Russian driver Nikolay Karamyshev became a winner of the fourth European Touring Car Cup (ETC Cup). On the island of Sicily the 24-year old driver from Kursk finished the second in two races and left his rivals behind in terms of total scoring.
This season started for Nikolay from a victory at Italian Monza, but two further week-ends turned out to be rather challenging for him. That is why here and now, when the struggle entered the home straight, it was extremely important not to make a mistake.
Fascinating Enna-Pergusa circuit laid around a big lake drew all the leaders of the European Cup in the SMT rankings. Practice was rather good for Nikolay, but in qualification he had some technical problems with his SEAT Leon, which prevented him from getting better results. He got the seventh position at the starting grid. But the Kursk driver demonstrated an excellent start, overtaking several major competitors.
During the entire first race Karamyshev was chasing Spaniard Jordi Oriola, and though he was slightly faster, he preferred a bird in the hand to taking the risk of overtaking the opponent.
The second race developed under a similar scenario: Nikolay perfectly responded to the signal lights and immediately reclaimed two positions. Later on, he was overtaken by several opponents, but all of them were representatives of the powerful S2000 class, which has separate scoring system. As for the SMT, he finished second once again, this time yielding only to Austrian Mario Dablander.
Having scored 16 points on Sicily, the Russian driver considerably improved the situation in the overall ranking. Before the final ETC Cup stage that will be held in October in the Czech Republic he is the third, yielding nine points to the season leader – whereas 23 points may be scored each week-end.
N. Karamyshev: «Of course, I am satisfied with the week-end results. The only problem was the engine overheating in the qualification run – whatever we tried to fix it, nothing helped. Eventually, at night before the race out team changed every single radiator – and the car started. We renovated many suspension elements as well – this circuit has very rigid curb stones. The races went without troubles, except for the moment at the start, when the back of my car was bumped by Serbian driver Dusan Borkovic and my car’s splitter was damaged.
Each time I understood that I was faster than my rivals, and waited for their mistakes. But first Oriola, and then Dablander gave me no chance to overtake them. At the end of the season it is very important to score points, that is why I didn’t want to take the risk of collision at overtaking attempt. Now, everything will be resolved at the final stage – the struggle goes on.»
Nikolay Karamyshev left Sicily for Germany, where he is going to have a medical examination: doctors should evaluate the state of recovery of driver’s hand, which was injured by tragic accident more than two years ago.