You can see many happy faces in the box of the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW team in the afternoon of the last action-struck day of the IDM-season 2019 at the Hockenheimring. The championship-title was defended successfully in Assen a few weeks ago by Ilya Mikhalchik, which meant the fifth title for the team around Team Manager Werner Daemen. And the Vice-title and second place in the championship went to Julian Puffe and also to the alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW team today.
The weekend had every possible autumn weather in in stock this weekend. The free practices took place on rain-wet tarmac, which was not bad for the data collection of the BMW S 1000 RR. The two team riders had to fight their way through the qualifying session on Saturday. Ilya Mikhalchik had to let go of the pole position and give it to guest rider Marvin Fritz. Julian Puffe got a tenth starting position after QP1 and QP2.
The first race was close to a psycho-thriller. Ilya Mikhalchik had a not optimal start and dropped to ninth position. Slowly he approached back to the group in front and lap by lap he got closer to the two leading riders Marvin Fritz and EWC-teammate Bastien Mackels. An exciting fight and numerous changes in the lead filled the last laps. One lap before the finish line Mikhalchik overtook both and rode to a fantastic victory. Julian Puffe finished the first race in ninth place and he collected more important points for his Vice-title.
The 23-years-old from Ukraine had a super start into the second race with the reverse-grid-starting procedure from ninth position. After just six laps he went into the lead and stayed there until the very last corner, when he was overtook by Marvin Fritz and he had to let him have the believed win to him. Julian Puffe only finished in 14th position due to a time penalty he got for a time delay on the grid. But he already had the Vice-Title in his pocket.
An exciting season came to an end today. The alpha Racing-Van Zon-BMW team did it again to bring two riders to the top. Some changes will happen for the next season and we will soon inform about them. We want to thank both our top riders, the whole team, our sponsors, supporters, friends, families and fans for this great success and we wish all a fantastic off-season. Stay good!
Ilya Mikhalchik: „The first day on the Hockenheimring was really wet. It was a good practice though. I did not had to ride at the limit this weekend, but I still did in the wet to get some decent data with the bike in these conditions. I had a good feeling in the wet. I was in the top three without risking too much. Unfortunately we lost the pole position, as we did not have a flying lap. There was too much traffic. The first race was very difficult. I had some problems in the first laps and was riding in ninth position. But then I was able to get in front and could start to fight with them. I won the race in the last lap. I had a good start into the second race. I pushed at the beginning. I could ride a little more relaxed for the last laps. Unfortunately I lost the lead in the last corner to Marvin Fritz. I did not expect him to be that close. I already have the title. I want to thank my team. I hope I will be able to get many more titles in my future and this is what I will work for now.“
Julian Puffe: „Of course this is not so easy for me at the moment. I started strong into the season, came to my home race in Schleiz leading the championship and now finished the season with the Vide-title. It is not bad to be Vice-Champion. But it is not going very well since a few races now and I am disappointed about that. I can’t say much about that at the moment. I will use the winter to prepare for the coming season and to attack the title again then. I will not give up, that’s for sure.“
Werner Daemen: „What can I say! We are IDM-Champion and Vice-Champion. I am very happy! The first race was won by Ilya again. He finished second in race two. You get a little bit spoiled if he always wins and can get a little bit disappointed if he doesn’t. But to be honest we can be really happy with the whole weekend. Julian is a bit sad. He does not feel so good anymore since a few weeks with his bike, but I am not concerned about that. He will be back very soon and this is just a phase. It will be all good again soon, I am sure about that.“