he is putting this down to the track conditions and will leave it as is for Q2.


Having topped yesterday’s practice Mack’s Shepherd team-mate Simon Kurzbuch would post the 9th fastest time despite not finishing the 4-minutes.  On a TQ run with a lap to go his Novarossi engine stopped, a broken fuel tank having afterwards being discovered to be the cause of the problem.  With the engine damaged the 2011 World Championship Finalist will fit a new engine but having run it yesterday he said its good so everything should be fine for Q2.  Just missing out on 14-laps BP Racing’s Mirko Salemi completed the Top 10 ahead of Francesco Tironi and 200mm Q1 Top Qualifier Teemu Leino.

1:8 Q1 times – Top 10
1. Lamberto Collari – Mugen/OS – 14/4:16.691
2. Daniele Ielasi – BMT/RB – 14/4:16.804
3. Robert Pietsch – Mugen/Picco – 14/4:16.883
4. Alberto Picco – Mugen/Picco – 14/4:17.164
5. Silvio Hachler – KM Racing/Novarossi – 14/4:17.266
6. Andrea Pirani – WRC/OS – 14/4:17.791
7. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/XRD – 14/4:18.142
8. Oliver Mack – Shepherd/Sonic – 14/4:18.278
9. Simon Kurzbuch – Shepherd/Novarossi – 13/3:57.386
10.Mirko Salemi – BP Racing/Novarossi – 13/4:00.635

View the complete results here.

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