Teemu Leino is the 2019 Euro Nitro Series Champion, the 2016 champion securing back to back 1:10 titles today for Infinity with a thrilling win over team-mate & outgoing Champion Jilles Groskamp. Securing the TQ in Austria with a dominant performance in all four qualifiers, the Finn looked like he was going to continue that form in the final but in the final 5-minutes Groskamp made an impressive charge for one of the closest finishes in ENS history. With Leino holding a steady 2-second gap for much of the race, last year’s Aigen winner hunted him down bringing the gap down to 2/10th as they crossed the line. Having won the opening two rounds of the Championship in Italy and the Netherlands, Leino third consecutive win secures him the title with the perfect campaign. While the two Infinity drivers the class of the field, it was Shepherd’s Melvin Diekmann who completed the Round 3 podium after battle with team-mate Thilo Tödtmann ended when he hit gearbox issues. France’s Quentin Leroux had a good race coming from P8 to 4th over the 45-minutes ahead of Rico Kröber who had bumped up to the 12th and final spot on the A-Main from the B-Final.
Reacting to his title win in his typical understate Finnish manner, Leino said, ‘For me it has been the perfect season, 3 wins from 3 races. I have to thank Kenji San for making this all possible and all my sponsors’. On today’s race, the win making him the ENS’s most successful 1:10 driver with 6 career wins, he said, ‘all went to plan in the race but Jilles had more tyre left than me because he stopped later. I was out of tyres at the end. I also didn’t want to risk anything because I still needed to take it easy to get a finish’. Securing Infinity’s first international win here with their 1:10 chassis in 2016, the European Champion said, ‘this has been a good track for me and Infinity. The car has always been really good here’.
‘It was a great race’ was how a very pleased Groskamp summed up the exciting finish. The Dutchman continued, ‘I didn’t expect it to be so close in the end. I thought he was just cruising because he pulled away so much at the start but then I had a little more tyres and that is why I could catch him’. Explaining his charge at the end, he said, ‘It was always around 2-seconds of a gap but on my last stop I told Armin I was going to push like crazy for the last 5-minutes. I could have tried a move on his inside but I didn’t want to take him out because of the Championship’. He concluded, ‘I wasn’t able to match him in qualifying but I always can bring it for the final. It was one of the closest race finishes of the ENS and I am happy to have been part of that’.
Claiming his first ENS podium since making the switch to Shepherd, Diekmann was happy describing the result as ‘really good’. The German said, ‘At the beginning I was very fast and I was behind Jilles. Then Thilo got on my rear and I made a mistake at the end of the straight and had a spin. My tyre stop was not perfect either and I spun again at the end of the pit lane. At the end I got lucky as Thilo lost 2nd gear. I’m happy to make the podium but at the same time I feel for Thilo. We are good friends and we have worked really hard together in the team’.