Norbert Kiss made the racing look easy as he took a competitive lights-to-flag victory for the first race at Zolder.
The 36-year-old left the rest of the field in his dust as he drove a clean 12 laps to take the first victory of the Zolder race weekend. Crossing the line almost ten-seconds up on second place, the grid just didn’t have the pace to challenge the championship leader.
But overspeeding saw a big change in the final overall podium. Jochen Hahn, who had been holding an easy second place throughout most of the race, was hit with two ten-second time penalties for exceeding the 100mph speed limit excessively. The driver of the #1 IVECO fell from second down to 12th in the final standings, putting him on the back foot for the second race running later today.
Third place starting, and Kiss’ championship rival, Sascha Lenz then inherited second place, with the charging Antonio Albacete taking the bottom step. Albacete had been closing in on Lenz throughout the race, lining up a few moves to try and take the position off him, but Lenz had enough in reserve to keep the Spaniard behind.
It was a tight race throughout the field, and whilst Adam Lacko, André Kursim and René Reinert had a fairly quiet race, the back of the grid were battling right down to the chequered flag.
Shane Brereton had been racing well, holding a steady eighth place to secure him reverse grid pole for the second race today, but Race Control instructed him to hand the position back to Téo Calvet after deciding his early first lap overtake was not legal.
The Brit never tried to give the place back, thus exceeding the number of laps he had to return the place to the Frenchman which led to him being handed a ten-second penalty. Not only did this lose Brereton GOODYEAR Cup victory but it also lost him a place in the reverse grid, leaving him starting this afternoon’s race from 11th.
Jamie Anderson did not take the pressure off Calvet throughout the race, making sure he ended second on the GOODYEAR Cup podium.
After starting from the back of the grid thanks to an engine control unit issue change after qualifying, Steffen Faas had an incredibly race, climbing up the order to finish tenth overall and claim third in the Goodyear Cup podium.
Buggyra racing’s Aliyyah Koloc and MV Commercial driver Luke Garrett rounded out the field in 13th and 14th respectively.
Due to an electrical issue, Luis Recuenco was unable to finish the race, and Heinrich-Clemens Hecker’s qualifying issue saw him unable to start. It is hoped that both competitors will return to the grid this afternoon for the second race, where Stephanie Halm will lead Calvet and Reinert off the starting line.
Full results of race 1 HERE