André Kursim led from lights to flag to seal the first ever win for the Don't Touch Racing
André Kursim claimed the third win of his FIA European Truck Racing Championship season at Le Mans Bugatti Circuit this afternoon.
In doing so the young German scored the first-ever victory for the Don’t Touch Racing team and made it a memorable day for the Sven Walter-led squad in its maiden FIA ETRC season.
Polesitter, Kursim, managed to fend off the advances of Steffi Halm’s Team Schwabentruck IVECO on the first lap to lead the field.
Halm herself then instantly came under attack from her old teammate Rene Reinert and the two ran nose-to-tail until lap three when the pair collided spectacularly.
While Halm was able to continue, Reinert was pitched through the gravel and into the wall. He was unable to continue and the incident was immediately placed under investigation by the stewards.
All this allowed Kursim to breakaway at the front and by the start of lap four he had a healthy three-second lead which allowed him to control the race.
Halm was left fighting again for second position but this time it was Adam Lacko on her tail. The Buggyra International Racing System driver applied plenty of pressure but was unable to break Halm who remained steadfast to take the runners-up position.
Lacko’s third place and the fact that points leader Jochen Hahn claimed fourth ahead of Antonio Albacete’s Trucksport Lutz Bernau MAN, means that the points difference is now 77 points.
The Czech though was lucky to finish the race at all as he pulled off just a few corners after taking the chequered flag.
Hahn drove a typically excellent race having come from eighth on the grid. He made a cheeky move on Albacete at the final corner to claim the fourth place in his Hahn Racing IVECO.
The race two result means that Hahn needs just 11 points from the two races tomorrow to ensure that he becomes a five-time FIA ETRC champion.
Finishing sixth and seventh were Sascha Lenz (SL Trucksport/MAN) and Norbert Kiss (Tankpool24 Racing/Mercedes-Benz). Lenz managed to close up to Albacete’s tailgate in the final laps but there was no way through for the German.
Ryan Smith put in one of his tenacious drives from the back of the grid to eighth position in his now self-run MAN.
Placing ninth once again was José Rodrigues who finished just ahead of the scrap for the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP honours.
Brereton Takes GRAMMER Double
The GRAMMER TRUCK CUP honours went again to Shane Brereton who scored a convincing win to notch up his 14th category win of the season so far.
Brereton now has a firm hold on the title and like Hahn could take it before the field heads off to the final meeting at Jarama next weekend.
Oly Janes took the runners-up position but was five seconds adrift of Brereton.
Terry Gibbon scored his second consecutive podium place and made it an all-British GRAMMER podium in his T-Sport MAN.
Luis Recuenco claimed fourth in class and 13th overall in his Trucksport Lutz Bernau MAN, while Eduardo Rodrigues (Reboconort/MAN), Ray Coleman (LRS/MAN, who survived a first corner spin after contact) and Erwin Kleinnagelvoort (EK Scania) were the final classified runners.
As well as Reinert, there were also retirements for Jamie Anderson (Anderson Racing/MAN) and Frankie Vojtisek (Czech Truck Racing Team/MAN) during the race.
In the race for teams glory it was the partnership of Hahn and Halm that took the points for Die Bullen von IVECO Magirus. Buggyra Racing 1969 and Trucksport Lutz Bernau placed second and third.
Two more races take places at Le Mans Bugatti Circuit tomorrow and are scheduled to start at 13.40 and 16.55 local time. For full resutls click here.