Lacko Brings a Bull Back from Austria with Third Rank Overall
The opening stage of this year´s European Truck Racing Championship was marked by problems with the setting of the new instrumentation measuring the maximum permitted speed. But finally Lacko managed to win one of the bulls for the second rank in the last scored race of the Austrian racing weekend. His teammate Draganovich even enjoyed victory in the newcomers category.
The Saturday programme was opened with free practice, postponed for Saturday for the reason of Lacko´s accident of the previous day. The first important milestone of the day was advancement to the Super Pole. Adam did not succeed as he would wish, unfortunately, and only obtained a position in the fourth row of the starting grid for the first scored race. “Although we improved our speed by half a second against last year, the eighth rank is a big disappointment for me. We need a rain shower for the circuit is short and the differences are diminishing,” pointed Adam to the fact that the lap times of the pilots ranking from the third to the eighth rank were squeezed in a mere one tenth of a second. Alen Draganovich ranked 13th to start his first race from the seventh row. “I think two seconds behind European elite is not a bad result at all. But there is always a lot to improve,“ evaluated Alen Draganovich his performance in the time practice.
Cup race 1
Slightly disappointed but determined to fight, Adam set off for the first race. In the very first lap he made his way forward to the sixth rank. The lead was grasped by Jochen Hahn followed by the German female pilot Halm. Adam fought his way forward step by step up to the fourth rank where he struggled for the third with Gerd Körber for the long three laps. He latter fought all his attacks back, though. “I enjoyed the chase, and eventually reached just below the podium. The truck worked much better after all. The starting field is very even,“ said the slightly disappointed Adam in the finish. The Slovenian pilot Alen Draganovich suffered his way through his premiere truck race, with two pit pass penalisations and a drop to the fourteenth rank. “I was a little nervous at the start but I think if it were not for the knocked down skittles I would be close to the top ten,“ said Alen about his premiere.
Cup race 2
After start of the second race of the day Adam immediately began to struggle forward from the sixth starting position. His advance was again stopped right before reaching a podium rank, though. “It is hard to race when what you win in curves you immediately lose on straights. The promoter introduced a new system of speed measurement and I doubt its functionality a little. But two potato medals are a better beginning than last year. I will see what I can do tomorrow,“ summarised the fourth ranking man of the overall interim score Adam Lacko the end of the first racing day of the season. Alen Draganovich finally ranked thirteenth thus improving his rank from the previous race by one.
Adam Lacko started excellently for the Sunday Super Pole and settled in the lead after the first lap. His excitement was however soon cooled down by the track commissioners who penalised him for over-speeding by cancelling all his lap times. “I do not understand what is going on here. For two days we have been tuning the electric speed limiting with the new system supplier instead of having done this two months ago. And this is the result, “ said the angry Adam Lacko in the pits.
Cup race 3
Thus the overall fourth ranking pilot started the third race of the weekend from the fifth row in the starting grid. However, he threw away his disappointment from the Super Pole and began to fight as is typical for him, reaching the fifth rank still in the course of the first lap. “I had a good start, Gerd Körber mixed it up there a little and I managed to squeeze forward. Unfortunately, that was the maximum what I could do,“ commented Adam on the race in the finish. The collision was also utilised by Alen Draganovich, who advanced to the top ten with his rank. In the end he paid for his truck racing inexperience, though, yielding to the attacking Briton Smith and ending off the track after a collision with him. Due to this the race was ended prematurely three laps before the finish. Luckily for Draganovich, who could start the second race of the day from the ninth position.
Cup race 4
The last race of the weekend could be briefly summarised by the well-known saying: When two are fighting the third wins. Adam Lacko again staged an excellent start, thanks to which he appeared ranking second. His struggle for the lead was finally benefited from by Hahn, ranking third five laps before the finish. “I was gripped after start but managed to free myself and crumple up to the second rank. I regret not being able to win my duel with Sasha Lenz and take the lead. But I am happy with the second rank after all the weekend trouble,“ said the finally satisfied Adam Lacko.
The truck racing newcomer Alen Draganovich will certainly bring home the best memories of the last race of his first racing weekend. He ranked sixth after his life race. This rank in addition brought him victory in the Promoters Cup. “I am so happy. I am still familiarising myself with truck racing but I am already much satisfied after the two cup races today. Top ten is top ten and I even could enjoy the podium!” said the Alen Draganovich with a happy smile.
In the overall ranking Adam Lacko holds the third rank after the first racing weekend with the loss of seventeen seconds behind the leading German pilot Hahn.