October 31, 2019

Kurzbuch finds his groove to take Q2 at Steel City

Simon Kurzbuch appears to have finally found his groove after taking the second round of qualifying at 1:8 World Championships in California.  Only 5th in the opening round, the Shepherd driver would pass Q1 winner Naoto Matsukura on track to top the times by 8/10th over his long time Worlds rival Dario Balestri who again had issues with engine tuning.  The second of today’s 4 round of qualifying would also see a marked improvement from Dominic Greiner who from the second fastest heat set the third quickest time ahead of Matsukura. Backing up their impressive Q1 performances Jeff Hamon and Jesse Davis ran the 5th and 6th fastest times respectively.

A clearly relieved Kurzbuch said, ‘That was a really good run. The car was a bit better than this morning.  I had more steering and it still didn’t want to flip so I had a good feeling and was able to drive it better’.  The Swiss driver explained, ‘we didn’t change the set-up just a new body which had a different mounting position.  I think with this set-up we were just right for the track at the time of the run.  We will see how the track is the next one or if it will be different but we have two good results from the first two so I think we can fight for the TQ’.

‘Once again the engine was rich, this time in the middle’, explained Balestri after Q2.  The defending Champion added, ‘Massimo needs to check it (the engine) for sure’.  Suffering a mistake over the 4-minutes, the Italian said, ’cause the engine was rich it was not changing to second gear when you expect and this caught me out.  The car is good we just need to adjust the engine correctly’.

Summing up his improvement, Greiner said, ‘I was completely lost in the morning.  We tried a crazy set-up and it was completely off.  Jeff had a good Q1 so we copied his set-up except for the body and it was good’.  Serpent’s lead driver continued, ‘I have to learn more how the car is driving now and how I can push it to the limit.  We were just ready in time for Q2 and in the rush to change the set-up the camber was not correct but we will fix this for the next one’.

Having called his TQ run in Q1 ‘lucky’, Matsukura said his P4 was also helped by luck as he ‘made many mistakes this time’.  The Infinity driver explained, ‘we expected the track to have more grip so we lowered the camber and the car super push.  The grip was now lower than before’.  With temperatures rising quite a bit from Q1, he said he also had engines issues with his engine getting hot during the run and with this in mind he plans to fit a larger cooler head for Q3.

Pleased to back up his opening performance and to assist team-mate Greiner with finding his normal form, Hamon said, ‘I had a little traffic but other than that it was another good run.  I left the car the same. I was very comfortable with the car and my pace is consistent’.  Looking to the third qualifier, the Australian said, ‘I might change the camber after talking to Dominic but maybe I will leave it for the next one as it’s 3 to count and I already have two good runs’.

View the complete event results here.

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