Smith takes first win in Most race two
Ryan Smith took his first ever FIA European Truck Racing Championship win in a thrilling Race Two at the Autodrom Most.
The OXXO Energy Truck Racing Team MAN truck battled past polesitter Sacha Lenz and survived a challenge from René Reinert to win by just 0.149 seconds, after a fraught 11 laps of racing.
Smith started from second on the reversed grid after a lonely drive to seventh in Race One, but Race Two was anything but as he piled the pressure on Lenz from the off.
The Briton made his first attempt at passing on lap three, but left his braking too late into turn one and delayed Reinert as he scrambled his way back onto the circuit. This afforded Lenz a temporary respite, but it wasn’t long before Smith was back on his tail, this time making the pass stick on lap seven. Lenz’s loss of momentum also allowed Reinert and Steffi Halm through into second and third respectively.
However, Smith’s work was not done as he now had to turn his attentions to defending from Reinert, searching for his first win since Nogaro.
Smith continued to soak up the pressure until the final lap, when Reinert made a robust move at turn 10 and forced his truck up the inside. However, the German opted to allow his competitor back past, avoiding a possible penalty and giving the elated Smith a first FIA ETRC win, while Halm completed the podium once again in third.
The battle for fourth was equally entertaining, with Race One winner Adam Lacko’s Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner coming out on top. The local driver made an excellent start to leap from eighth to fifth by the end of the first lap and remained in touch with the leading group by the halfway stage as Lenz began to fall back.
Lacko attempted a pass at turn one, but there was contact with Lenz. Amid the confusion, Jochen Hahn managed to get past both Lenz and the Tankpool 24 Racing Mercedes-Benz of Norbert Kiss to take fifth, preserving his championship lead of seven points overnight.
Lenz’s difficult afternoon was not to get any easier however, as he was hit with a 30 second penalty in lieu of a drive-through for overtaking under yellow flags, which dropped him outside the points to 12th.
Kiss duly inherited sixth, ahead of Jiri Forman in the second Buggyra ‘Fatfox’. The local driver lost several positions in the opening lap exchanges and will be hoping that tomorrow’s races bring improved fortunes.
Ellen Lohr finished eighth in her Truck Sport Lutz Bernau-entered MAN ahead of André Kursim (Tankpool 24 Racing Mercedes-Benz), while Erwin Klein Nagelvoort’s Scania beat Anthony Janiec (Lion Truck Racing MAN) to the final points position after the Frenchman was penalised for a start infringement.
Dominique Orsini was the only other finisher in 13th, as both Gerhard Körber and Shane Brereton fell victim to the tricky 2.6 mile Autodrom Most.
René Reinert and Jochen Hahn’s combined efforts ensured the team’s honours went to Team Reinert Adventure.
The FIA ETRC will resume tomorrow with two races scheduled for 14:25 and 17:25 local time.
Race two result remains provisional