Success for Frankie and Renault Trucks at opening round of 2008 FIA European Championship
Frankie Vojtisek, running on a 1100 hp Renault Premium “Racing”specially designed for him, made the best possible start to his 2008 European Championship campaign by winning the main Saturday event at the Circuit de Catalunya. The success of Team Frankie stands for a promising new season for Renault Trucks who will brings its technical assistance on the Renault Premium “Racing” of the team, parts and on-loan logistics vehicles to support the team.
Sunshine was in short supply as all the major teams arrived in Spain for the opening round of the 2008 FIA European Championship. In the Saturday Qualifying race both of the Frankie Racing Team Renault Premiums were in the points with the Austrian Altenstrasser finishing 8th while Vojtisek made a determined drive to 10th at the flag – having been pushed wide in the early stages which temporarily dropped him to 15th.
The non-stop rain continued all of Saturday afternoon– with poor visibility adding to the hazards facing the field of 27 starters. But one man was a real master of the adverse conditions; it was Frankie Vojtisek in the red Renault Premium “Racing” who finished first, dominating right through to the end of the 15 lap race, fending off a mid-race challenge from the British driver Stuart Oliver.
With an almost dry circuit for Sunday’s practice session the lap times were considerably faster. Vojtisek’s best time was 1m.34.94 (4.2 seconds quicker than the previous day) - and good enough to secure 6th on the grid with the Renault of Altenstrasser 9th quickest. During the qualifying race, Frankie finished at the 7th place and Markus at the 8th place. For the Cup race itself, they ended 6th and 8th.
After such a successful weekend Vojtisek accumulated a total of 31 points to currently stand 4th, just one small point form the first place, overall in the championship standings, and his team-mate Altenstrasser 9th with nine points. A very promising start for the new season !
The 2008 season was another opportunity for Renault Trucks to reassert its support for Team Frankie. Two new Renault Premium "Racing" Trucks fitted with the DXi13 engine were specially designed by the manufacturer to allow Frankie Vojtisek (n°10) and Markus Altenstrasser (n°11) to reach the top steps of the podium, and set their sights on the highest of all in 2009.
After the 2007 season, during which the DXi13 engine was fine-tuned to deliver optimal performance, the 2008 season was an opportunity for Renault Trucks teams to turn their attention to harmonising engine and chassis performance on vehicles derived from the Premium Long Distance.
The manufacturer's role is to bring together the skills needed to develop the best technological choices so that the two racing trucks can deliver the best possible performance. A challenge that has certainly been met! With 1,100 hp at 1,800 rpm, a torque at 4,700 Nm from 1,350 to 1,600 rpm, a maximum engine speed of 2,200 rpm, a 16 speed manual gearbox and above all a specially rigidified chassis to reduce torsion and improve the vehicle's pulling power and roadholding, the two drivers now have all the assets they need to assert themselves with their Premium Racing trucks throughout the 10 Grand Prix events that count for the European championship.
Frankie, who has returned to racing in fine form after being absent from the tracks in 2007 due to illness, is not afraid of stating, "Even if the competition is keen, and our rivals commit impressive resources, we have the trucks that it takes to be among the best."
Throughout the season, Renault Trucks will be assisting Team Frankie with its 2008 version Magnum, fitted with a semitrailer dedicated to providing technical assistance and supplying spare parts. The Team's successes this weekend are extremely encouraging and everyone is impatiently awaiting the next Grand Prix which will take place in Misano (Italy) on 24 and 25 May.