November 20, 2016

Lee wins in Xiamen as Kurzbuch secures pole


Saturday at the Guan Kou Sunpadow Grand Prix in Xiamen, China and the remaining two rounds of qualifying for all classes was reduced to just one with the weather forecast predicting rain. This decision made in the morning confirmed the top qualifying spot for both Simon Kurzbuch and Nicholas Lee in the 1/8th and Modified touring classes having both took all 3 rounds on Friday. It was also decided to run two of the 3 touring car A-mains on Saturday, but in the end the forecast was, as it most of the time is, wrong and it turned out to be a warm sunny day.


With the top spot on the grid confirmed, World Champion Simon Kurzbuch used the final qualifier to test things for the final including fitting a new engine and clutch with a view to the 45 minutes A-main, the Swiss driver the only direct qualifier for tomorrows main final. Pulling up early so as not to affect the other driver’s qualifying runs, he was content with the changes made to his Shepherd Velox V8.


Also securing his place on the top of the grid for the semi finals due to the reduction in rounds of qualifying Takaaki Shimo also used round 4 to fit a new engine and clutch in to his Mugen MRX-6 and set it for the main final however he was to run out of fuel on the last lap, the setting on this new engine still needing for fine tuning.


This left Silvio Hachler to take up the pace in the final round of qualifying with his Novarossi powered ARC. Topping the timesheets, it was enough to give the Swiss driver the 2nd overall qualifying spot to lead the odd Semi Final, the round win meaning he was equal on points with Shimo but took the tie break with the Japanese driver.


In the final Modified Touring qualifier Nicholas Lee would again come out on top for a perfect 4 from 4 to confirm his position as the man to beat at this event. Andy Moore would put in his best run in the final qualifier to beat his fellow Infinity TC World Champion team mate Jilles Groskamp with Shanghai driver Motor King taking fourth for the round. With all 4 rounds completed, it would Groskamp starting on 2nd spot behind Singaporean Lee, with Motor King set to start 3rd with his Yokomo.


On to Modified Touring A-main Leg 1 and it would see Lee continue his dominant form as he took a clear win from Groskamp in 2nd, while World Championship podium finisher Viktor Wilck would work his way through to 3rd from 6th on the grid. But even at this stage with Lee topping the timesheets in every session at this event, the battle was always going to be for 2nd.


The 2nd A-main and Nicholas Lee would cruise to the win once again to take the overall title along with 3000 US dollars prize money from event organiser 3-Circles. Behind him Groskamp would be passed by Motor King in the middle of the race as the Dutch man’s car seemed to struggle as the race progressed meaning the runner up is to be decided in the 3rd and final main on Sunday morning between these two drivers.

View our complete event coverage (in Chinese) here and view our event gallery here.


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