Janiec wins at Nur­bur­gring

An­thony Janiec won the FIA Euro­pean Truck Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship at the ac­claimed Nur­brur­gring cir­cuit in Ger­many as part of the 2018 sea­son.

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An­thony Janiec won the FIA Euro­pean Truck Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship round at Nur­bur­gring for 2018 sea­son.

Start­ing with four hours of taxi rides for VIPs and the press on June 28, 2018 the FIA ETRC round at Nur­bur­gring got off to a good start. An­to­nio Al­bacete ended the day on the top. He was fol­lowed by his Bri­tish MAN col­league Ryan Smith just one hun­dredth of a sec­ond down. The next day, dawn­ing bright and clear, saw Jochen Hahn in an Iveco tak­ing to the track in the free prac­tice ses­sion with ab­so­lutely no loss of con­cen­tra­tion. He set the fastest lap in 1:55.047 se­conds, more than three tenths quicker than Spa­niard An­to­nio Al­bacete in a MAN. Hahn re­turned to dom­i­nate the sec­ond half-hour of free prac­tice by be­ing more than half a sec­ond quicker than Nor­bert Kiss. The qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion that fol­lowed, saw Hahn score the fastest lap at 1:54.847 se­conds. René Rein­ert in a MAN, St­effi Halm in an Iveco, and Nor­bert Kiss in a Mercedes were four tenths slower. Another four tenths down were another trio con­sist­ing of Ryan Smith, Sascha Lenz, and Al­bacete. José Ro­drigues, Adam Lacko and André Kur­sim squeezed into the top 10. In the last few se­conds to fin­ish, Kur­sim beat Gerd Kör­ber at the wheel of an Iveco. Lacko’s low score was the cause for a bit of de­bate. It soon faded away though. In the lead-in lap, Hahn was the quick­est. Al­bacete came tear­ing down the cor­ner at more speed than Hahn who man­aged to keep him­self ahead by scor­ing an even faster lap. Al­bacete took a com­mend­able sec­ond with Rein­ert in third, fol­lowed by Kiss, Lenz, Halm, Lacko, Smith, Kur­sim, and José Ro­drigues.

The next day, a high-volt­age su­per pole ses­sion saw even­tual An­to­nio Al­bacete and Jochen Hahn al­ter­nate in seiz­ing an op­por­tu­nity to lead by thou­sandths of a sec­ond. Be­hind the two, the fight was be­tween

Nor­bert Kiss and Sascha Lenz. Things seemed to work in favour of Kiss even as Al­bacete took the lead right at the start of the first cor­ner. Col­li­sions that fol­lowed even as the driv­ers fol­low­ing Al­bacete seemed to fall into a rank, it was Lenz who suf­fered. His truck spun and went off the track. Only af­ter the rest of the field had passed could he get back. Not much lat­ter, Rein­ert’s MAN came to a halt at the side of the track, the door on his side al­most com­ing off. That was not the only dam­age, and he crawled back into the pit lane. At the front, Al­bacete ex­pertly de­fended his lead to take his first win of the sea­son. He man­aged to keep Hahn at bay. Hahn him­self took not many risks. He re­frained from any po­ten­tially mu­tu­ally dam­ag­ing at­tacks and took the sec­ond place. Kiss came in af­ter a short in­ter­val. He was fol­lowed by Adam Lacko and St­effi Halm. The next to drive past the pole was José Ro­drigues. He was fol­lowed by André Kur­sim, Gerd Kör­ber and Sascha Lenz. The lat­ter had risen steadily up the ranks to eye the eight po­si­tion. Though un­der in­tense pres­sure from Kor­ber and Lenz, Kur­sim kept go­ing in the sev­enth po­si­tion. The three The three ran al­most along­side for most part of the fi­nal lap. Kur­sim man­aged to keep ahead.

