The race trucks make their first public appearance
19. June 2020It’s go again – at long, long last. Each team’s 1,200 horses have been pawing the turf, as it were, for weeks on end. Now, on the third weekend of June, a dozen trucks from the FIA European Truck Racing Championship have arrived at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic for the traditional pre-season test programme they’d have completed 10 weeks ago in normal circumstances.
At this stage, the first three race weekends would have been behind them and the entire truck race community would be preparing for the Truck Grand Prix, the climactic event of the season at the Nürburgring. But owing to the patchwork of lockdowns across Europe in response to COVID-19, plan-as-you-go is the best the organisers of the championship have been able to do.
The truck racers are delighted they can finally get their thrill fix again. A few have carried out functional tests on airfields or even on circuit, but none has managed anything close to a thorough shakedown, driving at the limit. Some anticipate, or are experiencing, difficulties travelling to and from their home countries, and that has brought the number of participants down from 17 who’d registered for the test week in April.
The four full-season Ivecos of Germans Jochen Hahn, Steffi Halm, René Reinert, and André Kursim are all here, with the truck of race-by-race pilot Lukas Hahn; Buggyra has Adam Lacko (CZE) and Téo Calvet (FRA); MAN is represented by the trio of Sascha Lenz, Clemens Hecker (both GER), and Jamie Anderson (GBR); and Steffen Faas (GER) and Erwin Kleinnagelvoort (NLD) have joined in with their Scanias.
The day began at 9 sharp, on a dry track under overcast skies. It wouldn’t surprise us if some rain did fall; the teams were greeted by a succession of downpours on their arrival yesterday afternoon.