The battle for Goodyear Cup glory will go down to the wire in the last round of the FIA ETRC at Misano, as current category leader Shane Brereton and second placed Téo Calvet can both still win the title.
British racer Shane Brereton went into the weekend in Spain with a 35-point lead over Buggyra racer Téo Calvet, and whilst Brereton had a bit of a mixed weekend, he managed to maintain a respectable gap to the French racer.
Brereton suffered a crash in free practice on Saturday morning, which saw his purple MAN in the barriers in the last corner. Feeling the aftermath of the impact, Brereton had an average qualifying, and the Apollo Tyres Tor Truck Racing driver was unsure whether he would be able to enter the race, as he didn’t feel right after his crash. However Brereton put the accident to one side and drove a solid race to take the win in the Goodyear Cup.
“I was nervous in qualifying, we were unfortunate, we had a spring break halfway through the corner, at around 150 km/h. My boys have done an absolute excellent job to get the truck ready for qualifying.
My start was probably the best start I’ve had this season, as I got past loads of trucks. I knew I had to be careful in the first couple of corners. I had an overheating problem so I had to back off a little bit and look after it. I managed to keep Rodriguez at bay until the last corner, and we’ve done enough to cross the line first.”
Téo Calvet had the gremlins in his Buggyra Freightliner in race 1, as he had to retire his truck in lap 1. The Frenchman was back in the game though, taking a podium and two wins in the remaining races of the weekend. Calvet collected more silverware as he also took a sensational first overall win in the final race at Jarama.
“It’s my first time scoring a win in the European Truck Racing Championship and I’m really happy,” said Calvet. I had a really good pace during the race. Honestly when I had the puncture yesterday I said it’s a pity because I thought I could win this weekend and I did it today. Big thanks to my team and everyone who supports me, they did a great job for me.”
With 60 points up for grabs in the last round, third placed Steffen Faas is only within a theoretical chance of winning the title. Faas scored solid points at Jarama though, finishing on the podium twice. In the first qualifying on Saturday, Faas had a moment, as his windscreen broke during the session, forcing the German driver to abandon a fast lap. “The windscreen already had a crack and with the acceleration to 150 km/h it suddenly completely broke.”
British racer Jamie Anderson added two more podium finishes to his tally last weekend in Spain. Race 2 saw him and fellow Goodyear Cup drivers Steffen Faas and Shane Brereton in a thrilling battle for positions.
Jamie Anderson was on a mission to take the bottom step that, at the time, was in the hands of Brereton. However, Steffen Faas was not going to give up a position or stop fighting for third in class himself, making for a spectacular three-way battle. The trio traded positions left, right and centre for most of the race until a brave dive up the inside from Faas saw both him and Brereton going wide and opening the door for Anderson. The Brit, who had been late on the brakes throughout the race, didn’t let the opportunity slip by and shot into third in class.
After a slow start to the weekend, with a retirement on Saturday, Aliyyah Koloc was back with a bang on Sunday, as for the first time on the ETRC grid the Buggyra racer managed to go through to Super Pole during the second qualifying session. Koloc started race 3 from 10th position, second in the Goodyear Cup, and drove home a solid race to score her first category cup podium of the season, and finishing 9th overall she also scored points in the overall standings.
Clemens Hecker finished in the classification three times on the weekend, with a good recovery driver in the last race on Sunday, after he was spun around in the first lap by Luke Garrett, which saw the MV Commercial driver retire from the race.
Portuguese racer José Rodrigues, who joined the ETRC grid as a race-by-race entry in Spain, showed that he’s right up there with the top, as he scored a win and two podiums at Jarama.
The final showdown in the Goodyear Cup will take place in just over a week’s time in the last round at Misano.
Full Goodyear Cup standings can be viewed HERE