The official preview for this weekends latest races in the 2019 FIA ETRC at Le Mans Bugatti...
The 2019 FIA European Truck Racing Championship protagonists descend upon Le Mans this weekend as the penultimate event of the season gets ready for action.
With an 85-point lead and eight races remaining, Jochen Hahn is on the cusp of a remarkable sixth title and is on target to seal the deal on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit.
Exactly 12 months ago, Hahn arrived in France in a similar position and was able to take the title in the best possible way with a victory in race three on Sunday morning.
So far in 2019 Hahn, driving his Hahn Racing IVECO, has taken a race one win at each of the six events held so far and has been irresistible on a seemingly unstoppable march to what would be a record sixth championship.
Hahn has also averaged 45 points collated per weekend and has also taken two wins every weekend apart from the weather affected event at Autodrom Most. He has also scored an astonishing 11 pole positions from 12 attempts, beaten only on Sunday at Misano by Norbert Kiss.
Last time out at Zolder Hahn again took a double victory in races one and three but the German didn’t have it all his own way as a puncture in the final encounter saw him drop to an uncustomary eighth position.
Hahn has enjoyed several notable successes at Le Mans Bugatti before with a double in 2016 in addition to his brace last season.
Still leading the chase of Hahn is Spain’s Antonio Albacete who took a second win of his season at Zolder two weeks ago.
The Truck Sport Lutz Bernau ace took a thrilling race four victory at Le Mans last season and has been consistently the biggest worry for Hahn this year to date.
Adam Lacko will be looking to gain more wins this season in his Buggyra Racing Freightliner. After a single success at Nurburgring in July, Lacko will be aiming to ensure he scores more than one victory in a season as the last time he did not achieve this was in his rookie year of 2010.
Steffi Halm saw an upturn in fortunes at Circuit Zolder earlier this month as she took a second a fourth place away after some typically feisty performances in her Team Schwabentruck IVECO.
Norbert Kiss claimed 35 points from Zolder last time out after a no score in the two races held at Most earlier this month.
The double FIA ETRC champion last won at Le Mans in 2017 and is always a contender in his Tankpool24 Racing run Mercedes-Benz. The Hungarian sits just one point behind Halm in the battle for fourth in the final standings.
Rene Reinert claimed his third win of 2019 at Zolder to leapfrog Sascha Lenz in the points standings and will re-visit Le Mans this weekend which witnessed his breakthrough FIA ETRC wins when he took two victories in one weekend back in 2015.
Lenz suffered a disastrous weekend in Zolder which saw him rewarded little for some excellent drives back through the field.
An altercation with Reinert in race one saw him start from the back for the following event and a stellar drive netted him a fighting eighth position.
Andre Kursim produced perhaps the best weekend in terms of outright pace at Zolder and equalled his best aggregate points total of the season with 31. The Don’t touch Racing IVECO driver also claimed a fine second place in the final race in Belgium after an excellent battle with Reinert.
Jose Rodrigues will again be out in action for the Reboconort team this weekend with the Portuguese driver looking to beat his best result of 2019 which was fourth position in race one at the Hungaroring in June.
Joining the grid for a second appearance of the season will be reigning GRAMMER TRUCK CUP champion Shane Brereton.
With his distinctive new purple liveried TOR Truck entered MAN, Brereton will be looking to make up for a tough 2019 debut at Nurburgring when incidents and issues cost him any significant results.
GRAMMER TRUCK CUP title fight hots up
While Hahn’s sixth title quest will be one of the great narratives of the weekend in France, the three-way fight for honours in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP will be set to thrill.
Oly Janes, Jamie Anderson and Luis Recuecno are the three most likely to take the title as they get et to go head-to-head once again.
Janes slightly extended his lead to 28 points at Circuit Zolder but is now looking over his shoulder to fellow British driver Jamie Anderson who usurped Recuenco in to second position after a perfect Sunday score.
Remarkably Anderson has scored nine GRAMMER class wins this season but no scores at every round bar Zolder means that he still has work to do to try and catch Janes’ Buggyra Racing Freightliner.
The Anderson Racing MAN driver has just a one point advantage over Recuenco, who despite taking two pole positions in Belgium earlier this month, saw his poorest return of points in the races so far.
Incidents and issues meant that the Spaniard stopped his record of scoring points in each race this season after retiring from the final race last time out.
Although still mathematically capable of winning the title, Terry Gibbon will be aiming more for further victories at the venue of where he took a hat-trick of GRAMMER podium appearances last season.
The T Sport driver’s season form has been excellent with four wins to his name and currently fourth place in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP standings.
Has Gibbon not missed the Misano and Slovakiaring round earlier in the season the likelihood is that he would have been a fourth contender in the title hunt.
Fabio Citignola continues to gather experience in the Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes Benz this season with the young firebrand being unlucky to get involved in a race stopping incident in race two at Zolder.
Another FIA ETRC young gun who has shown improving pace in some events this season is Jose-Eduardo Rodrigues, while Erwin Kleinnagelvoort was able to take a season equalling best of fourth in Belgium.
Dominique Orsini gets ready for his home event this weekend after getting on the score sheet with an eighth place finish at Zolder, his first points since Slovakiaring in June.
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Event timetable click HERE
Latest points standings HERE
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