The sec­ond race of the day be­gan with Kör­ber in the lead. Kur­sim got caught up with oth­ers and was over­taken by St­effi Halm and Lacko I the first lap it­self. A few laps later, it were Kiss and Hahn who over­took Kur­sim. At the front of the field, Halm grabbed the lead from Kor­ber. The two took the first and sec­ond po­si­tion re­spec­tively. The bat­tle for third po­si­tion saw Kiss and Hahn breath­ing down the neck of Lacko. This went on lap af­ter lap. With four laps to the fin­ish, Hahn made a move to over­take Kiss. The ma­neou­vre failed and Hahn went off the track. He got back on the track but lost time leav­ing Kiss to take the fourth po­si­tion. Al­bacete came fifth, fol­lowed by Lenz, Rein­ert, Kur­sim, Ryan Smith and and Ro­drigues. The race, be­gin­ning with rain penal­ties saw a num­ber of driv­ers get­ting 10 or 20 se­conds for over speed­ing. This led to a change in the or­der past the fourth po­si­tion. Kur­sim was de­clared fifth and Al­bacete was de­clared sixth. At the start of the sec­ond race day of the FIA Euro­pean Truck Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship (ETRC) round at Nur­bur­gring, the sky was a shade of clear blue. The warm-up round, be­gin­ning at eight in the morn­ing saw Hahn put out a good tim­ing. The sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round that fol­lowed, turned out to be very ex­cit­ing. It was touch and go for many as they fought to get within the top 10. Sixth tenths of a sec­ond slower than the quick­est driver, An­thony Janiec, at the wheel of a MAN race truck, came 11th. St­effi set a time of 1:54.795 se­conds in her Iveco. Rein­ert did 1:54.503

se­conds whereas Hahn slid down the or­der. In 10th po­si­tion, he was in the ex­clu­sion zone. Do­ing another quick lap, he did not rob the peo­ple present of his style. With many top driv­ers choos­ing to con­serve their tyres and driv­ing di­rectly into the pit lane to await the start of the Su­per Pole,

Hahn reg­is­tered the sec­ond-best time af­ter Rein­ert. Rein­ert was fol­lowed by MAN pi­lot Ryan Smith, St­effi Halm, Sascha Lenz, José Ro­drigues, Adam Lacko, André Kur­sim, An­to­nio Al­bacete, and Nor­bert Kiss (down to 10th). Such close was the race, that it would go in the his­tory as the kind that would have the driv­ers feel their heart sink into their rac­ing shoes. Al­bacete, who won the pole yes­ter­day, and Kiss who is of­ten found at the top, seemed to be fall be­hind, bowled out al­most. Driv­ing an Iveco, Gerd Kör­ber, fin­ish­ing the sec­ond race yes­ter­day on the podium, was hardly slower (seven tenths) than the top qual­i­fier Rein­ert. Yet he had to sat­isfy him­self with the 12th po­si­tion. In the Su­per Pole, Hahn set the cir­cuit on fire with a lap tim­ing of 1:53.331 se­conds. An ab­so­lute record for a race truck on the Nür­bur­gring cir­cuit. He also won the pole po­si­tion. Al­bacete and Kiss also clocked quick times con­trary to their per­for­mance in the ear­lier race where they seemed to sim­ply hang on. The two snapped up sec­ond and third place. Rein­ert came fourth. Lacko cam fifth, Halm came sixth. Lenz came sev­enth. Kur­sim came eight. J. Ro­drigues came ninth, and Smith came 10th.

