HB-HPI drivers Teemu Leino and Adrien Bertin were on hand in Melzo, Italy, taking part in the first ENS (European Nitro Series) race of 2014!
Teemu, the 2012 IFMAR TQ, and recently signed teammate Adrien were racing both the HB R10 and R8 chassis, with Teemu getting into the 1/8th A Final in 11th position.
In the 1/10th 200mm (nitro touring car) class, both R10 cars were in the A Final, with Adrien starting 8th ahead of long-established racers such as Britain's Mark Green. Teemu continued a hugely impressive run of qualifying positions, setting the first TQ time in the first round of qualifying and securing pole with his fourth-round result. Teemu ran the same exact car he used to take pole position at the 2012 IFMAR Worlds and with the help of the car's designer, Takashi Miyashita, as his mechanic Teemu was able to dial the car in round by round.
In the 1/10th 200mm A Final, Teemu led off strong, leading for the first 9 laps, but a flame-out at his first pit stop set him on his back foot for the rest of the 45-minute Final. A very slow tire stop lost him 16 seconds halfway through the race, and from then on it was a battle to get back in touch with the leaders. Teemu finished only 15/1000ths (0.015) of a second behind third place, showing that it was still extremely tight to get onto the podium and the Finn never let up! Unfortunately for teammate Adrien, a broken part caused engine problems for the first several laps and he had to retire at the first round of pit stops.
Starting from 8th in the 1/8th A Final, Teemu finished in 7th position after the 45-minute final, showing the strength of the R8 after an eventful race.
Overall, it was a successful outing for Teemu and Adrien, with 3 appearances in the A Finals between them. With 3 more ENS rounds coming up during the summer, National championships and EFRA European Championship followed by the Worlds for 1/10th 200mm later in the year, it will be a busy 2014 for the pair!