Simon Kurzbuch has opened qualifying for the 3rd round of the Euro Nitro Series with a TQ run. The Shepherd driver, who topped the time sheets in yesterday’s practice, was over a second & a half faster than Mugen’s Robert Pietsch with Capricorn’s Dario Balestri a similar margin off in third. Behind 1:8 powerhouse trio, ARC’s Lars Hoppe would post the 4th fastest time ahead of Team Infinity driver Carmine Raiola while running Serpent’s new 977 Evo 2, Merlin Depta completed the Top 6.
‘A super good run’ was Kurzbuch reaction to Q1. The World Champion added, ‘I knew from practice Dario and Robert were fast too but my run was really consistent’. With both Balestri and Pietsch posting faster lap times, the Swiss ace said, ‘I didn’t have the best lap time but there was only 2/10ths between my worse and best lap which is really good’. Describing his car and engine as ‘perfect’, he said the only change they had to make was to the tuning of his Novarossi engine for the morning temperatures.
Pietsch said his Q1 ‘was good’ but added with a slight laugh of belief ‘Simon is very strong’. Last year’s Aigen Top Qualifier said while his MRX-6 ‘feels good now’, his Picco engine was ‘a little too lean and (he) lost time at the end to the engine’. Pleased with his car set-up the only change he will make for Q2 is to fit a different engine.
Balestri would also report engine tuning problems, his Tesla too rich on the bottom end. While the engine ‘was ok in the end’, the reigning champion said forward traction is still his biggest problem and they will continue to ‘try something with the car’ to find it.
‘Pretty good. I’m happy with fourth’ was Hoppe’s reaction to the opening qualifier, the German adding, ‘the last 3-laps were not perfect and I lost a position to Dario’. Describing his ARC as ‘a bit difficult’, he said, ‘at the start it had understeer, then was perfect and at the end had oversteer’. Running the standard R8.0 2016, while team-mate John Ermen, who got a P7 for the round runs a car fitted with 2017 prototype parts, he plans ‘a small change to the anti-rollbars’ for Q2 to try and get better consistency over the 4-minutes.