This weekend (17-19 October) the Euro Nitro Series travels to the world famous Fiorano track in Italy for the finale of the inaugural championship with an invasion of American drivers making up the 160 strong entry. Attracting 7 US drivers, Round 4 is a truly international event for the European based 1:10 & 1:8 Onroad Championship with 18 countries represented on the entry list including Thailand and Singapore. Joining ENS regular Loran Whiting, America’s top female racer having contested the full championship, will be factory Serpent driver Paolo Morganti who is no stranger to Mini Autodromo Jody Scheckter having been a regular competitor at the annual Novarossi Trophy race held there.
Located close to Ferrari’s privately owned test track, the big focus in Fiorano is set to be in 1:8 as Team Shepherd’s Simon Kurzbuch and Mugen’s Robert Pietsch do battle for the overall title. Swiss ace Kurzbuch holds a 2-point advantage over former World Champion Pietsch, the German taking a close victory over his title rival last time out at the Hockenhiemring in Germany where Kurzbuch was Top Qualifier. While the pair will be firmly locked into their title fight, the season finale is wide open in terms of a winner. Returning to the championship having won the opening round in Melzo back in April, 9-time World Champion Lamberto Collari will be aiming to finish as he started. Last month the Italian legend took a narrow 2-second victory over ENS regular Andrea Pirani at the the Novarossi Trophy in Fiorano.
With three different winners from the opening three Rounds, Round 2 Austria winner John Ermen heads the Xray challenge in the heavily loaded factory team line-up. With the support of Morganti, Serpent’s Michael Salven will be hoping together they can claim a first victory for the reigning World Champion manufacturer. Sitting third in the standings, BMT’s Daniele Ielasi, who led Round 3 in Hockenheim before running out of fuel, will be looking to at least claim a podium for his new team and finish the first season of the ENS in the Top 3. In addition to Kurzbuch, Oliver Mack, Round 3 podium finisher Lars Hoppe and Italy’s Fancesco Tironi should be in the mix for Shepherd. Just missing out on a podium finish in Austria, former World Champion Adrien Bertin will be looking to give HB a good showing in Italy, the spiritual home of 1:8, as will Motonica’s multiple World Finalist Robin D’Hondt and BP Racing’s Mirko Salemi. As with all previous rounds of the ENS, drivers will run on the same brand of tyre with Hot Race the official tyre supplier in Fiorano.
While Capricorn/Maxima driver Eric Dankel may have an unassailable lead in the points standings, the competition in the 200mm Touring Car class will be no less fierce with a number of drivers determined to stamp their mark on the championship by becoming the 3rd winner of the season. Dankel was the winner of the opening round and again at Round 3 while Serpent’s Dominic Greiner took the win at Round 2 in Austria. Among those set to be in the hunt are Dankel and Greiner’s respective team-mates Dario Balestri and Mark Green. Set to make his ENS debut at Fiorano, 2013 European Champion Alessio Mazzeo adds to the strength of the Serpent challenge. Top Qualifier in Austria, but falling foul of the wet race conditions, Team Shepherd’s Francesco Tironi will be looking to go one better this time round in his home country having finished second at Round 1 in Melzo. Shepherd drivers have finished second at every round and the German team will be hoping podium finishers Dirk Wischnewski, Patrick Schafer and Martin Lissau continue that trend but fill the top step the fourth time of asking. Having impressed with his pace on his 1:10 debut at Hockenheim where he finished 5th, KM Racing’s Silvio Hachler is sure to be one to watch this weekend on his return to the series having missed Round 3.