April 28, 2019

Greiner takes exciting maiden 1/8th victory

Dominic Greiner has taken a hard fought win in the opening round of the ENS this afternoon in Italy. Better known for his 1/10th exploits, the Serpent driver pulled off a major upset, utilising a well executed tire and fuel strategy to get the better of multiple ENS Champion Simon Kurzbuch. A late flameout by Dario Balestri took the Infinity driver out of contention while mixing it at the front, ending up in 5th, allowing veteran racer Alberto Picco to pick up the pieces and claim 3rd. Coming home 4th, Lamberto Collari looked set early on to throw a curveball to his competitors by going 5 minutes between fuel stops, only to come short on the in lap of his 2nd stop. Having been stuck behind Carmine Raiola early in the 30 minute main, once passed Greiner had to set about catching the leading pair of Kurzbuch and Balestri, and was helped by doing 4 minutes between stops, his OS engine not as thirsty as the Novarossi based power units of those ahead. With all those up front on the same basic tire strategy, changing just the outside tires first and then all four, by the end of the race Greiner’s tires were done and with Kurzbuch catching him fast he said ‘I had to remain calm as I knew I had only one minute to go’. His first podium in the 1/8th class at ENS, the German praised the improvements made to his Serpent 988 over the winter and is looking forward to a competitive season.

Just coming up short, only 4 tenths back after 30 minutes, Kurzbuch was upset that Balestri caused what he felt was an avoidable collision as the Italian flamed out. The Swiss driver believed that Dario, having had his engine splutter on the 3 previous corners, should have pulled to the side to let the faster driver past as he slowed but instead came to a stop on the racing line causing a crash that sent the Shepherd driver off track, the time lost considerably more than the losing margin to Greiner. Despite this he said ‘Overall it was really good, our strategy was right’, but did feel that his engine lost a little power midway through the final but that his pit crew and himself gave it their all. Particularly happy with his final pitstop, some 2 seconds quicker than his others, he had warned his crew over the radio that he was going to come in fast and could be painful to catch but his father Christian didn’t miss a beat and could give him the advantage he needed. Summing up the weekend he said ‘I got the TQ point and 2nd, so it’s already a better start than last season’.

Alberto Picco would come through the field from his 9th place starting position to take the final podium spot, the likeable Italian putting it down to ‘just trying to be consistent’. Feeling he had a very good pace, almost on par with those in front, too much time was lost in an early incident, a bunch of cars coming together, Alberto admitting that when the carnage had settled he had lost where his car was for a moment. Once back on track his experience showed and he could work his way through the pack, inheriting 3rd place as Balestri hit trouble.

Racing on his home track, early on Lamberto Collari looked set for an upset as he was able to stretch his pit stop window to 5 minutes, which would have given him almost a 3 pitstop advantage over his rivals. However just before his 2nd stop his Max Power engine ground to a halt on the in-lap, losing him a considerable amount of time. Putting the run time down to a smooth driving style, the 9-time World Champion believed that without this flame out he would have been there at the end to fight the others for the win. Following his flameout a disappointed Dario Balestri was able to get his car started back up to bring his IF18 home in  5th position, just in front of his team mate Carmine Raiola in 6th and the two B-main bump up drivers Silvio Hachler and Rick Vrielijnck completing the top 8.

In the 1/8th 40+ class, it was a very exciting race as eventual winner Stefano Solaroli worked his way to the front having started from 5th, but even more exciting was the final laps of the 30 minute encounter that saw German Shepherd driver Andreas Giesa close rapidly on the Italian as he struggled with his tires. The pair eventually separated by 2 seconds at the finish with Rudi Scherer completing the podium as pole man Andrea Hächler had a troubled race finishing in 4th.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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