September 6, 2019

Kurzbuch from Balestri in 2nd Ettlingen qualifier

With an engine failure stopping him in his tracks in the opening qualifier at ENS Ettlingen, Simon Kurzbuch bounced back to take the second round ahead of his great arch rival Dario Balestri.  Also having a troubled Q1, Balestri would finish 6/10ths of a second off the Shepherd driver’s TQ pace in a heat that would see Q1 TQ man Carmine Raiola have his turn of bad luck. Struggling with a rich engine his race came to an end when he stripped a gear with a minute to go.  While Dominic Greiner would set the 3rd fastest time in the top heat, it was to be John Ermen who completed the overall Top 3, the ARC driver’s time in the second fast heat demoting the Serpent driver to fourth with Lars Hoppe rounding out the Top 5.

‘A very good result in contrast to the previous one’, was how a pleased looking Kurzbuch summed his Q2 performance.  The Swiss ace, who shares the most number of Ettlingen wins with Balestri as the only two drivers to win here, said, ‘the car was really good like it was in the first one.  We will try for two more TQ runs now. That is the goal’.  Running on used tyres for the second of the four qualifiers, the already confirmed 2019 Champion said, ‘it doesn’t make much difference because of the long warm-up’ – the drivers getting a 4-minute warm-up prior to the 4-minutes of qualifying.  Asked about Q3, he replied, ‘we will leave everything the same for the next one and see what happens’.

Balestri said, ‘It was ok, we got points’.  Having topped seeding, the World Champion said, ‘the problem is in the heat before I hit Gruber in the pit lane and now the car is different. I have to check to see what happened and if there is something bent’.  Asked what had changed from practice, the two time Ettlingen 1:8 winner replied, ‘I am missing grip’.

Initially thinking he was fourth for the round, on discovering his Top 3 run, Ermen said, ‘I am even happier to post a 3rd position’.  One of the great characters of the onroad nitro scene, the Dutchman put his Q2 improvement down to changes made to his car.  ‘We did a small set-up change and it made it a lot easier to drive but it was also still fast to drive’.  One area he hopes to improve on for the remaining qualifiers is his driving.  He explained, ‘I was following behind Rick (Vrielijnck) and I struggled to hold my pace so I lost time in the final segment of the run.  We started the heat very close to each other and I was just not hitting my apexes but to overtake you have to be in a really good position and I was not able to get that.  I will change nothing on the car for Q3 and just focus on my driving’.

In 1:10, Q2 was a repeat of the opening round.  Once again Infinity’s Jilles Groskamp held off the Shepherd of Thilo Tödtmann albeit by a slightly bigger margin this time 8/10ths of a second.  Former European B Champion Patrick Nähr completed the Top 3 ahead of fastest man on the track Melvin Diekmann.

View the complete event results here.

View our event image gallery here.


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