May 25, 2019

Leino TQ’s 1/10th at Dutch ENS

Teemu Leino has taken his fourth overall ENS TQ despite failing to match his earlier results in this evening’s final two qualifiers.  With his earlier wins in Q1 and Q2, that was enough to secure him the overall pole position, the winner in Bologna extended his Championship points lead thanks to TQ bonus point.

Joking that “it was just OK” when asked if he was pleased with the result today, he followed up by explaining that he had changed nothing in terms of the car setup and just relied on his driving and his mechanic Felix’s work in the pit lane.  Saying that the “car feels OK for the final”, he will also keep the car the same for the final but fit a different engine.  When asked about the tyre wear for tomorrow, he thought a little before responding that he doesn’t “care what the others do on strategy”, and that he will just drive as fast as he can for 45 minutes.

Jilles Groskamp will make it an Infinity 1-2 on the A Final grid.  The Dutch driver set the best time in the third round of qualifying and finished the day off with a second in the evening’s closing round.  Reporting his car as “really nice” in Q3, he was at a loss to explain his lack of pace in Q4.  Saying this was maybe due to a change in the track conditions, he thinks the “strategy is quite OK for tomorrow”.  Often a driver to try something different in the long finals, the current ENS 1/10th Champion hinted he didn’t expect to do anything very different to the other drivers at the front of the grid, concluding that “the car is good also on small tyres”.

Leo Arnold, who had been quickest in practice, struggled early in qualifying with gearbox and one-way issues affecting the first two rounds.  But the French driver, who took the overall TQ at Round 1 of the series in Bologna, found speed towards the end of qualifying, taking second in Q3 and the fastest time in the final round.  Admitting that their focus today had been on fixing the earlier issues, he had not changed the setup of the car throughout the four rounds.  Looking towards the final, the Xray driver said they will “check the tyre [wear] and fuel in practice”, but he “expects a close race – strategy and small mistakes will decide the winner”.

Fellow Frenchman Quentin Leroux will line up fourth for the A Final.  The Capricorn driver being seeded in the second from top heat after practice, meaning he hasn’t had the opportunity to run against the other front runners during qualifying.  This leaves a bit of a question mark as to how everyone will stack up when on the track at the same time, but the practice session should allow things to be quickly worked out.

Completing the top five is Milan Holthuis.  After showing strong pace in practice, the Dutch youngster was able to convert this into qualifying pace with a third in the last round.  A change to softer shock oil was the biggest change to his IF15 chassis as he reverted back to the setup he ran on Thursday’s practice day.  When asked what he expects in the final, his father jumped in with “at least what we have now – or a bit better!”.  Expecting a tough race tomorrow, Holthuis wants to enjoy the experience and hopes to remain in contention at the front.  Behind the Dutch driver, Patrick Nahr marked his return to the ENS to be the best Shepherd, heading team mates Thilo Todtmann and Melvin Diekmann, whilst the other direct A Final spots are taken by Jakub Rozycki and Basile Concialdi.  The last A Final places will be decided tomorrow as the top two finishers in the B Final will bump up to make a 12 car grid.

View the complete event results here.

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