May 5, 2018

Kurzbuch to start title defence from the TQ at Dutch ENS

Simon Kurzbuch is set to start the defence of his Infinity Euro Nitro Series title from the TQ. The Shepherd driver claimed the first championship point of Season #5 by posting a third TQ run in as many qualifiers on the championship’s first visit to the Netherlands.  Opening the day with a TQ run over rival Dario Balestri, he would continue to reign over proceedings in Q2 and 3 to secure his ninth ENS career TQ.  Fastest from Dutch surprise Jeffrey Rietveld in the second qualifier, it would be fellow countryman Silvio Hächler who get P2 in the penultimate qualifier with the ARC driver now looking to make it a Swiss 1-2 on the grid in the final qualifier.

‘One point already, it’s perfect. We start as we finished’, was Kurzbuch’s reaction his 5th consecutive pole position of the championship.  With Q3 the slowest of TQ runs, he said, ‘there was a lot of traffic and we were all together.  The first plan was to stay behind because I had a good gap but then it started to get very tight again but we did it.  In the end it was really tight with my friend Silvio who I wouldn’t mind losing out to but still it good to have the TQ done already’.  Asked about track conditions, Q3 taking place at a similar time to tomorrow’s A-Main, he said,  ‘it was a bit slower but the handling felt the same’.  With one qualifier still remaining, the 2015 World Champion plans to use the track time to test the 45-minute final.  He said, ‘I will not change the set-up but I will try small tyres to get the feeling and fuel consumption’.

A very happy looking Hächler said, ‘Before the race I was pretty confident but then I struggled with the track the first two days.  It was a combination of the car and my driving. I had trouble with the corner onto the straight which was really difficult’.  A Worlds Finalist, he said, ‘we made a small change in the set-up which had dramatic consequences in improving the car and I also improved my driving so everything came together’.  Asked about the final qualifier, he concluded, ‘Now we go for a Swiss 1+2 on the grid’.

Getting another Top 3 in the penultimate qualifier to go with his opening run, Robin D’hondt was pleased with his performance. The Capricorn driver said, ‘we tried a different engine for that one and it had more bottom power but slightly less at the top.  We also ran harder oil in the front for the warmer weather’.  Holding P4 on the grid going into the fourth & final qualifier he said, ‘we will leave the car like it is and push but try to make minimum mistakes and see what happens’.

Summing up his latest two qualifiers, Rietveld said, ‘Q2 was really good. We made the engine a little leaner and that gave me extra power. I again had a clean track and could push hard the whole time’.  On Q3 in which he was 4th quickest, the Serpent driver said, ‘I didn’t change anything but got stuck in traffic.  I think without this I could have got a TQ run.  Vying for a Top 3 starting position when his only other ENS outing saw him race in the C-Final, the Dutch driver said, ‘I hope for clean run and we have to see what the track will do but my car is good when it is hot or cool.  Another Top 3 would be nice’.  Behind Rietveld it would be Indonesian driver Chavit Saligupta who would be best of the Infinity runners finishing ahead of Japanese team-mate Takaaki Shimo while World Champion Balestri posted a P10 leaving him 6th overall with one qualifier to go.

View the complete event results here.

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