Hot and high voltage conditions on the Smolensk track !
The Russian leg of this year's European Truck Racing Championship was held 400 km southwest of Moscow at a recently completed track.Despite the almost unbearable heat, there was a massive turnout of fans during this weekend. They were treated to some very fine races, particularly the last one of the weekend. Braving the narrowness of the track, drivers took risks to carry out spectacular, but carefully calculated, overtaking. In the end, the 14 laps provided a superb show in which bent and torn steel alternated with uniquely powerful emotions.
This event in Smolensk made no concessions to the men and their machines. On the contrary. Because of the heatwave temperatures (over 40° in the shade), the drivers, engineers and mechanics were all working under very uncomfortable conditions. Soaking up the heat and giving it out again, the track's asphalt surface pushed temperatures to a staggering 50° - so that the machines themselves were also severely challenged during the weekend's four races. The Premium Racers' engines had to be serviced several times to check their reliability under such punishing heat. A further difficulty for drivers was the fact that the track's narrowness restricted overtaking opportunities during the course of the races.
Although neither of the MKR Technology Team drivers made the podium after the first race on Saturday, Markus Oestreich did reach the 3rd step after the second. However, the two races on Sunday enabled both drivers to deliver better performances. During the first race, it was Markus Bösiger‘s turn on the 3rd step of the podium, Markus Oestreich having to make do with an honourable 6th place before finishing 2nd during the last race of the weekend after a spectacular comeback and a keenly fought battle with his adversaries. After this event, Markus Bösiger was 3rd in the overall rankings with 176 points, dropping one place. Team colleague Markus Oetreich kept his 5th place, having scored a total of 125 points. With 359 points, 59 points ahead of the N° 3 squad, the MKR Technology Team consolidated its 2nd place in the team rankings.