After a difficult start to the weekend for CRG-Maxter, the team reacted and got its drivers back on the right track at the third round of the WSK Euro Series 2011. One learns most when challenged and many lessons could be drawn from this atypical meeting, marked by very high temperatures and a phenomenal grip on the recently resurfaced La Conca track. Although the whole team regretted Max Verstappen's withdrawal due to back pains, the young Dutch driver is still leader of the KF3 provisional standings. In this context, Mirko Torsellini's victory heartened the Italian team, which will aim for the two titles in KZ1 and KZ2 at the last meeting in Spain, in late July.
KZ: Torsellini in the Place of Honour Again
After some superb performances shown by Jonathan Thonon and Arnaud Kozlinski at the first two meetings of the WSK Euro Series, the CRG team hoped to continue on its winning path at Muro Leccese. But drivers had to face scorching temperatures, which gave the La Conca asphalt an unusual grip. Tyre residues continued to build up along the trajectories, making harder than ever for engineers to find the right set ups. Official drivers were not as competitive as usual. Success was not on their side, considering that Thonon and Kozlinski had to retire during Saturday's KZ1 final race, while Davide Forè lost his place in the top 10 after a penalty. But things went much better for Mirko Torsellini, who dominated in KZ2. He crossed the finish line as winner three seconds earlier than his pursuer.
The situation improved dramatically the following day. But the start grid of the first heat was based on Saturday's final race standings, so drivers had to start from back positions. Forè managed to climb back to 7th, just ahead of his team mate Thonon, while Kozlinski moved up from 27th to 13th. But what matters most is that all of them drove along the times set by the leaders. In KZ2, Mirko Torsellini was aiming to a new victory at the wheel of his CRG/Maxter-Tecsav, but unfortunately he had to retire in the final race. Thonon in KZ1 and Torsellini in KZ2 will try to go for the title on the Zuera circuit at the last meeting in Spain, on 31 July.
KF: Verstappen Remains Leader
3rd in timed qualifying and 2nd in the first qualifying heat, Max Verstappen was again one of the favourites to victory in KF3. Determined to consolidate his leadership in the WSK Euro Series, unfortunately he had to stop there, due to severe back pains. Despite the care he received, nothing changed; it must be said that the asphalt grip put the bodies of young drivers under heavy stress. Not used to racing in such conditions, Japanese driver Jinya Yamakawa continued his apprenticeship in the category. Verstappen kept his first place in the provisional standings.
As in KZ, performances by KF1 drivers showed some improvement after a difficult meeting start in the blazing hot temperatures of southern Italy. Felice Tiene concluded his weekend with a recovery drive to 12th, just ahead of Laura Tillett. As for Jordon Lennox-Lamb, he had just entered the top 10 when he got a problem putting him down the order.