Official preview for the Autodrom Most weekend....
A lengthy summer break is about to come at an end as drivers, team personnel and fans will witness the FIA European Truck Racing Championship blast back in to action this weekend.
The action will reignite at Autodrom Most in the Czech Republic, the heartland of reigning champion Adam Lacko and the Buggyra International Racing team.
There are similarities between this season and 2017 as the standings topping driver enjoys a healthy 57-points lead going into the Czech round.
Last season, the leading driver was 58 points clear off his closest rival at Most, however this year it’s not fan favourite Lacko leading the standings but his fierce rival Jochen Hahn.
Four-time champion, Hahn, is the clear title-favourite as he undertakes year two of the Hahn Racing IVECO project, after switching from the proven MAN package ahead of the 2017 campaign.
The German driver has six wins to his name so far and is the only driver to register at least one win at each of the four meetings held so far in 2018.
Buggyra International Racing System driver Lacko meanwhile is experiencing a challenging season by his and his teams’ high standards, having won just one race in 16 attempts. He has however also taken seven other podium positions to gather his decent points haul.
The experienced Czech will surely bounce back on his home tarmac this weekend as he looked to narrow the large points gap to Hahn.
Last year both Hahn and Lacko won one race each at Most and also took a pole position apiece. Once again there is likely to be nothing to choose between the Czech and the German truck heroes once again.
The chasing pack, comprises of Norbert Kiss (Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz), Antonio Albacete (Trucksport Lutz Bernau) and Steffi Halm (Team Schwabentruck IVECO) are all expected to be in contention for race victories. As between them they have taken four wins so far in 2018.
Shane Brereton, who took his maiden FIA ETRC win at Most one year ago, and Sascha Lenz, who scored his breakthrough victory earlier this year at Misano, should be in the mix as they look to add to their one win each this season.
Andre Kursim (Don’t Touch Racing) and Rene Reinert (Reinert Racing) will also be out to fight for race wins over the course of the four races.
Jose Rodrigues will be keen to put behind him so frustrating weekends so far in 2018 and show that his Red Bull Ring win last season was no one-off.
GRAMMER TRUCK CUP to Thrill Again
There’s a great rivalry in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP this season once again, this time between a MAN and a Mercedes-Benz driver.
Last year it was Jose Rodrigues vs Andre Kursim, now it’s Shane Brereton (TOR MAN) vs Steffen Faas (Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz).
So far, the British racer has had the upper hand over his German rival and leads him by 30 points in the category standings. However this duel is far from decided because Faas has proved quick on many occasions so far this season as he continues to learn the FIA ETRC ropes.
Apart from Lacko, there will be another local ace competing at Autodrom Most, non-other than the popular and vastly experienced Frankie Vojtisek.
Vojtisek’s season was compromised following a serious fire at Misano, but the summer break provided an opportunity for the Czech Truck Racing Team to fine tune the MAN, now labelled by the team “Phoenix” as after rising from the Misano ashes!
Local racer Vojtisek will be super pumped up to put on entertaining displays again at his home track.
Several new drivers to the FIA ETRC have started to impress in their rookie campaign and among these are Luis Recuenco (Trucksport Lutz Bernau) and Jamie Anderson.
Both the Spaniard and the British driver have collated good GRAMMER TRUCK CUP points with Anderson in particular showing that he can challenge for wins in the class.
Oly Janes, who tested at Most back in April, will be keen to put in a good performance on the home ground of his team Buggyra International Racing System.
Also making the long trips to Autodrom Most this weekend will be Terry Gibbon rom the UK and Erwin Kleinnagelvoort from the Netherlands.
Gibbon fought back valiantly from technical issues at Nürburgring last month to score more impressive points in his immaculately presented T Sport run MAN.
Kleinnagelvoort in his familiar virginal white Scania has enjoyed several good GRAMMER finishes this season although he is still looking for his maiden podium as his best result remains fourth at Hungaroring in June.
Making his first appearance of 2018 will be Jose-Eduardo Rodrigues as the Portuguese youngster deputises for his grandfather Eduardo who has to miss the race on medical grounds.
Check out the Entry List for Most HERE
Weekend Timetable HERE
What happened last year?
Race 1: Jochen Hahn
Race 2: Ryan Smith
Race 3: Adam Lacko
Race 4: Shane Brereton
Latest Points standings HERE
View last year’s race highlights HERE