At the halfway stage we look at the leading bunch in the fight for the 2018 FIA ETRC title...
Racing, Entertainment & Industry
The usually hot and humid conditions at the Hungaroring did nothing to wilt the massive enthusiasm of the tens of thousands of truck racing fans as they travel from all over central Europe to witness the Hungarian Truck Grand Prix, round five of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship.
A famous event in eastern-central Europe, the track on the outskirts of Budapest has rich and long history of welcoming the truck racing fraternity. The track itself is a challenge with gradient and a mixture of quick and slow turns.
For the vast majority of those swelling the spectator enclosures, Norbert Kiss is the only driver for them. In 2016 he had an eventful weekend finishing on the podium, taking a pole position but also being involved in probably the most controversial incident of the year when he collided with Frankie Vojtisek at the final corner of race two!
Jochen Hahn took two victories, while Adam Lacko and Steffi Halm took one apiece.
Cab’s Eye View
Each race we will have an FIA ETRC driver to give us a unique insight into their view of the circuits on the FIA ETRC calendar – what is the track like to drive? what are their favourite sections? Even the best restaurants and places to visit in the area!
Steffi Halm is having a fantastic season in 2017 with more victories to add to her fantastic record in the FIA ETRC. In 2015 at the Hungaroring she scored her first ever win (and the first European Truck Racing victory for a woman).
It is therefore fitting that the very popular, Steffi Halm of Team Schwabentruck IVECO tells us about this fantastic venue for Round Five of the FIA ETRC:
“Hungaroring is one of my favorite race tracks in the calendar of the FIA ETRC. I love the corner combinations in Turn two and all the way down through Turns eight, nine and ten.
Turn two is especially difficult to get right, because you have to break hard, turning into the left corner while the track starts to fall to the outside. It is therefore really important to get the correct line and speed through the corner. When you miss the line or when you are too early on the throttle, you will get an understeer and will not be able to get the perfect line for Turn three.
The track has a new surface for this season and also the curbs were flattened. So for sure the racetrack will be in a really good condition, without any big holes or bumps and I anticipate there will also be a good grip level.
2015 was the first time for me racing on the Hungaroring and I am really happy to race there again, because these races were the craziest and most successful ones for me out of the whole of the 2015 season when I first won. I was able to celebrate my first race victory in the ETRC there and this is something I will never forget.
Hungaroring is located in a nice area and very close to the capital city of Hungary. So if you have time, you can make a little city trip through Budapest, go to the restaurants for dinner or just relax a little bit in a bar.
I remember 2015 in the evening there was a very entertaining concert in the paddock with many people celebrating and dancing. The atmosphere was brilliant and I am sure it will be again in 2017.
I am looking forward to coming back to Hungary and racing in front of the fans as there are so many enthusiastic trucking and 'Norbi' fans ;-) which was great.
Hope to see you all again this year!!!”
Get set for three days of on-track action at the Hungaroring in 2017, which is the venue for Round Five of the hugely popular FIA European Truck Racing Championship.
The Hungaroring with its combination of slow and fast corners along with some gradients will prove quite a challenge to these 5.5 tonne giants of motor racing and the truck drivers demonstrate a high level of technical and racing skill to just keep them on the black stuff.
Home fans will be hoping that local hero, Norbert Kiss who won at his home track in both 2014 and 2015, will be able to reprise those performances in 2017.
Followers of the championship will also be keen to see how new driver, Ryan Smith, does for Norbi’s former team, the Hungarian outfit OXXO Energy Racing Team. There is no doubt that Ryan is a hard charger which has bagged him some great results and plaudits, but has also lead to a couple of incidents with other drivers. Whatever happens he is certainly one to watch over the weekend.
This round marks the start of the second half of the 2017 FIA ETRC season, which is proving to be one of the most exciting with battles up and down the championship standings. Click here (http://www.fiaetrc.com/results) for the full results and current championship standings.
Entertainment & Industry
A key attraction in all of the 2017 FIA ETRC paddocks is the transport and commercial vehicle industry display areas.
The championship provides an excellent marketing and networking opportunity and once again there will be a strong presence from the big makers of trucks along with the truck support and accessories industries all keen to show off their latest products and offering entertainments including test rides and simulators.
VIP and Press Rides
Watching the trucks is one thing; being driven around the Hungaroring in one by a professional truck racing driver is quite another.
Parade of Trucks
A key part of the Hungary Truck weekend is the opportunity for truck owners to take part in a parade around the historic Hungaroring.
For more information and to apply to participate please go to: http://hungaroring.hu/en/events/etrc
Centre of Scientific Wonders
Are also set to have a presence at the Hungaroring and will have a showcase which is sure to inform and entertain both the younger and older generations.
Budapest Zoo and Tropicarium at the Hungaroring
There is no doubt that the FIA ETRC championship event is the ideal family event.
There will be a petting zone available for younger fans along with plenty of games, puzzles and figures bringing the animals to life.
As always at FIA ETRC events there are a wealth of activities for the whole family.
The Kids Oasis at the Hungaroring is a fantastic area for children to have a go at various craft activities, get a (temporary) sparkly tattoo. There will also be plenty of play areas for them to enjoy.
This is set to be one of the spectacles of the weekend as the FIA ETRC trucks and cars from the Blancpain GT Sprint series take part in a parade from the Hungaroring to Heroes Square in the heart of Budapest.
The parade is due to take place on the Thursday evening from 17:00 – 20:00.
FIA ETRC Fan Village
Located at the heart of the truck racing paddock in 2017 will be the FIA ETRC fan village is developing into a real hub for race-goers to gather and it provides some great opportunities to get up close and personal with the drivers; including the very popular autograph sessions.
A local compere will guide you through the various activities taking place and there is a great atmosphere with music, entertainment and giveaways. You will also be able to hear the thoughts of the drivers immediately after the races at the 'Showdown Lowdown' Press Conference.
The fan village contains a seating area for you to relax and enjoy some food and drink, along with information and display areas about various aspects of truck racing including from the official series partners Goodyear, Mercedes Trucks, Krone, HS Schoch and Meritor.
There are fun activities for visitors including the ever popular Table Soccer and Slotcar racing, both sponsored by championship partner, Goodyear – look out for FIA ETRC drivers taking time out of their busy schedule to have a go on the games!
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