October 24, 2015

Greiner secures dominant overall TQ at ENS Italy

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Dominic Greiner secured an early overall TQ for tomorrow’s Euro Nitro Series title deciding final in Italy, a third TQ run by the Serpent driver in the third of the four qualifiers putting pole position beyond the reach of his rivals.  With four drivers in contention to become the new 1:10 Champion, the grid will see the drivers line up in reverse as to how they came into the weekend in the standings.  Third in the standings ahead of Greiner, it is Bruno Coelho who will start 2nd after the Xray driver denied Serpent a 1-2 by taking the final qualifier ahead of Alessio Mazzeo.  Second in the standings behind his HB team-mate Jilles Groskamp, Aigen winner Teemu Leino will line-up 4th for the start of the 45-minute Main with marked improvements from Groskamp over the final two qualifiers securing him 7th.

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Improving his pace by almost 2-seconds in Q3 to post the fastest time of qualifying, Greiner said ‘everything is working so well, the car perfect’.   Letting his team-mate by after an early mistake in Q4 and not wanting to hamper Mazzeo’s chances of securing P2 on the grid this would prevent the German from doing the clean sweep. His second TQ of the season, the 2014 ENS race winner dominating all five rounds of qualifying in Ettlingen before problems in the pits left him to finish Round 3 in 4th, Greiner said the bonus point ‘makes no difference, I still need to win’.  Believing his 748 qualifying pace can be carried through to the final he said he plans no set-up change. Using the last qualifier to try a new set of tyres, he will also try a new set of the handout Hot Race tyres in the final practice tomorrow to build up knowledge on how shore differences effect the car so that they can start the final with any required adjustments.  With pitstops having been his achilles heel at ENS Germany, he has a new pitman Thomas Guensel this weekend pointing out the new partnership has already proved successful with him in the pits for his German National title victory in August.  In terms of his strategy for the final, Greiner said he still needs to calculate tyre wear but said the race will require ‘one stop for sure’.  Pleased with the run time from his Max engine, he said ‘everything is looking good’.

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Having aired on the side of caution with the tuning of his Max engines in the opening three qualifiers, Coelho said in the search for maximising run time for the final they leaned off the engine for Q4 and it was much better.  Pleased to secure second as a result of his TQ run, the Xray driver said anything can happen in a 45-minute main but with the car ‘getting better step by step’ he is confident its now good enough to fight for the win.  Winner of the season opener in Bologna, the newly crowned 4WD EP Buggy World Champion said his busy schedule leaves little time for nitro testing and so for both himself and his World Champion team-mate Alexander Hagberg they are always having to play catch-up on arrival at the track.  Qualifying 14th, Hagberg will have to try to bump his way up from the B-Main and fill one of the remaining two spots on the 12-car grid.

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Suffering a bad start to the second day of qualifying when a radio problem towards the end of Q2 caused his 748 to crash heavily at the end of the straight, Mazzeo would have to change car and the former European Champion said he never found a set-up he was happy with.  Running a different set-up every round he said in Q4 the car was impossible to drive consistently and they need to work on something new for the final practice session. While his team-mate Greiner needs the win to take the title, the 24-year-old said he was going to win tomorrow making it clear he wouldn’t be playing to any team orders.

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While an off at the end of Q4 cost him the chance to start the final ahead of Mazzeo, Leino said he was happy after a transmitter change transformed his Novarossi powered R10.  Having started the event with Sanwa’s new M12S, for Q2 he revert back to his older M12 and immediately found pace posting a 2nd in Q2 and 3rd in Q3.  The Finn said the new software on the S model is different and so it is not possible to copy the radio settings.  Surprised at how big a difference it could make he said he needs more time with the new radio but he was happy to make that discovery when he did.  He said going from looking like making the final would be difficult to being in contention for TQ runs he was ‘happy’.  Winner of a thrilling and spectacularly close Aigen final, he said with his car easy to drive he was positive he can race for the win but added finals are impossible to predict.

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Driving for outgoing champion manufacturer Capricorn who also won this race last year with tomorrow’s 1:8 Top Qualifier Dario Balestri, Top 3 runs in Q2 & 4 secured Kyle Branson 5th on the grid.  The British driver, who was also on for a strong Q3 before a crash, said they made good progress with set-up today and while ‘its not perfect’ he’s ‘happy with it’.  Looking to make it smoother through the corners, he will make some changes for the practice tomorrow adding he thinks a podium is possible with his plan being to drive his own race.

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With Spain’s Eduardo Escandón securing sixth on the grid on his ENS debut starting behind him is championship leader Jilles Groskamp.  After struggling in Q1 yesterday, the Dutch ace would get ‘back in the game’ with a complete change of direction in his set-up.  Having run his Maxima powered R10 soft in practice and the opening qualifier he said overnight he ‘thought a bit more logic’ and went ‘stiffer and thicker with everything’. Trying a different spring for Q4 he said this wasn’t an improvement and he would go back but going into the final things were ‘looking a lot better than at the beginning’.  Having started the final at Bologna from seventh on the grid and claiming the first of a trio of second places, the former Electric Touring Car World Champion is happy with his pace adding his ‘tyre wear and fuel consumption are very good’.

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