MAN goes into the European Truck Racing Championship season with more power
Video clips of the highlights of the races on the homepage
The first race of the European Truck Racing Championship 2010 on May 22 though 23 is just around the corner. The MAN teams will be creating a heat haze above the tarmac on the nine racing weekends with their total of 36 races. Something new for truck racing fans: in the current racing season and for the first time, MAN will be showing video summaries of race highlights on its homepage after each racing weekend at www.man-mn.com/en/truckrace
Before the teams travel to the opening race, some concentrated fine tuning was called for during MAN's testing in Nogaro, southern France. The MAN teams Allgäuer, Birds, Cepsa, Hahn, Mariezcurrena and Robineau spent four days in mid-April honing the performance of their racing trucks for the coming season. MAN's race engineers applied themselves to the D26 common-rail engines: after all the work on the test beds, they had to be set dynamically under real track conditions. The teams worked to achieve the optimum suspension set-up for the race trucks. Some of the teams are starting the 2010 season with completely newly constructed racing vehicles: the fully-locked rear axle is a new introduction to the regulations and entails a huge amount of work for all the teams in fine-tuning the suspension. The test kilometres driven in Nogaro were a good investment because the teams can travel to the opening race in Misano having put in the best possible preparation. The development work that goes into MAN's truck racing activities also helps to test engines and exhaust-gas treatment systems as well as new types of fuel from MAN´s Truck Racing Partner BP Castrol. In this way, series-production technology becomes increasingly efficient and achieves maximum reliability thanks to the components being tested under the toughest conditions.
After the tests the drivers were unanimous in their praise of the job that the racing engine experts had done in Nuremberg during the winter months. Driver Jochen Hahn talked enthusiastically about the extra power: "The engine is noticeably more powerful than last year. You can see that in the lap times and the acceleration. The fully-locked rear axle, which is new because of changes to the regulations, is completely under control. We'll see just how good the MAN race trucks really are at the first race in Misano and during the season." Team Hahn Racing put together a completely new MAN TGX race truck during the off-season. The overall third-placed team from 2009 has ambitious goals for this year which involve standing on the top step of the podium. Team Allgäuer is opening the season with a new driver: after his very promising debut in 2003 and successes in the Touring Car Championships, Adam Lacko (CZE) is back on the go in the MAN race truck, where he completes the team consisting of Alexander Lvov (RUS) and guest driver Hans Joachim Stuck.
Eighteen drivers from ten countries and seven different truck brands promise to make the season an exciting one for the European Truck Racing Championship. On top of all that, a change to the regulations is going to add a more dynamic element to the racing: in 2009, if the fastest of the pilots wanted to drive an outstanding lap in the qualifying he had to wait for one of those rare moments when the track ahead of him was free. Starting with the new season, there will be two qualifying sessions. The first session will last 15 minutes instead of 20 as up to now. The top ten drivers here fight for the best positions in the starting order in a second qualifying session, the "Super Pole". Lap times from the first session no longer count and the starting order is decided purely on the times from the ten-minute Super Pole session.
The 2010 season opens on May 22/23 in Misano, Italy, and ends on the first weekend in October in Jarama, near Madrid. For German fans, the season peaks with the Truck Grand Prix at the Nürburgring from July 23 through 25. Truck-racing sport, whose regulations allow race trucks of up to 5,500 kg, could also become established in Russia in future. The governing body for world motor sport, the FIA, has just announced that a Championship race has been added to the 2010 racing calendar: on the weekend of August 7/8 the truck-racing scene will meet at the new 3-km long racetrack in Smolensk, around 400 km south west of Moscow.
The Cepsa MAN, driven by Antonio Albacete with start number 23
Jochen Hahn in his new MAN race truck and start number 3
Team Allgäuer´s new driver Adam Lacko in the MAN start number 10