2023 Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Zolder, Belgium
Last weekend, the 6th round of the 2023 Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship took us to circuit Zolder in Belgium.
Once we arrived and set up our workshop and hospitality area in the paddock, we immediately felt the rising tension amongst all of us: With only this and two more race weekends scheduled for 2023, everyone knows that every point more or less could mean a place up or down on the overall standings.
With this in mind, we set our goals pretty high. Antonio’s lap times were constantly 2nd fastest in free practice, warm-up and qualifying. Due to a small mistake at the superpole, however, we had to start the first race from sixth position on the grid.
The middle of the field can be challenging, but Antonio managed to get through the race with nearly no damage. Norbert Kiss had to retire from the race due to a technical issue and so Antonio finished 5th.
Due to the reversed grid of the top 8, we started the second race from P4. The team and our guests from Varta, PE, BPW, Teng Tools and MAN were all hoping for Antonio to make it onto the podium. Our Spanish race pilot clearly exceeded these hopes. He fought hard throughout the race, delighted the fans with thrilling overtaking manoeuvrers and clearly gave us good reason to celebrate when he crossed the line in a fantastic 1st place. Unfortunately, he was given a small time penalty in the aftermath of the race and due to an incident at the starting phase. Luckily, we only relegated one place down to P2 – still collecting valuables points and tightening the gap to P3 and P2 on the overall standings.
On Sunday morning the team pushed extremely hard to qualify further up. With an extremely close gap to the front running teams, Antonio finished 4th. The 0.08 seconds gap between 2nd and 4th position resembled a distance of just 4 metres at a speed of 160km/h.
Performing well throughout the race and keeping our position, Antonio brought the truck home as he started – on P4.
The final race was yet another challenge by its own. Antonio started from P5, tried his very best, showed some close racing action and finally finished as he started.
Overall, we are really pleased with the results and our team’s great performance so far. The pressure is definitely rising since our race pace and the performance of Jochen Hahn and Sascha Lenz are extremely close.
We will now take one week off to regain full strength before we head to Le Mans in France for the second last race of this year’s Goodyear FIA ETRC taking place on Circuit Bugatti on 23rd and 24th of September.