May 17, 2014

Team Shepherd’s Mack & Wischnewski take Q2 at ENS


Team Shepherd concluded Day 1 of qualifying at the Euro Nitro Series at Aigen, Austria, with a double as their drivers Oliver Mack and Dirk Wischnewski TQ’d Q2 of their respective classes.  Having just missed out in Q1 to Serpent’s Michael Salven, Mack would take the second qualifier of the rain effected event in a more convincing manner finishing 3.4 seconds faster than Xray’s John Ermen.  Behind the German it was very close with Ermen, Salven and BMT’s Daniele Ielasi separated by just 3/10ths.  In 1:10 Wischnewski topped the time sheets on a much drier track by .177 from Q1 pace setter and chassis team-mate Francesco Tironi with Serpent’s Dominic Greiner completing the Top 3.

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Happy with his TQ run, the drier conditions allowing the lead drivers to run an extra lap of the 290 metre long track, Mack said a ‘change of tyres made the biggest difference’.  Planning to run a Shepherd Umido tyre he did not like the feeling they gave in the warm-up and so his mechanic changed him to a set of Matrix damp tyres for the start of the qualifier.  Having ran some hard laps in the warm-up but felt it was too close to the edge he said for the run he took no risks.  Pointing out that Ielasi was fast, the Italian posting the fastest lap of the race, he said that he also had two spins so his own more conservative approach had paid off.  With a 1 and 2 from the opening two qualifiers, 2 of the 4 scheduled rounds to count, Mack has already secured a strong starting position for the A-Main and looking to tomorrow’s qualifiers he said what he will do for Q3 & 4 will depend on what he wakes up to in the morning in terms of the weather.


‘For the wet my car is quite perfect’ was Ermen’s summary of his improved second qualifier.  A former Dutch National Champion, he said everything felt really good for the run and its now just a matter of seeing what tomorrow brings but he is confident he has cars good for what ever way conditions turn out.  Having ran in the dry on Thursday he said his ‘dry’ car felt good and as he has just shown if it remains wet his Reds Racing RX8 is also good.


Despite having a gearbox issue for the first three laps after his pit crew applied a little to much oil to the one way bearing, Salven said his Picco powered 977 Viper was still OK.  The German said it was obvious that Mack had found something better for Q2 in terms of tyres but with a 1 & 3 in the books he was really happy.  At Round 1 in Melzo a tough qualifying meant he had to depend on his B-Main race time to make the A-Main something that is now not going to be a scenario he will face at Round 2.  For the moment Salven said he plans to leave his car and tyre choice the same for Q3.


Having failed to start Q1 due to human error, he forgot to tighten screws in the rear suspension bracket of his 981, Ielasi was very happy with his Q2 performance.  The former 1:10 World Champion described the car as ‘super fast’, this being backed up by his 19.049 fastest lap of the race set on the last lap, adding that his Matrix tyres and chassis set-up ‘worked really good’.  The only issue for the new BMT signing was traffic which he said cost him ‘a lot of time’.  Pleased with his car now both in the wet and dry, him one of the many drivers to avail of Thursday’s dry open practice, he said he is ready for tomorrow no matter what the weather does ‘once I don’t forget to tighten all the screws’.


WRC’s Andrea Pirani was a lot happier with his OS powered car in Q2.  Having ran a solid front axle in Q1 he said it wasn’t wet enough and he struggled with a lack of steering.  Fitting a one-way for the second run the Italian said his ‘feeling with the car was very good’ and with a clear track around him for the entire 4-minutes he said it was ‘easy’ to put in a very clean qualifier.  For tomorrow, based on conditions being similar to today, he will switch to a softer shock spring on the car which compared to Melzo is much closer to the final car which class newcomer WRC will put into production.


Posting the third fastest time in Q1, ENS Round 1 Top Qualifier Robert Pietsch had a ‘bad round’ in Q2.  The Mugen driver said his car was ‘not good’ but trying to get by another car really messed up his run.  Losing almost 4-seconds in the incident, he would end up only 11th fastest.


Having only been 5th fastest in Q1, Wischnewski said he could not believe how big a difference a change from rubber to foam tyres could make.  The German said his Orcan powered Velox V10 had way more traction. Starting off the run a little slowly as he adjusted to the extra traction he was able to up his pace for another clean but faster run.  Asked about his plans for Q3, the new for 2014 Shepherd signing said ‘we will wait to see what comes’.


Setting the second fastest time, Tironi had issues before the second qualifier even started.  With his topping Q1 by a commanding margin, race officials checked his tyres ahead of Q2 declaring themselves unhappy with what was on his Velox V10.  Forced to change to a brandnew set of tyres, he said the bone dry tyres took time to come in but as they absorbed the mositure they just got better and better, him once again setting the fastest lap.  For tomorrow he said if the track is the same they are ready but if its dry he is not so sure as they only had half a day of dry testing on the track.  Asked what conditions he preferred he replied ‘once I’m fastest I don’t mind what the conditions are’.


Making up a set of damp tyres from team-mate Salven’s 1:8 tyre stocks, Greiner said they didn’t work out too good.  The German said he didn’t have so much traction so third was an ‘ok’ result.  Not planning to run the home made set of tyres again, he said he must check what options he has available to him adding that if there is more rain then the rubber tyres he ran in Q1 will be perfect.


Struggling in Q1 and clearly not a fan of racing in the wet, Dario Balestri had a much more competitive Q2 posting the fourth fastest time.  Running a set of tyres he said are at least 5-years old, he said ‘to be competitive you need the right materials’ adding that ‘in Italy when it rains we go home’. Third fastest in Q1, Round 1 race winner Eric Dankel would DNF Q2 after suffering a throttle servo failure just before the 3-minute mark.

1:8 Qualifying Round 2 times
1. Oliver Mack – Shepherd/Sonic – 13/4:10.868
2. John Ermen – Xray/Reds Racing – 13/4:14.295
3. Michael Salven – Serpent/Picco – 13/4:14.465
4. Daniele Ielasi – BMT/RB – 13/4:14.628
5. Andrea Pirani – WRC/OS Speed – 13/4:15.888
6. Lars Hoppe – Shepherd/Sonic – 13/4:17.368
7. Michael Klausner – Mugen/Novarossi – 13/4:18.705
8. Manuel Gremlica – KM Racing/Woldt- 13/4:19.171
9. Mirko Salemi – BP Racing/Novarossi – 13/4:19.212
10.Arie Manten – Shepherd/Picco – 12/4:19.779

1:10 Qualifying Round 2 times
1. Dirk Wischnewski – Shepherd/Orcan – 12/4:06.415
2. Francesco Tironi – Shepherd/Novarossi – 12/4:06.592
3. Dominic Greiner – Serpent/Picco – 12/4:08.757
4. Dario Balestri – Capricorn/XRD – 12/4:16.100
5. Stephan Fischer – Xray/Picco – 11:4:15.526
6. Patrick Schafer – Shepherd/Sonic – 11/4:18.103
7. Martin Lissau – Shepherd/Reds Racing – 10:4:06.688
8. Bjorn Moser – Shepherd/Orcan – 10/4:11.784
9. Steve Baumgarten – Mugen/Novarossi – 10/4:16.182
10.Christoph Rohrmoser – Shepherd/Novarossi – 10/4:18.788

View the complete results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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