July 19, 2015

Wischnewski ‘rains’ at German ENS

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Dirk Wischnewski has claimed his first Euro Nitro Series victory, the Team Shepherd driver winning a rain shortened Round 3 of the championship at Minidrom Ettlingen in Germany.  Starting from second on the grid, the win ahead of Jilles Groskamp marks the German’s first international win since being crowned European Champion in 2009.   Pushing Top Qualifier Dominic Greiner hard for the first third of the race, Wischnewski got his big break when the Serpent driver ran out of fuel and there after was able to cruise to the finish even moving over to let the recovering Greiner unlap himself.  Unfortunately for Greiner his charge back to the front was cut short when rain arrived as the 45-minute race entered the final 15-minutes.  Stopped at 31-minutes the order was declared a result with Groskamp’s third consecutive second place finish putting him firmly in the lead of the championship standings.  Having come into the event as joint championship leader, Bruno Coelho would like Greiner also run out of fuel in the opening stages of the race. Opting to change tyres when his Xray was returned to the pits, the early race finish worked against the Bologna ENS winner with him classified 11th.

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‘Finally I win again’, that was a joyous Wischneski’s reaction to his win.  Runner-up in last season’s ENS championship, he said ‘this is my first win since switching away from Xray and changing my mechanic and while its been a long time coming its a great feeling to finally win again’.  Commenting on his race he said ‘it was very tough at the start, myself and Dominic were both pushing very hard’.  With Greiner loosing a lap after running out of fuel, he said he ‘then backed off’ knowing Leino was quite a bit back.  Had Greiner not flamed out it he said with the two of them so closely matched it ‘would have been a good show’ for onlookers.  Describing his Orcan powered Velox V10 as ‘very good’ he said the only moment of the race was when he suffered a flame out in the pits during his tyre stop in which he only changed the outside tyres.

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The man probably with the biggest smile after the race was stopped was Groskamp.  The Dutch ace said having ‘struggled with engine, clutch and car set-up’ throughout the weekend he couldn’t have asked for a better result.  Struggling with too much grip on fresh tyres in qualifying, lining up 8th on the grid he said the final started out nicely with his aim to stay out of trouble early on.  With most refuelling on 4:30, the Maxima driver was able to go 5:30 between stops saving him 2-stops over the original race distance.  With his R10 and engine getting ‘better and better’ as the tyres got smaller he got into his rhythm and on hearing he was up to second he said he just kept cruising around.  Not making a tyre stop, adding they would have been pretty on the limit had the race went full distance, he was ‘really happy to finish second and go home with a strong championship lead’.

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Claiming his first podium finish Thilo Tödtmann was very happy with his race saying ‘finally we had no problems in the final’.  Retiring from the final in Austria he said other than flameout during his tyre stop at 14-minutes, the rest of the race was flameless.  With his first set of tyres leaving the rear of his Capricorn loose he said on the second set the car was ‘very good’.  An unassuming driver who feels just making the A-Main at the ENS is a good result, he said to get a podium made for a ‘great weekend’ and shows he has been continually improving as a driver over the season.

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Finishing fourth, Greiner said ‘At the beginning it was very close with Dirk but everything was under control’ until he ran out of fuel.  Designer of his 747, Michael Salven would take responsibility for the short coming saying he must not have filled the tank full the previous stop.  While this cost him time, it was a bad tyre change that would ultimately cost him a good result.  Stopping to change all four tyres one of his pit crew would, despite using a magnetic nut driver, lose a wheel nut during the stop which ended up taking almost a minute.  Describing the botched stop as ‘maximum bullshit’ when he did get going on the second set of tyres he said while catching Wischnewski wasn’t possible had the race run the full distance he was confident he had the car to catch and get by Groskamp for second.

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The only driver, albeit it coming late, to trouble Greiner and Wischnewski in qualifying, third placed qualifier Leino would finish a disappointing fifth.  The HB driver said his race was going to plan and he was cruising around like team-mate Groskamp him able to run longer between refuelling.  However coming in for tyre stop while leading the race his mechanic would twice drop the nut driver leading to a 58-second lap time that dropped the Austrian ENS winner out of contention.  Finishing on the same lap as Groskamp he said ‘for sure I had a good change of 2nd as I had fresher tyres than Jilles but the rain came’.  Behind Leino, Team Shepherd’s Patrick Nähr would complete the Top 6 ahead of Eric Dankel, the reigning champion having hoped for more on his first A-Main appearance of the season.

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