ROCKET-FUELLED RODRIGUEZ TAKES FOUR IN A ROW IN ZOLDER
Extending his Promoter’s Cup lead over Steffen Faas, José Eduardo Rodrigues had the perfect Goodyear FIA ETRC event at Zolder, taking maximum points in the Chrome class standings.
Rodrigues seemed to be performing in his own class during the Belgium event, claiming both Promoter’s Cup pole positions and taking all four class wins. He even challenged some of the Titan drivers to gain some strong points in the overall standings. With just two rounds left, he now has a 39-point lead over Faas. Another impressive weekend like this at Le Mans Bugatti and Faas could find himself out of reach of the title.
Faas had looked like he was going to deny Rodrigues in Race Four, having started on pole for the final reverse grid race. The German held the lead off the line and was maintaining a good lead as Norbert Kiss pressed through the field from eighth. Although he would have likely lost the overall lead, second and importantly the Promoter’s Cup win would have been his, taking a few points back off the Portuguese driver after his impressive run over the weekend. Sadly, his brakes failing caused him to retire from the race, not only losing the class lead but also losing a full ten points on his championship rival. Faas will need to turn it around and get a few trucks between he and Rodrigues if he is to have any hopes of taking the 2023 Promoter’s Cup.
The battle of the Brits has returned for third in Promoter’s Cup as John Newell rediscovered his form around Circuit Zolder. Taking three podiums to Mark Taylor’s one over the weekend, the driver of the #18 NWT Motorsport MAN truck left Belgium third in the Promoter’s Cup standings, climbing from a fifth-place battle with Clemens Hecker to a third-place one with Taylor.
After his scary incident in Most, it was great to have Mark Taylor back on the track and racing hard. The British driver narrowly missed out on Promoter’s Cup podium appearances twice, making it onto the bottom step of the Race Two ceremony. If the performances from the last few rounds are to be taken into account, the four-point difference between Newell and Taylor is predicted to swing back and forth until the final race of the season. It’s almost guaranteed there will be a Brit in third, but the question of which Brit remains to be answered.
It was another strong weekend for Clemens Hecker, who took two second-place podiums in his Promoter’s Cup campaign.
Although Luis Recuenco did not take a podium over the weekend, the pair ended scoring 21 points in total across the four races, meaning no positions were gained or lost in the class standings. Five points split Recuenco’s 134 from Hecker’s 129 as they battle for sixth, with race-by-race entry Lukas Hahn holding fifth for now with his impressive performances in the class earlier this year.
Recuenco's weekend was cut short due to an engine failure that kept him from participating in Race Four. If he had been able to race, it would have given him a better chance to defend his sixth position.
Jonathan André had a consistent weekend, although he faced challenges keeping up with the full-time Promoter's Cup competitors. He completed every race, and is currently in eighth with 75 points.