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Text: Oliver Schönfeld
Photos: T Sport Bernau, ETRC Digital Racing Challenge, private
Pushing the throttle as far as it will go on the straight. Braking at the last moment, turning the steering wheel and heaving the 5,300-kilo truck through the chicane: It almost feels like being on the real track – but it is a virtual race. This is how the European truck racing scene shortens the waiting time until the season starts.
Almost like on the real race track
Adrenalin and atmosphere are missing
The experienced driver hopes to get back behind the wheel soon: “What I miss about racing is the great atmosphere in the paddock, the conversations with the other drivers, friends and fans. Of course, all that is missing on the screen.” In the background, preparations have long been running at T Sport Bernau so that things can soon get underway again. “We hope to start with a bigger test in April. A number of new developments have been made over the winter,” reports team manager Melanie Derflinger.
Season goal for 2021: the top 5
Close technical partnership
In addition to many challenges, 2021 already held good news in store for the British-German racing team: The partnership with PE Automotive and BPW Bergische Achsen KG was extended by two years. “This is not just a sponsorship, but a grown, trusting technical partnership that has already helped us significantly in the past years,” emphasises chief technician Tim Frost. The BPW components are put to the toughest test on the race track every time the MAN race truck with 1,200 hp applies a massive 5,800 torques to the wheel or performs an emergency braking manoeuvre from 160 kilometres per hour. “We couldn’t wish for a tougher test laboratory than FIA truck racing,” confirms BPW Product Manager Thorsten Grahl. He too is eagerly awaiting the start of the real season. “You simply have to experience the special atmosphere at the Nürburgring and the tension at the start live.” All fans will agree wholeheartedly.