Teemu Leino is the Top Qualifier at ENS Austria, the Infinity driver putting in a dominant performance to take all four rounds of qualifying at the Aigen track. A two time winner up in the Austrian hills, the Championship leader will start ahead of team-mate Jilles Groskamp, the reigning Champion unable challenge to match the Finn’s blistering pace. Claiming his best ever ENS qualifying result, Jakub Rozycki will start from 3rd on the grid for the 45-minute encounter, which, due to inbound rain has been rescheduled to run tonight. Matching his 2017 qualifying result at the track, Melvin Diekmann will start 4th ahead of Milan Holthuis and 2017 podium finisher Thilo Tödtmann.
His second consecutive TQ of the season, Leino said, ‘today was really good, all worked good. Yesterday was good too but we just had the engine issue in the first qualifier’. Chasing his third win of the Season, which would secure him the ENS title he previously won in 2015, he played down his dominance of the event so far saying, ‘I just want to finish the final, I don’t need to take the win’. Asked about strategy for the final, he replied, ‘tyre wear is going to be important. The tyre wear is high but we will see in the practice what we will do for the race’.
Asked to sum up his qualifying, Groskamp replied, ‘Teemu is in a different world although in the last one I closed the gap a little. The car is really good but we struggled with the engine tuning.’ Suffering a flame out in Q3, the Dutch driver explained, ‘the bottom power is not so good so we will run a different engine in the practice to be safe for the final. It is my engine from ENS Round 2 so I know it is stable’. He concluded, ‘the car is working really well and 45-minutes is a different story. I’m looking forward to it’.
A very pleased Rozycki said, ‘my car and engine have been perfect. We found a set-up in practice and didn’t have to chance it in qualifying’. The 22-year-old Polish Xray driver added, ‘I am comfortable with car and confident of a good final. Our tyre strategy is to change just one but we want to check this in the 10-minute final practice’.
Diekmann described his qualifying as having gone ‘very good’. Admitting to a making a nervous start in the first two qualifiers, the German said Q3 was good as the temperatures came. With his Shepherd having too much steering in the cold conditions he said he hopes some set-up changes will give him a better car for the final which is due to take place just before 18:00 when the track should be starting to cool again. The 20-year-old said it’s been a busy event with him having to learn how changes to the many new parts on his car effect the set-up.