It was a real pleasure for us to work again with Steffi Halm and Reinert Racing!
Steffi´s MAN race truck wasn´t ready for the actual ETRC season opener four weeks ago in Spielberg, Austria. The decision that Steffi and we will work this year again with Reinert Racing fell relatively late – so we celebrated last weekend in Misano as it was our personal season opener and we achieved very impressive results!
As the truck was never tested before, Steffi´s goal was to score points, which is possible within the top 10. Our expectations increased tremendously as Steffi secured the third fastest time in the first free practice session on Saturday morning. After she came 4th in Qualifying, we were sure; Steffi will be fighting in the top field during the weekend!
The first race she finished 4th, even though she lost slight ground and dropped back positions during the start. Into the second race she started from 5th position, but thanks to an excellent start and constant lap times during the race, she finished the race on 3rd place – a podium on her first race day!
In Sunday´s qualifying Steffi secured a third starting place for the subsequent third race of the weekend. The day started with beautiful summer weather, but as the race started, rain started pouring down. Consequently, for security, the race started under yellow flag – which meant no overtaking was allowed. After the race was released, Steffi handled various battles very wisely and was finally rewarded with a 5th place.
Shortly after the start of the final race, Steffi took the lead while the other competitors behind her battled for the following up positions. Finally, the three times European Champion Jochen Hahn managed to get out of the group battle and started to catch up Steffi´s MAN race truck, which by the way he built for her! For Steffi it was clear that Jochen was faster and to avoid a dangerous situation followed probably by a crash, Steffi let Jochen pass and crossed the finish line on 2nd place.
In total, she scored 35 points, which brings her overall on seventh place in the European Championship.
The next round of the FIA ETRC will take place on the 11th/12th of June in Nogaro, South France. At this weekend, we will be with Oly Janes in Thruxton – but we will re-join the team at Nürburgring and we will support Steffi after that at all other upcoming ETRC events this year!