Debut Red Bull Ring win for Portugal

It’s been a massive first racing day of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship at the Red Bull Ring today. As he did last year, four-time champion Jochen Hahn (GER) got off to a blistering start, dominating the first race of the season. Second place went to women Trucker Stephanie Halm who took her first podium at the Red Bull Ring. The second heat was dominated by José Rodrigues (POR) who took Portugal’s first win in the history of truck racing. He finished ahead of Norbert Kiss (HUN) and Gerhard Körber (GER). Austria’s Markus Altenstrasser finished 8th and 9th.

Female trucker challenges the Champion

Jochen Hahn is a man on a mission to retain his European Truck Racing crown and win a fifth title and he got off to the best possible start with victory in the first race of the season at the Red Bull Ring. “I missed the start and Steffi (Halm) was right on me and tried to overtake. It was a hard but fair fight in those first two corners. First race, first win – job done,” said Hahn who was delighted about his win from pole in his new IVECO truck.

His compatriot Stephanie Halm gave it everything after a brilliant qualifying that ended with a front-row starting position. She pushed the reigning champion for 20 laps in a fight to the finish, narrowly missing out on victory. Despite having to settle for second place, she was delighted to leave the rest of the field in her wake. “We were side by side and I gave him (Jochen Hahn) some space because I didn’t want to risk too much and in the end I took my best result in a first race, which is perfect,” she smiled. Gerhard Körber rounded of an all-German podium while local hero Markus Altenstrasser took 8th spot and, with that, pole position for the reversed grid in the second race.

First truck race win for Portugal in second race

In Race Two, José Rodrigues (POR) soon took the lead from pole-sitter Altenstrasser way, leaving the local hero behind him as he set the pace. The Austrian mixed it with the front runners for a long period, holding on to second place but then had to ease back due to a technical problem. “Our main problem today was that the front tyres were gone by mid race, to put it bluntly. It wasn’t possible to keep up the pace. We need to change a lot of things on our truck tonight and hope to get on the front row again tomorrow.” Rodrigues retained the lead to the finish line to take his career first win and the first for a Portuguese driver in the history of truck racing. “It’s a honour for me to be the first Portuguese to win a race,” he said. “I am overwhelmed.” Norbert Kiss (HUN) took second place ahead of Gerhard Körber.

Sunday’s races will be at 13:20 and 15:20 CEST so fans can enjoy another two races. There will be support races of the Suzuki Cup Europe/Austria, the Sports Car Challenge and the Supercar Challenge.

Trucks, Strong men and more at the Spielberg

It was a busy day in the Fan Village on Saturday where a huge crowd collected autographs and snapped selfies with the elite truck racers. They’ll have another chance tomorrow when the truckers will be back in the fan zone from midday. The record-breaking 2,400HP and 6,000 “Iron King”, which has a top speed of 276km/h will be on display. Graz born tattoo artist Mario Barth was a special guest at the Truck Race Trophy and showed his skills at the Red Bull Ring. Four-time champion Jochen Hahn stopped by for a consultation from Barth and may be leaving the Red Bull Ring with a new tattoo.

Slovenian crowned strongest man

While the drivers battled for the front in the first round of the European Championship, the strongest men on the continent took part in the European Giants competition. They faced challenges in truck-pulling, lifting-tree trunks and the yoke race where each competitor had to carry four girls. The winner at the Red Bull Ring was Matjaz Belsak of Slovenia, who triumphed ahead of Tyrolean man mountain Martin Wildauer (AUT), who finished second.

Party in the Trucker’s Camp

While the star truck drivers are already preparing for the races on Sunday, there’s plenty to do in the Trucker’s Camp where the music of Country star Tom Astor, Laura van den Elzen, Mark Hoffmann, harmonica virtuoso Michael Hirte as well as Styrian country music group "Raccoon" make for a unique atmosphere.

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