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Goodyear at the Nürburgring Truck Race

Jochen Hahn in the Castrol Team Hahn Racing , driving his MAN truck racing on Goodyear tyres still leads the FIA European Truck Race Championship after the sixth round, which took place at Nürburgring Germany on July 13 – 15.

On the Saturday, the first race was won by Adam Lacko in the MKR Technology team driving a Renault and the second race was won by Antonio Albacete in the team Equipo Cepsa driving an MAN.  On Sunday Jochen Hahn in the Castrol Team Hahn Racing won the first race and Markus Östreich MKR Technology team driving a Renault) won the second.  The next event will take place at Smolensk on July 28 and 29.

Two of the European Truck Racing Championship 2012 locations are Formula One circuits: Turkey and Nürburgring. It is interesting to compare two forms of motor sport as diverse as Truck Racing and Formula 1.  On one hand are the massive trucks that started life on a production line and were designed to haul goods and on the other the pinnacles of engineering excellence, designed for the sole purpose of being the fastest cars on the track.

So what are the technical comparisons?  The rules of both series limit the weights: for a race truck it is a minimum of 5500 kgs and for an F1 car 640 kg.   Typically a race truck has a 12-litre turbocharged diesel engine producing in excess of 736 kW (1000 bhp) whereas an F1 car has a 2.4-litre gasoline fuelled naturally aspirated engine with KERS developing as much as 650 kW (870 bhp): So the truck has a power to weight ratio of 134 kW/tonne and the F1 car 970 kW/tonne.   While these figures seem a long way apart the truck’s figure allows it to accelerate from 0 – 160 km/h quicker than a Porsche 911 so they are by no means slow.  For safety reasons, race trucks are limited to 160 km/h top speed but F1 cars are unrestricted.  At the German Grand Prix in 2011, F1 cars were reaching around 300 km/h.  Both vehicles have rear wheel drive and disc brakes all round, although the race trucks have water cooling to ensure maximum braking throughout the races.

Tyres of course play a crucial role in both types of racing and it can be argued that truck racing tyres have a tougher job to do than those in Formula 1.  In truck racing the Goodyear Truck Racing tyre has been specially developed as such.  The fact that the casings on which the Truck Racing tyres are built are similar to those used in Goodyear’s regular truck tyres, shows just how robust Goodyear’s on-road truck tyres are.  A special compound and tread pattern on the Truck Racing tyre allow optimised grip in both wet and dry conditions.  In Formula 1, a range of tyres is used with a choice of types for dry use and further options for wet conditions.

The one factor shared in both types of racing is the spectacle and excitement but it has to be said that there is far more overtaking in truck racing and a lot more action.