September 7, 2019

Balestri leads Infinity 1-2 at ENS Finale

Outgoing champion Dario Balestri signed off the Euro Nitro Series season finale in Germany with a win leading home team-mate Carmine Raiola for an Infinity 1-2.  Qualifying 3rd on the grid, the World Champion spent the first half of the race behind his team-mate but spilt fuel on the gearbox would put an end to Raiola’s challenge for his first ENS career win.  Qualifying 2nd and 3rd on the grid, Raiola and Balestri initially pursued Top Qualifier Simon Kurzbuch until the newly crowned champion flew off the track on the entry to the straight.  Unfortunately while the Shepherd driver survived the impact, his race would come to a premature end as he succumbed to gearbox issues eventually calling it a day at the half hour mark.  Behind the two white Infinitys, only 6/10th off Raiola, Merlin Depta would take his Serpent to the final step on the podium ahead of team-mate Dominic Greiner with ARC’s John Ermen completing the Top 5 in Ettlingen.

Claiming his 4th 1:8 ENS career win and his third at the Ettlingen track, Balestri summed up the final as ‘a clean race’.  The Italian added, ‘At the start Carmine was really fast. I followed him but at the same time tried to manage the tyres. Our strategy was to stop for fuel earlier than him and then push hard in the second part of the race.  Unfortunately he had a gearbox problem. Without this it would have been a better race’.  Coming straight into the season finale on the back of racing in Japan at the opening of the impressive new Infinity International RC Speedway, he concluded, ‘I am happy to finish the season with a win. Now its time for some holiday before the World Championships’.

Asked about his final, Raiola said, ‘It was OK. Fuel got in the gearbox so one time it worked, one time it did.  I also lost time in my tyre stop but it was a good clean race’.  Backing up his first podium of the season which he claimed at the previous round in Austria, the Italian added, ‘we should really good speed here so everything is ready for the World Championships’.

Reacting to his first podium of the season, Depta said, ‘It was a good race. I had a little incident with John (Ermen) when I tried to pass him when he was a lap down and spun out. It could have ended worse but in the end to finish behind two professional drivers is not the worst outcome’.  Asked if his strategy went as plan the German replied, ‘yeh it was good. We changed the full set at half time.  Klaus (Lechner) was amazing. His pitstops were flawless’.

In the 1:8 40+ A-Main, the title still to be decided at the season finale, there was an exciting finish to the race as John Lenaers got by Top Qualifier Andreas Giesa in the closing laps.  For Giesa however 2nd was enough for the Shepherd driver to clinch the title from Andrea Hächler, who finished today’s race in 3rd. Having to do a gear change during the final leaving him 8th in the final, ENS Aigen winner Alain Levy completed the overall championship points podium.

View the complete event results here.

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