Norbert Kiss is first sim truck racing champion
20. August 2020The final round at Circuito del Jarama last Sunday brought the inaugural ETRC Digital Racing Challenge to a close. Much of the excitement was missing, considering that Hungarian MAN pilot Norbert Kiss already had an unassailable lead after his two victories at the penultimate round on a virtual Le Mans.
Eight pilots took the start, and since the champion was already manifest the focus was on who’d take second place – German MAN pilot Sascha Lenz and his French Buggyra rival Téo Calvet were the only two still in the running. With a maximum of 40 points to be fought for, Lenz had an almost insuperable advantage of 36 points.
Polesitter Kiss took the Race 1 lead at the first corner and went on to win unchallenged. The field separated into two halves, the gaps between the top four so large that there was no chance any of them would get in the way of the others. French Lion Truck Racing manager Jonathan André took P2 ahead of Lenz and Calvet.
That result decided the runner-up question, because even if the German should have dropped out of the final race and Calvet won it, there was no taking the position from Lenz.
So even if, as touching the title, the race was as good as an exhibition, the racers fought hard. The crash de rigueur in the first corner came as anticipated, with the attendant red flags and restart. The second time the trucks all made it round the first corner in one piece, Calvet ensconced in the lead and the rest in a catch-as-catch-can pursuit that only benefited the Buggyra pilot, who kept extending his advantage lap after lap. The Frenchman took a deserved victory ahead of Kiss and Spanish MAN pilot Antonio Albacete.