Jochen Hahn wins the vice championship with three podium positions in Jarama
Sunny weather, some 29,000 enthusiastic fans and race action at its best made the 9th round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship, taking place on Circuito del Jarama close to the Spanish capital Madrid, a very special final. The 31st Gran Premio Camión de España was a classic two-day event with tight schedules and few breaks again.
Following the free training sessions on Saturday morning, local hero Antonio Albacete and his MAN won the pole position for the first race. The Czech Buggyra-Freightliner pilots Adam Lacko and David Vršecký followed him closely. Jochen Hahn pushed his Iveco onto the 4th position on the starting grid.
He was able to pass Vršecký’s Freightliner right away – yet before the race was canceled soon after. Several trucks crashed into one another. As a result the Portuguese pilot José Rodrigues and his MAN were immobilized by a blocked gearbox. The race was restarted with the original set-up of the starting grid. This time, it took Jochen some more laps to pass Vršecký once more. In the meanwhile, Albacete and Lacko had already increased the gap. Jochen had no other chance but to stick to the third position on the podium.
Gerd Körber, Jochen’s teammate at “Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus”, finished sixth. As a result, the team ranked 3rd on the team podium, too.Lacko for his part finished second. With the points he thus earned, he won the championship at the first out of four final races.
Jochen and the whole Team Hahn Racing congratulated the new champion right at the victory ceremony.
Due to the reversed grid, Vršecký won the pole position for the second race of the day. Jochen started from the 6th position. At the very top, the Czech pilot and Albacete fought a close battle. In the end, Vršecký prevailed over his Spanish competitor – much to the annoyance of the large number of Antonio fans on site. Gerd Körber ranked 3rd on the podium and Jochen pushed his truck up to 4th position. “Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus” thus ranked 2nd at the team classification this time.
Having started off rather cool and fresh, the cloudless sky on Sunday made the temperatures rise to approximately 30 °C – just as the day before – once again. The races however were not as hotly contested anymore. After all, the key decisions had already been taken. Achieving the fastest lap time of the weekend, the Hungarian pilot Norbert Kiss (Mercedes) won the Super Pole, Lacko completed the first row on the grid and Jochen started from third position.
As the race began, Kiss took the lead and headed for a perfect start-to-finish victory.Jochen also got off well and almost glued his truck to the rear bumper of Lacko’s Freightliner. Risky overtaking maneuvers were not an option for the Iveco pilot anymore. After all, he would most certainly rank on the podium anyways. However, as he got the chance to rank up to 2nd position without running any risks, he took it. Körber crossed the line ranking seventh. As a result, “Die Bullen von Iveco Magirus” finished third thus ranking on the podium for the third time this weekend.
At the last race of the season, the truck racer from Altensteig once again proved his abilities. It’s not for nothing that he won the championship four times already. Albacete won the pole position, and there were no doubts about him winning the race. Jochen started from 6th position on the grid again. At first he was pretty trapped on his position. But as the Iveco pilot started ranking up step by step, no one would stop him but the second Iveco on the track – his teammate Gerd Körber.
Much to the delight of the fans, both of the teammates soon fought a close duel showing off their abilities as the experience of a total of seven titles of European Truck Racing Champions collided. It wasn’t until the last lap when Jochen passed Körber. As they ranked second and third, their team won the top position on the podium of the team classification this time.
No wonder Jochen was noticeably pleased about the outcome: “Three podium positions at the drivers’ classification and a position on the team podium at each of the four races; that’s nothing anyone would have expected in Jarama. And finishing vice champions – both on the driver standings and on the team standings – is yet another great success no one would have thought of as the season started. I thank my team for the outstanding and sometimes pretty tough job they did – especially considering we changed the brand for this season. Luckily both Iveco and all of our sponsors supported us right from the start. Without them, it would have been impossible to achieve the successes we achieved – especially right at the very first season. On the other hand, these successes also bear a huge obligation. We are thus already working on – at least – keeping the class we achieved. After all, our competitors won’t be sleeping throughout winter either. Consequently, the main task will soon be ‘work, work, and work’ again.”