Simon Kurzbuch has taken the second round of qualifying at ENS Austria this morning on what is going to a be busy day for drivers. With rain forecast for tomorrow the schedule has been revised to include the running of all finals tonight following the conclusion of the four rounds of qualifying. Having just missed out on the TQ in yesterday evening’s opening qualifier to Dario Balestri, Kurzbuch would take Q2 by over a second from Carmine Raiola with Balestri just 3/100ths further off in third as the only drivers to 17-lap runs of the Aigen track. New to the Shepherd team for the 2019 season, Toni Gruber posted the 4th fastest time ahead of Silvio Hächler with Merlin Depta the top Serpent after ENS Italy winner Dominic Greiner had an off while running on a Top 3 pace.
Commenting on his TQ run, the fastest of the two qualifiers so far, Kurzbuch said, ‘It was a good run. I had a clear track for all the 4-minutes. The car and engine was good like yesterday and I was happy I could show what it could do. I would like to do the same again in the next one’. A four time winner at Aigen, looking to Q3 the Shepherd driver said, ‘I will leave the car as it is and try to get a clear track. That is the important thing around here’.
‘It was not bad’, was Riola’s reaction to his P2 for the round. Setting the fastest lap of Q2, the Infinity driver explained, ‘the car is still nervous. I can make super fast lap times but it’s not consistent’. Hoping to reduce how aggressive his car is, the Italian will reduce his ride height for the next one hoping it will make it less aggressive.
Balestri said, ‘I started with new tyres and this is the result’. He added, ‘we made a mistake with the tyres yesterday and now I needed new ones’. Top Qualifier at the Dutch ENS encounter, asked he expected a better Q3 now he had used tyres at his disposal, the World Champion re;pied, ‘the was the best one (round) because of cooler morning conditions. For sure the next one will be more hot but we will see what we can do’.
Reacting to his fourth fastest time in Q2, Gruber said, ‘the first round yesterday was difficult so we did a lot of work on the car in the practice last night. We changed the rear roll bar, the body and the camber at the front and it was really good to drive but the track changed a lot this morning and it was not good’. The German said for the next qualifier they will change back to yesterday’s settings, with last year’s race runner-up confident ‘it should be better the next one’.
In 1:10, Teemu Leino continued to lead proceedings backing up his Q1 TQ with another again over his Infinity team-mate Jilles Groskamp. The reigning Champion was over 3-seconds off the Finn with young Dutch driver Milan Holthuis making it an all Infinity Top 3. Thilo Tödtmann was best of the others taking his Shepherd to a P4 ahead of Dirk Wischnewski and Melvin Diekmann. In 1:8 40+, Alain Levy took a very closely contested TQ over Q1 pace setter Arie Manten with Andreas Giesa third.