July 31, 2010

Tosolini through to Semi, Groskamp out

Chris Tosolini

The Top 2 qualifiers from the last World Championships have had very different fortunes in the second of the 1/4 finals here this morning at Gulf Coast Raceway.  Starting the 20-minute race from pole, 2008 Top Qualifier Jilles Groskamp was to be the first retirement, his Shepherd stripping first gear just as the first round of pit stop were getting under way, but the Dutch ace was already struggling from the start with a clear lack of speed.  Up front Chris Tosolini, the Runner-up in Portugal, took the win with his Serpent 733 ahead of Xray’s Adrian Berntsen, the Norwegian having bumped up from yesterday’s 1/8.  The big battle of the final was between Team KM driver Meen Vejrak and Austria’s Gerhard Kandelhart after the Thai driver, who briefly led the round, stripped a gear. Holding the Xray driver behind despite his lack of straight line speed his fight for the final bump up spot was lost on the last lap as Kandelhart found a way through. Although he set the fastest lap of the race and ran as high as third, factory Serpent driver Mark Green’s event is over after he hit trouble on lap 18.  Team-mate DJ Apolaro’s campaign has also come to an end after his 733, which was starting from the number 2 spot, flamed out as the cars took the start.  The American believes a faulty throttle servo caused this as he suffered further engine throttle issues during the race.

The Top 4 Direct Qualifiers are now on track for their 1-hour practice giving them a change to test various choice compounds and sizes ahead of this evening big race.  The first of the 30-minute Semi Finals is scheduled to get underway at 13:00 (local time).

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