Julian Puffe and Ilya Mikhalchik are dominating at the home-event of Puffe in Schleiz
The fifth round of the IDM – International German Championship and both home races of alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW pilot Julian Puffe, were taking place on the oldest natural racetrack of Germany, the „Schleizer Dreieck“, this weekend. In front of packed grand stands and under the typical racing atmosphere of Schleiz, Puffe and his teammate Ilya Mikhalchik also proofed their dominance in the Superbike 1000 class. Puffe arrived at his home town leading the championship and Mikhalchik followed in second position. Both are leaving Schleiz still leading the championship in first and second position. It could not have been better for the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team around team boss Werner Daemen.
The weekend did not start as expected for the youngster from Schleiz, Julian Puffe, as he suffered a crash during the first free practice and had to finish it after only two laps. With the third position for Puffe and the first position for Mikhalchik on day one, the day still finished successfully on an action-packed weekend.
But the qualifying session were clearly dominated by both of the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW riders on their BMW S 1000 RR bikes and they were able to secure themselves the best possible starting positions for the races on Sunday. For Ilya Mikhalchik it was his third pole position this season. Julian Puffe started from second position into the first race. At the second race they used the reverse grid position again and therefore Mikhalchik had to start from ninth grid position. Puffe started from eighth.
The start into the first race was clearly better for Puffe than for his teammate, but the Ukrainian was able to catch up onto the top of the field and won race one with a best lap time of 1’25.003. Puffe followed straight behind with 1’25.443 in second position. Both pilots had a good start into race two. Puffe already built a gap behind himself and was leading the race for a few laps in front of his home crowd. Ilya Mikhalchik caught up and overtook the 23-years-old and the end of the race to cross the finish line in first position.
The double win and two second places sum up a successful weekend for the Belgian BMW-Team and team boss Werner Daemen is happy and looking forward to repeat the results at the next stop of the championship at the Autodrom in Most, Czech republic in two weeks time from 9th to 11th of August.
Ilya Mikhalchik; #1: „It was a good weekend, although this is not one of my favorite tracks. These wins are very important for us. I could have achieved that already before, but I had some bad luck in the last two races. After the little throwback at Nürburgring I am really happy, that we won both races. This felt very nice and I was able to catch up a little bit in the championship. It really can continue like this, I would not mind.“
Julian Puffe; #19: „Of course my goal is to always win the races, that is why we are here. It would have been so nice to win at least once in front of my home crowd. I gave everything in both races. Unfortunately it was only enough for the second place at both races. I did some leading laps and after the crash on Friday during the first free practice and with only a few laps in which I had to fight with problems, I am really relieved that we got such a good bike during the warm up today and I can take two second places home with me.”
Werner Daemen, Teammanager: „I am a happy team boss now. We won two times today and Julian finished in second position twice. Of course it would have been nice for Julian to win at least one race at his home track. We had a fantastic weekend. Both riders rode great races and did not crash, which is very important. Both did really fast lap times and I am very satisfied. I had some concerns for Julian at the beginning of the weekend as he had some problems and a crash, but he stayed calm and I liked that. The championship gets more and more exciting now and it is nice to watch.“
Start ins Rennen eins | Foto: Dino Eisele
Podium Rennen eins | Foto: Dino Eisele
Ilya Mikhalchik nach seinem Sieg des ersten Rennens | Foto: Dino Eisele
Local Hero Julian Puffe | Foto: Dino Eisele