Hahn charges to race four victory
Jochen Hahn capitalised on a mistake from home hero Jiri Forman to take his second victory of the weekend in an action-packed race four at the Autodrom Most.
In dry, humid conditions after the earlier rain cleared, the German’s MAN charged through from eighth on the grid, crucially steering clear of the incidents that embroiled many of his rivals to maintain the 13-point lead he had taken over rival Adam Lacko at the Hungaroring in the driver championship.
After jumping ahead of Lacko on a fraught opening lap that saw Steffi Halm drop to the tail of the field after contact with Norbert Kiss, Hahn continued to make progress. His cause was helped when René Reinert’s attempts to pass Gerhard Körber were firmly rebuffed, causing Reinert to lose momentum. Hahn then quickly passed an ailing Körber, who would retire shortly afterwards, to seize fourth position.
However, Hahn wasn’t done yet and soon latched onto the back of the current FIA ETRC champion Kiss. The Hungarian didn’t make it easy, but was powerless to resist Hahn’s charge and soon fell prey to Lacko too, the Czech doggedly following his rival through the pack and hoping to capitalise on any misfortune that should come his way.
Lacko’s next opportunity came when Hahn closed in on second-placed Sascha Lenz, but there was no stopping the triple champion, who duly made his move on lap seven.
That left four laps for Hahn to catch and pass Lacko’s Buggyra ‘FatFox’ team-mate Forman, who had led serenely from pole and built a gap of over four seconds back to Lenz. However, before Hahn could catch him, Forman slid off the road due to a possible oil leak and there was a small fire under the truck. This put him out of the race and opened the door for a grateful Hahn to inherit win number eight for the season.
Lacko also made it past Lenz before the flag to take second, but the young German was able to resist pressure from Kiss to hold on for his first career FIA ETRC podium.
Behind them, Anthony Janiec finished an excellent fifth after starting from the back of the grid in his Lion Truck Racing MAN. The Frenchman took advantage of the opening lap carnage to run eighth in the early stages, before following Lacko past Reinert and fending him off to the flag.
The duelling MAN trucks were joined on the final lap by a charging Halm, but she ran out of laps to make any further inroads and had to settle for seventh.
Shane Brereton survived intact to cross the line eighth, but was given a 30-second post-race penalty that dropped him out of the points to 11th. Ellen Lohr therefore inherited the position in her Truck Sport Lutz Bernau MAN, finishing ahead of André Kursim’s Tankpool 24 Racing Mercedes-Benz.
Erwin Klein Nagelvoort was the only other finisher and brought his Scania home tenth after Ryan Smith and Dominique Orsini failed to take the start.
In the team’s championship, Hahn’s second win of the weekend helps Team Reinert Adventure to secure another victory, with Lion Truck Racing-Lenz taking second.
The FIA ETRC returns after a two-week break at Zolder for round seven of the championship (September 17-18).