Santa Monica SPA, Via del Carro 27
47843 Misano Adriatico, RN - (Italia)
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“Actually, I would have preferred to be on top of the podium more often,” Jochen said after the fourth championship race on World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in Misano Adriatico. Although the triple European champion quickly qualified his statement: “I guess, after such a great weekend, I should actually be pleased. Our team performance was simply sensational.” Thereby he pointed out the outstanding results accomplished by Steffi Halm and René Reinert. Both of them were able to collect some additional trophies in Misano.
Especially in case of Steffi Halm, that’s definitively not something to be taken for granted. The second Reinert truck was only finished just on time, right before heading to Italy, and after quite some efforts and work put in by the mechanics. In addition, the crew had to make some modifications to Jochen’s and René’s race trucks as well. Consequently, there was not much time left for tests. Jochen only just managed to drive it around the garage once – and yet, once on track, the brand-new truck worked flawless. In line with that, Steffi Halm also performed great at her first appearance at the 2016 season winning two podium positions.
Usually, there is nothing scheduled for Fridays in Misano. This time, however, the truck racers served as background actors. On Friday afternoon, they accessed the race track for a film and photo shooting on behalf of the ETRA – under stringent FIA rules, of course, for the extra tour not to be considered a (forbidden) additional training. As things came down to accomplishing the fastest lap time on Saturday, Adam Lacko’s Freightliner was ahead by a nose once again. The Czech pilot thus won the pole position ahead of the three MAN race trucks produced at the Hahn Racing workshop. René Reinert achieved the second-fastest lap time thus ranking ahead of Jochen and Steffi.
As the first race started on the Italian race track, it was anything but clear which of the two race drivers on the first row on the grid would prevail. After a minor skirmish between the blue race truck and the white/blue one, Lacko took over the lead. Since then, the top positions remained unaltered. Accordingly, the ranking at the finish line pretty much resembled the results of the Superpole: Lacko, Reinert, Hahn and Halm.
At the second run, Jochen once again gave proof of his great starting performance ranking up to the top positions right at the start. As Adam Lacko also found the matching gap, however, soon a three-way fight arose between Adam, Jochen and the reigning European champion Norbert Kiss. Lacko prevailed and the trio started chasing Anthony Janiec ranking on the top. Lacko passed the French pilot after just three laps and Jochen joined him one lap later. Unlike René Reinert, they were both lucky in doing so. At Reinert’s passing maneuver, one of his tires was sliced open – thus forcing him to drop out early. In the slipstream of the leading trucks, Steffi Halm also worked her way up. In the end, her efforts were rewarded as she finished third.
On Saturday night, the weather changed. The 40-percent chance of rain predicted at the weather forecast turned into showers throughout Sunday. Among other things, these showers caused the third race to be started with the yellow flags raised. Once the marshals lowered the flags again after the first lap, another fight for the top position arose between Jochen and Adam – who had once more won the pole position. The two competitors fought a tough but very fair duel. As a result, Adam Lacko accomplished his third victory while Jochen, ranking second, was hoping for the Czech pilot’s winning streak to come to an end at the last race of the weekend.
As a defective steering system thwarted his plans at the early stages of the qualifying, René Reinert had to start the third championship race from the back of the grid. Nonetheless, he finished sixth. Due to the wet track, Steffi Halm drove particularly carefully and defensively. She thus lost two positions in comparison with the outstanding third rank achieved at the Superpole. At the last run, both Jochen and Steffi remained flawless. Hahn thus won the race as hoped for; Steffi Halm on second and René Reinert on fourth position completed the successful appearance of the blue MAN race trucks made in Altensteig. In addition, Reinert and Hahn were able to increase their lead at the team championship as well; just about two weeks before the third round of the season will take place in Nogaro (France).