Saturday in Zolder Part 2 - Kiss leads from start to flag
16. September 2017Zolder - On this beautiful summer afternoon, Kiss went clear into the lead soon after the lights turned green, with Lacko, Hahn, Lenz, and the rest of the platoon right up behind his tankpool24 Mercedes. Lacko evidently wanted to finish the race without taking any unnecessary risks – after all, the only way he can still lose the title is by failing to finish, - and so no attacks were forthcoming from the Buggyra. Everyone else behind him too was on their best behaviour, so it seemed.
On Lap 4 the track commentator began to sound apoplectic, and even if you didn’t understand his language you could easily make out what had worked him up – Lacko had come to a halt. What actually happened was even more dramatic; Hahn and Lenz both narrowly escaped very likely elimination.
A gearbox seizure had resulted in the drive wheels on Lacko’s Fatfox suddenly locking up, bringing the truck to an abrupt, screeching halt. Hahn ploughed straight into the Buggyra, and Lenz completed the pile-up from the rear. The damages, fortuitously, proved to be cosmetic only, so the two Germans dusted themselves off and resumed their race immediately. For Lacko, however, it was all over.
Kiss meanwhile was in his own orbit and had built up a cozy cushion. Hahn comfortably settled into 2nd, but Lenz had to watch his rear throughout – old fox Albacete was determined to retake the position his German co-MANler had seized from him at the start. Lurking behind them was Steffi Halm, hopeful that their battle might result in a coming together that would take both trucks out of her way. But four laps to the flag Steffi’s truck was laid low – exiting the chicane, as she was on full acceleration, one of the springs gave way. The MAN-in-blue swerved out of control and crashed with full force into a retaining wall.
The combat between Lenz and Albacete continued all the way to the flag, the young German stubbornly holding on to 3rd place – behind Kiss and Hahn – by half a second.
The duo of Vršecký and Kursim crossed the line a yawning 17 seconds later, the Czech masterfully defending his 5th place against the young German Mercedes driver.
José Rodrigues drove a safe race to 7th, ahead of Körber. Having started in 9th, the Iveco pilot dropped to the end of the field on the first lap and then fought his way back up.
The fight between race-by-race entrants Thomas Robineau (FRA) and Portuguese José Teodosio (Renault) was spectacular in it’s own right, the Frenchman eventually taking the prize – 9th place and two points.
Tankpool24 (Kiss / Kursim) was a strong team winner ahead of „Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus“ (Hahn / Körber) and Reinert Adventure (Steffi Halm / Lenz)
Kursim was the Promoter’s Cup winner, with José Rodrigues and Robineau first and second runner-up respectively.