Saturday in Most Part 1 - Kiss claims first pole of the season
29. August 2020Most - The pilots of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship made their first official appearance on track at this first race weekend of the season at Autodrom Most in the free practice sessions yesterday, in the best racing weather you could ask for. Thereafter the heavens opened. The rain did subside overnight, but the sky was still lowering and wet patches abounded during warm-up this morning. The race line dried out by and by as the lapping trucks trod it, and the times began to tumble. Norbert Kiss went on top with a 2:02.006, albeit some way off his 2:01.598 from yesterday. The Hungarian apart, only home hero Adam Lacko (Buggyra Freightliner) and German MAN pilot Sascha Lenz dipped under 2:03. But this was still warm-up; things would really hot up only in qualifying a couple of hours later.
Q1 was delayed somewhat after a car from a supporting race leaked oil onto the track and into the pit lane. But this had no evident effect on the truck racers, because Kiss blazed to 2:01.699 on his first flying lap, two tenths quicker than Jochen Hahn (GER) in his Iveco. Lenz, Lacko, and Frenchman Anthony Janiec (MAN) all went under 2:03 and, certain of their place in the Top 10 for the Super Pole, returned to pit lane. Iveco pilot René Reinert (GER), French teen Teó Calvet (Buggyra Freightliner), and Reinert’s compatriot and Iveco colleague Steffi Halm also came back in after their first hot laps – all to save their rubber for the races. The last two places were hard-fought till the end, Englishman Jamie Anderson (MAN) and race-by-race pilot Lukas Hahn (GER) in his Iveco making up the Top 10 at the expense of last year’s runner-up Antonio Albacete (MAN).
Five minutes later it was go for the Super Pole – here a pilot has the opportunity to do no more than two flying laps and even the slightest mistake can prove very costly. But Kiss was a class apart, setting the fastest time of the weekend by far, a 2:01.085. Defending champ Hahn was more than a tenth slower; Lenz, third-quickest, a whole half-second. After the cooldown they were all back at it, fast and furious. But there was no bettering their already set times, and no change in the grid order.
Kiss thus picked up the first pole of the season, and Hahn will line up alongside on the front row. Lenz and Lacko will start from Row 2 behind them, followed by Halm, Janiec, Reinert, Calvet, Lukas Hahn, and Anderson.