Successful and emotional start into the 2018 FIA ETRC season for Don´t Touch Racing with André Kursim
The FIA ETRC opening round at Misano World Circuit on the 26th/27th of May was a huge success for the recently founded Don´t Touch Racing team!
Over the past 5 years, team owner Sven Walter got known as a very active FIA ETRC team sponsor on the one side and as owner of his haulage company Sven Walter Logistic on the other one. He was overwhelmed by the impressive amount of attention and great feedback from the people in the paddock!
Following a few really busy months of getting everything organised for the new team, all members were really excited to finally hit the road to Italy!
After building up the Don´t Touch Racing team tent and the team’s very own pit wall box under absolutely fabulous weather conditions on Thursday, the team was all set for the VIP/press rides and first free practice session scheduled for Friday afternoon.
It wasn´t André Kursim´s first time behind the wheel of the IVECO race truck the team calls “Maggie”, but it was still thrilling to see how he would perform under pressure and that hot weather conditions.
Everybody was really impressed when they saw the lap times André achieved at the free practice sessions on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Out of 21 trucks – the strongest truck starter field ever at Misano World Circuit – he managed to post lap times around 8th position. Really not bad, considering that the guys in front of him are well-experienced drivers with long established teams.
The first race day turned out to be an action-packed day for Don´t Touch Racing:
Right at the first qualifying session, the team had to show their capabilities. André impressed everyone when he made it into the Super Pole qualification – a final qualification for the top 10 drivers, in which he secured 9th starting position for the first race of the season!
Due to an incident at the beginning of race 1, the race was restarted with a delay of nearly an hour – quite a challenge for the drivers since they had to stay inside the cab wearing their racing gear while the sun was burning onto the roof.
André handled both pressure and heat pretty well. Piloting his number 11 truck, he had a good start and managed to overtake two trucks during the first half of the race. A competitor behind him must have missed the “Don’t Touch” logo on André´s IVECO truck.
As he was pushed out wide, he dropped back to the back of the grid. Nevertheless, André kept fighting and managed to get Maggie back up in the ranking. He did really well but got a 10 second penalty for over-speeding later on. Therefore, he officially finished 12th out of 21 starters.
As the truck was repaired for race 2, a leak on the radiator was discovered and team boss Sven Walter decided not to start, but to get the truck ready for the second race day instead – a wise decision. If cooling fails, the engine could get damaged. The team would then risk losing more points – missing out on the two races on Sunday.
And indeed, it turned out that it was the right decision. After fitting a new radiator, Maggie was fit for race day two. The day started off with a fantastic lap time at the warm up session, followed by getting into Super Pole qualification and securing 7th position on the grid for the third race.
André Kursium and the truck were in top shape – both got through the race without any incidents. As a result, Don´t Touch Racing´s IVECO truck was able to cross the finish line in 6th place!
The highlight of the weekend was the final race. André managed to keep his truck on 4th position throughout almost the complete race. It was spectacular to watch Norbert Kiss, Steffi Halm and Jochen Hahn chasing and pushing him, lining up bumper on bumper. It wasn’t until the two last laps, when Norbert and Steffi got a chance to overtake the number 11. Nevertheless, the team is still very pleased about André bringing home another fantastic result – scoring important points finishing on another 6th position.
All in all, we are overwhelmed by the positive feedback and the great results we achieved! With a total of 11 points on the overall standings, André Kursim and Don’t Touch Racing are currently on 11th position chasing Jochen Hahn (50 points), Steffi Halm (34), Antonio Albacete (29), Sascha Lenz (27), Adam Lacko (26), Norbert Kiss (25), René Reinert (18), Anthony Janiec (14), Ryan Smith (13) and Gerd Körber (also 11 points).
Back at the workshop, we will now get the truck ready and work on further improvements until it´s time for the second race taking place on Hungaroring near Budapest in Hungary on 16th and 17th of June.
We will keep you informed! Stay tuned!