April 18, 2015

Pietsch takes Q3 at ENS


After a ‘disastrous day’ yesterday, Robert Pietsch has bounced back at the Euro Nitro Series season opener in Italy to TQ the third round of qualifying ahead of defending champion Simon Kurzbuch.  The Mugen driver & designer was able to open Day 2 with a new fastest time with the Shepherd of Kurzbuch just 2/10ths off. Behind them WRC’s Andrea Pirani is proving mister consistent as he ran another Top 3 qualifier while engines issues left yesterday’s pace setter Dario Balestri to record the 5th fastest time.


‘Super happy to start out so well’ said Pietsch adding he was ‘lucky to be even driving today’.  Going for dinner last night with his engine sponsors Alberto & Edo Picco, when the 2012 World Champion came out from the restaurant his road car full with his racing equipment was gone.  Presuming his car had been stolen they contacted the police who then tracked it down to a towing company.  Parking in a disused petrol station across from the restaurant, the owner on seeing Pietsch park his car via a webcam called a towing company who came and took the car away while Pietsch was eating his dinner.  With the yard where his car had been taken to closing for the weekend at midnight there was a scramble to get to the location. Luckily with just 5-minutes to closing they arrived to retrieve his car and his racing equipment.  In terms of his Q3 performance, he said the car was really good as it was yesterday and that was highlighted by him recording the fastest lap of the round.  Suffering an engine cut in Q1 and crashing in Q2 as he struggled to see his MRX5 in the dark conditions, he said today was his first time to get a clean run and planning to leave it unchanged for the next qualifier he said he hopes he can repeat the run again.


Simon Kurzbuch said while he ‘hoped for a TQ run’ Q3 went ‘very good’. Pointing out that he had no traffic issues he said the 4-minutes were really good.  Targeting another strong run in Q4 which would lock him into the A-Main, he said other than fitting a new bumper he would make no changes. Suffering an off during the warm up he said while this damaged the bumper it did not affect the car’s performance for the run.


Pirani declared his latest qualifier as ‘another good run’ although the Italian felt his driving wasn’t perfect as he missed his lines a number of times.  With the GTX designer now locked into the A-Main, he will use Q4 to try a different front anti-roll bar as he tries to increase the steering and mid corner speed.


Behind Pirani, Italian Mugen driver Mattia Rinaldi would post the 4th fastest time, half a second up on Balestri’s Capricorn.  Taking both qualifiers yesterday, the Balestri struggled with a lean bottom end on his Tesla engine and he had to nurse it through the run.


Rick Vrielijnck completed the Top 6, the Dutch driver one of many in the top heat who just could not see his car in Q2 which due to the effects of rain ended up running in the dark with the track only partially lit by floodlights.  With the bad Q2 result, the Mugen/Picco driver said he ‘didn’t push fully’ as he needed another good run.  Describing the performance of his car & engine as being ‘still great’, he plans to push harder in Q4.  If he can get a good result from that he said he might consider, if the weather permits a fifth round of qualifying, switching from an R18 to a 909 bodyshell.

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