Hubli-Dharwad to get BRT system

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Hubli-Dharwad BRT system is set to be operational in a few months from now.

Story by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system is not new to India. The Rainbow BRT system at Pune is said to be the first to began operation in India. Under the aegis of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML), the system envisages 113 km of dedicated bus corridors along with buses, bus stations, terminals and intelligent transit management system. The first route of the Delhi BRT system began operation in 2008. It drew inspiration from a similar system in Curitiba, Brazil, which had been in operation since 1975. RITES (formerly Rail India Technical and Economic Service) and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) were appointed to design and implement the system. Set to be scrapped for a reason that it is difficult to access the platforms, the Delhi BRT system may soon be history. Like the Delhi BRT system, the Pune BRT system also faced resistance initially. In 2010, the Jaipur BRT system began operation. A year later, the Vijaywada BRT system was also operational. Including Delhi BRT system, industry sources claim that there are 24 BRT networks in India. Of these nine are said to be under construction, or are in the planning stages. The Hubli-Dharwad BRT system is claimed to be progressing the fastest.

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The design

The construction of Hubli-Dharwad BRT system is funded by the respective state government. To be precise, the Government of Karnataka has a 70 per cent stake in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), the Hubli-Dharwad BRTS Company Limited (HDBRTSCO). HDBRTSCO has an authorised capital of Rs.200 million, and is implementing the project. The remaining 30 per cent stake is shared by Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC), North-Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NWKRTC) and Hubli-Dharwad Urban Development Authority (HDUDA). The operation and maintenance work will be done by Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) in association with Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). Claimed to operate over a distance of 70 km, the Hubli-Dharwad BRTS, claim sources, was originally designed to operate over a distance of 22.25 km, originating from Hubli CBT and ending at Dharwad CBT. Overtime the corridor was extended to include the Agricultural University, Dharwad. A four-lane bus corridor will thus run in the middle of an eight-lane freeway, mention sources. They state that the freeway will include two lanes for mixed traffic in both the directions. The width of the corridor is set to vary from 24.5 m to 44.0 m. Four underpasses for regular traffic are planned at Unkal Lake, Unkal-Cross Road, Bairidevarakoppa, and Navanagar. Designed to have two lines – trunk and feeder, the BRT system will have 33 stations. Out of the 33 stations planned, 12 stations will be located on the 44 m wide express corridor starting from Taj Hotel and ending at the Gandhinagar Cross, Dharwad.

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Smart transport

Located at the middle of the BRT corridor, the stations will be four-meter wide. Each station will act as reference point for GPS. Each station will have LED displays, which will display the schedule of bus arrival and departure. The BRTS (trunk) corridor, claim sources, will operate as a ‘closed system’ whereas the feeder and city bus services will operate in the ‘open system’. The ridership for the project was said to be 237,968 in 2014 against a fleet size of 190 buses. In 2017, the ridership is estimated to be 564,000 against a fleet size of 452 buses. Over 200,000 people are expected to use the corridor daily. Considering the rush the buses currently plying between Dharwad CBT and Hubli CBT experience in either direction, the BRT system will have to have a high frequency of buses on the corridor. With the ridership estimated to reach 400,000 people by 2021, the Hubli-Dharwad BRT system is no doubt one of the important such projects in the country.

Designed with central bus lanes to minimise interference of traffic plying on the mixed traffic lanes, the system will include segregated bus ways, controlled bus stations, physical and fare integration with BRT feeder, off-board ticketing through smart cards and paper tickets, and high quality buses (standard as well as articulated). The corridor is designed to operate regular and express services. Consisting of two lanes for BRTS buses on either side of the median bus station facilitating overtaking lanes for express services, the key infrastructure includes stations with two and three-bay configuration to support standard and articulated bus docking. Tickets shall be issued at stations, and commuters with a valid ticket or a smart card can only access the platform through automatic sliding doors. Two new depots at Dharwad and Hubli respectively are being constructed for the parking and maintenance of the buses. The depots will be equipped with modern facilities like automatic washing and automated oil dispensing system. HDBRTS is also developing a divisional workshop for heavy maintenance at Hubli.

