Jochen Hahn takes one step closer to the title with the ninth win of the 2018 FIA ETRC season at Le Mans Bugatti...
Jochen Hahn took a ninth win of his stellar 2018 FIA European Truck Racing Championship season after a well-judged win in the first race at Le Mans Bugatti today.
The four-time champion took the lead from polesitter Sascha Lenz in his SL Trucksport MAN midway around the first lap when Lenz ran wide.
Hahn needed no second invitation and snatched the lead. He then opened up a small gap which he was able to hold to the chequered flag.
Hahn took the flag with his customary power slide and also clinched another 20-points. This means that he now enjoys an 80 point lead over Adam Lacko and could conceivably take the title later today.
The battle for the final podium position saw a tenacious fight between former teammates Andre Kursim (Don’t Touch Racing) and Norbert Kiss (Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz).
Also embroiled in this battle were Antonio Albacete and the returning Ryan Smith who made a foursome in a frenetic battle which kept the large French crowd thrilled.
The pressure told for Kursim on lap six as Kiss was able to find his way passed Kursim with a well-judged move. It came after the pair ran side-by-side for several corners and the outcome for Kursim was severe as he lost momentum and was also gobbled up by the charging Albacete.
Kiss celebrated his first podium position since race four at Most in August, while despite massive pressure Albacete had to be content with fourth place in his Trucksport Lutz Bernau MAN.
Smith’s race meanwhile turned to ruin after first he lost a position to Rene Reinert, and was then black flagged and excluded for multiple over-speeding infractions.
While Reinert took a hard-fought fifth, Kursim fell away and was overtaken by Steffi Halm (Team Schwabentruck) and Adam Lacko (Buggyra International Racing System).
Reigning champion Lacko had a subdued race by his standards as he came home sixth but at fought through in the final stages to leapfrog Halm and take sixth position.
Kursim at least could take some consolation in the fact his eighth position seals the semi-reversed grid pole for the second race later this afternoon.
The young German only just managed it though as Jose Rodrigues almost caught him on the final few corner but ultimately settled for ninth place in his Reboconorte MAN.
Brereton’s GRAMMER Dominance
In the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP Shane Brereton put in a dominant display to take a 13th category win of the season in his TOR run MAN.
Brereton led from light to flag to ensure he further extended his GRAMMER TRUCK CUP lead over Steffen Faas.
Faas had a race to forget after being penalised for overspeeding and being forced to observe a drive-through penalty.
Jamie Anderson took a rather lonely second position as he was well ahead of Terry Gibbon who managed to have one of his best races of the season to claim a podium for the T Sport run MAN squad.
Oly Janes consolidated his third place in the standings with fourth in his Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner despite a 10-second penalty for overspeeding, while Erwin Kleinnagelvoort took fifth in his EK Scania.
Luis Recuenco was in line for a potential podium position but suffered first a drive-through penalty for overspeeding at the start and then a spectacular tire blow-out late on in the race which forced him to retire.
There was no on-track celebration for birthday boy Eduardo Rodrigues as he too was forced to retire his Reboconorte MAN.
Ray Coleman befell the same fate as Ryan Smith as he too was excluded for multiple overspeeding offences.
The team’s victory went to the Die Bullen von IVECO Magirus combination of Hahn and Halm. Team Reinert Adventures placed second ahead of the Tankpool24 Racing duo.
Saturday’s second race is scheduled to get underway at 17.40 local time.
Race Result HERE