September 23, 2018

Greiner wins but Groskamp crowned ENS Champion with P2

Dominic Greiner did exactly what was asked of him at the season finale of the Infinity Euro Nitro Series securing the TQ and the win in Fiorano but a strategic drive to second place by Jilles Groskamp sees him crowned the 2018 Champion.  The Infinity driver came into the weekend leading the points with Greiner his only challenger for the overall title.  The Serpent driver’s first obstacle was the bonus TQ point which he needed to have to go into the 45-minute A-Main in contention for the title.  He did that in style, his pace one notch above everyone while Groskamp found himself P4 on the grid.  A track that has played into the hands of the Dutch driver’s skill of playing the long game, his 2015 title coming about thanks to doing to final without a tyre stop that secured him second place which was enough for the overall win, he again played that card today getting the second place which gives him the title on tie-break.  There would be a dramatic start to the final as second place starter Teemu Leino tried a move down the inside of Greiner into the second corner that result in contact and the World Champion going flying off the track.  Cutting the track, Greiner was then forced to wait dropping him back to the back but the German quickly proved why he is the benchmark for 1:10 racers as he needed just 10-minutes to get back to the front where were he took total control of the race.  A single side tyre strategy, that came early in the race, was Groskamp’s strategy and knowing he didn’t need to finish ahead of Greiner he drove a title winning race to second.  Leader for a time after the first corner clash, engine tuning issues ended former winner Alessio Mazzeo’s bid for glory with contact with a slower car then finishing any hope of getting by Groskamp for second with the Xray driver eventually finishing in the final podium position, half a lap back.

Summing up the season finale as ‘a hard race’, Groskamp said, ‘At the start Teemu hit Dominic. I heard he had no brakes. I know it looked different but I know Teemu would never do that’.  Winner of the season opener and again at Round 3 in Aigen, he continued, ‘I knew all I needed was second and I knew we had an advantage on the pit stops. I changed two tyres and when I saw Mazzeo changed four I thought lets see how fast he is now but he didn’t gain much on me in the middle of the race. At 10-minute to go I knew I had enough gap to finish second’.  Giving Infinity its second 1:10 ENS title win, Leino securing the first in 2016, Groskamp added, ‘our strategy was perfect and gave us the result we needed, we didn’t have the pace. Dominic even with a crash won by a lap and a half. I’m happy with my driving and Felix (Heyse) did a perfect job in the pits. He did a lot of work with the engines and we had no trouble with engines or run time’.  He concluded, ‘I am super happy to win the championship and with my consistency at all the rounds but I know Dominic is faster and we have some work to do for the World Championships’.

‘I did my best’, said Greiner, the ENS title still eluding him.  He continued, ‘It was a crazy start. I went very wide. I saw Teemu coming on my inside and he crashed me.  He said he had no brakes.  After that I was on the grass and cut the track and I had to wait to let all the car go by me.  Then I passed all the cars back and won the race.  The title was so close but Jilles had a good strategy. He did a great job, got second (in the race) and that was it’.  Debuting Serpent’s new 750 chassis in Italy this weekend and using it to claim his fifth ENS career win, he said, ‘I had more pace than the others and I could have pushed more so it was a good showing for the new car.  I passed all the cars in the first 10-minutes. I hope for the worlds we have the same pace. That’s the most important thing at the moment’.

Giving his side of the first lap contact with the Top Qualifier, Leino said, ‘I tried to go inside and went full power but when I went full brake I didn’t have enough brake.  It was my fault’.  Finishing the race down in 7th despite setting the fastest lap, the Finn said, ‘the car had great pace but I had a mistake in which the car flamed out’.

A disappointed Mazzeo said, ‘we had some issues in the final with the engine. In two refuelling we lose time to adjust the engine. I think it was the plug.  The first 8-minutes was all ok but when Dominic arrived I had no speed to battle with him’.  The Italian, who finished third in the final overall standings, continued, ‘For sure we had the speed to fight with Jilles but some drivers today were not very sporting. Sure its a race but to have respect for each other is very important.  I tried to pass a driver who was three laps down and he crashed me and I lose 8-seconds. I lost second in the race because of this’.  Behind Mazzeo, WRC driver Melvin Diekmann would finish fourth while Xray’s Leo Arnold secured 5th having bumped up from the B-Main earlier in the day.

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