September 22, 2018

Title ‘still alive’ as Greiner secures TQ at ENS Italy

Dominic Greiner’s hopes of a first Euro Nitro Series title are ‘still alive’ after the Serpent driver secured the overall TQ in the fourth & final round of qualifying in Fiorano, Italy.  Needing the bonus championship point so as to start the final with a chance denying championship leader Jilles Groskamp his second title, Greiner took Q4  by over 1.3-seconds from Alessio Mazzeo.  The only driver who could potentially start on pole having TQ’d Q3, Teemu Leino couldn’t match Greiner ending up third quickest ahead of his Infinity team-mate Groskamp.  Overall the result means Leino will start second with Mazzeo moving ahead of Groskamp to start third with Erik Dankel completing the Top 5 on the grid.  In order for Greiner, the championship’s most winning driver, to secure the title he first must win and then hope that Groskamp is third or lower.

‘It is still alive. The first step is done’, was the reaction of a happy looking Greiner.  The 2-time Fiorano winner continued, ‘that was the final set-up we ran and it was very stable and easy.  For sure it is closer than other years.  We have improved with the new car but they have improved a lot.  With Teemu and Alessio it be will be a hard fight for 45-minutes’.  Asked about strategy, the German said, ‘there is less wear than previous years but if its 1 side or all four (tyres) we will see’.  On fuel and run time he said, ‘the run time is ok for the speed we have’.

Commenting on Q4, Leino said, ‘that didn’t work out’.  The Finn explained, ‘We tried a little change in the set-up.  We changed the droop but had less grip and steering.  Its still close anyway’.  Asked his feeling about tomorrow’s final he replied, ‘Many people can win.  I think everyone will change tyres one time and while the (fuel) run time here is not bad I think there will be differences.  Jilles can run long like always.’  Asked if he could help his team-mate to the title, the former champion replied, ‘I will just do my own race.  I am here to win.  Jilles just needs to finish second’.

Feeling the heat after his qualifying saying, ‘it is very hot, even though I am not moving on the driver stand I feel like I have just run 5 or 6km’, Mazzeo put in ‘a safe drive’.  The former winner of the event added, ‘our car is a little hard to drive in the hot conditions and I saw the others were quicker so I concentrated on making a safe run and save 3rd position on the grid’.  Thinking of the final, the Xray driver added, ‘Tomorrow I think will be very close between the Top 4.  Strategy will be very important to the outcome of the race, more than the other races.  The Groskamp style race of 6-minute stops and no tyre change, I think you need this style tomorrow’.

A disappointed Groskamp reacted with, ‘I tried everything but I can’t stop Dominic this time.  I tried many things and the gap was still the same’.  The season’s only double winner continued, ‘I hoped I would start more at the front of the grid but with Alessio and Teemu a little faster than me maybe 4th is not so bad and hopefully they can fight with Dominic’.  Asked his approach to the final, he said, ‘We will do something a little different for the final and I think we have a good strategy.  We don’t have the pace so the strategy is key’.

View the complete event results here.

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