April 23, 2016

Hächler & Groskamp join A-Main grid at ENS

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Silvio Hächler and Jilles Groskamp join the A-Main grid for the opening round of the Euro Nitro Series in Italy.  Finishing 1-2 in a rain effected B-Main they complete the 12-car line who will battle it out for the 1:8 victory at L.Collari RC Raceway.  Starting from 7th on the grid and not looking like a race contender early on, a light rain shower would turn around the ARC drivers fortunes, the Swiss driver helped by a call from his pit crew to pit for wets with just four & a half minutes to go in the 20-minute encounter.  Starting from pole, Bruno Coelho would pull out an early lead but 12-minutes in the Xray driver would go off spectacularly on the main straight while battling with Alberto Picco – the screw in his steering servo horn having fallen out.  Groskamp would then take up the lead but with 6-minutes to go a drizzling of rain left cars struggling to get around.  Hächler and Marco Vanni made the call to pit for wets and for a moment both looked to be moving up however Vanni would crash, handing the final spot on the grid to Groskamp.

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Hächler, still looking somewhat surprised at how his luck turned out, said, ‘In the dry conditions I was struggling as my engine was not good but then I had luck as it started to rain’.  Making a stop on the highly abrassive track at 8-minutes for new tyres, a call by his pit crew with 4:30 remaining for wets would be the making of the Swiss drivers race.  Joining team-mate Toni Gruber, who has been impressive this weekend on his ARC debut, Hächler said the biggest thing for him for the final was to get a new engine fitted.

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Losing a position off a start, Groskamp said ‘I saw Bruno was pulling away and knew I had to settle for second’.  Battling with fellow Dutchman John Ermen, until the ARC driver ran out of fuel and Picco, the Infinity driver said having got the lead when it rained he had no choice but to continue after the rain as he had no wets to stop for.  Falling to third he said ‘luckily it started to dry at the end and I knew if I kept it on track I would be OK’.  Finishing 2-seconds behind Hächler, he would have a 3-second advantage over third placed Vanni. Only stopping for 2-tyres, he said he almost got caught as the car ‘pulled maximum to the left’ because he forgot to adjust his radio trim.  Looking to the reduced distance 30-minute A-Main, he said coming from the B-Main had its benefits especially in relation to managing tyres.

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