October 23, 2015

Balestri TQ’s Q1 ahead of Pietsch at ENS Italy


ENS 1:8 championship leader Dario Balestri has TQ’d the opening round of qualifying at the season finale in Italy.  The Capricorn driver topped the first of the four qualifier but just a tenth of a second from Robert Pietsch, the Mugen driver running in the second fastest heat after issues in controlled practice.  Behind the two title protagonists, qualifying top seed Lamberto Collari completed the Top 3 with his new Infinity chassis.  The third key title contender, reigning ENS champion Simon Kurzbuch would get a fifth for the round behind fellow Swiss racer Silvio Hächler.


Having struggled a little in practice with the batch change of the handout Hot Race tyres as drivers had to start using tyres from the tyre impound area, Balestri was happier with his LAB C802 for the opening qualifier.  The Bologna Top Qualifier and Aigen race winner, said his Tesla engine was a bit rich at the start forcing him to have to wait for it to come in but once it did he could push and ‘all was ok’.  Setting the fastest lap of Q1, a 14.859, for the second qualifier he will make a front caster change as he looks to get more steering in the first part of the corner.


Asked how he felt his qualifier went Pietsch replied ‘Good, I’m happy’.  Giving his new MRX-6 creation its race debut this weekend, the Mugen designer joked he would have been even happier having the 0.1 second gap be the other way round putting the deficit down to a ‘little traffic’.  The former World Champion said with the lap times so close you can overtake immediately if a driver doesn’t open up and these slight delays are enough to cost places.  Very happy with his 4-minute pace, the German plans to leave his car unchanged for Q2.


Another driver to feel traffic hampered his challenge for the TQ, Collari said overall he had a good feeling with the car adding he is a lot more confident with his new chassis.  Admitting he ‘need(s) to improve the car a little bit’ for tomorrow he said its down to ‘really small details’ in the set-up.  A driver famed for his race strategies, already the legend of the sport is using the tyre wear and fuel economy of his OS Speed engine to start to his calculations for the finals adding that unlike his Mugen he is having to learn how the car works the tyres and its effects on run time.


Having found his second gear carrier very loose after controlled practice and opting to replace it for Q1 meaning he needed to re-adjust his gearbox setting, Hächler said he was a little nervous about his gearbox but it ‘was a good’.  Making some small mistakes, he was otherwise happy with the run adding his ARC R8.0 has been good from the start of the event.


Not happy with his Shepherd in controlled practice, Kurzbuch said his ‘car was now better’.  As a run he said ‘he wanted to TQ too much’ and this lead to him making ‘too many mistakes’.  Pleased with the pace of his Novarossi powered Velox V8, he is confident tomorrow he can fight for the TQ.  Behind Kurzbuch, BP Racing’s Mirko Salemi completed the Top 6.

View the complete event results here.

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