Saturday in Zolder Part 3 - Third win of the season for Reinert
14. September 2019Zolder - Saturday’s second race was certainly one of the more chaotic we’ve seen this season. Gibbon was on pole for the second time, but that was of no advantage to the Brit. While he did manage to make it out of the first corner ahead of Reinert, the race was red-flagged immediately after. Jenkins had slid off into the expanse of gravel bordering T1, dragging a couple of competitors with him. Fabio Citignola’s tankpool24 Mercedes could not be got to start again and had to be towed out. The drag link on the truck’s steering was badly bent, which meant he would not be able to take part in the restart anyway. But it took an age before the Mercedes was safely out of the way.
The field meanwhile was waved back into the original grid formation. The trucks that had been involved in the melee were all examined by the technical stewards. Recuenco was found to have a slow puncture on one of his MAN’s rear tyres, and the Spaniard had to back up a few hundred metres till the entrance to pit lane, where the tyre could be replaced, and it was from pit lane into the race that he would go.
The lights turned green for the restart after a half-hour delay. This time Gibbon didn’t get away cleanly and soon buckled under pressure from Reinert, Kiss, and Halm. No sooner had the leaders crossed the line at the end of the first lap than there was a crash behind them in the final corner – between Dominique Orsini’s Mercedes and the sole Scania of Dutchman Erwin Kleinnagelvoort. The Scania came to a stop in the grass besides the barrier; the Mercedes slowly rolled on, right in the centre of the track, but Orsini couldn’t get it to start up. A couple of marshals decided to give the Frenchman a helping hand, and managed to get the truck going just before the race leaders could round the corner. They were, by now, already restricted to 70 km/h under “Full Course Yellow”, but when Orsini came to a halt at the end of the straight, the red flag was waved again. The Scania too had to be removed from its precarious position in the runoff.
It wasn’t immediately obvious whether the second restart would follow the original order, or whether the lap under FCY would count as a race lap and the starting order would correspond to the running order at the end thereof. The stewards settled for the latter. This meant there would be two separate classifications, the drivers’ times from each added to give the final race result. The second part-race, meanwhile, would be run over 10 laps. We were an hour behind schedule at this point.
Reinert now stood on pole, with Kiss alongside. Behind them were Halm and Gibbon. The German in the blue Iveco took the lead instantly, followed by Halm, who surged ahead of Kiss. A problem with his electronics forced Gibbon to return to pit lane, knocking him out of the reckoning. The top 10 at the end of the first lap also finished the race in the same order. Not that the 10 laps passed without incident; there were several fierce battles, particularly towards the rear of the field, resulting in a hail of drive-through penalties. Jenkins set a record of sorts, having had to make four sorties through pit lane.
Reinert of course finished on top in the final ranking, followed by Halm and Kiss. Albacete came fourth, ahead of Lacko, Hahn, Kursim, Lenz, José Rodrigues, and Janes.
The Brit took top spot in the Grammer Truck Cup, ahead of Portuguese youngster José Eduardo Rodrigues and Englishman Jamie Anderson (both MAN).
„Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus“ (Hahn / Steffi Halm) stood atop the team podium for the second time today. Löwen Power (Albacete / Lenz) and tankpool24 (Kiss / Citignola) were the runners-up.
Hahn has extended his championship lead by three points and now has 249 to Albacete’s 171. Lacko remains third with 163, followed by Halm (141), Kiss (137), Reinert (125), and Lenz (114).