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An order for 30 (18 m long) vestibule buses has been placed by HDBRTS with Tata Motors. The buses will have a floor height of 900 mm. An order for 100 (12 m long) two-axle buses with a floor height of 900 mm has been placed with Volvo Buses India. These buses, claim industry sources, are of the UD make. Sources also mentioned that an order for 60 (9 m long and 650 mm floor height) midi buses has been placed with Ashok Leyland. The buses will be laced with an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) as part of the need to comply with UBS II specifications. To make the Hubli-Dharwad BRT system truly smart, the ITS will include automated vehicle location system, passenger information system, automatic fare collection system, transit management system, and an incident management system. With the learnings of the BRT system at Ahmedabad, Pune and Delhi put to use, the Hubli-Dharwad BRT system, claim industry sources, will have buses that are fitted with a camera, DVR and speakers. The driver will have an address system at his disposal, may he feel the need to make an announcement or provide information.

Engineered to have a distance based fare structure, the BRT system will offer smart cards and bar-coded paper tickets to commuters. On-board ticketing will be used for the feeder service, integrated with the BRT corridor. HDBRTS will introduce complete transit management system to automate schedule of buses and manpower. Different organisation functions like administration, finance and human resources will be integrated for efficient and smooth functioning. An incident management system is designed to monitor day-to-day operations, and supplement passenger safety other than aiding effective enforcement with the help of technologies like CCTV and passenger announcement system. HDBRTS will setup a control centre to monitor all systems. Called the central monitoring center, it will provide space and connectivity for around 32 workstations, which will monitor the ITS systems.

Commuter-centric

Expected to operate with the prime aim of being commuter-centric, the BRT system at Hubli-Dharwad is slated to be operational by the end of this year. Opinion is divided on the time-line of September. Some industry sources with the knowledge of the development claim that it may take a little longer to ensure a smooth start. They stress on factors like accessibility and safety, and the need for integration with other new and existing modes of transportation to increase transit ridership with convenience. It is necessary that this BRT system does not suffer from the resistance faced by the system at Pune during the initial period, said another source. He also drew attention to the factors like difficulty in accessing the station, which caused the Delhi BRT system to falter. Attention was also drawn towards the need to provide parking space (on ground or under ground) near the station for two wheelers and cars to make it easier for commuters to avail of the BRT services. Also, stops for the feeder bus service.

The success of the Hubli-Dharwad BRT system will lie in the last mile transportation opined a source. He pointed at the Ahmedabad and Indore BRT system’s inability to address last mile connectivity. Much attention was paid at Ahmedabad to provide dedicated routes for buses to operate with hardly any shaded pedestrian footpaths sans obstacles, he said. The same is now being rectified, he added. If the demand for CNG buses in the interest of environment picked up albeit after the order for 30 diesel-powered vestibule buses, 100 diesel-powered 12 m long buses was placed, the fact is, diesel-powered buses are proving to be more economical and practical considering the operating costs of CNG and its availability. Diesel technology too has been progressing, and emission levels with the migration to BSIV have further dipped. While the scope for electric buses looks brighter, the Hubli-Dharwad BRT system could do with efficient management and commuter friendly operations.

