Reinert's Glorious Return
A familiar face re-joined the grid of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship this season.
Rene Reinert, an established name in the paddock – a team owner and a formidable competitor – stepped back from driving ahead of the 2017 season to oversee Steffi Halm’s splendid campaign aboard his famous blue MAN truck.
Now, in the wake of Halm’s departure, Reinert is back to fill the seat vacated by the Team Schwabentruck IVECO-bound racer.
Just like it was the case with Antonio Albacete (who also spent a year away from racing) in 2016, Reinert admits that he wasn’t entirely up to speed when the season kicked off. “I need a little bit of time to come in, I’m not fast enough at the moment,” he admitted during the season-opening weekend at Misano.
Yet, he was quick to point out that he’s eager to fight at the sharp end of the pack. “I hope as soon as possible, I don’t want to wait too long,” he replied when ask how long will it take him to rediscover his speed.
Come round two of the championship, held at the Hungaroring earlier this month, and Reinert did exactly what he promised, bagging the win in the fourth and final race of the weekend. #
“It’s a great feeling to win my first race in two years”, revealed Reinert, after taking his first victory since the Nogaro round of the 2016 season.
The German currently sits sixth in the standings with 47 points to his name. That’s 11 shy of reigning champion Adam Lacko.
Reinert amassed a total of 18 points at Misano and at the Hungaroring he scored 29. If he manages to keep this form, the FIA ETRC will have another contender to mix with the title contending heavyweights of Jochen Hahn, Norbert Kiss, Adam Lacko and his former team-mate Halm.
However, the man himself keeps it typically modest when assessing his goals.
“I’m not thinking results, I try to do my best and so does the whole team,” he says.
“Results are a question of a lot of small things and you need a bit of luck. I was third in 2016, so it would be nice to repeat that but after a break it will be a difficult thing to do. Tip five or top six would satisfy me.
The famous ADAC Truck Grand Prix held at the Nürburgring is the next stop on the FIA ETRC calendar. There’s no doubt that at his home truck the German will do his best to take another step up in the pecking order.
Equipment wise, Reinert feels well prepared. “It’s my old truck from 2012. Last year we built an entirely new cabin and changed some things on the chassis. The truck is like a new truck now,” the 48-year-old concluded.