The Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship (FIA ETRC) is now well underway, with SL Apollo Tyres Trucksport already competing in the first two rounds at the Autodromo Misano World Circuit in Italy and the Slovakia Ring.
Since the start of the season, 35-year-old driver Sascha Lenz has overcome mechanical issues and impressed the competition with his driving; the team are confident of a successful season ahead.
Apollo Tyres caught up with Lenz to discuss the FIA ETRC season, the rise of truck racing across Europe and the exciting partnership with Apollo Tyres.
What are your takeaways from the race weekends so far?
We are satisfied; I am getting along better and better with the new race truck. My initial feeling after the testing was that we were far from where we wanted to be in terms of set-up. However, we have proved that we are going in the right direction.
What makes truck racing so special and why is it so popular with fans?
Truck racing holds a special allure for drivers and fans alike. The sheer size and speed of these magnificent trucks create a spectacle that is hard to replicate. Unlike other forms of motorsport, such as bike or car racing, truck racing offers an open paddock where fans can freely approach and interact with the drivers. This unique accessibility fosters a strong sense of community among truck racing enthusiasts, making it a truly special and popular sport.
What is your favourite motorsport memory?
I would say 2016, when I took on the challenge of building my own chassis. During the legendary Le Mans race, where expectations were high for renowned driver Jochen Hahn – who always finished at the top with his truck set-up – the team and I managed to set a new track record with the self-built entry. This accomplishment left an indelible mark on my racing career and provided me with a remarkable experience. I believe that each race has its own unique charm and creates lasting memories that contribute to the tapestry of my journey.
Who do you consider your main rivals this season?
In the world of motorsport, predicting rivals and outcomes is a daunting task due to a multitude of factors that come into play. I appreciate this uncertainty and I am focused on finishing consistently in the points and striving for top-three positions.
Utilising a deep understanding of my own capabilities, as well as my determination to learn and adapt to the new truck, I look forward to forging a successful partnership between man and machine. The ultimate goal is to make this collaboration a winning formula that brings satisfaction and joy to the team and its partners.
What does the new partnership with Apollo Tyres mean to you?
The recent partnership with Apollo Tyres has brought immense happiness to me and the team. The initial contacts and subsequent meetings with the Apollo team have been nothing but pleasant and promising. There is a sense of synergy and shared vision between us all, which fills me with pride. The partnership signifies a significant step forward in my own career, one that I cherish.
What do you think of the new truck?
Although we had some minor issues, I remain hopeful that these concerns have been addressed and rectified. As with any motorsport endeavour, there is always an element of uncertainty, but I am optimistic that the changes and modifications will prove to be effective and put us on the right track.
What excites you the most about the new stage in Poland?
The forthcoming round in Poland presents an entirely new challenge for all drivers. None of us have prior experience on this track, adding an air of intrigue and unpredictability to the race. Having tested the circuit on a racing simulator, it’s a beautiful track. With no established setup for the race truck due to its novelty, the event promises an exciting and riveting competition for all involved.
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