September 6, 2019

Groskamp to start ENS Season Finale on pole

Jilles Groskamp is to start the Season Finale of the Euro Nitro Series in Germany tomorrow from pole position.  The former champion claimed his first overall TQ of the 2019 championship when he made it three out of three in the penultimate round of qualifying at Ettlingen after Thilo Tödtmann’s challenge for pole ended in traffic.  On a TQ run, just as the heat reached 3/4 distance Tödtmann passed the slower car of Quentin Leroux only to be hit by the French driver at the following corner, the contact leading to the Shepherd driver’s car coming to a stop.  This allowed the Infinity of Groskamp to go to the top where he would stay to finish half a second up on Shepherd team-mates Patrick Nähr and Melvin Diekmann.

Reacting to what is only his second ever ENS TQ, Groskamp said, ‘I was a bit lucky Thilo crashed but you first have to finish to finish 1st’.  The Dutchman continued, ‘My car was easy to drive but Thilo was faster but he didn’t keep it on the track and I did. We still have to make the car faster so I will try something in the final qualifier’.  The former Electric Touring Car World Champion said his tyre choice for Q3 was ‘probably not the best decision’ explaining, ‘I thought re-run tyres would be faster than new so I went out on used and they weren’t.  We still have to find our way on a few points but qualifying is done and we can work on the finals’.  He concluded, ‘It is always nice to get a TQ’.

Explaining his unfortunate exit from Q3, Tödtmann said, ‘Quentin opened for me and then the next corner he hit me. I don’t think he did it on purpose’.  The German added, ‘the TQ is not important but the championship point it carries is. Myself and Melvin are battling for third in the championship (tied on points) so it would have been a help. One positive of the run was that I copied what Melvin did for Q2 and changed to a stiffer rear roll bar which helped a lot. The track is getting more grip every time’.

Enjoying an improvement in his finishing position with each round, Nähr said, ‘It’s going a lot better than yesterday and the day before. We changed the rear roll bar to harder one for Q3 and the car was more stable.  For the last one I will change a harder rear diff which I hope will give me more steering in the long corner at the end of the straight’.

The driver to lead the rear roll bar change when he was first to try it in Q2, Diekmann said it allowed him to challenge Groskamp for the second round TQ but leading the heat he said the nerves got the better of him and he put his car on the grass, eventually finishing with a P4.  Confident he could challenge for the TQ in Q3, unfortunately his engine ran very rich and he will now switch it out for his final qualifying attempt.  Currently holding fourth on the grid, the German joked, ‘I’ve saved the best for last’.

In the third of the 1:8 qualifiers it was a repeat of Q2 with Simon Kurzbuch again fastest from Dario Balestri,  this time the Shepherd driver having 1-second advantage over the Infinity ace who managed the fastest lap.  Dominic Greiner made it three different manufacturers in the Top 3, his Serpent 6/10th off Balestri followed by Lars Hoppe and John Ermen.  Q1 winner Carmine Raiola had another disappointing run finishing outside the Top 10 but with 2 of four to count he will be hoping to end the day as he started it and deny Champion Kurzbuch the final TQ of the season.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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