Saturday at the Hungaroring Part 3 - First an interruption after four laps, then victory for Kiss
17. October 2020The second race of Round 2 of this bizarre year’s FIA European Truck Racing Championship at the Hungaroring unfolded ... bizarrely.
Steffi Halm was on pole, with the penalised Janiec alongside on the grid. The trucks set off on the formation lap somewhat earlier than in the official timetable. Not halfway round the circuit, Janiec’s fluorescent-yellow MAN ground to a halt in a runoff (the result of a failure in its electronics, it turned out), while the rest of the field gingerly made its way past. A little while later the red flags fell, even though the race hadn’t even started.
The field regrouped on the grid as Janiec’s truck was towed away, and the formation lap began again, at a 10 minute delay from the original schedule. The conditions had by now visibly improved, but race control nevertheless ordered that the opening lap be run under Full Course Yellow. Calvet now had P2, followed by Faas, Albacete, Hahn, Kiss, and Lacko. With no overtaking allowed, the field was still very much closer together on Lap 1 than in the earlier race. The instant the lights went green, the Race 1 protagonists in the pack surged forward with savage urgency. Faas may have been a tick slower, but he certainly wasn’t going to roll over and let them past. So Albacete and Kiss had to force their way through, followed in short order by Lacko and Hahn. Kiss, having presently overtaken both Albacete and Calvet, now bore down inexorably on Halm. At the same corner, with an identical manoeuvre to the one he’d used against his Spanish MAN colleague and Hahn in the previous race, the home hero grabbed the lead. But on Lap 5 the race was red-flagged, nobody knew why.
The trucks and their bewildered pilots were shepherded into pit lane and then into parc fermé. It was just past 15:00. The positions at the start of Lap 4 were recorded, which meant Halm ahead of Kiss, Calvet, Albacete, Hahn, Faas, and Hecker.
The pilots of the FIA World Touring Car Cup WTCR then rolled out for their qualifying sessions, which started on the dot. The truck racers, meanwhile, couldn’t come to an agreement on how to proceed. In the event, a late afternoon restart was decided, barely three quarters of an hour before sundown.
Kiss took the lead out of T2 and raced off into the sunset. The pack followed at a more measured pace – but not slow by any stretch. Seven laps of this contrived heat had to be driven, and the trucks tailed each other as if in a game of tag, with frequent, albeit inconsequential, attempts at overtaking.
Towards the close Lacko moved up into P2, Halm having dropped out owing to technical issues with her Iveco. Calvet came in next. The times of the two split races added together yielded a classification identical to the result of the seven laps, which meant Albacete was fourth, ahead of Hahn, Faas, Hecker, Recuenco, Aliyyah Koloc, and Halm (classified in the points despite a two-laps deficit).
Calvet took the top step on the Goodyear Cup podium, where he was joined by Faas and Hecker.