Another victory for Jochen Hahn successfully defending his lead on the overall standings in Most
With a total of 90,000 visitors at the Czech Autodrom in Most, round 5 of this year's FIA European Truck Racing Championship took place on the first weekend in September. In terms of weather conditions, however, both truck racers and fans were quite unlucky this time – rain was pouring most of the time.
On Friday afternoon, the weather remained pretty dry for the free trainings and a parade to the center of Most. Iveco pilot Jochen Hahn and his team were overly happy about the lap times achieved. After all, they made quite some modifications throughout the extensive summer break, but they didn't know about their effects – would they have a positive influence?
On Saturday, all of these thoughts seemed to be in vain. It was raining and the lap times achieved exceeded those of the previous day by approximately 20 seconds. This meant starting all over again and slowly approaching the feasible limits. At the first qualifying, Jochen achieved the fourth-fastest lap time. Penalized for achieving their times under yellow-flag conditions, however, he and three of his competitors dropped back three positions on the starting grid. As a result, MAN pilot Sascha Lenz got hold of the pole position. Jochen's teammate at "The bulls on Iveco Magirus", Steffi Halm, completed the first row on the grid. Due to the harsh external conditions, there were two laps following the pace truck and another one under yellow flag.
When the race was finally started, Jochen passed his Iveco colleague André Kursim right away. One lap later, the pilot from Altensteig also passed the Hungarian Mercedes pilot Norbert Kiss and the Spanish MAN driver Antonio Albacete. With his Freightliner working particularly good under rainy conditions, the local hero Adam Lacko took the lead and achieved a perfect and wildly celebrated victory. To complete the podium, Sascha Lenz finished second and Jochen Hahn third after passing his teammate Steffi Halm. This time, "the bulls on Iveco Magirus" ranked second at the team championship.
At the second race on Saturday, the track conditions didn't improve at all. Accordingly, the race was started with the same procedure as the previous one. Having already ranked up one position, Jochen collided with Albacete, ended up in the gravel and managed to get back on the track by his own efforts. Unfortunately, he dropped back some ranks at this incident. In the course of the race, however, the Iveco pilot managed to rank up to 6th position again thus following Lacko, MAN pilot René Reinert, Norbert Kiss and both of the Iveco colleagues Steffi Halm and André Kursim. This time, "the bulls on Iveco Magirus" ranked third.
When the warm-up started on Sunday morning, the weather conditions were as cloudy as the day before. Some silver linings appeared on the horizon on time for the qualifying – and a ray of hope for Team Hahn Racing. Jochen finished second on the grid, right next to Adam Lacko. As the first race was scheduled on Sunday afternoon, rain had not only stopped completely, but most of the track had even dried off, too. For the first time this weekend, there was a regular start – and Jochen triumphed in a fascinating manner: Right off the grid, the Iveco pilot took the lead and achieved a perfect and sovereign start-to-finish victory. Adam Lacko and Sascha Lenz completed the podium. Jochen thus ensured another clear team victory for "the bulls on Iveco Magirus" as well.
At the final race of the weekend, the English MAN pilot Shane Brereton took the pole position – due to the reversed grid – with his Portuguese MAN colleague José Rodrigues completing the first row on the grid. While the Englishman dropped back two positions at the start, Jochen raked up the same amount. Shortly after, Brereton also clashed with Kiss, ended up in the gravel and finally finished 10th. Once René Reinert had prevailed over his MAN colleague José Rodrigues successfully taking the lead and soon after Kiss also passed the Portuguese pilot, a chasing trio consisting of Adam Lacko, Jochen Hahn and Sascha Lenz also started attacking the Roconort MAN to snatch away Rodrigues' third rank on the podium. But they didn't manage to do so. All the contrary: The MAN pilot even managed to increase his lead over his chasers. Although both Jochen and Sascha were much faster than Lacko, the latter successfully fend off their attacks. In the end, Jochen had to line up behind Lacko thus finishing 5th with Lenz following him closely. Reinert, Kiss and Rodrigues finished on the podium. "The bulls on Iveco Magirus" finished third and thus on the podium for the fourth time this weekend.
"I'm so happy, the weather got better on Sunday! On a wet track, Adam Lacko seems unbeatable", Jochen Hahn said noticeably relaxed on Sunday evening. "We've been working hard throughout the summer break. On Saturday, we were not really able to see, if we're on the right track. On Sunday, however, things cleared up a little. And even with regard to the last race, I feel I could have been even much faster, but there was no trouble-free way past Adam's truck. After all, it's just about one point more or less. That's not worth running a so much higher risk." Let's see what happens in Zolder – let's hope there won't be any rain."
Until then, Jochen Hahn continues leading the driver standings with a total of 231 points (and a 48-points lead over the runner-up) with Adam Lacko ranking second (183 points) and Norbert Kiss third (156 points). His teammate Steffi Halm currently ranks sixth with a total of 123 points. At the team championship, the bulls on Iveco Magirus (369 points) lead over Team Reinert Adventure (276 points) and Buggyra Racing 1969 (202 points). From September 14 to 16, the 6th and last-but-two round of the 2018 FIA European Truck Racing Championship will take place on Circuit Zolder in Belgium. We will keep you informed.