MAN India as Asia hub looks up

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MAN Trucks India has reiterated its position as the Asia hub for its principal, the MAN Group.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

Reiterating its position as the Asia hub for the MAN Group, MAN Trucks India is looking to contribute 10 per cent of MAN’s total factory output over the next three-to-four years. The strategy seems to be not so much about achieving higher sales as much as it is about achieving higher production numbers. The manufacturing facility of MAN Trucks India at Pithampur has the capacity to manufacture 9,000 to 10,000 Cargo Line Asia (CLA) range of trucks in the 16- to 49-tonne segments, and front engine bus chassis measuring 12 m in length. Though the name CLA may suggest flaunting this that the trucks – are about Asia, they are in fact, exported as CKD kits to a MAN joint venture in Uzbekistan; to South Africa, and to the neighbouring countries. To achieve the 10 per cent target, the company is looking at invading new African markets, the Middle East, and East Asian countries like Malaysia, Philippines and Indonesia. Expressed Jeorg Mommertz, Chairman and Managing Director, MAN Trucks India, “The target to contribute 10 per cent of MAN’s total factory output over the next three-to-four years will be inclusive of the 50 per cent export volumes we wish to attain from India.” Poised to play a pivotal role in MAN’s global growth strategy, the only market the company is not looking at is Russia, which requires a operating guarantee under extreme climatic conditions like temperature as low as (-) 51 degree centigrade.

CLA for Asia and beyond

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Planning to widen the scope of Cargo Line Asia (CLA) trucks, which were initially conceived for Asia, MAN Trucks India is eyeing the premium segment too. While the mid-premium segment, the premium segment could be invaded with global models like the TGE, TGL and the new Lion.According to Mommertz, MAN Trucks India is looking at the 300 hp market to deliver a certain payload and fuel efficiency. “We want to attain the highest possible payload and best-in-class fuel economy. It will help us to convince our customers in India of a value for money proposition,” he mentioned. Aware of GST influencing a market shift to higher tonnage CVs, Mommertz is keen to carve out a greater pie of the Medium and Heavy Commercial Vehicle (M&HCV) segments. Both, at the mid-premium and premium level. Stress is upon leveraging the high level of localisation (of up to 82 per cent) the CVs made in India have come to have. At 2015 Excon, the company announced the launch of the Evo range of CVs. They mark a CLA face-lift, and are powered by the D08 engine family. Confident of the Indian products reflecting core MAN values of, the MAN Trucks India is updating the (CLA) range to better address the market need.

A large chunk of MAN trucks in India is tippers as of current. The higher hp engine helps. What is however seeming to limit the company’s ability to set the sales charts on fire is the higher price positioning. If the higher price positioning is claimed to limit the play-ability, the thrust of the government to boost infrastructure in India may result MAN Trucks India to invade long-haul segments. In India, MAN also operates in the ODC segment, and special application segments like fire tenders, garbage compactors, concrete mixers, boom pumps, tip-trailers and bulkers. Last year the company supplied a fair number of fire tenders and special application trucks to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. The R&D centre at Pune is said to help the company to address such needs. Selling over 25000 trucks till date, MAN Trucks India has come to operate through a network of 64 dealers in India, and a dealer each in Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. According to Mommertz, there is a need to attain high quality at competitive costs. Describing MAN trucks as high-endurance machines, Mommertz stated, “Trucks sold in 2006 are still in operation in Kochi. They are a testimony to the reliability of a MAN truck.” We have also had our trucks operate in sub zero degree temperatures in India, he mentioned.

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New technologies to increase market share

Of what is produced at Pithampur, 40 per cent is exported. This may translate into 35 per cent plant utilisation Year-To-Date (YTD). The target is to achieve an output of 50,000 units per annum through a gradual ramp up of 3 per cent to 3.5 per cent per year. Tractor trailers currently constitute 60 per cent of the overall business volume. Their share is expected to rise. Said Mommertz, that the regime will materialise demand for long-haul trucks, which translates into a 20 hour duty cycle, and 40 per cent higher round-trip efficiency.

If the higher horse power and tougher build will make a strong business case for MAN Trucks India, the talks with suppliers are proceeding as expected according to Mommertz. They are expected to result in the company offering new technologies like AMT to its customers to achieve higher level of business efficiency. The company, said Mommertz, is looking at localising the CLA fire tenders. Having supplied them to Mumbai, the company is confident of a good play.

