Three podium finishes and one pole position
The second round of the IDM (International German Championship) took place as support event for the Endurance World Championship at the „German Speedweek“ in the Motorsportarena Oschersleben. The weekend started off strong for the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team with a first position for Julian Puffe and a second position for Ilya Mikhalchik in the first free practice. Then the sky opened and a lot of rain prevented the team to leave the pit box for the second free practice.
The qualifying day was not the best one for the Belgian team. Julian Puffe, who set the fastest time of the day, crashed in turn one at the beginning of the session and left his part of the team a proper night shift to fix his BMW S 1000 RR until race-day. Also Ilya did slide off the track during qualifying, but his bike got away better. Fortunately both riders stayed unhurt. Despite the crash Puffe kept the fastest lap of the day and stayed on pole position.
Different to the usual IDM-events the races of the SBK1000-class took place on the Saturday. The warm up session was too short for Julian Puffe to take the finishing touch on his bike. A small technical problem forced him to return to the box after just a few laps out. Both riders had a fantastic start from first and second on the grid and they finished race one in first (Ilya Mikhalchik) and third (Julian Puffe) positions. Ilya Mikhalchik lost some positions during the second race due to a contact with another rider. But until the end of the 18 laps long race the Ukrainian fought himself back into second place. Julian Puffe finished the second race in fourth position.
The third round of the International German Championship will take place in two weeks time from 21st to 23rd of June at the home circuit of the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW Team in Zolder, Belgium.
llya Mikhalchik, #1: „It is very important that we finished both races. These points are crucial for the championship. The weekend started off heavy-going. We had to deal with small technical issues and then I also crashed. It was not a big crash, but its still annoying. I was not happy with my qualifying lap time and also the start position for the races was not ideal. But I had good races. I concentrated on the pace and won the first race. The second one I finished in second position. That’s good, as I did not have a good start and because of a contact with another rider I fell down to twelfth position. To fight back from there was not easy, but I did it. I am happy about that and I thank my team for their big effort this weekend. I am looking forward to the next race now.“
Julian Puffe, #19: „We had a rattling good start into this weekend. We finished all sessions first. The advantage during the qualifying was more than seven tenth of a second in leading position. But I made a big mistake then. I pushed too hard and sent myself and my bike into the gravel. The bike was destroyed and my team had to do a big job to build it up again. I had hoped for much more for this weekend regarding my pace at the beginning. Then we also had problems during the warm up this morning and this prevented us from trying some more things. But my team did a great job with my bike. Nevertheless I am not happy with the result of the race. I was too slow and I did not have the pace from the start of the weekend. Especially at the second race I had problems to overtake and it did not work out as I was hoping for. We will attack again next race.“
Werner Daemen, Teammanager: „We had a great start into the weekend. The second day finished off a bit stressful with the crash of Julian. But the mechanics did a fantastic job and built the whole bike up again during one big night shift. Julian’s bike was like a new one. I want to thank the mechanics for this gracious work. Ilya and Julian both rode very intelligent races. Ilya won the first one. Julian also made it onto the podium. And also during the second race was strategically good by both and Ilya was able to fight from ninth onto second position. He gained some more important championship points. I am satisfied with that and I can’t complain.“
Pictures: Dino Eisele