Hahn takes opportunistic final win at Red Bull Ring
Jochen Hahn took the final race victory of the weekend to capture his second win from the first event of the 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Red Bull Ring.
The IVECO driver pulled off a superb opportunistic move to go from third place to the lead in one manoeuvre after contact between the leading pair of Sascha Lenz and Adam Lacko.
This turning point of the race had brewed nicely from the beginning as Lenz’s initial lead was hunted down by Lacko and Hahn.
Despite his best efforts Lenz was unable to hold off Lacko and the two touched at turn one on lap 14 handed the lead to a grateful Hahn who took an early lead in points standings.
From this point on Hahn was able to pull out a slight gap to the Buggyra International Racing System driver and take the chequered flag 0.9s ahead of Lacko to register his second success of the weekend.
Lenz just held on to a podium but had to defend strongly from a charging Antonio Albacete (Truck Sport Lutz Bernau) who took third position.
A marvellous last lap battle between the two was joined by Gerd Körber in his Team Schwaben-Truck IVECO but the trio crossed the line in third, fourth and fifth position and covered by just a few tenths of a second.
Sadly, Körber’s teammate and local favourite Markus Altenstrasser, was unable to take the start after an axle broke on his Team Schwaben-Truck IVECO entry in race three.
The early stages of the final race also saw high drama with multiple incidents throughout the field.
Firstly Norbert Kiss had an excursion in his Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz truck and ran through the gravel trap at turn four. The double champion was forced to retire after the incident which was caused when a spring broke after he took avoiding action at turn one.
A few laps later Kiss’ teammate Andre Kursim suffered contact with Jose Rodrigues. The young German came off worse as he stopped on the track for several laps before retiring to the pits. It was a bitter pill for Kursim had looked on course for another strong points finish today.
Race two victor Jose Rodrigues recovered from his collision with Kursim to be classified in tenth position. This was behind his father Eduardo who claimed ninth overall.
Also disappointed in race four was earlier winner Steffi Halm who retired with what appeared to be a problem with her left front wheel. Halm had just taken third position from Andre Kursim when the incident occurred on lap three.
The Promoters Cup saw a debut victory for Alen Draganovic who took a fine sixth place overall in his first FIA ETRC event appearance.
The Slovenian drove a controlled to race claim his first win and also contribute to Buggyra 1969’s victory in the Teams Championship in combination with Adam Lacko.
Terry Gibbon capped a tough weekend with a fine finale as he drove to second place in the Promoters Cup with his T-Sport MAN. The British driver also took seventh place overall but was forced to defend in the final stages of the race from Erwin Kleinnagelvoort. The Dutchman had an epic battle with Gibbon and also Eduardo Rodriguez, who took fourth place in the new for 2017 Promoters Cup initiative.
The accident damage inflicted after his incident with Alen Draganovich in race three meant that Ryan Smith was unable to take the start for the final event in his Team OXXO Energy Racing.
The next event on the 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship schedule is at Misano in Italy over the weekend of 27/28 May.