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Slovakiaring Race Report

After the opening race weekend of the season in Misano, the team were able to make use of the workshops at the Landini Briarwood facilities in Italy, one of our esteemed team partners. After completing a full service of the race truck, as we do between every race weekend, we continued on our journey through Austria and Germany before finally crossing into Slovakia ready for the 2nd round of the 2023 Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship.

We had an unusual busy race weekend scheduled with press rides and free practice sessions taking place on Friday combined with a tyre test on Monday morning. We were also expecting to welcome around 60 VIP guests who had been invited by Varta and also had a film crew with us all weekend at the circuit.

The weather conditions were very challenging, similar to what we had experienced in Misano. Hot weather with lots of short, heavy rain showers were forecast for the event.

In free practice on Friday Antonio’s lap times were really impressive and consistent, a great continuation of our successes in Italy. Qualifying on Saturday morning also served up some fantastic lap times with Antonio securing 3rd place on the grid, lining up on the second row for the first race of the weekend. During the race there was a heavy rain shower however Antonio managed to keep the T Sport Bernau truck on the track and was lapping consistently. After some exciting and hard fought racing Antonio was able make a move on Jochen Hahn and finished the race in 2nd place. Another brilliant result and a fantastic start to the weekend. The afternoon came around and the weather seemed to be improving however just before the second race began the circuit was struck by another heavy rain shower. Due to the reverse grid format, the first 8 drivers from race 1 are reversed meaning Antonio would start from P7.

With the changing conditions, Antonio found he was struggling with tyre grip. However with some great determination and a show of Antonio’s skill and experience he was once again able to race hard, making up 2 positions in the race and bringing the truck home in a fantastic 5th position.

On Sunday morning we had a warm up session but unfortunately during the session the turbo failed on our truck. We needed all hands on deck after the truck had been recovered from the circuit back to our tent in the paddock. The team had only 20 minutes to change the turbo and prepare the truck for qualifying. As always our mechanics and race engineers worked really hard and managed to get the truck turned around and back out to the circuit in time for qualifying. Ever the professional, Antonio was unfazed by the technical problems from the warm up session, getting straight back on the pace and setting another fantastic lap time, once again securing 3rd position on the grid.

Race 3 of the weekend and the race had to be restarted twice due an incident during the first lap. Luckily Antonio was able to get a good start and made it through unscathed both times. Fighting hard he was able to hold his position throughout the race, crossing the line in 3rd place, another podium and more silverware for his efforts.

The final race and Antonio lined up in 6th position for the start. The race was a really exciting one with lots of racing action. Antonio pushed hard, making up places throughout the race before finishing in 4th position.

Antonio and the whole team are extremely pleased with the results of the first 2 rounds of the championship which currently sees Antonio 3rd in the overall championship standings, a truly fantastic start to the season for the T Sport Bernau team.

Today Antonio took the Slovakiaring track once again, this time for a tyre test with Goodyear. Once we are packed up, we will make our way to Berlin where we will service our race truck at the Don‘t Touch Racing‘s workshop. This will leave us well positioned with only a short drive to the next round of the 2023 FIA Goodyear Truck Racing Championship which will be held in 2 weeks time in Poznan, Poland. A new addition to the calendar for the championship this year.

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