1:8 IC EFRA EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
L.COLLARI TRACK - CASSINO - 16/21-07-2018
After one year “jump” due to World Championship held in Europe in 2017 the most important continental race come back in one of well known “speed temples” located in Italy… RME Cassino is, without doubts, a beautiful track in middle of Italy and its club President Gianluca one of the “media innovators” of our hobby with all the organizers really passionate and dedicated. Almost 100 entries for an A & B Euro champs combined with a nice surprise of 9 under16 new drivers. Infinity attended the event with good part of European team looking to confirm the latest good results of our IF18…
Monday and Tuesday practice all drivers had to face the track little bit dusty that cannot give the necessary grip for 1/8 category; most of them mainly concentrate choosing engines and body shells. Even the weather doesn’t helped with some brief showers that stops practice heats often… As happened frequently in last races our fastest guy was Dario already engaged in an hard fight for the lead with Simon… All lap times are VERY close; a blink of an eye can decide five positions difference.
In hot weather conditions (average 35˚C whole week), after two Control Practice that see our drivers seeding in fastest heats, Thursday Qualifying starts again with that duel: first round go to Swiss driver with Italian 2nd (0.041 sec) due to a lack of fuel in the last corner followed by Teemu in great shape for the 3rd position. The second round of the day saw Balestri super fast getting 18 laps but in the last lap a misunderstanding between him, Pietsch and Haclër (already stopped) in the sweeper probably costs him the overall best performance in 4 minutes. Leino 4th, Picco 7th and Raiola 8th the other Infinity drivers classified in top10.
Friday morning the battle starts again with Simon faster six tenths on Dario… a good 10th place for Francesco that improve a bit his ranking. In the fourth round Balestri restore the tie situation postponing to last and “hottest round” the final verdict for the TQ; Leino, Picco and Raiola again in the top10 to secure their semis. As often happens when the expectations are high something happens… Pietsch takes the 5th round gifting to Kurzbuch the TQ and relegating Dario to SuperPole. Teemu for 1point was 6th, Alberto 8th and Carmine 9th. In semis also Nicola 11th and Francesco 14th. Lamberto had to start n˚1 in the quarter finals due to some setting problems.
The Euro “B” had some of our customers fighting for the top positions: Kammer drove really well his Infinity winning 2 rounds and get overall TQ for 1 point in front of Mazza a fast local driver. On third spot sits another Infinity car of Wehiert that improved every phase and won the last round of qualy. Bo Nielsen from Denmark sits in semis and young Di Marino (14 years old) in quarters so will be the first to start in late afternoon helped by Raiola’s family.
Superpole Challenge: Dario starts as last and needed only few laps to set the best chrono jumping directly in the Amain. In the B championship Dennis suffer a technical problem in the warmup of his timed laps and loose his chance to bump up direct in the final. In lower mains Di Marino succeed to bump up for another Infinity in semifinals.
Saturday morning weather is still fine with sun and hot temperature; Lamberto was the first to hit the track winning his B quarter in style tone to tone. B Semifinal went really bad as all our drivers cannot bump up for different problems: Leino stripped a gear when was easy 2nd, Francesco lost his Amain spot crashing while trying overtaking a competitor in front and Lamberto suffered a lack of performance compare to his 1/4 pace. In B Semifinal was the opposite: all our Infinity drivers managed to bump up with Picco 2nd, Marrone 3rd and Raiola 4th even if they had to face some critical moment during the competition. In the EuroB Antonio had a terrible crash at the end of the straight while Dennis dominated the field managing a number 4 for the Amain; in the other semi Bo wasn’t lucky enough to solve some problems happened.
EURO B AMAIN: the race was intense and not extremely lucky for our colors… Kammer loose the lead in the first lap but followed Mazza with good pace until lap 72 when he had to retire for some radio problems. Wehiert unfortunately was hit by other car around lap 40 and he had to pit to repair the body shell: also with lot of time lost he comes back to track pushing maximum hard to recover as much possible… His chasing saw an happy ending when, almost one minute to go, succeed to pass Wintzerith for the 3rd place. Congrats!
EURO A MAIN: the most awaited 45minutes of race was delayed first and cancelled later after few laps due to a storm that wet the track for a while… In that slippery conditions Dario showed good confidence overtaking the leader and controlling the pace but couple laps later race director stopped the race setting a complete new start for the 17.00 in any weather conditions. At the new start Balestri was again in the tail of Kurzbuch sometimes giving the feeling to can overtake in some points of the track; Nicola wasn’t far in fourth when he has to retire after only five minutes. Unfortunately Dario’s race didn’t last longer and come to an end after only 9 minutes for an engine failure. Picco showed a good pace and lap by lap recovered many positions until to arrive at 2nd place; meanwhile Raiola had to fight hard in the back to recover a decent position… at this level is really hard to overtake even if you’re the fastest on the track (13.927 for Carmine). With different pit strategies position can vary every minute: Alberto after his tire change was 4th with little gap from 3rd when also his engine stop. Carmine was again the first of our team (5) while Simon and Robert fight for the win till the last lap with less a second distance.
See you in 2 weeks for 1/10 EFRA EC in Portugal!