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Racing, Entertainment & Industry
Zolder has been a home for truck racing for many years and its character often results in some unforgettable action.
Close to the town of Hasselt approximately one hour from Brussels, Zolder offers a combination of tight corners and chicanes which tests the drivers concentration as there are few long straights.
Zolder, is a tricky circuit which challenges the brakes and tyres of the FIA European Truck Racing. The Benelux public often see spectacular action on their home track and non-more so than in 2013 when a multi-truck start shunt saw half a dozen entries damaged in the enormous carnage.
2015 saw an exceptional display from eventual champion Jochen Hahn as he took two wins and extended his title quest. Adam Lacko took the other two victories after some sensational racing.
In 2016 Jochen Hahn and Adam Lacko took two wins apiece as the title battle really warmed up.
Last season witnessed Jochen Hahn strengthen his title campaign with a race win either side of Albacete, Halm and Jose Rodrigues also claiming race wins.
Cab’s Eye View
As part of our extensive event information we ask an FIA European Truck Racing Championship driver to give us a unique insight into their view of the circuits on the FIA ETRC calendar. Just what is the track like to drive from their perspective? What are their favourite sections and challenges? Or even just what they like about the local area.
Truck racing legend, Gerd Körber, gives us the inside track on Circuit Zolder in Belgium, the venue for round seven of the FIA ETRC.
“We are very keen on racing in Zolder. Primarily, as this is where we took our first podium for Team Schwabentruck, finishing second in 2011 but also it is my personal favourite circuit. No other race track in Europe is so demanding and it is a track from what I would call the ‘Good old days of racing’ and you have to drive very carefully, not to make any mistakes.
“Of course this is especially true for trucks, because of the size of the vehicles and any overtaking must be planned very well and in good time.
“I can’t really pick out a specific favourite corner or part of the circuit. I enjoy it as a whole experience, as it covers everything with both fast and slow corners, uphill and downhill – simply fabulous.
“As always, the first and second corners on the first lap are key and you just have to focus on staying on the black stuff. This can be difficult and with the semi-slick tyres this can be trickier when we have a wet track – which is certainly possible at Zolder.
“The FIA European Truck Racing Championship is very proud of its fans. The Zolder paddock may not attract quite the same numbers as say the Nürburgring or Le Mans, but it still feels packed with people and it can be really difficult to get to the grid.
“Away from the circuit, this is a beautiful part of the country and there are some fantastic restaurants in the area.
“I have a good record in Zolder with many victories and podium finishes over the years. I hope that this weekend goes well for the team and myself, I look forward to seeing you there!"
FactsTrack: Permanent road course
Each race is a rolling start for with a 70 km/h top speed for formation lap until the green light.
- 2 free practice sessions of 20 minutes
- 1 qualifying practice session of 20 minutes (Q1) for all the trucks
- 1 qualifying practice session of 10 minutes, called “Super Pole”, for the 10 trucks that set the best times during Q1.
- Race 1 (12 laps)
- Race 2 (12 laps)
- 1 warm up of 15 minutes
- 1 qualifying practice session of 20 minutes (Q2)
- 1 qualifying practice session of 10 minutes, called “Super Pole”, for the 10 trucks that set the best times during Q2 and which will serve to determine the first 10 positions on the starting grid for Race 3.
- Race 3 (12 laps)
- Race 4 (12 laps)
Entertainment & Industry
Located at the heart of the truck racing paddock; 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.
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.
A key attraction in all of the 2016 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, including IVECO, Mercedes and Renault along with the truck support and accessories industries all keen to show off their latest products and offering entertainments including test rides and simulators.
There will be a lively night of music at a concert scheduled for the Saturday evening in the Otobar (in Paddock 3)
Truck Racing is famous for its openness and opportunities for fans to get up close and personal with the drivers and their trucks.
In Zolder, fans will have the opportunity to go on a grid walk just prior to the race starts on Sunday. This is a great opportunity to see how drivers prepare for the races and really be a part of the race weekend.
Activities for Children
An FIA ETRC event always has a packed programme of activities for children and Zolder is no exception.
There will be a tent with face painting, a bouncy truck to play on, balloon clowns and much, much more.
Zolder is another FIA ETRC venue which hosts a trucker camp always a great location for everyone with a passion for trucks and motor racing – the friendly venue is always a hive of activity.
Show truck parade
Zolder plays host to around 200 stunning show trucks. They will be based at the trucker camp and visitors are welcome.
Spectators will also get a chance to see them on track as they do a parade before leaving the circuit.
For the racer in you! There is a kart track at Zolder for both adults and children.
FIA ETRC ‘Young Gun’ Jiri Forman got his first racing experience in karting, so who knows where it will lead…
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