IFMAR 1/8th IC Track World Champion Simon Kurzbuch concluded qualifying at the 2016 EFRA 1/8th IC Track European Championships in Sweden in a familiar position for him; the TQ spot. After four rain-disrupted rounds of qualifying, the 2015 TQ of this event had posted some hugely impressive laptimes with his Novorossi powered Shepherd car, running as low as 26.15s in the second round of qualifying, to sweep qualifying and fend off all challengers. It was a tough second day of action at Eskilstuna Motorstadion, with rain cancelling Round 3 of qualifying and postponing events for over three hours, but once action resumed, Kurzbuch resumed right where he left off.
After the four completed rounds, we were left with Dario Balestri (Capricorn), Robin D’Hondt (Capricorn), Silvio Haechler (ARC) and Robert Pietsch (Mugen) to move into the Superpole session. And what a heart-stopper it was.
Pietsch went first and set the benchmark with a 26.362 best lap, but Haechler trumped him on his final lap of six with a 26.355 – just one hundredth of a second quicker. D’Hondt went one hundredth quicker still, also on HIS final lap, with a 26.341, in an incredible session of unbelievable tension. Balestri came incredibly close to clinching it on the final run of four, but his 26.372 was not enough, and D’Hondt celebrated a nerve-wracking Superpole victory, with only 0.03s seperating all four drivers – unbelievable!
Kurzbuch and D’Hondt clinch the first two spots in Saturday’s Main Final, with the others moving into the semi-finals, and other drivers will have to fight up from the lower finals; all the action starts on Saturday in Eskilstuna at 9am CET.