The start of the fi­nal day’s race saw Al­bacete make a bril­liant move. He grabbed the lead into the first cor­ner with Hahn in hot pur­suit. The rest of the field fol­lowed at full throt­tle. Not find­ing enough space, trucks made con­tact; were in­flicted with scratches in most cases. The MAN of Lenz how­ever suf­fered more than mere scratches. At the exit of the Mercedes Arena, Lenz’s truck was hit by another truck and spun. The whole field passed by. Lenz had to join back at the rear, and af­ter re­vers­ing his truck on to to the track. At the front, Hahn and Al­bacete made con­tact on the en­try to the Hatzen­bach bend. Al­bacete went off the track, and through the sandy patch. Rein­ert, who was right be­hind, drove past Al­bacete as he strug­gled to re­gain the lost trac­tion. Even as Rein­ert got into the sec­ond po­si­tion be­hind Hahn, there was ac­tion tak­ing place at other po­si­tions in the field too. St­effi Halm made con­tact and suf­fered dam­age. She was left with not much choice but to re­turn to the pits. Her Iveco no longer fit to race.

At the back, Lenz con­tin­ued his climb with a fu­ri­ous drive. While the trucks in the top three po­si­tions seemed to move like a pla­toon, Lenz, lap af­ter lap con­tin­ued to climb up the field quickly. By the

time he ran out of road, he was in the 10th po­si­tion. Just as the race seemed to gain a cer­tain or­der, Kiss, placed fourth, came to an abrupt half, three laps to the end. Rein­ert, in hot pur­suit, chased Hahn like no­body’s busi­ness, look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to over­take him and grab the first po­si­tion. The chance never came though. Hahn came first, fol­lowed closely by Rein­ert. Al­bacete came third, Lacko came fourth, Kur­sim came fifth, Kor­ber came sixth, Smith came sev­enth, J. Ro­drigues came eigth, Janiec came ninth, and Lenz came 10th. Post the race, Rein­ert was handed a fivesec­onds penalty for short­ing the chi­cane, which put Al­bacete in the sec­ond po­si­tion. Smith got 10 se­conds for over speed­ing, which put him down in ninth place. J. Ro­drigues and Janiec moved up. The change in po­si­tions due to the penal­ties in­flu­enced the grid po­si­tions for the next, con­clud­ing race. Held on a clear and warm af­ter­noon, Janiec made a suc­cess­ful start and took the lead, which he held till the end of the race. This, de­spite un­re­lent­ing pres­sure from those that fol­lowed in hot pur­suit. The driver who per­haps most felt the pres­sure – even more than Janiec, was Kör­ber in his race Iveco. At the en­try to the Mercedes Arena, Kor­ber’s truck was hit from the rear, and he went into the gravel. Man­ag­ing to ex­tri­cate him­self, Kor­ber got back into the race. His form was how­ever lost, and it did not take much drag­ging for him to just pull over and retire a few me­tres lat­ter.

While Janiec hung on to the first po­si­tion like crazy, Lacko in sec­ond po­si­tion con­tin­ued to mount pres­sure. He too sensed a lot of pres­sure from Kur­sim. It was more or less the same story as Lenz, Al­bacete, Hahn, Halm, and Smith in tow. Two laps into the race, and Kur­sim pulled ahead of Lacko. A prob­lem in the rear axle got Lenz to drop down the or­der till he was in the eight po­si­tion. Ahead of him, there was much ac­tion in progress. Seven trucks ran in a close for­ma­tion, ex­ert­ing pres­sure on each other. Dis­play­ing find skills and much tenac­ity, Janiec main­tained the lead right till the end of the race. He was fol­lowed by Kur­sim, Lacko, Al­bacete, Hahn, Halm, and Smith within a span of less than three se­conds. Post the race, stew­ards sprung into ac­tion and gave St­effi Halm and Smith a penalty of 10 se­conds each for over speed­ing. The two dropped to eight and ninth po­si­tion re­spec­tively. Lenz and Kiss got pro­moted to sixth and sev­enth po­si­tion. Br­ere­ton came 10th. New clas­si­fi­ca­tion an­nounced an hour and a half af­ter the fi­nal race saw Kur­sim get­ting a 30 sec­ond penalty for over­tak­ing in a yel­low flag zone. He dropped to the 12th po­si­tion. Those be­hind Janiec moved up a place each and Rein­ert was now in the 10th po­si­tion.

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