July 20, 2019

Kurzbuch secures 4th ENS title with another Aigen win

Simon Kurzbuch has secured the 2019 Euro Nitro Series title after claiming his fifth consecutive win at the hillside Aigen track in Austria.  Travelling to the third round of the Euro Nitro Series on the back of his first win of the season at Round 2 in the Netherlands, the Shepherd driver collected maximum points taking the TQ and win ahead of reigning champion Dario Balestri.  With the demise of Dominic Greiner, who came into the weekend just 1-point off the Swiss ace, Kurzbuch becomes Champion of the ENS for a fourth time.  In the Round 3 encounter, it was the Infinity pairing of Balestri and Carmine Raiola who were the only ones to trouble Kurzbuch in the 45-minute Saturday night final.  Raiola was to lead for a time until he hit traffic, literally, and had to pit for body repairs.  With Kurzbuch and Balestri having the same tyre strategy but in reverse order, the latter going for all four tyres in the first stop and just the outside in the second, as the race came to a close it looked like we might see a repeat of the thrilling finish to the 1:10 A-Main.  In the end Kurzbuch calculated things perfectly crossing the line 9/10ths of a second in front of his long standing rival while Raiola came home third to complete the podium.  Off the podium, Toni Gruber would finish 4th ahead of Merlin Depta with Rick Vrielijnck rounding out the Top 6.

‘Everything went as we planned and our tyre strategy was good’, was how Kurzbuch summed up what is his 12 ENS career win.  The former World Champion explained, ‘On the second stop we changed the outside (tyres) and then 20-minutes late all four (tyres).  My father did a great job together with Alex in pits and on my side I’m super happy with how I drove.  I was able to show what we can do.  I’m also super happy for the Championship’.  He added, ‘I don’t know what happened to Dominic, we drove our own race and I drove as fast as I could to make it less stressful for my college Angelo, this win is for him’.

Pleased with his race, Balestri joked, ‘One time me, one time him.  I won the European Championship and now he won this race’.  The Italian, who is the only driver to ever deny Kurzbuch the ENS doing so last year and in 2015, continued, ‘I lost the race in qualifying because to follow on this track you lose a lot.  In the end it is always nice to race Simon.  Our different strategy changed nothing.  My car is better on small tyres so I was catching Simon but it wasn’t enough to change the result.  It was a good race’.

‘I don’t know the ENS is so unlucky for me’, was how Raiola summed up the final.  He continued, ‘I was leading and trying to make a gap and hit someone, I don’t know who, but it broke the body’.  Having started the race going for a risky strategy of long fuel stops and just one tyres stop, he said after 10-minutes he could feel  in the car this wasn’t going to work in the conditions and he made the call to do two tyre stops as well as go safe on refuelling.’  His first podium this season said, ‘for sure I want to win but a podium in the end is OK’.

In the 1:8 40+ class French nitro racing stalwart Alain Levy took a popular win.  Starting from the TQ, the Shepherd driver won the 30-minute encounter by Remy Hasler with Andrea Hächler completing the podium to move into the leading of the standings with one round to go. In the 1:8 Electric class the win went to Joachim Grauer.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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