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Employing SCR technology to meet BSIV emission norms, MAN Trucks India, following the Product Cost Optimisation (PKO) process it has inherited from its principal, is keen to meet the 10 per cent production contribution target sooner than later. Holding a key position in MAN Group’s global growth endeavour, MAN Trucks India, claimed industry sources, will create awareness about its products. It can no longer be satisfied with the amount of market share – domestic and export, that it has. Stressing upon performance, productivity and profitability, Mommertz said that the products the company will offer will guarantee low total cost of ownership. Up-time improvements are being worked upon by restructuring the support network, he explained. Of the opinion that hardware investments and the life of a truck are a petty 15 per cent of the overall operational costs, Mommertz said, “Transport business in India is highly competitive. While the short-to-medium focus areas continue to be truck-tractor and haulage, our long-term strategy entails a look at the sub-16 tonne segment.” There is some time before MAN Trucks India formulates a strategy for this, it seems. If the strategy will strike a synergy with Volkswagen of which it is a part, or with Scania, which is also a Volkswagen Group company, will be too early to be delved upon. Processes like common sourcing are already in place, and are expected to profit MAN Trucks India as it buckles up to play a more decisive role in the scheme of things at MAN Group.

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Ashok Leyland gets innovative

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In view of the changes affecting the CV industry, Ashok Leyland is banking on technology and innovation.

Story by:

Bhargav TS

After revealing the use of ‘smart’ EGR to help its CVs to comply with BSIV emission norms, Ashok Leyland has announced that it is innovating on various fronts to ensure that its products are relevant, and make a profitable business case. If the ‘Smart’ EGR technology, which the folks at Ashok Leyland call iEGR, has enhanced fuel efficiency by 10 per cent, and minimised the usage of electronics; have kept the weight constant and reliability good, the innovation is also expected to result in lighter, safer, efficient and world-class products. According to the chief technology officer Dr. Seshu Bhagavathula, the company is planning three upgrades to address a shift to CVs with higher power to weight ratio, and CVs with fully-built AC cabins. This, mentions Bhagavathula, will occupy our time and effort.

Market vibes

With the rise in operating speeds set to change the way the long haul segment operates, Ashok Leyland is finding an opportunity to innovate. It also stems from the need to match the duty cycle requirements; the need to change engine calibration parameters, and to collect data. “All this will have to be done in the next couple of years,” mentions Bhagavathula. He explains, “EGR is suitable for Indian conditions rather than SCR. SCR can be offered at the price of an EGR, but will result in higher maintenance cost.” Connecting higher maintenance cost of SCR to the need for urea dosing and electronics, Bhagavathula opines, “SCR systems are not bad. It is EGR that we believe will help our CV users in the long run.” A function of engine as much as it is the function of fuel quality, driver and the road conditions, EGR, mentions Bhagavathula, offers the advantage of less number of parts. The bill of materials is better. “We researched. We collected data. We found out that EGR is less complex,” he reveals.

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If the ‘smart’ EGR developed by Ashok Leyland has the ability to help a 400 hp engine to meet BSIV emission norms, much work has gone into the tweaking of the cooling system, the exhaust gas control valve among others. The in-cylinder combustion process was optimised. “We combined intelligence with EGR. We gave five per cent back and a maximum of 10 per cent exhaust gas instead of 20 per cent. The intelligence thus is in the combustion chamber, and not at the EGR level. It reduces the role of a Particle Oxidation Catalyst (POC), and could even eliminate it. We optimised in-cylinder temperature as well,” Bhagavathula elaborates.

Optimising injection pressure by modifying the design of the nozzle, Ashok Leyland engineers claim to have upped the fuel efficiency, and the life of the engine. Planning to keep the electronic content to the bare essential, the CV maker is keen to gradually increase the complexity of its products. The current efficiency of the engine at around 40 per cent, states Bhagavathula. It leaves enough potential for improvement, he adds. Touching upon the potential to improve material technology, Bhagavathula opines, “Over 60 per cent of the engine efficiency can be achieved by using fine materials. There will be no corrosion or sound, and hardly will there be a need for oil.” Hoping that one fine day it will be possible to arrive at such a development in real-time, Bhagavathula draws attention to the engines they make. We make our own engines, and not source them, he says.

