Adam Lacko takes victory in sensational Zolder race
Adam Lacko claimed his 11th victory in the 2016 FIA European Truck Racing Championship season in a sensational second race at Circuit Zolder on Saturday afternoon.
Despite starting in seventh, Lacko fought his way to the front of the reverse grid and made the decisive move on the penultimate lap. He then built a 3.656-second lead on the last lap to win Race Two.
Buggyra International Racing System driver Jiri Forman started from pole position, but into turn 2 Sascha Lenz passed the Czech driver to take the lead. After the first lap Lenz led Forman, with Norbert Kiss following in third place.
Behind Lenz and Forman, Adam Lacko, Jochen Hahn and René Reinert cut through the field at a tremendous pace.
Lacko passed Kiss to take third place on lap 5 and one lap later he overtook teammate Forman for second place. Halfway through the race the gap between first and second was 4.473s, but within three laps the Freightliner was on Lenz’ tail.
The “Young Gun” was unable to keep the experienced Czech driver behind and on the penultimate lap Lacko moved into the lead and by the end of the lap he had already built a 1.1-second cushion. One lap later Lacko was the first to take the chequered flag, finishing 3.656s ahead of Lenz.
Jochen Hahn, who had started from eighth on the grid, finished the race in third place, limiting the damage to his title lead to just two points. The Team Hahn Racing driver was unable to match the pace of his title rival, but still managed to make it onto the podium.
René Reinert came up just short of a podium finish in the second race of the day. The Reinert Racing MAN retired from Race One, which meant Reinert had to start from the back of the grid. The German passed seven trucks on the opening lap and was in sixth place at the halfway point. Reinert then passed teammate Steffi Halm and Hungarian Norbert Kiss to take an impressive fourth place after 12 laps.
Halm finished in fifth place, 1.555s behind Reinert, but over nine seconds ahead of the Lion Truck Racing MAN of Frenchman Anthony Janiec. Janiec overtook Buggyra International Racing System’s Jiri Forman on the final lap, despite the MAN dragging its front bumper for most of the race.
Having started from fourth on the grid, Gerd Körber finished Race Two in eighth place. The 1991 European Class C champion went off on the opening lap after contact with Norbert Kiss and dropped down the order as a result, but rejoined and fought his way back to eighth.
Ten seconds behind Körber Ellen Lohr finished in ninth place, while behind her André Kursim and Thomas Robineau were fighting for the final point. Three laps from the end both Kursim and Robineau were outside the points, but as Norbert Kiss pulled into the pits their fight became a fight for tenth. Kursim passed Robineau on lap 10, but was unable to shake off the Frenchman. They finished just under four tenths apart from each other.
Dutchman Erwin Klein Nagelvoort finished in 12th place, just half a second ahead of Portugal’s Eduardo Rodrigues, while John Hemming took 14th place. Norbert Kiss retired from the race after suffering a steering problem and oil loss.
Jochen Hahn now leads the 2016 FIA European Truck Racing Championship with 327 points, followed by Adam Lacko with 311 points. Norbert Kiss failed to score any points in Race Two, but remains third with 169 points. René Reinert (159), Anthony Janiec (156) and Steffi Halm (154) are hot on his heels.
Team Reinert Adventure took victory for the second time in Zolder in the FIA ETRC Team Championship.