Robert Pietsch claimed his first win of the inaugural Euro Nitro Series, when in a somewhat reversal of the season opener he won the Hockenheimring event from Top Qualifier Simon Kurzbuch. Top Qualifier in Melzo but having to settle for second behind the No.2 qualifier Lamberto Collari, today starting from second the Mugen driver took a close win over Championship points leader Kurzbuch, who ran out of fuel on the last lap, with Shepherd’s Lars Hoppe completing the podium at the German track.
A race that saw four different leaders, Pietsch was happy to finally get his first win of the championship and set the stage for an exciting title showdown between himself and Kurzbuch at the season finale in Fiorano, Italy. Top Qualifier of the ENS Pilot Race at the German track last year but losing out on the win to Mark Green, the former World & European Champion said he made a ‘super good’ start but a mistake by Kurzbuch caused them to ‘touch a little’ resulting in the front of his bodyshell getting bent. With this rubbing off the front tyres on his Picco powered MRX-5, he said he just stayed in behind Hoppe waiting to fix the body at the first fuel stop. Taking over the lead of the race from Daniele Ielasi at 26-minutes with a nice pass down the inside of the Italian, 10 laps later the Mugen designer would stop for tyres saying that after that he had to control his pace to look after his tyres for the remainder of the race. This he said was no big issue as he knew at that stage that Kurzbuch would have to do one extra stop than him. Suffering a small incident in the pitlane when he & Ielasi made contact Pietsch said it was no big problem and overall he was happy with how the race went.
Chrigu, der Champ im Tanken....und Chefstratege bei KRT Racing....voll in action!
Third at the end of the opening lap lead factory Shepherd driver Kurzbuch said he made a bad start due to his engine running rich off the line. Losing further ground with a mistake over the curbs at the 6-minute mark that would cost him 5-seconds and drop him back another position he said his only option for the race was to ‘push to close the gap’. Getting very close to Pietsch as the race reached its climax, the gap down to less than two seconds, the Swiss driver would set the fastest lap of the race on his penultimate lap but the sterling effort would take its toll and on the final lap he ran out of fuel due to how hard he was pushing. His third podium of the season, the only driver with a 100% podium finishing record, Kurzbuch wasn’t too disappointed as having secured the bonus TQ point Pietsch has only taken one point out of his championship lead adding it is ‘going to be very exciting in Fiorano’.
Elsewhere it was a very short race for Motonica’s Robin d’Hondt, contact during the rather hectic start leaving his Picco powered P81 with broken rear suspension and he was out after 3-laps. Top Serpent qualifier Michael Salven would survive a heavy impact in the pitlane with Ielasi but on track contact with the stranded car of Timo Schröder would result in a broken front shock tower. With his pitcrew fitting a new one to the 977, he would rejoin to finish a distant 10th, with Depta the top Serpent in 7th.
1:8 A-Main Result
1.(2) Robert Pietsch (DE) – Mugen/Picco – 146/45:13.720
2.(1) Simon Kurzbuch (CH) – Shepherd/Novarossi – 145/44:56.836
3.(3) Lars Hoppe (DE) – Shepherd/Sonic – 145/45:11.347
4.(5) Rick Vrielijnck (NL) – Mugen/Picco – 144/45:07.187
5.(4) Daniele Ielasi (IT) – BMT/RB – 140/45:04.212
6.(12)John Ermen (NL) – Xray/Reds Racing – 140/45:06.568
7.(11)Merlin Depta (DE) – Serpent/Picco – 116/38:15.272
8.(8) Timo Schröder (DE) – Shepherd/XRD – 115/45:06.239
9.(10)Maximilian Vogl (DE) – Shepherd/Sonic – 113/35:53.192
10.(6)Michael Salven (DE) – Serpent/Picco – 111/45:00.457
11.(9)Patrick Gassauer (DE) – Serpent/Sonic – 71/45:18.045
12.(7)Robin d’Hondt (BE) – Motonica/Picco – 3/2:35.268
View the complete results here.
