Dominant Smith Takes Race Four at Misano
Ryan Smith took the third win of his FIA European Truck Racing Championship career with a well-judged lights-to-flag victory this afternoon.
The British racer ended the first weekend of the 2018 FIA ETRC on a high after a difficult Saturday which saw him penalised and retire from the first two races.
However, a dominant display in the final 12-lap races of the weekend ensured the OXXO Hungary Truck Racing Team took the chequered flag 7.134 seconds ahead of second placed Sascha Lenz.
Lenz was able to cap a successful weekend which saw him clinch his first FIA ETRC victory in Race Three with a runners-up position in the final encounter.
The SL Trucksport MAN driver held off Antonio Albacete who tailed the German throughout the race in his Trucksport Lutz Bernau MAN and scooped as second third place from the Misano weekend.
Behind the top three a fierce battle raged as Andre Kursim’s Don’t Touch Racing IVECO jousted with the Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz of Norbert Kiss.
This pair soon had a train of three further trucks behind them as Steffi Halm (Team Schwabentruck IVECO), Rene Reinert (Reinert Racing MAN) and Jochen Hahn (Hahn Racing IVECO) fought for position.
This trio had cleared a slowing Adam Lacko early in the race with the reigning champion eventually being forced to park his Freightliner in what was a rare retirement.
Kursim was not able to hold off his former team mate Kiss, and the Hungarian claimed fourth position with a decisive move, while Halm followed through and took fifth place to cap a successful first weekend with Team Schwabentruck.
Kursim was forced to defend from Rene Reinert and contact was made between the two with the incident placed under investigation.
However, no action was taken which meant that Kursim kept sixth position ahead of Reinert and points standings leader Hahn.
Gerd Korber ran a relatively quiet race to come home ninth in his Team Schwabentruck IVECO.
The GRAMMER TRUCK CUP witnessed Steffen Faas seal his second category win as he took his Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz to a conclusive victory to add to his Slovakia Ring success last July.
Faas controlled a gap to Oly Janes’ Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner throughout the race, while Jamie Anderson pressured the British FIA ETRC rookie in a battle of the British.
Janes managed to hold off Anderson by just over a second and take his best finishing position in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP to date.
Luis Recuenco enjoyed his most competitive race of the weekend as he came from the rear of the grid to take 13th overall and fourth position in category.
Recuenco finished ahead of Ray Coleman who came away from his FIA ETRC debut with a 100% finishing record as he took fifth in class and 14th overall.
Coleman headed Eduardo Rodrigues who started the race well, perhaps too well, as the Portuguese was later penalised for overspeeding and had to serve a race compromising penalty which dropped him to 15th in the classification.
Frans Smits brought his ‘Rainbow Warrior’ Scania home in 16th position as he completed his one of his two events he is planning in 2018.
Thomas Robineau’s successful weekend ended on a bitter note when he retired on the first lap. Shane Brereton also suffered an issue and was forced to park his TOR run MAN early on too slow on first lap
The Teams’ points were taken by Team Reinert Adventures Reinert and Lenz alliance, while the Smith and Brereton pairing under the RS Racing name took second.
The next round of the 2018 FIA European Truck Racing Championship will take place at Hungaroring over the weekend of 16/17 June.
RACE FOUR RESULT