In spite of raining on Sunday, the Czech Truck Prix race weekend has been a success

31.08.2020 07:33

The race conditions influenced the course of the Sunday programme of the TOTAL Czech Truck Prix motorsport event that took place at the Autodrom Most motor racing circuit last weekend. While the two European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) races went off without a hitch on Saturday, Race One was postponed by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) stewards due to the rain on Sunday. The stewards were even contemplating cancelling the race, but eventually, they just delayed the race start one and a half hours. As a result of this time delay, however, the drivers were not able to compete once more. Thus, they came close to repeating the last year’s situation where only two out of four races were run because of a torrential rain.

“All the same, the weekend has been a success. People hadn’t become discouraged either by the restrictions related to epidemiological situation or by the adverse weather. Organising the event was a big challenge, which cost a lot of effort, negotiations and compromises. This is partly why we are happy to see that our loyal fans have found their way to us again this time,” said Jana Svobodová, the AUTODROM MOST Business and Marketing Manager.

Adam Lacko of the Buggyra Racing team definitely didn’t disappoint his supporters during his appearance before the home crowd. He finished second in the Sunday race, which means an outstanding result if we add his victory in Race 2 on Saturday and a fourth place in the opening race of the weekend. On Sunday, it was Norbert Kiss of Hungary who started from pole position thanks to his unchallenged performance in qualifying, and he seemed to become an easy winner. But with some three laps to go, Kiss experienced technical problems having to give up the leading position to Sascha Lenz running second up to that point, and then lost out to David. Finally, Kiss defended at least the third step of the podium ahead of Jochen Hahn, a six-time European champion from Germany.

The four drivers – Lenz (41 points), Kiss (37), Lacko (35) and Hahn (33) – collected the highest number of points at the first three races of the season which means that they dominate the provisional classification. The TOTAL Czech Truck Prix, that is, was the opening event of this year’s pandemic-shortened ETRC season. In fact, the coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic prevented the initial two events at the Nürburgring in Germany and the Slovakia Ring near Bratislava from taking place. The 2020 calendar includes five more race weekends, but the pandemic situation has been developing and changing all the time.

“In view of the shortened programme we feel sorry for the teams and drivers, but most of all for the spectators because they are devoted fans. They came to watch the races despite the substandard and uncomfortable conditions due to the pandemic as compared to what they are accustomed to. We want to express our thanks,” said Svobodová. The measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus had forced the closing of the paddock for the public, division of the premises into sectors, and a limit on the number of spectators to a maximum of 4,000 on each of the week-end days.

Whereas the MAXX Formula support race was still run on dry surface on Sunday, the Clio Cup Central Europe, Seyffarth Audi Sport R8 LMS Cup, and Tourenwagen Legenden proceeded on the wet course. Unlike the trucks. “With regard to the weight of the trucks, and in particular to their tyres, which can’t drain as much water as the touring car tyres, a truck race would be very risky,” Jindřich Hrneček, the Autodrom motorsport director, explained the stewards’ decision.

From the Czech fans’ point of view, a hero of the weekend was, apart from Adam Lacko, another excellent driver, Tomáš Pekař, the Clio Cup Central Europe title defender. After two season-opening events at Poznań, Poland and at the Lausitzring in Germany, he had comfortably settled at the top of the standings. While the first Saturday race didn’t turn out the way the Czech favourite had imagined it finishing only fourth, he made the most of his chance fantastically on Sunday. The wet road clearly worked for him. After starting sixth, Pekař took off in pursuit and quickly forged ahead into the lead. Then he didn’t miss his triumph.

The race weekend has brought a new track record. The credit goes to Austrian Bernd Herndlhofer who set the record in 1m22.981s driving an Arrows A22 in the Saturday MAXX Formula race. It was by almost three seconds that he broke the eleven years old benchmark set by a Mercedes C-Klasse DTM driven by Stefan Mücke of Germany.

For the fourth time, part of the TOTAL Czech Truck Prix was The Most Truck Fest show designed for the general public, mainly for all truckers, forwarding and transport companies as well as truck lovers. The Fest participants performed a parade lap around the Autodrom’s major racing circuit in order to bring an extra bit of colour to the Saturday programme within the race weekend.

The Autodrom Most company will host the European OMV MaxxMotion NASCAR Show event over the weekend of 14th and 13th November 2011 instead of the original date in June.


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