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Team Xray’s John Ermen made the perfect debut in the Euro Nitro Series as he overcame less than perfect conditions in Austria to win the second round of the new nitro onroad championship. Having had to miss the season opener in a sunny Italy last month due to clashing date with his National Championship, the Dutch driver would survive the super wet conditions of the Aigen track to win the 45-minute endurance test to win by two laps from Shepherd’s Simon Kurzbuch. Driving under the Team fahr(T)raum banner local star Michael Klausner completing the podium with his Mugen. The race saw five different leaders but they would all, including Ermen, suffer from the horrible wet conditions. Making the perfect start and pulling clear of the field one of the first drivers to fall fowl of water in his engine was Top Qualifier Oliver Mack. The Shepherd driver would end the race as the last classified finisher in 8th one place behind the Mugen of No.2 qualifier Robert Pietsch.
‘In 25-years of racing this is the first time I have actually finished a wet race’ said a very happy Ermen. Starting the race from 5th on the grid, his Reds Racing powered RX8 took to the the front of the 13 car field when the engine of Robert Pietsch, who took over the race lead from Mack, started to smother in the water. Looking in control of things, the former Dutch National Champion would come to a more sudden stop on the track due to a glow plug failure. Using the unplanned stop to also fit a new dry airbox to his engine, local KM Racing driver Manuel Gremlic the newest leader, Ermen said this set him up well for the remainder of the race. While he lacked a little in top speed on the straight he said everywhere else the engine was good and he just focused on keeping it going. This approach would pay off as with around 8-minutes to go Gremlica’s engine would stop, handing Kurzbuch the lead but losing his front body clips he too would be delayed handing the lead back to Ermen for Xray’s first ENS race victory. Now a serious contender for the inaugural ENS Championship title, Ermen said he is really looking forward to travelling to Hockenheim for round 3 where he joked ‘hopefully it will be a little drier’.
Running the same new wet Kiss tyre as Ermen on his Novarossi powered Velox, Swiss ace Kurzbuch was pleased with second despite losing out on a potential win late on. Giving up a round of his National Championship this weekend, which took place in dry conditions, the World Championship finalist said everyone had some bad luck in the race which is what happens with racing in the rain. Starting from 8th on the grid he said when he lost his front body clips on the straight it was lifting making the car very hard to control and this lead to his off that cost him the lead. On the podium at the season opener today’s result sees him take over the lead of the points standings.
1:8 A-Main Grid Result
1.(5) John Ermen (NL) – Xray/Reds Racing – 121/45:07.694
2.(8) Simon Kurzbuch (CH) – Shepherd/Novarossi – 119/45:06.418
3.(7) Michael Klausner (AT) – Mugen/OS Speed – 118/45:06.961
4.(14)Adrien Bertin (FR) – HB/Orion – 110/45:10.365
5.(12)Manuel Gremlica (AT) – KM Racing/Wordt – 110/45:16.609
6.(6) Lars Hoppe (DE) – Shepherd/Sonic – 109/45:21.061
7.(3) Robert Pietsch (DE) – Mugen/Picco – 104/45:31.971
8.(1) Oliver Mack (DE) – Shepherd/Sonic – 97/45:03.927
9.(2) Michael Salven (DE) – Serpent/Picco – 57/26:04.515
10.(9)Andrea Pirani (IT) – WRC/OS Speed – 42/19:54.105
11.(11)Olaf Engelmann (DE) – Xray/OS -29/35:03.042
12.(10)Mirko Salemi (IT) – BP Racing/Novarossi – 13/5:50.144
13.(4) Daniele Ielasi (IT) – BMT/RB – 13/7:58.183
14.(13)Michal Abrahamek (CZ) – Xray/OS – DNS
2014 Championship Standings after Round 2
1/8th scale Class
1. Kurzbuch Simon - 305pts
2. Pietsch Robert - 302pts
3. Mack Oliver - 298pts
4. Pirani Andrea - 292pts
5. Ielasi Daniele - 291pts
6. Salven Michael - 289pts
7. Klausner Michael - 286pts
8. Salemi Mirko - 282pts
9. Lechner Sabrina - 279pts
10.Vogl Maximilian - 279pts
11.Hedlund Christofer - 258pts
12.Engelmann Olaf - 249pts
13.Günther Maximilian - 246pts
14.Levy Alain - 243pts
15.Müller Torsten - 230pts
Source: REDRC.NET - http://www.euronitroseries.com/