With some 25,000 spectators on site, the second run of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship (FIA ETRC) took place on Hungaroring to the east of the Hungarian capital Budapest. In terms of weather, there were almost all possible conditions – sunshine and temperatures of approximately 30 °C in the shadow and more then 50 °C on the track as well as heavy rain and thunderstorms. Luckily, the latter only when nobody was out on the track.
But the Iveco pilot from Altensteig didn't appear to be too impressed about these weather conditions. Fully concentrated and focused he performed the practice and racing sessions and achieved two victories at the first races of each day – those providing higher scores – and good finishes at the second races of each day. All in all, he gained 52 out of 60 possible points.
The hard work of the last weeks did actually pay off.
Already at the Super Pole of the top ten pilots, Jochen was almost one second faster than his main rival.
He even continued dominating the subsequent race, as well. The Iveco pilot prevailed at the start and soon achieved an undisputed start-to-finish victory. In the wake of the title defender, however, a small drama unrolled. The Czech pilot Adam Lacko, winner in Misano and considered to be the main title rival of Jochen Hahn, received quite some setbacks already at the first race of the weekend. At first, the Buggyra Freightliner pilot was penalized with a drive-through penalty for overspeeding several times. In the end, he thus finished eighth. In the aftermath, Lacko was even disqualified.
The remaining podium positions went to the MAN pilots Antonio Albacete (Spain) and José Rodrigues (Portugal). Jochens teammate at "the bulls on Iveco Magirus", Steffi Halm, finished fifth – that is, clear victory on the team standings at the first race.
The two remaining Iveco pilots also ranked among the top 8, André Kursim on 4th and René Reinert on 8th position. Of course, Team Hahn Racing was very proud about this success, but there was yet more to come.
Having finished 8th on the first race, René Reinert started the second race of the day from the pole and Jochen from 8th position. Right at the start, MAN pilot Sascha Lenz passed the Reinert Iveco before the leading duo completed the remaining laps almost unendangered. Steffi Halm achieved the 3rdPpod podium position ranking ahead of André Kursim, the Hungarian Mercedes-Benz pilot Norbert Kiss and Jochen Hahn who managed to rank up two positions throughout the race. That is, the Ivecos even finished among the top 6.
This time, "the bulls on IVECO" ranked second at the team championship.
Throughout the night between Saturday and Sunday, some heavy rain poured down on Hungaroring. But not even these track conditions being anything but ideal stopped Jochen Hahn – neither at the warm-up early in the morning, nor at the qualifying and Super Pole sessions. He achieved top times at all of them.Prior to the first race on Sunday, rain set in again. As a result, the stewards started the first lap under yellow flag – i.e. no passing.
As pole sitter, Jochen set the pace. He got off with a great start and soon there was no way to catch up with him.The only chance for his teammate Steffi Halm was to try to fend off Sacha Lenz's attacks in order to stick to the second rank. At the second-last lap, however, the MAN suffered a technical defect forcing its pilot to withdraw early. As a result, the local hero Norbert Kiss finished third. René Reinert ranked fifth and André Kursim seventh.
Once more, the Iveco crew finished first on the team standings. At the last race of the weekend, the English MAN pilot Jamie Anderson started from the pole position, André Kurim from the 2nd position.
Right at the fist lap, the Iveco pilot shot his truck past Anderson's MAN. René Reinert followed him shortly after. In the course of the race, the English pilot dropped back to 8th position while Jochen ranked up from eighth to fourth position. In the end, the pilot from Altensteig did not manage to get hold of a podium position, as third rank went to the Spansih pilot Antonio Albacete. Shortly after Jochen, Steffi Halm crossed the finish line ranking fifth. This did not only mean another team victory, but also four Iveco race trucks among the top five.
Having successfully completed this racing weekend, Jochen Hahn now took the lead on the FIA driver standings with a total of 94 points, followed by Antonio Albacete (71 pts.), Norbert Kiss (63 pts.), Steffi Halm (61 pts.) and René Reinert (57 points).
Highly satisfied and yet somehow thoughtful, Jochen stated on Sunday evening: "Of course, things worked out great for us and for Iveco. But what happened to Adam this time – i.e. penalties for overspeeding or crossing corner markers – and technical defects can happen to anyone at any time. Right now, our lead on the overall standings may seem gigantic, but in the end, it's all about the final outcome. We are focusing on our jobs and tasks trying to prevent any technical issues right from the beginning, but accidents and other unpredictable occurrences can always happen – even to us. For now, let's wait and see, if we compete equally successful at the next racing weekend."
The third run of this year's FIA European Truck Racing Championship will take place in about two weeks – July 5th to 7th, 2019 – on Slovakia Ring.