Janiec takes maiden 2016 FIA ETRC win at Jarama
Anthony Janiec, driving the Lion Truck Racing MAN entry, scored his first win of the season in the final race of the weekend at Jarama on Sunday afternoon.
The Frenchman drove a supreme race to hold off significant pressure from Rene Reinert, Adam Lacko and Jochen Hahn in a thrilling climax to the race. It was Janiec’s third ever victory in the FIA ETRC after previous wins at Nogaro in 2012 and 2015. The win also gives him huge momentum and boost as he heads to his home race of Le Mans next weekend.
With Lacko finishing third and Hahn fourth it means that the German will go to the final round at Le Mans next weekend enjoying a 35 point advantage with 60 in total to play for.
The original start of the race saw Sascha Lenz grab the lead from pole-sitter Ellen Lohr at turn one, but the German’s joy lasted less than a lap as a flying Anthony Janiec wrested the lead from him.
The race then had to be re-started after a lap two incident which saw Spanish race-by-race entrant David Marco run off in to the gravel which necessitated retrieval by the rescue truck.
Rene Reinert had muscled his way through in to second position at Lenz’s expense but this had come after lap one which was the cut off point for a re-ordered grid to assemble after the red flag.
At the re-start it was Janiec who led away from Lenz and Reinert as the official FIA ETRC Pace Truck peeled off once again in to the pit-lane.
Lenz soon lost a further two positions to Reinert and Lacko and slipped to fifth place. New second placed driver Rene Reinert came under pressure from a flying Lacko who knew he had to win the race to boost his title ambitions.
Lacko was clearly the fastest man on the track in the opening laps but despite his best attempts to pass Reinert, he was unable to make his way through.
Jochen Hahn had initially made a poor start by his high standards but then made up for it with another scintillating drive through the order from eighth position to fourth by the third lap.
Soon, Hahn was on to the back of Lacko for third position and the two title protagonists battled together as Janiec continued to lead at the front. At one stage the top four were covered by a mere 0.6 seconds.
Despite Reinert’s pressure on Janiec, the Frenchman drove an exceptional race to take the chequered flag just 0.334s ahead of his pursuer. Indeed, the top four were covered by just 1.486s in a breathless finale enjoyed by a huge Spanish crowd on a beautiful autumn day in Madrid.
Taking fifth place was Steffi Halm who had a relatively lonely race despite the advances of Sascha Lenz who finished just over a second behind in sixth position. Halm had overtaken Lenz in the early stages and the two Germans circulated close together for the remainder of the race.
Norbert Kiss had been a comfortable fifth for much of the 12 laps, but skated in to the gravel on lap eight after a reported steering issue on his Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz truck.
Scoring more points after a very successful weekend was Ellen Lohr in seventh place. The Truck Sport Lutz Bernau driver had a battle throughout the race with Frankie Vojtisek, who drove a brilliant race after having being forced to start from the back of the grid. The Czech Truck Racing Team owner/driver cut through the field with relative ease and was just 1.6 seconds from Lohr at the end.
FIA ETRC Young Guns Andre Kursim and Jiri Forman came home in the final points scoring places in ninth and tenth positions.
Eduardo Rodrigues and Erwin Kleinnagelvoort fought over 11th position with the former winning that battle and finishing a memorable weekend, in which he raced with his son and grandson, strongly.
In the Teams race the result today ensured that Team Reinert Adventure (Rene Reinert and Jochen Hahn) won the 2016 FIA ETRC with one round to spare.
The Buggyra 1969 duo of Adam Lacko and Jiri Forman took a combined third to confirm their second position in the Teams' standings this season.
Click here for the race four result
The final round of the 2016 FIA European Truck Racing Championship will take place next weekend at Le Mans in France.
For the full time timetable for Le Mans please click HERE