Sunday in Albacete
06. June 2010Albacete - In the early morning the sky was dark and there was the sound of rolling thunder in the distance, which reminded many people of the thunderstorm in 2008. But later the sky cleared up and there was no rain at all. Again the temperatures rose above 30 °C. In front of almost 20,000 spectators local hero Antonio Albacete in his Cepsa MAN demonstrated already in the Q1 of the timed practice that he was prepared to take full risk, while his opponents were more concerned about getting their trucks hazard-free into the top ten for the super pole. At the crucial moment the Spaniard was even able to improve his fastest time, and with 1:55.055 he was more than 6 tenths faster than Renault pilot Markus Oestreich (GER). The times clocked by the pilots behind those two drivers did not differ widely. Jochen Hahn (GER) in his MAN and Renault pilot Markus Bösiger (SUI) lined up on the second row of the grid. The field of ten was completed by Buggyra pilot David Vrsecky (CZE), followed by four MAN trucks with Alex Lvov (RUS), Balazs Szobi (HUN), Javier Mariezcurrena (ESP), Adam Lacko (CZE), and Renault pilot Anthony Janiec.
The start of the first race was a bit chaotic. Bösiger messed up his start and lost about 10 places. Albacete used his pole position starting slot to good effect, while Oestreich lost his 2nd position to Hahn, Vrsecky managed to gain 4th place. Soon the leading four pilots were clearly pulling away from the chasing pack, each of them keeping a safe distance to the others, and provided that nothing unusual would happen, it seemed that the foursome were going to finish the race in the same order. But on lap 6 it was time for the first lappings, and Oestreich was hit full force by one of the slower Spaniards, sending the German spinning off the track. He had to wait for about 12 trucks to pass before rejoining the field. Meanwhile Bösiger had made a great charge through the pack and finished the race in 4th behind Albacete, Hahn and Vrsecky. Lvov crossed the finish line in 5th, ahead of Szobi, Lacko, Janiec and Mariezcurrena. Oestreich brought his truck home in 10th, thus collecting the last point.
The pole for the second race – where the top 8 finishers from race 1 line up on the grid in reverse order, went to Janiec alongside Lacko. On the second row were Szobi and Lvov. A fantastic getaway allowed the two yellow Allgäuer trucks (Lacko and Lvov) to gain an early advantage, while Janiec and Szobi had to fend off their faster chasers.
None of them was inclined to yield an inch, so that they approached the hairpin bend – only a few hundred metres from the starting line – four trucks in a line; too many for the narrow track in Albacete. Hahn drew the short straw, he took to the grass and lost several positions. Szobi was permanently attacked by Albacete who, in turn, had Bösiger glued to his rear bumper. In lap 4 the Spaniard lost patience, and with all means tried to pass Szobi, but by doing so, he got shortly off the track, and it was Bösiger who benefitted from the incident, as he was now in 4th position. With Albacete breathing down his neck, the Swiss was now chasing after Janiec. After only one more lap he passed the Frenchman and moved into 3rd position – with Albacete again stuck firmly to the tail of Bösiger’s truck. The Swiss not only resisted all attempts by Albacete to overtake, but was determined to take the lead. Suddenly, in the hairpin bend, the leading pilot, Lacko, lost control of his MAN – it looked like he had mechanical problems. But Bösiger, too, had some problems, his Renault truck seemed to slow down, and then an air tube burst, and Bösiger had to park his truck on the grass. Albacete now closed up onto the back of the leading Lvov, and soon the Spaniard, who was definitely faster than the Russian, won the battle. Behind Janiec, Oestreich had meanwhile established himself in 4th position, followed by Vrsecky and Hahn, but suddenly the man from Fulda started to get brake fade. Oese managed to finish the race driving carefully, but was overtaken by both the Czech and the Swabian. Szobi crossed the finish line in 7th, ahead of Chris Levett (GBR) and Uwe Nittel (GER). For the Buggyra pilot the day had been rather exciting. During the warm-up the engine of his truck packed up, so that he could forget about the timed practice, but the Freightliner was ready in time for the race. Starting from 24th position, the back of the grid, he fought his way up to 11th, and in the second race he made it into the points again.
In the championship ranking Albacete is now at the top of the tables with a total of 89 points, followed by Hahn (84), Bösiger (74), Vrsecky (58), Lvov (39), Oestreich (37) and Lacko (34).
In the team ranking both races were won by Truck Sport Bernau (Albacete / Levett), ahead of Team HahnOxxo Racing (Hahn / Szobi) and MKR Technology (Bösiger / Oestreich).