Kiss: "2017 should be the closest battle for many years"
Former double FIA European Truck Racing champion, Norbert Kiss, believes that the 2017 campaign will be the closest and most fiercely fought for many years.
The Tankpool24 Racing star, who is preparing for a second season with the German team, thinks that a group of up to six drivers will be in the hunt for race wins this year.
“It looks strong up at the front, stronger than 2016,” said Kiss. “With David (Vršecký) and Antonio (Albacete) coming back then you have to say that there are five or six drivers that can win regularly.”
“I think we will see some incredibly close lap times and racing throughout the season,” continued the Hungarian. “It should be the closest for many years. Reliability will be key this season for sure. You saw last year that we were still finding out about a lot of things, finding where the limits were and sometimes it hurt us. IVECO have a lot that is new as well so we will have to wait and see where everything stands. It will be incredibly exciting to see where everyone is in Austria.”
Kiss returned last week from the first group test of the season at Autodrom Most in a positive frame of mind as he and the Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz team validated significant updates on both the truck and engine.
“It went well and we are in good shape,” said the double champion. “We are working on all areas – the engine, the chassis and even in Most we worked on the gear shifts and getting those quicker than I was able to go through them last season. It was very productive and we came away happy that we have made a good step forward from 2016.”
31 year-old Kiss, who won at Nogaro last season in his Mercedes-Benz, also took multiple podium positions to finish fifth in the standings.
He will be leading the team once again with Andre Kursim as his team mate. The continuity, allied to the engineering skills of both Team Principal Marcus Bauer and Chief Engineer Stefan Honens, will pay dividends Kiss believes.
“Last season was strong considering where we started from,” he says. “We knew where we had to improve for this season and I think we have. The team is very professional and very ambitious. We know where we want to be – we want to be challenging for the title and scoring many victories. I think we have a good chance this season but as I said the battle will be fierce.”
You can follow all the action from the first four races at Red Bull Ring, Spielberg over the weekend of 13-14 May at our special Race Centre Live which features live timing, a truck tracker and live text commentary direct from the track. Click HERE to access