The 2nd round of qualifying for the 1/8th scale class at the season opening round of the 2019 Euro Nitro Series has gone to Dario Balestri. Putting in some very fast laps at the end of the run, the Italian was able to overhaul Simon Kurzbuch who ended the run in 2nd. Carmine Raiola took 3rd from the 2nd fastest heat while Dominic Greiner recovered from an unlucky Q1 yesterday to take 4th, in front of Mirko Salemi while top seed Robert Pietsch had a messy run to take sixth, the top 17 for the round covered by 5 seconds. Describing his run as ‘not perfect because of traffic’, Balestri elaborated by explaining that when you run close to a competitor in front of you at this track it affects the cars aerodynamics meaning you loose some time. Once passed and into clear air the run went a lot better and he was able to push for the rest of the run. His Max engine spluttering once passed the finish line, the World champion said he can’t do more, ‘fuel is marginal but everyone has the same problem’.
Having lead for the majority of the race, Kurzbuch said ‘I don’t know what happened with Dario in the last 3 laps’, joking ‘I need to ask him what line he took’, his rival setting the fastest lap of the race on the 3rd last lap. On his own run he was happy calling it ‘really good and consistent’ but for the 3rd qualifier he will change engine as he feels his current unit has lost power and he knows he can gain a few tenths with one of his other engines.
Carmine Raiola once again put in a very good performance from the 2nd fastest heat, the Infinity driver now sitting in 3rd place after 2 rounds. Also in consistent form and coming out of the same heat Mirko Salemi, driving for Capricorn was once again 5th, the Italian sitting 4th overall.
Asked about his improvement in pace, Greiner mentioned that he wasn’t taken out this time, before going to say it was a good run but he was a little nervous at the start causing him to lose a few tenths saying ‘a few tenths are a few positions’. Taking a pragmatic approach to the remainder of qualifying the German says his first goal is to make the final and despite his car feeling too aggressive, once assured of his place in the 45 minute main tomorrow, he will will play around with setup further.
Top seed Robert Pietsch called his 6th place ‘another bad run, driving very shit’, quick to emphasise that the Mugen car he has designed is working very well and the fault lies with the driver. Making 3 mistakes during the heat, he feels that starting system that the ENS uses, where all drivers go at their own pace to the line, means there is always traffic and this makes him too nervous.