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Tech upgrade

At Ashok Leyland, a separate team is working to improve the combustion process. Products that have higher power to weight ratio will be launched. Also launched will be CVs with a power output of more than 400 hp. According to Bhagavathula, 49-tonne vehicles with 180 and 190 hp will rise to 200 and 220 hp. The AC cabs, he adds, will flaunt a different level of fit and finish. The use of light weight material is set to increase, states Bhagavathula, the future lies with the suppliers, and how they could help reduce the cost of the end product. Ashok Leyland is closely following alternate fuel technology developments. In the electric vehicle space, it is working on new management strategies. They are about controlling the vehicle and battery functions.

With Optare, Ashok Leyland has developed a strategy to enhance the bus range by 45 per cent. Efforts are being made to access new technologies. Reveals Bhagavathula, “Fruitful exchange of technologies is taking place.” In the direction of connected CVs, the work on driver warning systems is underway. Three systems would be offered. The basic system will warn the driver. The mid-level system will address the needs of fleet operators that are keen to deliver their cargo on time. The premium-level system is autonomous, and engineered to offer complete control. What Ashok Leyland currently offers is ‘iAlert’ and ‘Ley Assist’. ‘iAlert’ improves viability through state-of-the-art, innovative, user-friendly, and cost effective services. Through the ‘Ley Assist’ app., the owner or driver can avail of all the information about the truck through Bluetooth. This includes information about the problems faced too.

Full-range strategy

Keen to become a full range player, Ashok Leyland will launch one new product every three months for the next two years. With an aim to bag 30 per cent of the LCV market, the company is planning to invest Rs.400 crore over the next two years for LCVs. An electric LCV range is also said to be on the cards, and would be soon unveiled. With the Indian CV market set to change, it is natural of Ashok Leyland to innovate. It will not just benefit the CV buyer, but also the society at large.

COMTRANS aims at yet another successful edition

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To be held at Moscow, Russia, between September 04, 2017, and September 09, 2017, the COMTRANS CV show is aiming at yet another round of success. The biennial event, supported by the Ministry of Trade and Industries of Russian Federation and the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Volkswagen, Scania, MAN, Volvo, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Ford Sollers, Isuzu, Hyundai, Hino. DAF, JAC, Foton, FAW, Yutong. Jost, Lohr, CIMC Trailer, Weilton, Koluman, ZF, Wabco, Binotto, Hyva, Knorr-Bremse, Krone, SAF-Holland, Thermo King, BPW-OST, Fuwa, BorgWarner, and many others showcase their achievement. Spread over 40,000 sq. m. area, the fair, also supported by the Association of European Businesses (AEB), will include many premiers and innovations from CV majors. To highlight trucks, vans, buses, trailers, all-terrain vehicles, components, lubes, tyres, tools and workshop equipment, leasing and insurance services among others, COMTRANS 2017, will conduct business programmes and host the 17th annual award ceremony of the “Best Commercial Vehicle of the Year in Russia”. Also awarded will be the Truck of the year, Van of the year, Bus of the year, Prospect of the year, and a Special award. For the first time, the awards will include two new categories – Trailer of the year and Person of the year. Attracting 214 companies from 13 countries, the CV fair, included in the official calendar of automotive transport exhibitions of the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA), will have the CEOs of manufacturer-companies, representatives from professional associations (OICA, OAR, RAS, Russian Engineering Union, IRU) together with the governmental authorities (Ministry of Trade and Industries, Ministry of Transport, the Committee of Transport of the State Duma of the Russian Federation) participate in the business summit (business programmes) held September 05 and September 06, 2017.

