Aliyyah better than champions on her debut
The race weekend at Most made its mark into European truck racing history books. Aliyyah Koloc has done something unseen before. The world’s top speed record-holder on 500m with standings and rolling starts took her first points in her debut race, as she finished in an incredible 8th place.
With such a performance, the 16-year-old has managed to surpass her father and also David Vršecký, who together hold four European championship titles. And to make it even better, she finished ahead of Antonio Albacete, a three-time European champion. All that in her first-ever race. “I still remember my first race in 1993. I was racing with a Liaz and I broke the truck,” remembers Martin Koloc. “For me, it was Dijon in 1998 and it was something similar. SISU didn’t drive that well, so I tried to push a bit more and I ended off the track,” says David Vršecký.
Obviously, Martin wants to maintain some distance, so he has not taken the role of Aliyyah’s mentor. That has gone to David. “Emerson Fittipaldi was explaining to me that racing in F1 or Indianapolis 500 was emotionally nothing in comparison to what he experiences when his son is racing. And now I know what he meant by that. While I was very nervous, Aliyyah was absolutely fine, before the super pole and even before the race. I just told her that every circuit requires maximum respect from a driver. And she said that she understands.” And he was living through it all until the last metres. “From a tactical point of view, it was brilliant. She drove on 100%, gave it everything she currently has. She didn’t do any unnecessary risks, but it also wasn’t a defensive drive with an ‘I’ll just drive around and let’s wait and see‘ attitude. When she got to 10th place, she was told to finish on points at all costs. If anybody had told me that before the race, I’d consider them crazy,” says David.
While Aliyyah was not particularly nervous about finishing on points, the start from pole position gave her more worries. “Back when I was at the beginning of my career, it was always the fastest driver from a practice session or from qualifying, who took the pole position. It was always someone with experience. If I recall correctly, it took me two seasons to get a pole position. And now, Aliyyah had to deal with it during her first race, with Jochen, Norbert, Adam and Antonio behind her. I told her to use her instinct and not to risk any needless battles.”
Aliyyah is now preparing for a French championship weekend at Nogaro. “I’m very curious about her performance. It’s a difficult circuit and the only thing it has in common with Most is probably asphalt. It’ll be all about intuition and adaption. I believe that it’s going to go well,” hopes David Vršecký.