June 9, 2018

3 different TQs in Germany as Mazzeo takes Q3

Alessio Mazzeo has become the third different driver to post a TQ run in as many rounds of qualifying the Infinity Euro Nitro Series Round 2 in Germany.  With Dominic Greiner taking Q1, Jilles Groskamp Q2, it was the turn of Mazzeo in the penultimate qualifier to go top of the very closely matched field with the Top 4 covered by just half a second. With a flame out delaying  Groskamp in the pitlane before the start causing him to arrive at the loop with the time already running, Mazzeo would top the times from Greiner and a much improved Teemu Leino who had Erik Dankel just 0.034 behind him.  The result means it is all to play for in the final qualifier with Greiner, currently with the fastest TQ time, Mazzeo and Groskamp all tied on points.

‘I’m really happy because also in the second round we had a chance at the TQ’, was Mazzeo’s reaction.  The Xray driver, who was Top Qualifier at the season opener in Rucphen last month, added, ‘It was very hard for sure. To arrive at the end with the first four drivers on the same second is crazy’.  The Italian said his TQ was not straight forward saying, ‘After 3-minutes its gets difficult. I think the wheel is too soft for these temperatures. I think it is the same for all the drivers but I am really happy with my engine and car. We can fight for the win tomorrow and obviously for the TQ in the last one’.

‘We tried something crazy but also did something crazy that we didn’t plan’, said a slight foolish feeling Greiner, the Serpent driver having forgot to connect the front roll bar for the run.  The World Champion continued, ‘I have the question now do I continue with the crazy set-up, with the roll bar connected or do I try something else.  The car is fast but not good. I’m not happy with it’.

Breaking into the Top 3 for the first time this weekend, former Ettlingen race winner Leino said, ‘I have been getting better every time but for this one I put fresh bearings in the car and changed the droop and it was much better’.  Looking to better his 10th and 6th from Q1 & 2, the Finnish Infinity driver will now make a rear wing adjustment moving it further back saying ‘it was way too forward’ on the car.

‘So close, it is a little frustrating to finish last of our group (Top 4)’, was how Dankel described his Q3 effort.  The Mugen driver added, the first 3 or 4 laps my driving was not clean.  The TQ was possible but in the end it was my mistakes that cost me a chance’.  Having struggled with his car in the previous qualifier, the German said the car was now good adding that after fitting a new rear diff the car ‘at least turns right and left corner the same now so for sure it was better’.  Behind Dankel, Francesco Tironi would post the 5th fastest time with Thilo Todtmann completing the Top 6 ahead of Shepherd team-mate Eduardo Escandon.

Explaining his issues in Q3, Groskamp said, ‘I came in late for fuel before the start but had a flame out and that allowed the first car to go by and complete his first lap which meant the clock was already running so I was already 6.9-seconds down. I need to come in a little earlier before the start next time’. With no chance of a time, the championship leader pulled in after 5-laps.

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