Event Date: July 25-26
As part of my summer racing, this year I have decided to come to the beautiful Riccione raceway for the annual Hot Race beach party race. This year with most of my races in Europe, it is honestly a great environment to be in. I arrived a few days early with my family and spent a few days sightseeing before going to the track. Nicola, the Hot Race boss organized a fun weekend for us. After a full day of practice on Thursday, we all headed to the go-kart track at night to get some real racing action. It was a very fun night. Back at the track, my Pro5 needed some tweak to the setup as something was not right. With the ETS being here a few months ago, I got a few tips in terms of the setup. However, with Ride being the official tire for ETS, we had to run Hot Race tires, which had more overall grip.
Friday was another day of practice and things didn’t improve as I was really struggling with old tires. I switched to my second car at the end of the day, which kind of helped but I was just lacking overall pace. With Ronald and Alex having more advantage with new tires, I had to figure something out for the race as we were only given 2 sets of tires for 4 rounds of qualifying. With the qualifying system taking best 2 out of 4, it was all about the tire strategy. Saturday morning we had 2 rounds of controlled practice and then 3 rounds of qualifying. During CP1 my car was handling okay, with CP2 came the rain and that changed everything. Q1 did not go as planned as I could only manage 4th with everyone on new tires. With the podium being the goal for the weekend, as I know I didn’t have the car to win, I changed my tire strategy and ran old tires for the remaining qualifies. Q2, Q3, and Q4 I was just not fast enough with old tires so I could only manage to qualify 8th into the main.
Sunday was main day and I took a gamble and ran again my old tires for the first final. Luckily I held on and could match the pace to others and with a bit of luck I finished 2nd in the first final. That gave me a huge pump, as I knew I had 2 sets of new tires remaining so I could push until the end. With new tires for the remaining 2 finals, I managed to accomplish my goal and finish 2nd overall. I am happy with the results and it was a really fun weekend.
Thanks to everyone’s support and it was great to have a fellow German Pro5 driver there with me!!