SIAM gears up for its 57th Annual Convention

Society of Indian Automobile manufactures (SIAM) is all set to organise the 57th Annual Convention, which will be held on 7th September, 2017 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Building the Nation, Responsibly’. The sessions of the programme are ‘Designed & Engineered in India’; ‘Regulatory Policies: Analysis of Impact’; ‘Transforming Mobility’ & ‘Think Global, Act Local or Think Local, Act Global’.

The much-awaited event of the automobile industry will see leaders from government, industry, thought leaders, automotive experts and other stake holders coming together to address some of the important & ongoing issues, and discuss developments happening in the automobile industry. The Convention will offer a common platform, where more than 1000 global and Indian automotive industry leaders and various stakeholders will be interacting and discussing opportunities and challenges of the future.

The Chief Guest of the event, Mr Anant G Geete, Hon’ble Minister of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, along with the Guests of Honour, Mr Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, and Mr Babul Supriyo, Hon’ble Minister of State for Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, will grace the occasion.

Mr Vinod K Dasari, President, SIAM and Managing Director, Ashok Leyland will deliver the annual address in the Inaugural Session. Panels of renowned industry leaders will be sharing their thoughts during the convention. Some of the distinguished speakers are Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Government of India; Mr Ian Yarnold, Head, International Vehicle Standards Division, Department of Transport, United Kingdom; Dr K Sivan, Distinguished Scientist and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Department of Space, Government of India; Mr Mike Hawes, Chief Executive Officer, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, United Kingdom, Mr Eyal Rosner, Founder, Beyond Mobility and Former Director, Fuel Choices Initiative of Prime Minister’s Office, Israel & more.

The Convention is supported by SIAM members who will be present at the Convention.

Battery capacity tester from Meco

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MECO Meters Pvt. Ltd., has launched a battery capacity tester 6390, designed for measuring the internal resistance, open circuit voltage and terminal temperature of secondary battery including Nickel-metal hydride battery (NiMH), Nickel cadmium battery (NiCd), Lithium-ion battery (Li-ion), alkaline battery and lead-acid battery. The new battery capacity tester uses AC four terminal -method to measure internal impedance which it does by eliminating lead impedance and contact impedance in a bid to get the accurate results. The meter is claimed to measure resistance from 4mΩ to 400Ω with minimum resolution of 1μΩ. Voltage measured by 6390 is up to 60V with resolution up to 1mV. The meter has been tested to operate in temperatures from (-) 20 degree Celsius to 60 degree Celsius. The key highlight of the compact and light weight meter, is a dual display that displays both the internal impedance and voltage of the battery simultaneously. Boasting of 99 sets of composite comparator function, it (meter) can be set at impedance and voltage values, and can accurately detect battery deterioration. Pin type leads, which can easily contact the battery electrodes, are supplied as standard to offer accurate four-terminal measurement. Other features include a memory and read function, manual data logging (999 Data sets), and online testing without the need to shut down the battery. A user interface software additionally connects the meter to a PC using the RS232C Cable.

Adam Lacko shines at Nurburgring

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In the third race of FIA European Truck Racing Championship, Adam Lacko, driving a Freightliner for team Buggyra, took a well deserved win on Nurburgring’s Eifel track.

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Adam Lacko, driving his Buggyra International Racing System Freightliner, took a commanding win in race three of the Nürburgring round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship on July 02, 2017. Braving rainy weather, Lacko, the three-time winner at the Truck Grand Prix, extended his growing point’s advantage over his competitors, continuing his quest for a first FIA European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) title. He now leads by 46 points. Tankpool24 Racing entrant Norbert Kiss finished second in his Mercedes-Benz whereas Lion Truck Racing’s MAN of Anthony Janiec took the third place. Anthony took the third place for the second time this season. For Lacko, the win at Nurburgring marked the second win after he clinched the title at the earlier round at Misano, Italy.

