Sunday in Most
29. August 2010Most - During the night it was rather chilly, and in the morning the thermometer showed 10 degrees. But the 40-second penalty Markus Bösiger collected for overspeeding – dropping him from 6th to 13th position – was a hotly discussed topic in the MKR Technology Team last night. The team’s own telemetry data told a completely different story. But for the stewards the results shown by the ERTF GPS measuring system were the decisive factor. Nevertheless in the morning, during the warm-up, Bösiger again stepped on the gas and clocked fastest time. But in case of his MKR team mate Markus Oestreich – he was 10 seconds slower and had to settle for 14th – these times should not be overestimated.
„I could have stayed in the paddock just as well,“ Oese said later with a broad grin, „I just had to run the brakes in a bit. And anyway, a sprinter doesn’t run the 100 m in 10 seconds during the warm-up.”
In the timed practice – attended by approximately 48,000 fans – things looked quite different. Chris Levett (GBR) in his MAN posted fastest lap time, followed by Bösiger and Oestreich. The two MAN drivers currently leading the championship points table – Jochen Hahn (GER) and Antonio Albacete (ESP) – were about 1 second slower. But the important thing was to be among the top ten for the SuperPole which is crucial for the order on the starting grid. The remaining top ten positions were claimed by the two Czech pilots Adam Lacko (MAN) and David Vrsecky (Buggyra-Freightliner), Alex Lvov (RUS) in his MAN, the Frenchman Anthony Janiec (Renault) and the second Buggyra pilot Uwe Nittel (GER).
In the SuperPole Oese demonstrated that it had been worthwhile to “run the brakes in”. In his third lap he clocked overall fastest time (2:02.134 min.). His team mate Bösiger was more than half a second slower. Again the two MKR Renaults – same as yesterday – lined up on the front row. Levett and Hahn were placed on the second row. Vrsecky and Albacete secured 5th and 6th respectively – split by precisely one thousandth of a second. Nittel lined up on 7th alongside Lacko, ahead of Janiec and Lvov.
Just as on Saturday Bösiger got away really well. Hahn outgunned Levett and Albacete managed to pass Vrsecky, followed by Nittel, Lacko, Lvov and Janiec. Soon the two leading Renault drivers pulled away from the chasing pack which was led by Hahn. Albacete seemed to be a bit faster than the MAN pilots ahead of him; first he succeeded in overtaking Levett and then he passed Hahn. But Bösiger and Oestreich were already too far ahead, so that the Spaniard saw no chance to reel them in. But there was no longer any doubt about who would take the podium places. Hahn crossed the finish line in 4th just two tenths ahead of Levett. Vrsecky failed to finish the race due to mechanical problems, but team colleague Nittel was a worthy replacement for the reigning European Champion and finished in 6th, followed by an armada of MAN trucks, consisting of Lacko and Lvov as well as the two Spaniards Javier Mariezcurrena and José Bermejo, who claimed 10th place. And the battles in mid-field were highly interesting and entertaining. Zoltan Birnbauer (HUN), Jeremy Robineau and Jean-Pierre Blaise (BEL) – all of them MAN pilots – were fighting to the finish to snatch away from Bermejo the last position in the points ranking. And there were also fierce battles among the tail-enders, Scania pilot Erwin Kleinnagelvoort (NEL) and Dominique Orsini (Mercedes-Benz) as well as Michel Bassanelli (DAF) and Olivier Bouzige (MACK), although it wasn’t about points, but solely a matter of honour.
As in the second race the top 8 finishers from race 1 line up on the grid in reverse order, the two Allgäuer MAN trucks were placed on the front row, followed by Levett and Nittel, Hahn and Albacete as well as the two MKR pilots Oestreich and Bösiger.
Levett made a great start, he immediately passed Lvov and was now almost glued to the rear bumper of Lacko’s truck. Shortly afterwards the Brit had also left his Czech MAN colleague behind and took a lead he was never to lose. Nickel, too, appeared to be a bit faster than Lvov, the driver in front of him, but the German hesitated to make a passing move at all costs. As he said later: “I never felt pressurized by Albacete who was behind me, and as to Lvov – I thought I would just stay firmly attached to the rear of Lvov’s truck, and somehow there would be an opportunity to overtake. After all, I was in high spirits and I was faster.” But it never got to that point. In the 180 degree turn at the far end of the Autodrom the Freightliner – out of the blue – crashed into Lvov’s truck, and was hooked up on the yellow MAN. Together the two trucks went on for several metres – with the MAN giving the Freightliner a “piggy-back ride” – and came to a halt right in the centre of the bend at an angle of 90 degrees to the track, barely leaving enough room for the other drivers to pass. It was sheer luck that a multiple accident could be avoided.
“Either Alex braked too soon or I left my braking too late. I was totally focussed on the race and not in the least distracted; I think he braked a bit early, however, I should have been able to avoid the crash,” said Nittel right after the accident, still rather shocked. Why the race wasn’t stopped after the incident, is rather incomprehensible. But either way – the fizz had gone. Were the pilots now particularly careful or were they shocked by the crash? Both pilots remained unharmed, yet the other drivers had to pass the site of the accident at 2-minute intervals. Anyway, after the crash all the pilots drove in single-file so to speak.
Only the positions 9 and 10 were fiercely contested. Eventually the trio Robineau, Birnbauer and Blaise crossed the finish line split by a mere second; however, the Belgium had to settle for the unrewarding 11th position out of the points.
Behind Levett, Lacko and Albacete secured 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, on the podium. Oestreich came home 4th, ahead of Hahn, Bösiger, Vrsecky, and Mariezcurrena in 8th.
In the overall ranking Albacete is still leading with 263 points, ahead of Hahn (227), Bösiger (221), Oestreich (171), Vrsecky (167) and Levett (143).
In the team ranking the winner in the first race was MKR Technology (Bösiger / Oestreich), followed by Truck Sport Bernau (Albacete / Levett) and Team Hahn Oxxo Racing (Hahn / Birnbauer). In the second race Truck Sport Bernau came off as the winner, ahead of MKR Technology and Team Hahn Oxxo Racing.