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Le Mans – Preliminary Report

Le Mans – Preliminary Report

05. October 2011For the first time in 5 years the final round will again take place in Le Mans. Certainly the truck racers are reluctant to think back to the final round in 2003 which was also held at the Circuit Bugatti, when on Saturday it was already 1:00 p.m. when the trucks took to the track for the first time. During the night the circuit had been shrouded in heavy fog which – at temperatures slightly above freezing – turned into a thin layer of ice covering the track. But in 2003 the event was held more than 2 weeks later than this season and the general weather situation was quite different. For the coming weekend the weather services do not forecast the same fabulous summer conditions as in Jarama last week, but the predicted temperatures of 16 to 20 °C (61 – 68 °F) are nothing to complain about, although there is the probability of precipitations now and then, but certainly no snow.
But rain is exactly what Mario Kress and his crew had often wished for, because his two MKR “senior” pilots had always been at their best on a rainy day. And the MKR Technology Renault Team with Markus Bösiger (SUI) and Markus Oestreich (GER) still has a clear-cut chance to defend their 2010 team championship title – although, of course, the odds are in favour of the MAN Team Cepsa-Trucksport Lutz Bernau with Antonio Albacete (ESP) and Uwe Nittel (GER) who lead the team championship by a margin of 49 points. But a team can still collect 108 points in the best of cases, however, how fast great expectations are reduced to zero is an experience MKR Technology went through on Saturday in Jarama and MAN pilot Jochen Hahn 2 weeks previously in Zolder, so that in both championships it’s all up in the air.
However, if Hahn finished the season on the same level as in Jarama, he might have the title sewn up. After all, Jarama meant “Albacete country” and in Le Mans Hahn always did rather well. And the Swabian does not necessarily have to win all the races anymore; just to finish always 1 position behind Albacete – that would certainly be enough.
The event in Le Mans will be a sharp contrast to the round in Jarama. While in Spain everything revolved around truck racing, in France there will be an action-packed supporting programme according to the famous 24 Hours event held at the traditional circuit of Le Mans – there won’t be a free second to pause for breath. Especially on Saturday evening one highlight will follow close on the heels of the previous one. There will be contests on the track going well into the sunset. And later there will be sheer pandemonium on the finish straight, with regard to the spectacle as well as the noise level. And FIA coordinator and TRO executive Fabien Calvet – in his capacity as co-organizer of the event – is going to show off his ability as stuntman.
At the same time there will be a great celebration taking place in the MAN hospitality unit. This party was only planned to celebrate the end of the season, but now it will become a real championship party, because the “Maschinenfabrik-Augsburg-Nürnberg”, located in Munich, has already sewn up at least the drivers’ championship, regardless of whether the winner’s name will be Hahn or Albacete.

Impressions:

Le Mans – Preliminary Report
Le Mans – Preliminary Report
Le Mans – Preliminary Report