With weather conditions improving slightly overnight, indicating clearly that a dry surface could end Lacko’s wet weather domination in his Freightliner, Kiss won the Super Pole session. Norbert Kiss and Antonio Albacete – two drivers involved in a collision in an earlier race, set the pace in the Super Pole session held on the morning of July 02, 2017. The Tankpool24 Racing Mercedes-Benz driver initially recording 1:54.725 and his closest rival, Albacete, in the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau MAN being just 0.099 seconds down on his time. But it was local man Jochen Hahn who performed a late lunge with just seconds remaining in the session to claim second, a mere 0.051 seconds and push Albacete down to third on the grid. Fourth fastest, Adam Lacko, taking a clean sweep the day before, was met with much-improved conditions. It meant the playing field was level. David Vršecký, in the second of the Buggyra International Racing System Freightliners, qualified just behind his team-mate and had Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN for company on row three of the grid. Row four of the grid was taken by MAN drivers, with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport entry having a similar machine for company. It was a Lion Truck Racing Team entry for Frenchman Anthony Janiec. The earlier podium finisher, Gerd Körber, qualified ninth, with his compatriot André Kursim alongside. The Tankpool24 racer also topped the Promoter’s Cup category with his closest rival José Rodrigues starting 12th after being knocked out in the earlier timed practice.

While Kiss started from pole, Lacko started from the fourth position. With a storming start, Lacko grabbed the lead from Kiss, Antonio Albacete, and Jochen Hahn at the end of turn one. Albacete emerged as a surprise leader from the scrap with Sascha Lenz in the SL Trucksport MAN making a remarkable leap from seventh to second. It turned out to be a very brief second for the German. The Spaniard’s lead didn’t last long as he spun and took Lenz with him at turn three. Both managed to continue, but their chances of a decent result were over. Capitalising on the situation, Kiss made progress. Lacko in second continued to push hard, and build pressure. Third placed Körber, moving up from ninth position, exerted good pressure as well. Kiss and David Vršecký ran wide exiting the final corner. Kiss re-joined in fifth and Vršecký lost further ground after a lengthy trip through the gravel. Lacko grabbed a firm lead and stayed in control for the rest of the race. Gradually extending his lead to a point where he was 12-seconds in front, the grid behind Lacko continued to re-arrange. There was plenty of action. Several drivers regained lost ground in the opening stages, chief among these, Norbi Kiss.

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Kiss moved up to the second position after an entertaining scrap with Anthony Janiec’s Lion Truck MAN. Iveco lost ground with Körber slipping back and dropping from third to tenth. This was followed by Hahn suffering a similar experience. In the latter stages of the race both Ivecos were on a mission to get back into the points positions. It was the same with Antonio Albacete and David Vršecký. André Kursim put on a strong performance and stayed out of trouble to take fourth overall, his best ever result in the FIA ETRC.Vršecký managed to come back into fifth position in the second of the Buggyra Freightliners with Steffi Halm in Reinert Racing MAN, who experienced a rather quiet race, one place behind in sixth. Hahn and Körber recovered to seventh and eight position respectively. Albacete, who was dead last after the lap one incident stormed through the pack to ninth place following a late lunge on Jeremy Robineau. The final point’s position went to José Rodrigues in his Rebonconorte MAN.

Kursim takes the Promoter Cup

The Promoter’s Cup class saw a second consecutive win for André Kursim. The German youngster took control from the second lap onwards. The Tankpool24 Racing driver made further in-roads into José Rodrigues’ points advantage with a well-judged drive. Rodrigues took the runners-up position after managing to drop Jeremy Robineau after he temporarily fell behind him after a mid-race excursion. Robineau led at the end of the first lap but was quickly usurped by Kursim and Rodrigues and eventually came home third ahead of Heinz-Werner Lenz’s Mercedes-Benz. Buggyra 1969 claimed the Teams’ honours in race three as Adam Lacko and David Vršecký combined to beat the Tankpool24 Racing pairing of Norbert Kiss and Andre Kursim. The Die Bullen IVECO Magirus pairing of Jochen Hahn and Gerd Körber claimed the final rung of the podium.

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