Norbert Kiss virtually unstoppable
27. June 2020While at least a dozen truck racers were able to enjoy the return to driving a real truck on a real track at Autodrom Most last week, others were preparing themselves for Round 3 of the ETRC Digital Racing Challenge, at which they were joined by half of those who’d tested at Most.
Last Sunday’s races were at the virtual Slovakia Ring.
As you’d expect, sim-race ace Norbert Kiss dominated proceedings. The Hungarian wasn’t one of those who’d tested live; his MAN wasn’t race-ready yet. But there was no beating him on the sim, and he seized Super Pole ahead of German MAN rival Sascha Lenz.
Right from the start of the race Kiss left nobody in doubt that he was going to win it. Lenz, his only putative rival, followed close on his heels, but was never able to get close enough to attack. In third place was Frenchman Jonathan André, the Lion Truck Racing team manager standing in for Anthony Janiec.
As in Misano on 7 June, there were collisions on Lap 1 of the second race, with Kiss in P8 finding himself in the gravel at the first corner and Brit Shane Brereton taking polesitter Albacete out with a spectacular broadside a few hundred metres down the road.
The pile-up was so messy that the race had to be interrupted forthwith. The racers were more restrained at the restart. Albacete led for several laps, but he was subjected to unrelenting attacks. Kiss, on the other hand, was able to make a contactless climb to P2, eventually sweeping ahead of the Spaniard.
The racing behind was very hard, the main victim being Albacete, whose MAN dropped to P6 over a few hundred metres. The young Portuguese José Eduardo Rodrigues inherited P2, chased down by his MAN colleague Lenz and a very closely spaced pack. Rodrigues, who has distinguished himself as the king of catch-as-catch-can capers, crossed the line ahead of Lenz, André, and others, but was immediately given a 30 second penalty that dropped him to the bottom of the field.
The Race 2 podium was identical to that of the earlier race, Kiss ahead of Lenz and André.