April 26, 2019

Kurzbuch cuts it fine with fuel to take 1/8th Q1

Simon Kurzbuch has taken the opening round of qualifying at the ENS season opener in Bologna as a number of the leaders struggled with fuel on the last lap of the 4-minute qualifier. Carmine Raiola took the 2nd spot from the 2nd fastest heat, while Dario Balestri took 3rd having lead the heat until coming up dry on the final lap. Lamberto Collari took 4th on his home track while Mirko Salemi ended Q1 in 5th, just ahead of top seed Robert Pietsch who struggled with traffic at the beginning of the run which threw him out of his rhythm. Running out of fuel directly after crossing the line, Kurzbuch admitted that it was ‘really tight’ and he was lucky that the qualifying was over when his car came to a halt. Happy to take the first round TQ he said the first 2 minutes were good but then he came upon two other cars in the run but he wasn’t able to close the gap and so lost a lot of time in the final half of the run. Having flamed out at high speed, the Swiss driver will now check over his Novarossi engine for any potential damage.

Having had a difficult timed practice, Carmine Raiola was able to pull it together when it mattered and take the 2nd spot from the 2nd fastest heat. Able to push at the start of the run, at the end he was not able to push because of a lot of traffic which meant he lost some time. For Q2 the plan is to ‘push, push’ and get another good run in the books.

Dario Balestri was not happy despite taking the 3rd fastest time, the World Champion running out of fuel on the last lap and spluttering across the finish line. Before that it was a ‘good run’, the Infinity driver on for the TQ before the fuel problems. He will now check his fuel tank to ensure he has the maximum allowed capacity and may change carburettor venturi on his Max engine to a slightly smaller diameter in order to get some more fuel mileage.

Multiple World Champion and track owner Lamberto Collari came through the heat with no problems to take 4th at the end, declaring the run as ‘not too bad’. Admitting to ‘little problems with setup’ which he explained as the car being too loose, he will work on the setup for tomorrow. Unlike his fellow front runners, he did not have any problem with run time with his Max Power engine, perhaps the benefit of 10s of thousands of laps on this track giving him the experience to better control his fuel mileage. Capricorn driver Mirko Salemi would take 5th for the round from the 2nd heat with Robert Pietsch, Jeffrey Rietveld, Silvio Hachler, Rick Vrielinjck and Francesco Tironi, who had a coming together with Dominic Greiner, completed the top 10. In the 40+ class, it was Andrea Hachler who took first blood ahead of reigning champion Arie Manten in 2nd with Angelo Fagnani in 3rd.

View the complete event results here.

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