Steffi Halm wins race three in Austria
Steffi Halm took victory in a nail-biting victory in race three of the 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Red Bull Ring this afternoon.
The Reinert Racing driver resisted massive pressure from fellow front-row starter Jochen Hahn to take her first win since her success at Le Mans last October. It was also Halm’s first ever non-reverse grid victory.
The German managed to hold off Hahn for the 16-lap race which was shortened due to a red flag brought out after an incident between Ryan Smith (OXXO MAN) and Alen Draganovic (Buggyra International Racing System).
Reigning champion Jochen Hahn took his second podium of the weekend. The Hahn Racing IVECO driver tried mightily to find a way passed Halm but was thwarted by some superb defensive driving.
Halm held off Hahn’s IVEO at the start of the 20-lap race but soon came under intense pressure from her fellow German. On lap six the reigning champion had a look down the inside of turn one but Halm defended firmly and was able to hold on to take the win.
Antonio Albacete scored his first podium position since 2015 as he continued to show pace and flair on his return to the FIA ETRC. The Spaniard made an excellent start and was able to capitalise to run third, a place which the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau MAN kept to the chequered flag.
Winner of race two Jose Rodrigues gained more points for fourth position. The Reboconorte MAN driver was unable to quite get on to the tail of Albacete but had a comfortable gap over fifth placed Adam Lacko in his Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner.
Lacko was involved in a lap one incident with Gerd Körber (Team Schwaben-Truck IVECO). The contact saw Körber sent through the gravel. This in turn collected Norbert Kiss, who had already lost time at the fist corner after an incident. The Hungarian lost the front section of his bodywork and had to battle back through the field to finish in 10th position.
Kiss had been embroiled in a battle with Ryan Smith and Alen Draganovic. This ended in contact between first Smith and Kiss, and then more terminally for Smith and Draganovic, pitching the pair in to the gravel trap. This brought out the red flag to curtail the race. Smith, Draganovic and Kiss were though classified in the final points scoring positions.
Sascha Lenz (SL TruckSport MAN) finished in sixth place after managing to overtake Andre Kursim (Tankpool24 Racing) who enjoyed one of his strongest races to date to claim seventh place.
In the Promoters Cup, Jose Rodrigues took his third straight trophy, while Andre Kursim took second position while Draganovic was classified third as the race was backdated a lap after the stoppage.
The teams championship victory went to Team Reinert Adventure’s duo of Steffi Halm and Sascha Lenz.
The fourth and final race of the opening FIA ETRC race weekend is scheduled to take place at 15.20 local time.