August 12, 2016

Kurzbuch takes final qualifier in Gubbio

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Simon Kurzbuch has taken the final round of qualifying at the 1:10 Nitro Touring Car World Championships in Gubbio.  With the overall TQ decided yesterday when Dario Balestri posted his third TQ run in the penultimate round, the Shepherd driver topped the times from Mugen’s Takaaki Shimo with 2012 World Champion Meen Vejrak completing the Top 3.  With Balestri using the sixth qualifier to run in a new rod and diffs in the Capricorn, it was Kurzbuch who laid the TQ pace eventually taking it by just over 2/10ths from Shimo.  The big focus of the final qualifier would be on who would make the new for 2016 Super Pole that will be fought out by the drivers qualifying from 2 through to 5.   In the end other than Kurzbuch the round would only see Q6 count as an improved points haul for former Worlds Top Qualifier Robert Pietsch who got a P6 to secure the final Super Pole placing behind Serpent pairing of Dominic Greiner and Alessio Mazzeo.

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‘A perfect run I would say’, was how Kurzbuch summed up his TQ run.  The 1:8 World Champion, added ‘I had a really good feeling and I think we have a good car for Super Pole.  With the driver who sets the fastest lap over an individual 6-lap run getting a direct spot in the 1-hour title deciding Main alongside Balestri, the Swiss ace has the benefit of experiencing Super Pole previously, it having been introduced 2-years ago at the European Championships.  Although he didn’t win the super pole at the 1:10 Euros in Turkey last year he said having experienced the procedure before is sure to be an advantage and he added ‘the lap times are there but maybe 0.001 will decide it’.

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Struggling in the final qualifier after making a diff change on his 748, Mazzeo would finish the round with a P51.  Declaring his car ‘was bad’, the Super Pole first timer said once they change the diff back to what they ran yesterday when he took Q3, he said they should have a car to fight for the fastest lap.  Describing himself as ‘the little guy’ in the Super Pole he highlighted, ‘Simon is World Champion, Robert is a World Champion and Dominic has a Worlds TQ so its going to be difficult but I will give it my best shot’.

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Top Qualifier in 2014, when only he made it directly to the Main, the rest having to work their way up from the Semis, this is also Greiner’s first time to do Super Pole as he TQ’d at the European Championships.  The German would be P11 in the final qualifier after two mistakes, a change to his Novarossi powered 748 leaving the ‘rear too loose’.  Happy that his fastest lap of the final qualifier was close to his rivals despite his car not being perfect, he said the plan for Super Pole is ‘maximum push for one lap’.  In terms of his car he will move the weight in the car to make it more stable in the rear.

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Finishing off qualifying with a P6 that kept him in the Super Pole, Pietsch said his Mugen was ‘OK’ but ‘not the same as two days again’.  Since the rain, the German said they have lost some ground but they hope to improve it further for Super Pole.  A driver who has twice experienced the procedure in the 1:8 European Championships he won in in 2015 while also taking part in it this year in Sweden.

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Having been on a potential TQ yesterday only to roll his Capricorn late and suffer an engine cut, Vejrak summed up his P3 with ‘finally’. A significant result for the Thai driver as it puts him into the Semi Finals, he said after losing their way with car set over the first two days of arriving in Italy the are getting the car and engines back slowly to where he expected them to be at.  The Maxima team driver said the final qualifier was tough as, ‘the car was a little different and I was a little nervous’.  Looking to his 30-minute Semi Final, which will run tomorrow, he said they will change the set-up to get a more stable car for the longer race.

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