Remarks – Young Serpent driver Dominic Greiner, who found his pace in round 3 ending up second behind Pietsch, is using a mostly stock car. The only major option he has installed on his 747 are the new shorter shocks which combined with the lower shock towers give the German driver a better feeling. Regarding the setup, Dominic told us this is the first time he is using the solid front axle, which he has chosen to help get more forward traction out of the corners.
Jilles Groskamp set the pace in the penultimate round of qualifying at the Euro Nitro Series in Austria, the Dutch ace followed closely by a much improved Dirk Wischnewski whose Xray was just 1/10th shy of the time set by the Shepherd driver. Capricorn’s Eric Dankel completed the Top 3 while already confirmed Top Qualifier Robert Pietsch pulled up after just a minute & a half after a set-up change left his Mugen ‘really bad’ to drive. With Pietsch opting to sit out the final two 1:8 qualifiers it was former European Champion Jernej Vuga who TQ’d Q4 ahead of newly crowned Euro B Champion Daniel Sieber with Austrian Michael Klausner’s Mugen completing the Top 3.
1:10 Qualifying Round 4
1. Jilles Groskamp – Shepherd/Maxima – 13/4:00.578
2. Dirk Wischnewski – Xray/Novarossi – 13/4:00.688
3. Eric Dankel – Capricorn/Novarossi – 13/4:01.186
4. Dominic Greiner – Serpent/Picco – 13/4:02.029
5. Patrick Schafer – Shepherd/Sonic – 13/4:02.269
6. Francesco Tironi – Capricorn/Novarossi – 13/4:03.153
7. Patrick Nahr – Shepherd/Novarossi – 13/4:03.572
8. Adrien Bertin – KM Racing/Orion – 13/4:03.912
9. Leo Arnold – Capricorn/Orion – 13/4:04.666
10.Gerhard Kandelhart – Shepherd/Orcan – 13/4:06.571
Remarks – Top Qualifier here at Kirchberg, Robert is using a standard MTX-5, although he managed to test some new parts that might be released soon. Apart from those tests, Robert told us that he’s sticking with the standard setup he is used to and that the car is pretty well balanced. With new tires he experienced a bit of understeer, but that is the same for every other driver. Very happy with his complete package, he said he’s confident for tomorrow as longer finals are his natural habitat.
Robert Pietsch is the Top Qualifier for Race 2 of the Euro Nitro Series ‘Pilot Series’ taking place in Austria after he completed a hat trick of TQ runs in the third round of qualifying to wrap up early pole position for the tomorrow’s 1:10 and 1:8 A-Main finals. The German’s closest rivals in the opening two qualifiers, Jilles Groskamp and Eric Dankel, both crashed in Q3 and retired allowing him to take the round unchallenged ahead of Serpent’s Dominic Greiner and a much improved Dirk Wischnewski. In 1:8 which is lacking the dept of field seen at Race 1 in Hockenheim, Pietsch was easily the class of the field topping the times by over 6-seconds from the Shepherd of Euro B Champion Daniel Sieber and Xray’s Jernej Vuga.
Top Qualifier in 1:8 at the opening ENS Race at Hockenheim, Pietsch was particularly pleased to take the overall 1:10 TQ honours among the high quality field who he will come against in August as he tries to get back the European Championship title which he held in 2011. ‘Really happy’ with the performance of his car and Novarossi engine over the three qualifiers, changing very little between rounds, he said he is pretty confident for the finals as his cars and his driving tend to be better the longer the race is. Asked if he plans to use the remaining two qualifiers to work on a set-up for the 45-minute Mains he said while he would use the runs to try a few things this was purely as practice and that his intention is to run the cars the same as he did in qualifying.
Greiner was pleased with his run to the second fastest time. Less than 6/10ths off, the Serpent driver said his Picco powered 747 was real easy to drive. Planning to leave the set-up as is for the penultimate qualifier, the Euro B Vice Champion said he might try a different bodyshell to get a back to back comparison between the Protoform P37 he has run so far and Xceed’s Spark shell.
