Fantini TQs most important heat
Massimo Fantini has TQ’d what is expected to be the most important qualifier at the 2008 EFRA European Championships, posting 17 laps in 05:00.214 to put himself in povisional pole for tomorrow’s Main Final ahead of fellow countryman Daniele Ielasi.
Serpent driver Fantini was happy with his run but said if he had known how close he was to producing an 18 lap run he would have pushed harder over the final lap. The 2005 Champion dropped 4/10th on his final to conserve fuel but afterwards his tank appeared to have had enough for the extra pace required to make the first 18 lapper of the weekend.
Ielasi, who was very happy with the performance of his Shepherd Volex and his clutch settings, appeared to be in the same situation saying the car and engine were perfect and it was just him being over cautious that cost him an 18 lap run. Throughout the heat the timing system predicted both drivers would record 18 laps.
Making it three Italians at the top of the time sheets, representing three different manufacturers, was the very fast Andrea Pirani. The Mugen driver posted the fastest lap, a new track record, during the run but said the carburation on his Novarossi was not perfect and over the last lap it ran very lean.
After his incident with Ielasi in yesterday’s opening qualifier, local ace Oscar Cabezas got a clean run to provisionally secure the final direct qualifying position for the Main Final. The Serpent driver’s 960 08 was working good but like the majority of the field the Spanish Champion had to nurse the engine over the last lap.
Robert Pietsch and leading Motonica challenger Dario Balestri complete the current Top 6. Pietsch was another who was shown as being on for an 18 lap run but he reported that over the final 2 laps his Novarossi went very lean and this cost him a top 4 time.
Overnight TQ holder Michael Salven had a dissappointing run failing to finish after his Mega engine blew a plug as a result of running too lean . The German was not as happy with his car compared with yesterday despite running the same settings and believes a bad set of new tyres were the cause. To add to his woes, he along with Lamberto Collari have been given a penalty for arriving late to their marshalling positions, a decision which will see them both loose their fastest time, both drivers will formally protested the decision.
Belgian Champion Robin D’hondt enjoyed a very impressive run to top his heat and post the 8th fastest time. The Serpent team driver said the car was really good but fuel was close and he just had enough to make it back to the pits. Swiss driver Marco Muller was ninth fastest with Adrien Bertin the top Kyosho rounding out the top 10.
News of other drivers including Alberto Picco who’s engine cut out half through the run for an unknown reason. This is being investigated by brother and engine tuning guru Eduardo. Current champion Lamberto Collari has resolved his brake problem but the 8 times World Champion is still not happy with the balance on his car and lies a lowly 19th overall in a field that sees the Top 32 drivers covered by just 10 seconds.
Following the Heat 2 the exhausts, a big talking point here in Spain, of both Fantini and Ielasi have been engraved and photographed and will be subject to a future technical inspection (i.e cut open).
View our image gallery here.