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Friday in Navarra

Friday in Navarra

31. May 2013Navarra - The truck racers were in for a surprise when they landed at the Circuito de Navarra in Los Arcos. They`d certainly had something else in mind when it was announced that the second round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship would be held here. To most minds, there`s one thing you can be sure of in Spain in the first week of June — plenty of sun. But the impression we`ve got so far in the north of Spain is that, not unlike many other parts of Europe, the winter just doesn`t seem to want to leave.
It`s been mostly dark and cloudy today over this beautiful new track, situated a good 500 metres above sea level, but rain has been as good as absent. The extraordinarily strong wind, though, has carried over from yesterday, accompanied by frequent, violent squalls. Again and again, we`ve seen movable barriers blown around, and many of the team standards have been prematurely packed away after the flagstaffs kept getting bent over. As a precaution, some teams have taken down their tents and hired pit garages instead.
The strong wind from the northwest will no doubt spring a few surprises on the track when the race trucks are thundering along some of the straights at full throttle. On these gently downward-sloping sections, the broad, flat rear surfaces of their cabs acting as sails, the trucks can simply be borne along by the power of the wind.
In such conditions the drivers will have to be very careful to avoid exceeding the 160 km/h speed limit — they may not be able to rely entirely on the speed governor to do the job. Race results could eventually differ from the order in which the trucks actually cross the finishing line. And because of the time it takes to evaluate the race logs, there could even be cases where podium positions for a race have to be exchanged long after the prizes have been awarded.
Be that as it may, the drivers are all rather enthused by the layout of the track, never mind the fact that negotiating the numerous curves – some of them sweeping and meant to be taken at full speed, others tight corners requiring very heavy braking before entry – is going to be a challenging undertaking, not to mention the continually alternating downward and upward grades.
It remains to be seen how the many Spanish pilots will fare. Their trucks are almost without exception older and quite a bit slower than those of most of the FIA entries, and many of them are very likely going to be lapped. And then it wouldn`t be the first time a backmarker tips the scales in the battle for the top three spots.

Supported by Meritor Translation: Eliot Lobo

Impressions:

Friday in Navarra
Friday in Navarra
Friday in Navarra