May 21, 2017

Coelho becomes first driver to pull off double ENS win

Having dominated the earlier 1:10 A-Main in France, Bruno Coelho has gone on to also win the 1:8 A-Main at the opening round of the Euro Nitro Series.  The feat makes the Xray driver the first in the championship’s history to win both finals on the same day and further highlights the Portuguese ace’s amazing ability to drive anything RC.  Having shown great form in 1:8 qualifying, a class in which he has previously never featured, he would carry that form into the 45-minute A-Main putting it up to World Champion Simon Kurzbuch.  Unfortunately the showdown was to last only 15-minutes as Kurzbuch’s chances of making it six ENS wins in a row would end with a flame out on the in-lap for his first scheduled tyre stop. While the Shepherd driver would push hard to try salvage a podium, while having a great battle for 2nd with Jilles Groskamp he would again run out of fuel on the last lap, his eventual classification 7th.  Having bumped up from the B-Main, Groskamp would be delighted with second with Toni Gruber benefiting from Kurzbuch running dry to complete the podium on what has been a hugely successful first visit for the ENS to the Mulhouse track.

A driver would could now potential set another record of being the first champion of the ETS, EOS and ENS, he is the current champion of two already, Coelho said, ‘I am trying to win the 3 but for sure this is the most difficult to win because there are many extra factors outside of your control.  I also practice EOS and ETS but my last time to race nitro was last year’.  Summing it up as ‘a great weekend for sure’, he continued ‘while I did not drive we came here better prepared in terms of the set-up of car.  The set-up was 80% ready when we came here thanks to Fabio (Domanin) and for sure the fact I found the track layout amazing was a big point’.  Describing the 1:8 encounter as ‘much harder’ than 1:10, he said, ‘at the beginning Simon was quite fast and I was driving maximum to catch him. Fabio’s refuelling was amazing which allowed me to overtake him and after that I just tried to pull away slowly.  At the end of the race I was shocked when I see I was 3-laps in front’.

‘What can I say I am very happy with second, it was the max I could do’, was Groskamp’s reaction to his ENS 1:8 podium finish with Infinity.  The Dutch driver who finished a frustrating 7th in the 1:10 A-Main, continued, ‘I had to get used to driving again after the 1:10 final and I had a lot of emotion because me and my mechanics didn’t agree on strategy for the 1:10 final.  I think we could have done good in that too.’  Lining up 11th on the grid having won the B-Main to book his place in the main event, recapping the A-Main he said, ‘I made a bad start and was last but then suddenly switched on and in the end was battling with Simon and I was faster on smaller tyres which shows the race pace is there’.   He concluded, ‘I’m happy this was another race I could show I can still do it.  Bruno was 2-laps ahead but thats OK for me because everyone knows he is in another world at the moment’.

Making his first race with WRC with a podium, Gruber summed up the race as ‘totally crazy’.  The WRC driver continued, ‘The start was all good and for the first 5-minutes was good with all the Top 3 fast but then I had a problem with the glowplug which was changing the engine between lean to rich’.  Making two tyre stops, he said this put extra pressure on his crew to make perfect stops which they did.  Sitting fourth with 10-minutes to go he thought that was his race but then Kurzbuch flamed out ‘so I was bumped up to 3rd’.  He said, ‘that was shit for Simon but that’s racing and while the glowplug ruined my race I am happy with the end result.  Its definitely a good start to my season with WRC.’

For Kurzbuch the result was difficult, his team normally completely on top of refuelling.  The ENS Champion said, ‘The first 5-minutes were OK.  I think I had a small touch with Bruno and maybe my tyre get damaged so I was some metres behind Bruno, it was OK.  Then we flamed out. I pushed really hard to catch back up but the fuel was empty in the end, Maybe I pushed too hard.’  He concluded, ‘it is a lesson learnt so we’ll regroup and be back at the next race’.  Just off the podium, ENS debutant Takaaki Shimo would bring his Infinity home in 4th place ahead of the Mugen of Robert Pietsch.  Making his 1:8 debut, reigning 1:10 World Champion Dominic Greiner would complete the Top 6 as the top Serpent in the final.

View complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


If you republish any elements from this page on another website, including text, original pictures or results please be sure to add a link back to this page as the source: