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.
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.