Saturday at the Nürburgring Part 1 - Hahn outruns the competition
20. July 2019Nürburgring - The first race day of this 4th round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship got off to a pleasant start with calm weather and cool temperatures. Jochen Hahn revelled in the conditions, setting the top warm-up time of 1:55.661. The others crowded in, less than a second separating the six quickest. In part, the order was almost identical to that of the day’s first race later.
Hahn was on pole, with his Spanish rival Antonio Albacete (MAN) alongside and Sascha Lenz right behind. The tankpool24 Mercedes of Norbert Kiss was next to Lenz behind Albacete. The Hungarian had run into inexplicable starting difficulties in the races at the Slovakia Ring, which resulted in his losing top grid positions in an instant, but the team evidently prepared him well for the TGP. And so, while Hahn pulled ahead of Albacete on the start sprint, the Spaniard, Lenz, and Kiss emerged out of the first corner and into the Mercedes Arena in one rank. Kiss on the outside, Albacete a nose ahead of Lenz on the inner line. The Spaniard swept imperiously into the long left-hander with Lenz in tow, but Kiss used his advantage to edge in ahead of the German MAN pilot.
The four frontrunners soon coalesced into two pairs, Hahn and Albacete followed by Kiss and Lenz, and they carried on in this formation all the way till the flag. The Hahn-Albacete-Kiss podium mirrored exactly the top three in the warm-up, an occurrence you very rarely see in truck racing.
While P1 through P4 were thus claimed early on with no damages, there was physical contact aplenty further behind. The Ivecos of Steffi Halm and André Kursim collided with such impact as to force both into immediate retirement. The MAN trucks of Shane Brereton and French youngster Téo Calvet, and the Iveco of René Reinert with them, went into a pirouette à trois at the exit of the Mercedes Arena. Brereton and Calvet collected themselves and fought their way back up the field to finish P11 and P15 respectively, but Reinert’s race was run just a couple of laps later.
He may not have made it onto the podium, but Gerd Körber was most definitely the man of the race. Having started down in 10th, the German vet in his Iveco was up to P5 in the early laps and engaged in a spirited battle with Adam Lacko (Buggyra Freightliner), whom he held at bay till the finish.
The remaining positions in the points were occupied by a MAN quartet consisting of José Rodrigues (POR), Anthony Janiec, Thomas Robineau (both FRA), and Jamie Anderson (GBR).
Löwen Power came through in Race 1 with Albacete and Lenz together topping „Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus“ (Hahn / Halm) and Buggyra International (Lacko / Janes).
Robineau took first place in the Grammer Truck Cup classification, ahead of Anderson and compatriot Terry Gibbon (MAN).