July 7, 2017

Wischnewski top seed at ENS Germany

Dirk Wischnewski is the top seed for qualifying at Round 2 of the Euro Nitro Series in Germany after the new Mugen signing set the fastest 3-consecutive laps in controlled practice at Minidrom Ettlingen.  Winner of the race in 2015, the German topped the times from Round 1 winner Bruno Coelho with Eduardo Escandon completing the Top 3.  On the podium at the season opener Erik Dankel was fourth fastest ahead of reigning champion Teemu Leino and Mulhouse second place finisher Alessio Mazzeo.

‘Quite good, for a new car it has started good’, was Wischnewski’s reaction to becoming the top seed.  Fourth fastest in the first of the two rounds of controlled practice, he said a diff change for CP2 improved his MTX6R a lot.  With it ‘now more easy to drive’  he will leave it unchanged for Q1,  the first two of the five scheduled rounds of qualifying taking place later today’.  Asked about the switch to Mugen after his long stint as Shepherd’s top 1:10 team driver, the former European Champion replied, ‘the car felt completely different at the beginning and I had to get used to it but I like the car’.

Fastest in CP1, Coelho said ‘we tried a different set-up for the second one but it wasn’t until right at the end that it got better’. Finishing just under 2/10ths off Wischnewski but with the fastest lap of controlled practice, the Xray driver said, ‘overall I’m happy with the car’s performance and for the first qualifier we will go for a set-up in the middle (of those be ran in CP1 and CP2).

On his first visit to the Ettlingen track since it underwent a resurfacing in 2014, Escandon reacted to his Top 3 pace by saying, ‘I’m really happy with my car and engine package but the driver need to be a little better’.  Joining Shepherd for the 2017 season, the Spaniard added, ‘Its my first time on the new track and I feel I need more practice because the grip is really strange.  You need to drive really careful on the steering because the car has too much grip at the front and its very easy to lose the rear’.  With a mistake on one of his 3-counting laps, the Round 1 fifth place finisher said, ‘the car is on pace so I will leave it for Q1 and just try to improve my driving’.

‘Overall its ok’ was Dankel’s reaction to his practice.  The former Champion continued, ‘the first one was OK but it felt like I pulled a few others around in the last one and helped give them good laps times’.  With his CP1 time counting, contact with another car on the penultimate lap of CP2 ended his chances of a better time with his first two laps having been up on those of his counting time.  Asked about having a new team-mate, having been Mugen’s sole represented for the last year, Dankel replied, ‘yes its good to have a team-mate to work with and Dirk is also a good friend’.  In terms of set-up he said they run the cars 90% the same with the 10% difference to suit their individual driving styles.

Leino summed up practice with, ‘its so, so, not too bad’.  The Infinity driver, who suffered a DNF at the season opener, said, ‘this track is always the same, all the 1:10 cars drive square and thats something we are still working on to make it more smooth to drive’.  He added, ‘usually 1:10 always push but here not, it’s a pretty unique surface’.

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