October 23, 2015

Greiner sets pace as title rivals struggle

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Dominic Greiner has ended free practice at the season finale of the Euro Nitro Series at the top of the time sheets while is rivals were less confident about their early form in Italy.  With four drivers coming into the fourth round of the ENS in contention for the title, it is fourth placed Greiner who set the pace from Round 3 winner Dirk Wischnewski.  Of the other title protagonists Bruno Coelho was the closest to Greiner ending the 8 rounds of free practice 5th fastest, 7/10ths off.  Current standings leader Jilles Groskamp finds himself a second of the pace in 12th fastest while HB team-mate Teemu Leino, second in the standings, faired only marginally better ending up 8th as drivers now move into two rounds of timed practice that will determine the heat seeding for qualifying.

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‘Very good’ was Greiner’s response when asked to sum up how practice had gone.  The Serpent driver said they had a ‘very good base set-up’ from the first time they put the 748 on the Mini Autodromo Jody Scheckter track and small set-up over the rounds made it even better.  Describing the car as ‘very consistent and very easy to drive’,  he added it looks very good for qualifying.  Needing a win to have a chance at the title, he German said ‘I must win so I am going for it and right now everything is looking very good’.

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Winner of the season opener in Bologna, Coelho said practice was ‘not perfect’.  The Xray driver is ‘trying to find steering’ adding the track is completely different to the previous ENS track and Turkey where over the break after Round 3 he claimed the 200mm European title.  The Portuguese ace said with ‘not so much grip’ and the track being very fast a lack of steering was an issue for everyone.  One approach he will take is to be more aggressive in his driving of his NT1 so as to get the rear loose and get steering that way.

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Groskamp said he is ‘still tryng to get steering’ adding ‘lap time wise we are just too slow’.  The Dutch driver said his Maxima powered R10 feels better today but on both runs his engine was not set right.  With it too rich in P7, in P8 the clutch was off and so he feels his true speed has not yet been shown.  He feels his final set-up, having tested it yesterday, is better than what he has for qualifying and he said without the speed over a single lap its going to be a difficult qualifying.

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Team-mate Teemu Leino, who took the win at Round 2 in Aigen, described his practice as ‘so so’.  The Finn said ‘I’m missing something so I am a little off the pace’ adding ‘but the race starts later’.  Having run tyres from Hot Race’s official handout batch of tyres, he said maybe some of the lack of pace was tyre related as compared to his own batch the new tyres helped him improve by 2/10th.

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While not in contention for the title, Wischnewski said things were going ‘so far so good’.  Having run prototype parts on his Shepherd yesterday, the former European Champion said they struggled but switching back to his ‘almost basic set-up’ the car was now ‘quite good’.  Admitting Greiner has a ‘little advantage’ the German said everyone else is ‘very close’.

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