Sunday at the Nürburgring Part 3 - Second victory for Kiss
21. July 2019Nürburgring - The conclusion of Race 4 brought the 34th Truck Grand Prix to a successful close. It was a monster weekend of motorsport and much, much more for the 124,000 fans that flocked to the Nürburgring under the pleasant midsummer sun.
The race itself was a thriller till the very end. Polesitter Kursim beat Kiss to the first corner and also cleared T2, right in front of the Mercedes Arena, where there’d been mayhem in each of the earlier races. This time the rest of the field also made it through with no damages. Kiss kept close on the heels of his erstwhile tankpool24 teammate, followed by Albacete and Körber, and they in turn by the rest of the pack.
At first, all eyes were on the duel between Kursim and Kiss, and few realised that Steffi Halm had made up five places at the start – but she was now no longer in the running, having had to retire on the third lap with a steering problem.
Kiss was clearly quicker than Kursim, but overtaking in truck racing isn’t the easiest of propositions. Kursim deftly parried every attack and the race was almost half through when, in an unguarded moment, he allowed Kiss an opening the Hungarian ace did not hesitate to exploit. Before you could say “greased lightning” he was through into the lead, proceeding thence to show Kursim a clean pair of heels. At the flag his advantage measured more than 6.5 seconds.
Kursim next came under attack from Albacete, who’d been tailing Kiss all along. The Spaniard, clearly quicker, made a number of attempts to push past, but no, the German Iveco pilot wasn’t making the same mistake again and he pressed on to claim a P2 finish, three-tenths ahead at the flag.
José Rodrigues finished in P4. He’d climbed a few places in the first corner, then harried Körber for several laps before passing him on the 10th. The manoeuvre demanded that Rodrigues take to the grassy verge of the chicane, which the stewards later ruled had given him an unfair advantage. That brought the Portuguese a 5 second penalty that dropped him to P9 and reinstated Körber in P4. Reinert, Hahn, Lacko, and Lenz finished in succession behind him; Janiec collected the sole remaining point for P10.
Mercedes rookie Fabio Citignola (GER) topped the Grammer Truck Cup ranking for the first time in his brief truck racing career with tankpool24. MAN pilots Terry Gibbon (GBR) and Téo Calvet (FRA) came in second and third.
Tankpool24 Racing (Kiss / Citignola) was the top-scoring team, above Löwen Power (Albacete / Hahn) and Reboconort Truck Racing (J. Rodrigues / E. Rodrigues).
Hahn continues to rampage on towards his sixth title. He leads the overall standings with 197 points to Albacete’s 130. Lacko is third with 122, followed by Kiss (121), Halm (109), Lenz (105), Reinert (95), and Kursim (60).