Difficult weekend for Buggyra in Slovakia, it was close to Dakar
The Buggyra ZM Racing drivers had to fight more bad luck during the Goodyear FIA ETRC championship weekend at Slovakia Ring. For the second time this year, Adam Lacko left the circuit without a podium in the overall classification, but he remained in 4th place in the standings. Unfortunately, Téo Calvet also did not finish on the podium in the Promoter´s Cup, and he is 3rd in the standings now. The team leaves Slovakia at least with one trophy, for the 3rd place in the Teams’ standings.
“It was terribly hot at Slovakia Ring, and that did not help anyone, especially the tyres. Unfortunately, we took only one podium – in the teams’ standings – and that’s far from ideal. But we’re already focusing on Nürburgring, and we’re sure it’s going to be much better for us,” summed up the weekend Jan Kalivoda, Buggyra chief of communication.
Saturday brought a special challenge, as teams had an extremely short time to set up the vehicles. “As we do not run on Fridays here, we had only two practice sessions to find the right set-up. And then it was straight into qualifying,” described Lacko the difficult conditions at the track. “It’s a very specific circuit, and you won’t find anything like it on the European championship calendar,” he added.
Yet, the 37-year-old finished only 0.006s behind pole position, which meant 4th place on the grid. And he stayed in that position until the finish line. “It was a bit boring race. Steffi had a better start, but I waited it out and then cleanly got ahead,” described Lacko the key moment of Saturday’s main race.
In the other one, with a reverse grid for TOP 8, Lacko had more than enough battling. In the end, he finished in 6th place. “That wasn’t circuit racing, but Dakar! There were places where we did not see anything and really drove blind. Now I understand, why the guys at Dakar usually slow down in the dust,” described Lacko.
In Sunday’s qualifying, he improved his position and started the race from 3rd place. However, in a battle for the podium, he was passed by a very experienced Jochen Hahn, so, he had to settle for 4th position again. “Jochen used his experience to wait for the right opportunity and then outbraked me,” said Lacko.
However, on Sunday afternoon, he had even more bad luck. After the promising first two corners, in which Adam moved from 5th to 3rd place, he was forced out of the track by a battle between Halm and Shane Brereton.
“I got hit and I don’t even from who. I spun out and got into gravel. I was glad to make it out of it at all. After that, it was just a comeback drive,” described Adam Lacko his issues. Yet, the Buggyra ZM Racing driver managed to get at least 8th place in the end. So far, he has 87 points in the standings where he is currently in 4th position.
If there was a special prize for the unluckiest driver of the year, Téo Calvet would be already very close to it. Just look at this: in the first race, he managed to pass many competitors, until one forced him out of the track which had seen him drop to last place. In the second race, he struggled with tyre grip, yet he finished 4th in the Promoter´s Cup after starting from last place.
On Sunday, he got sandwiched by two aggressive rivals, who pushed him from both sides. That meant damage to his truck, and he was unable to finish better than 10th.
And the worst part came in the final race in Slovakia. “I got hit in the first corner and lost my rear tyre. And to drive with a puncture is incredibly hard. It was a really bad weekend, but we need to get over it and head to Germany with the aim to score as many points as possible,” believes Téo Calvet, who is currently 3rd in the Promoter´s Cup with 110 points. The French youngster is 26 points behind the new leader, Jamie Anderson.
The championship continues on July 16-17 at Nürburgring, Germany.