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Race Report Slovakiaring

After servicing the race truck, the T Sport Bernau team travelled from Landini Briarwood’s workshop in Italy to the Slovakiaring near to Bratislava, Slovakia.

The team were delighted to have a full day on the track on Friday with a full schedule of press rides followed by 3 free practice sessions. This gave Antonio a lot of track time, giving the engineers plenty of data and feedback to help set the truck up for the weekends conditions. At Slovakiaring it is extremely challenging to perfect the set up of the truck due to the high temperatures and the technical 6km circuit.

Saturday morning and the team were ready to welcome guests from both MAN Slovakia and Varta to the team hospitality. MAN had also brought a demonstration truck to the paddock for their guests to explore aswell as a team mascot to help cheer Antonio on.

The racing action began with qualifying, following the new ‘formula 1 style’ format being used for this season. Once again Antonio easily progressed through the first 2 qualifying sessions and into the pole position shootout. After a great lap Antonio set a time which saw him secure 3rd position on the grid for the first race, with only Norbert Kiss and Jochen Hahn ahead of him.

The racing action began and after a great start Antonio was able to defend his position throughout the race and was able to finish on the podium in 3rd position, collecting some valuable championship points and more silverware for the cabinet. A great start to the weekend.

The second race of the day and due to the reverse grid format Antonio started from 6th position. Antonio got off to a great start and was able to fight to gain places. Unfortunately during the battle contact was made with Andre Kursim which caused Antonio to lose places. Showing his determination Antonio was able to recover the truck onto the track and was keen to regain the places he had lost. After some fantastic racing and some aggressive manoeuvres he was working his way back through the field but luck was not on his side and after another collision, this time with Stefan Faas, Antonio nearly spun the truck. Although he was able to regain control the near spin had taken too much life out of the tyres and Antonio was unable to continue to make progress, ultimately finishing the race in 9th position.

Sunday morning brings a fresh start as the clocks are reset and we go qualifying once again. Antonio again progressed through to the final pole position shootout. Unfortunately due to the long circuit length, there is only enough time for 1 timed lap in the last qualifying session. During Antonio’s one and only timed lap he was slightly hampered by a fellow competitor running wide off the track which cost him some time, he ultimately had to settle for 5th position on the grid for the first race of the day.

After a great start Antonio was able to move up to 4th position on the first lap and could begin chasing down the podium places. After closing the gap to the top 3 Antonio was battling hard with Sascha Lenz to try and secure a podium finish. After some fantastic racing which saw Antonio taking up a lot of the screen time on the live feeds he ultimately had to settle for a 4th place finish at the chequered flag, collecting a decent haul of valuable championship points. The last race of the weekend and Antonio started on the third row of the grid in 5th position. With everyone around him jostling for position at the start of the race Antonio was able to keep himself out of trouble and held his position. Once again he found himself chasing Sascha Lenz to gain a position. During a hard fought battle a fellow competitor ahead ran off the track and lost places which allowed Antonio to gain a position. Crossing the finish line in 4th position once again.

The team are happy with the overall results of the weekend having earned a good amount of championship points. We still have some work to do as we believe we have the pace to be finishing on the podium more regularly which is our goal for the season. We will now travel to Wuppertal in Germany where we will service our truck at our partners at Garage Lunau before continuing to Zolder in Belgium for the next round of the 2024 FIA Goodyear European Truck Racing Championship.

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