High points scoring weekend for T Sport Bernau MAN in Hungary
Last weekend the T Sport Bernau team made the journey all the way across Mainland Europe to the most easterly race of the 2020 season at the famous Hungaroring near Budapest, Hungary.
Report by Melanie Derflinger T Sport Bernau
The team were the first to arrive in the paddock on Wednesday, having made the long drive from the previous race in Jarama near Madrid. The race weekend in Hungary was a challenging race to organise with the current COVID travel restrictions, however the event was given the go ahead by the organisers and we were incredibly happy to be able to take part. The event was, unfortunately, only allowed to run with a limited number of visitors being allowed into the circuit. However, the races were broadcast both live on mainstream TV as well as online via a live stream, meaning all our fans could still follow the action closely throughout the weekend.
The on-track action began on Friday with 2 free practice sessions. This was especially useful for the T Sport Bernau team as it gave us the opportunity to trial some new anti-roll blades that had been sent to the circuit from our partners at PE in Germany. During the practice sessions it was clear that the new equipment was working well, giving Antonio and the engineers more set up options to use throughout the weekend.
Saturday began early with a warmup session to give the teams a chance to assess the track conditions before qualifying. It was raining heavily on Saturday, so this session gave the team a chance to check that the truck was properly set up for the wet conditions. Qualifying came around and Antonio and the team did a fantastic job, finishing the first part of qualifying in a fantastic 2nd position, easily progressing into the super pole session, before ultimately qualifying in a very well-deserved 4th position for the first race.
The rain continued to fall as the start of the first race came around, Antonio got a fantastic start, holding his 4th place position. After a lot of close fought battles throughout the race, mostly with 2019 champion Jochen Hahn, Antonio managed to bring the truck home, holding his 4th place and narrowly missing out on a podium place. The reverse grid for the second race saw Antonio starting from 5th position. Once again Antonio got off to a great start. Fighting hard throughout the race, Antonio managed to gain a place, once more bringing the truck home in 4th position. The truck had a few battle scars from the days racing which the engineers worked to repair throughout the evening along with the normal nightly service, ensuring the truck is in the best possible condition for Sunday’s racing.
Sunday morning and the weather had changed, bringing dry conditions to the Hungaroring circuit, meaning the team would once again have to adapt the set up of the truck. After the early morning warmup session qualifying soon came around. Antonio again comfortably made it through to the second part of qualifying, super pole, where he qualified 4th position for the first race of the day. Antonio got another great start, holding his position well, battling hard throughout the first lap trying to gain a place from reigning champion Hahn. After a close fought race Antonio brought the truck home, holding his 4th place position and again only narrowly missing out on a podium position. Once again, the reversed grid meant Antonio would start the second race from 5th position. During the first few laps Antonio was caught up in a lot of battles as the quick starting Hungarian Norbert Kiss worked his way through from the back of the grid, fighting hard to make up places at his final home race of the season. Antonio put up a good fight and despite a few bumps and scrapes he managed to finish the race in 8th position overall, collecting yet more valuable championship points.
Overall, Antonio and the team are extremely happy with this weekend’s results, bringing a good haul of championship points, promoting Antonio to 6th in the 2020 championship standings. The team is continuing to develop the new race truck and we are extremely happy with the progress that is being made. The engineers will continue to work on some more adaptations and improvements over the next 3 weeks before we take to the Misano circuit, in Italy, for the final race weekend of the 2020 FIA European Truck Racing Championship on the 14th/15th November.