Looking a lot happier than he has so far this weekend, Wischnewski said a complete change of shock set-up gave him a car he is a lot more comfortable with. Having struggled with a lack of overall traction he said the base feeling of his Novarossi powered NT1 is now quite good and with a small bit of fine tuning together with him getting his confidence back he should be a lot more competitive in the final two qualifiers. Suffering an engine failure in Q2, he said his second engine, while set a little too rich, ran well and should run even better in Q4 with a little more fine tuning. Team-mate Alexander Hagberg posted his best round in Q3 setting the fourth fastest time but the Swede said he is just not fast enough. While the car feels good to drive he plans to take a completely different direction with the set-up for the remaining 2 heats.
Best of the Capricorn drivers for the round was French driver Leo Arnold who posted the 5th fastest time. The 17-year-old said compared with the morning, when his Orion powered LAB-C02 was difficult to drive, the car was now very good. Making a pretty radical set-up change after Q1, he said the car is now almost were he would like it to be and for the next run he will just make one change and run less rear toe-in. Team-mate Eric Dankel went from a 100K to 80K rear diff in his Novarossi powered example but said it was ‘not good’ and he will revert back to his Q2 set-up for the next run. Only 10th fastest, Francesco Tironi said he is struggling with a lack of steering. A Matrix tyres team driver, he said the handout Contact tyres and rims are very different to the Matrix he is used to running and as a result the set-up changes he is making have a different effect on the way the car reacts.
Completing the Top 6 and best of the Shepherd drivers was Patrick Nahr. The German said his Velox V10 PRO is not easy to drive with the warmer conditions of Q3 making the rear much looser than the morning qualifiers. Team-mate Groskamp whose was swapping the lead pace with Pietsch said he just pushed too hard resulting in his off half way through the run. The Dutch ace said while it is possible to ride all the curbs bar one this was the one he hit which sent his car airborne and off onto the grass ending his run as the car flamed out. Groskamp said he didn’t have a very good feeling from the way his clutch was set but planning to switch engine for the remaining qualifiers it should be better next time out.
For KM Racing’s Adrien Bertin, Q3 was the French veteran’s fastest run so far as he set the 8th fastest time just behind Shepherd designer Patrick Schafer and ahead off Xray designer Martin Hudy.
Robert Pietsch backed up his Q1 performance with a second TQ run in the second round of qualifying at Kirchberg. Running a slightly slower time in both 1:10 and 1:8, the German said his slower 1:8 time was down to running his tyres for a second time but that the 1:10 while a 13 lap run was very close to the time of his 14 lap opening run, him missing 14 laps by .961 of a second. Capricorn’s Eric Dankel was second fastest in Touring Car with Jilles Groskamp third despite losing part of his brake linkage in the closing laps of the run which left him without brakes. The round saw problems for Xray’s Dirk Wischnewski who suffered an engine failure on the opening lap and Serpent’s Dominic Greiner threw away a strong run when he made a mistake on lap 11 which cost him over 3-seconds.
1:10 Qualifying Round 2
1. Robert Pietsch – Mugen/Novarossi – 13/4:00.961
2. Eric Dankel – Capricorn/Novarossi – 13/4:01.200
3. Jilles Groskamp – Shepherd/Maxima – 13/4:01.284
4. Francesco Tironi – Capricorn/Novarossi – 13/4:03.208
5. Alexander Hagberg – Xray/Orcan – 13/4:05.372
6. Leo Arnold – Capricorn/Orion – 13/4:05.501
7. Patrick Hahr – Shepherd/Novarossi – 13/4:05.527
8. Patrick Schafer – Shepherd/Sonic – 13/4:05.538
9. Dominic Greiner – Serpent/Picco – 13/4:05.876
10.Gerhard Kandlehart – Shepherd/Orcan – 13/4:06.348