Mugen’s Robert Pietsch and Capricorn’s Dario Balestri TQ the second round of qualifying at the Euro Nitro Series season opener, Pietsch topping the 1:8 times from Alberto Picco by just .007 of a second while Balestri was the only driver who could manage 13-laps in 1:10 taking the qualifier over Francesco Tironi and Q1 pace setter Teemu Leino.
Having changed his engine for the run, having lacked power in Q1, Pietsch said he also adjusted the gearbox on his Picco powered MRX5 but in combination with the different engine it left the car to change up ‘way too late’ losing him some time. Describing both his car and engine as good, he said with the gearbox set right everything should be fine for the penultimate qualifier. A slower time than the morning, despite what started out as a damp track this morning having seen a full round of qualifying for the 120 car field, Pietsch said he was not so sure why the track was slower as it didn’t feel any worse for him and the temperature hadn’t increased significantly amount since Q1.
A driver who knows the track probably better than most, Picco described conditions as ‘worse’ even though he ran pre-run tyres having run fresh large diametre tyres in Q1. Happy that changes to the bodyshell position and rear geometry adjustments had given his Mugen more steering he said overall the grip levels were ‘still very low’. For Q3 his brother Edoardo, together with whom he runs Picco engines, will make some small changes to their self modified MRX4 to try and get it better suited to the loose track conditions.
Third fastest in 1:8 was Daniel Ielasi, the top 3 seperated by .036 of a second after 4-minutes. The new BMT/RB signing said a glitch in his engine meant he had to open up to allow Capricorn’s Kyle Branson through which would later cost him time as he couldn’t get back passed the British driver who would set the 6th fastest time for the round. Having adjusted his engines bottom end having suffered from fuel starvation 3 times in Q1, he said while it was a lot better but he still had it happen once. He will adjust the low end needle further for Q3 leaving his new 984 chassis set-up as is.
Having taken the opening qualifier with a time that was 1.3 second faster than Pietsch Q2 pace, Lamberto Collari posted the fourth fastest time. Having made changes to his Mugen MRX5, he said they were not so good and he will revert back to his Q1 set-up for the next one. Behind the 9-time World Champion, Shepherd’s Oliver Mack set the fifth fastest time. The German said having started off well the rear end of his Velox V8 got very loose after 2-minutes and so for Q3 he will go to a harder front spring together with adjusting the position of the rear upper arms.
In 1:10 Balestri was pleased to post a TQ run having suffered a throttle servo failure in yesterday’s opening qualifier, but the Capricorn driver said the track (was) very loose. Expecting the track to be different again for Q3 he will go with a softer oil in his front shock adding he hopes he can get another good run so as to lock himself into the A-Main – a drivers 2 best rounds of 4 to count.
Repeating his Q1 performance, posting another second fastest time, Tironi said he was pleased with his pace. With a strong position secured in the A-Main, the Shepherd driver plans to use Q3 to try some ideas he has for his set-up. 2/10ths behind Tironi, Leino summed up the track for Q2 as ‘maximum loose’ and for the next qualifying said he will try a different set-up on his HB R10 as he searches for more grip.
Fourth fastest, Eric Dankel was very happy with his equipment second time round saying his Capricorn chassis and Maxima engine were really good but two mistakes cost him a shot at the TQ while leading. Getting out of shape through the sweeper he also did some curb hopping but going into the next round he is feeling very confident.
Serpent’s Dominic Greiner, despite his Picco engine being too rich, would post the 5th fastest time followed by the Xray of Italy’s Luc Redaelli. Greiner said a change of shock position after Q1 had made his 747 nicer to drive but said in addition to his engine tuning the driver was not so good adding he hopes for a better third run.
1:8 Q2 times – Top 10
1. Robert Pietsch – Mugen/Picco – 14/4:18.024
2. Alberto Picco – Mugen/Picco – 14/4:18.031
3. Daniele Ielasi – BMT/RB – 14/4:18.060
4. Lamberto Collari – Mugen/OS – 13/4:00.127
5. Oliver Mack – Shepherd/Sonic – 13/4:00.889
6. Kyle Branson – Capricorn/XRD – 13/4:01.009
7. Mirko Salemi – BP Racing/Novarossi – 13/4:01.691
8. Francesco Tironi – Shepherd/Novarossi – 13/4:02.033
9. Teemu Leino – HB – Mugen/Picco – 13/4:02.433
10.Andrea Pirani – WRC/OS – 13/4:02.512