Most Preliminary Report
25. August 2020It does feel strange to be writing the first of our obligatory pre-event reports at the end of August. Had anyone suggested as much six months ago, we’d have considered him crazy. How much the corona-crisis has changed not only the calendar, but also the conditions of a round in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship, was the subject of our last article. The actual racing on the track will, by contrast, remain very much what we’re used to. But only a very few people will be allowed on the grid, a maximum of three mechanics per race truck. There won’t be the grid walk, so extraordinarily popular at the Autodrom in Most.
All full-season pilots, right down to the Portuguese Rodrigues clan and Dutchman Erwin Kleinnagelvoort, will be in action at Most. Today we were informed that André Kursim, driver with the Berlin-based Don’t Touch Racing Iveco team, had sustained a muscle injury in a work-related accident and won’t race here. But counting race-by-race entrant Lukas Hahn, also in an Iveco, the field will still have a respectable 15 competitors.
Home team Buggyra, headquartered less than 100 km from the circuit, will take the start with three trucks. Former champion Adam Lacko will be joined by 16-year-old compatriot Aliyyah Koloc and the somewhat older French teen Téo Calvet. How quick the two youngsters turn out relative to the more seasoned competition we will only know in free practice Friday morning, and in qualifying thereafter. In any event, no other team in the ETRC has trained as intensively and tested at as many circuits as the Czechs.
Not even sextuple champion Jochen Hahn, and the German Iveco pilot is well known for his painstaking preparation. The same is true for Steffi Halm and René Reinert, who drive Hahn-built Ivecos.
Tankpool24 pilot Steffen Faas has, except for the tests here in Most a couple of months ago, not really gotten an opportunity to drive his brand new Scania at anything resembling race pace.
MAN will be represented by the largest contingent once again – seven trucks. Spearheading the Munich marque’s campaign are Spaniard Antonio Albacete and his German brandmate Sascha Lenz, rejoined after four seasons by Hungarian Norbert Kiss. There’s no questioning the twice-champ’s track cred, but his new truck is an as-yet-unknown quantity – the Révész team did not test in Most.
Anthony Janiec is another of the very experienced pilots and always good for a surprise, especially when it rains. Even though the Frenchman couldn’t make it to the tests in Most, he did let it rip at Nogaro not long after, in far from optimal conditions.
Spaniard Luis Recuenco, Brit Jamie Anderson, and German Clemens Hecker, who is competing in his first full ETRC season, also hope to have a say in the outcome of the season.