Sunday in Zolder Part 1 – Hahn hoists pole for the 11th time this season
15. September 2019Zolder - Early morning this second race day at Zolder the sky was a deep blue, just like yesterday. The timetable here starts later on Sundays because of the mass that is held at a chapel in the infield. The teams, though, weren’t at the service but deep asleep. At the next round in Le Mans they’ll be busy with the warm-up from a quarter past eight; here the trucks’ first outing today was at 10:30.
Spaniard Antonio Albacete (MAN) came closest to 1:57 with his 1:58.087; nobody else appeared to be in any hurry.
Qualifying kicked off three quarters of an hour later. The first nine were back in after just one flying lap, all certain of getting a second go in the Super Pole – including Albacete, even though he was only ninth, almost 1.3 seconds slower than he’d gone in the warm-up.
Defending champ Jochen Hahn was quickest with a 1:57.978, the only one to go under 1:58. You got the distinct impression that most had not yet played their hand. The German Iveco pilot was accompanied by Buggyra Freightliner pilot Adam Lacko (CZE), Germans Steffi Halm and André Kursim (both Iveco), Mercedes pilot Norbert Kiss (HUN), German Sascha Lenz, and Portuguese José Rodrigues (both MAN), Iveco pilot René Reinert (GER), Albacete, and his compatriot Luis Recuenco.
It was no holds barred in the Super Pole, and at the end five trucks were recorded under 1:58. Lacko was first with 1:57.326, a tenth quicker than Hahn. There was no question the championship leader wasn’t going to be content with P2; a tenth would have to be eked out somewhere. After the cooling-off lap the Iveco pilot threw his all at it, seizing pole with a 1:57.216 that was a tenth better than Lacko’s best. Kiss qualified third, followed by Halm, Albacete, Kursim, Lenz, Reinert, Recuenco, and José Rodrigues.