Zolder Preliminary Report
08. September 2021Circuit Zolder in Belgium will play host to Round 5 of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship on the coming weekend. For many teams, this has meant almost no R&R after the intense weekend in Most.
If you think of the events on the ETRC calendar as turns on a racing circuit, Zolder is traditionally the final corner. Seldom has a championship been won here, although more than a few have been lost at this rather quaint course near Hasselt.
In 2021, however, three race weekends are yet to come, and lots could still happen. Hungarian ace Norbert Kiss presently tops the standings in the MAN-in-red, but his advantage over German brandmate Sascha Lenz is a wee three points. At Most, Sascha proved to be every bit Norbi’s equal, even in the most unexpected conditions.
Adam Lacko in the Buggyra is only 15 points down in third, and while the team has yet to find its magic, the wily Czech has been among the most consistent scorers this season.
Also within striking distance is Spaniard Antonio Albacete, 35 points down on Kiss. The MAN veteran from Madrid is fourth in the standings, one place above defending champ Jochen Hahn. Iveco’s German spearhead met with considerable misfortune in Most. On the Saturday he was caught out by a flat tyre; the following day he was forced out of the final race by damage his truck had sustained in an earlier collision. But Hahn also demonstrated that he has the measure of the men in MAN, claiming pole position in qualifying on Sunday.
Sixteen pilots in total will race at Zolder, among them Spanish MANler Luis Recuenco, who makes his first appearance this season.
The weather forecasts aren’t entirely in agreement – sunshine should be the order of the day, but do expect rain at any time.