Alessio Mazzeo has TQ’d the opening round of 1:10 qualifying at the Infinity Euro Nitro Series in the Netherlands. A very close Q1, the Xray driver would top the times from the Infinity’s of Jilles Groskamp and Teemu Leino. With the Top 4 covered by just half a second, Shepherd’s Eduardo Escandon would get a P4 for the first of the four qualifiers ahead of WRC’s Melvin Diekmann. For Top Seed Dominic Greiner, a broken rear belt in the warm-up would prevent him from starting the qualifier while Serpent team-mate Mark Green also failed to start suffering an engine failure in the warm-up.
‘We are really happy. This is the best possible start we could ask for’, was Mazzeo’s reaction to his TQ. Leading the defence of Xray’s 1:10 title as reigning Champion Bruno Coelho’s schedule has ruled him out of the ENS this season, the Italian added, ‘It was a clean run except for two mistakes. I had a bad plug which made the engine go rich and then go lean and this caused me to miss my lines two times’. The former race winner, who is slightly under the weather here in Rucphen, said, ‘it is very close with Jilles, Dominic and Teemu and Eduardo is now also better. For the next one I will not change the car, just put in a new glowplug’.
Groskamp said, ‘It was a super close race and I think everyone had a bad lap’. The former champion continued, ‘I took the curb and lost 1-second. Also my engine was too rich for the first part of the heat. Maybe that cost me the TQ but I am happy with my pace’. Running a prototype of Infinity’s upcoming IF15, he said, ‘I wont change anything for Q2, just make the engine more lean. I’m still happy with second and that I was only 1/10th (of a second) behind Mazzeo’.
Summing up his opening qualifier on what is a beautiful sunny morning at the De Baanbrekers track, Leino also reported the engine tuning as his only real issue. The Finn said, ‘We had a little problem with the engine tuning being too rich. I also got sideways onto the straight which cost me 4/10th, which is a lot when it is so close but 3rd is OK’. The 2016 Champion was quick to point out Greiner’s absence from Q1 saying, ‘Dominic didn’t drive so we need to see how he goes and see where we are at. I think we need to improve to be competitive against Dominic’. Leino will make ‘small adjustments’ to his car for his second qualifier.
‘I lost it on the last lap’ was Escandon’s reaction to his Q1 performance. The Spaniard continued, ‘I heard I was 2nd so I pushed on the last lap but made a little mistake’. On his car he said, ‘the car and engine was pretty good and easy to drive so I am really happy. I will leave it the same and just try to make a completely clean run in the next one’.
Diekmann was very pleased with his P5 saying, ‘this is very good for me, I got lucky that Dominic didn’t run’. The German who made a number of A-Main appearance’s last season added, ‘my goal is Top 10 so I am very happy. I had a lot of clear track which helped. The car is good so I will just try to drive another clean run in the next one’.