August 31, 2023

Faas closing down on Rodrigues for Promoter's Title

Over half of the season has been completed and after having a great start this year, José Eduardo Rodrigues’s Promoter’s Cup lead in the Goodyear FIA ETRC has been narrowed to 14 points.Steffen Faas and Rodrigues both had a very similar Czech Truck Prix, with Rodrigues outscoring the German by one point at the end of the weekend. Neither had a very dominant event, but the duo are still far ahead of the rest of the Promoter’s Cup drivers, especially after Mark Taylor was forced to sit out three of the four races this weekend.

The Brit had been on a great roll, showing his pace was still highly competitive with a third-place finish in Race 1 behind Rodrigues after holding off a chasing Faas for the second half of the race. He was looking for another strong performance in Race 2 when he got caught up in an incident with Titan driver André Kursim. The incident, which saw Taylor pitched into the pit wall on the run down to Turn 1, leaving the #81 Taylors Trucksport Racing with a lot of repair work needed, and unable to part take for the rest of the weekend.“Roll cage, cab, back axel’s bent, diesel tank is burst, so it’s all big damage.” Taylor explained after the incident. “I didn’t expect that this weekend. It was a big impact but the medics team and the marshals, everyone at Most has been fantastic looking after us.”

It was a big disappointment for Taylor who, over the past few rounds, has become a real contender in Promoter’s Cup. Finding his feet with his MAN truck, Taylor was third in the championship and was becoming a regular appearance on the class podium. With one DNF and two DNSs, Taylor is now fourth behind race-by-race entrant Lukas Hahn, only ten points ahead of fellow Brit John Newell in fifth.

However, from where Taylor thought he would be this season, he’s pretty happy with his performance thus far in the Goodyear FIA ETRC: “It’s the first time out in the European Championship, I’ve never done the track, it’s a new truck so I’m learning the truck, and I was expecting to finishing at the back. So to get where we are now, getting podiums, it’s a great effort from the team and everyone involved. You just get a feel for it, it’s a good championship out here so you’ve got good drivers to race with, it’s fun, it makes you want to race.”

Ahead of Zolder, Taylor is really feeling a part of the #onetruckfamily as everyone bands together to help make sure he is back on track in a week’s time. “We’re going to get the truck ready [for Zolder] and the good thing about truck racing is everyone pulls together. We’re taking the truck back to Germany and we’ve got other race teams that are coming to help us. Jamie Anderson’s team, John Newell’s team and Sascha [Lenz], we’ve got plenty of people who will help us get back on track. Definitely a #onetruckfamily, you can see that.”

Lukas Hahn once again showed his pace and talent in the Goodyear FIA ETRC, taking three of the four class victories and both class pole positions at the Autodrom Most. Albeit not a major threat to the championship title being a race-by-race entry, Hahn does consistently join the grid and take a lot of points away from the Promoter’s Cup contenders.

Newell found himself back on the podium this weekend, but it was another quiet one for the Brit. After strong performances at the start of the year, he has settled back in the championship, using his rookie season to fully integrate into the Goodyear FIA ETRC, collecting podiums as he goes. Like Taylor, Newell came into the championship knowing the competition would be fierce and not expecting too much from his first season. Podium appearances and fifth in the championship standings are impressive considering his lack of experience in this series compared to his other competitors.

Clemens Hecker had a great Sunday at Most, taking two second place class finishes. It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for the German, having to sit out Sunday of the Poland round due to issues with his truck, but since his return he had been on an upward trajectory in performance. It was only a matter of time before Hecker and his team got on top of their Scania.

Luis Recuenco had another quiet weekend, collecting some good points for his championship campaign. His two fifth and two sixth class finishes keeps him just ahead of Hecker in the championship standings with three points between the pair. If Hecker’s performance from Most continues into Zolder, Recuenco will need to find some more pace if he’s to stay ahead of the German in the Promoter’s Cup standings.

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