July 19, 2019

Raiola sets free practice pace at ENS Aigen

Carmine Raiola has set the pace in free practice for the third round of the Infinity Euro Nitro Series in Aigen, Austria.  The Infinity driver would conclude the 12 rounds of free practice run over the past two days with a best 3-consecutive laps that was 1/10th of a second faster than the unique track’s winner of the last four years Simon Kurzbuch.  Completing the Top 3 would be Serpent’s Dominic Greiner who like those ahead of him ended free practice with his fastest run.  Unable to improve on his time from the 10th round, the second run of today, reigning champion Dario Balestri found himself 4th fastest.

‘I’m happy but it’s not super easy’, was Raiola’s reaction after topping the times.  The Italian continued, ‘3 laps is ok but doing the full 4-minutes is hard work.  The traction is low so you have understeer and the curbs here are very dangerous’.  With two rounds of controlled practice ahead of them now before the first round of qualifying concludes Friday’s action in the Austrian hills, the World Championship Finalist concluded, ‘we need to try something in controlled practice to make it a little easier.  The traction has reached a point now that it is just staying the same and not improving with more cars running on the track’.

With 3/10th separating the Top 4 over 3-laps, Kurbuch said, ‘It is really close, as it has been all year, and it is not just Dario but Carmine, Dominic and others.  Free practice was OK for us but we still want to make the car easier to drive.  It is fast but difficult to drive’.  Asked what he felt he was lacking, the Shepherd driver replied, ‘the reason the car is difficult is because of the track conditions, the traction is low’.

A previous winner here in 1:10, Greiner summed up his free practice with, ‘It is not so bad today but yesterday we went the wrong direction with the set-up.  We improved it this morning and now I’m working on just driving it.  Overall I am happy with the car’.  Focused on 1:8 this season as it is a World Championship year for the sports oldest class, the Serpent driver explained, ‘we are trying a lot of new stuff here in preparation for the car we will run at the Worlds so we had a lot going on yesterday’.  Asked what he thought of the track the German replied, ‘For 1:8 it is tricky.  I like it more for 1:10. More traction would be better’.

‘OK’ was Balestri’s response on how free practice had gone.  The World Champion added, ‘this has always been a difficult track for me to find a good balance in all the years I have come here so I am not surprised.  Describing the track as ‘too small for 1:8’, the Infinity ace who secured the Japanese company’s first 1:8 TQ of the ENS last time out in the Netherlands, concluded, ‘It is so hard to get the perfect balance and the curbs just add to the difficulty but we will keep trying to find our way’.

In 1:10, it was also Infinity that set the pace with Teemu Leino quickest from team-mate & last year’s winner Jilles Groskamp by 2/10ths.  Just missing out on the podium in the Netherlands but recoding his best ever ENS finish, Milan Holthuis is backed up his home race form to make it an all IF15 at the top of the free practice time sheets.  Melvin Diekmann took his Shepherd to the fourth fastest time ahead of the Xray of Jakub Rozycki with Patrick Nähr completing the Top 6.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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