September 7, 2019

Nähr secures first ENS win at Season Finale

Patrick Nähr has secured his first ENS career win, the Shepherd driver leading a 1-2 finish for his team at the season finale in Ettlingen, Germany.  Only returning to competitive racing this season after a break due to work commitments, Nähr would have a great battle with Melvin Diekmann as the German duo each looked to lay claim on their first ever win of the championship.  As the race concluded Diekmann, who led for quite sometime, had the faster car but trying to make a pass on the penultimate lap he made contact with his team-mate.  Waiting for Nähr’s car to be returned to the track he himself went off the track putting an end to what was building up to be a thrilling finish to the sixth season of the ENS.  Qualifying 3rd and 4th respectively, Nähr & Diekmann found themselves at the front after an unfortunate incident between Top Qualifier Jilles Groskamp and Thilo Tödtmann.  Having engine issues in the warm-up, Groskamp started the race ok with Tödtmann on his bumper but the engine flamed out 3-minutes into the race and with nowhere to go Tödtmann ran into the rear of it causing a pivot ball to come off.  Both would rejoin and Tödtmann challenged for the podium on the final lap but missed out to Leo Arnold while Groskamp got 6th.

Reacting to his win, Nähr joked, ‘Now my nerves are OK again’.  He explained, ‘we planned for longer fuel stops but after 15-minutes it flamed out in the middle of the track which was not in our plans’.  Only returning to racing at the second round of this year’s championship, he continued, ‘After 20-minutes we changed all four tyres but the second set was not good.  The car was difficult to drive. It was not easy.  My car was better in qualifying than in the final’.  On his battle with team-mate Diekmann he said, ‘My tyres were blank and Melvin had changed twice so he had more speed’.  Becoming only the 9th different 1:10th race winner in the ENS’ 24-race history, Nähr said it felt good to take a major international race win again with his last being when he won the European B Championship back in 2011.

Summing up his race, Diekmann said, ‘The beginning was very good and then we had some luck with Thilo and Jilles’ problem. Our plan was to change only the right side tyres but during the stop they saw that the left side was too small to get to the end so then in the middle of the race we had to stop again to change all four’.  He continued, ‘during this stop the body tucked on the right side and I had to pit for my father to pull out the body so we lost more time. I had fresh tyres so I pushed as hard as I could but I lost time battling with Leo (Arnold).  When I did get passed I was able to catch Patrick but then I touched him so it was on me to wait then  I was out of time.’.  Equalling his best ENS result, he concluded, ‘Overall it was a very good race, but tough, and it was a great result for the Shepherd team’.

After a weekend that started out with him seeding in the second fastest qualifying heat, Arnold was pleased with finish on the podium.  The Xray driver said, ‘the event started bad so 3rd is a good result.  I did three races this season and finished all of them on the podium and today’s result secures me 2nd in the overall championship. I’m happy for this’.  Starting 7th on the grid, on today’s race the ENS Bologna Top Qualifier said, ‘the engine went rich after 5-minutes I had to race 40-minutes like this which was hard in the straight. I also had to make 2-more (fuel) stops than planned because of this’.

A disappointed Groskamp explained, ‘I think we had dirt in the fuel or dirt in the carb and then we couldn’t tune the engine in the warm-up.  3-minutes into the race it suddenly flamed out. We changed the plug but it was very rich and I had to pit a few times to lean it out and once we found the right tuning it went perfect for the next 40-minutes’.  Losing his overall championship podium with today’s result, the former champion concluded, ‘We should have been right there today and I also feel sorry for Thilo, he was very fast this weekend’.

Setting the fastest lap of the 45-minute final, Tödtmann said, ‘Jilles had a flame out and stopped when I hit him the pivot ball came off.  I rejoined 3-laps behind and caught back 2-laps.  I changed only the right side tyres and Leo changed all 4 so he had more tyres. I tried to attack on the last lap but we crashed and it wasn’t fair so I waited. It was a very hard 45-minutes’.

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