The second round of the 2008 FIA European Truck Racing Championship took place at the Misano World Circuit, Italy where pleasant spring weather conditions helped to attract an audience of 27,000.
Frankie Vojtisek and his team-mate Markus Altenstrasser were finding the Misano circuit very different in character to the previous event in Barcelona – with several slower turns (and considerably drier conditions) requiring a major change to set-up for optimum lap times.
In the Saturday practice Frankie posted a best time of 2m.06.202, good enough to secure 7th on the grid. His Austrian team-mate Altenstrasser went slightly quicker (2m.05.291s.) – placing him sixth.
In the Saturday Qualy race it was Antonio Albacete (MAN) who took the early advantage and held to win. The two Renault Premiums were running strongly with Markus Altenstrasser maintaining his starting position throughout to cross the line sixth. Vojtisek was on course for a points-scoring result – but was spun off after contact with Dominique Lacheze (MAN), damaging his truck and dropping him to 14th.
The Championship race on Saturday fell to quick-starting David Vrsecky (Freightliner) – while both Frankie Racing Renault Premiums were in the thick of the action. Altenstrasser again brought his machine home in a strong 6th place while Vojtisek made good progress to move up five places from his starting place – the Renault racer then successfully overhauling Hungarian Balazs Szobi (MAN) in the closing stages to grab 9th place at the flag.
Sunday’s races brought some better results for Frankie (who was celebrating his 47th birthday) – as he netted a pair of 7th place finishes, helping him to retain a top six place in the overall championship standings.
Starting from 9th on the grid in the Qualifying race Vojtisek made an impressive charge through the midfield – the Renault driver picking up two places on the final lap as he overhauled the MANs of Blaise and Allgauer to grab 7th spot.
Altenstrasser was also flying; starting from 20th place on the grid after technical trouble in practice, the Austrian blasted through the field to finish 11th.
Reigning Champion Markus Bosiger was on good form as he powered to victory – the first of two wins on the day for the Swiss driver.
In the Championship race Vojtisek again brought his Renault across the line 7th – closely matching the times of Stuart Oliver’s MAN but unable to find a way past the experienced British driver - and just ahead of team-mate Altenstrasser who had driven well and made up three places to take the flag in 8th.
While the racers had been making their best efforts on the track and providing a great weekend of entertainment, off-track Renault Trucks had mounted an operation to present to its Italian customers the last version of Magnum.
The Championship now moves to the tight and twisty Albacete circuit in
Spain (June 28/29) where the Frankie Racing team will hoping that further development work will see improved performance from their Renault race trucks.