Sascha Lenz and his team prepare intensively for the new season
15. January 2017S.L. Truck Racing Germany is one of those extremely professional teams in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship whose members are all employed in full-time jobs that have nothing to do with truck racing.
It’s the participation of such teams that makes this sport so special – indeed, it’s because of them that it exists in the first place.
At the team of Sascha Lenz. it’s family, close friends, and relations that the young pilot relies on for support. They spend the bulk of their free time working on the race truck, be it in the workshop or at the circuits. In the season just past this labour of love bore rich fruit. Lenz made it onto the podium several times, finished seventh overall in the FIA ranking, and – not least – won the Spanish championship.
At present the team is spending every spare minute in its race shop getting the truck ready for the 2017 season. In addition to numerous mods and improvements, a completely new cab is being built and integrated onto the chassis. The team had to get by with a stopgap repair of the old one at the final weekend in Le Mans.
The outfit from the Eifel has a long history in truck racing. In the 1990s Sascha’s father Heinz-Werner created a sensation when he took the title in the Race Trucks category three times in a row from 1997 through 1999, with Sascha’s mother Silvia as team principal.
Lots has changed in truck racing over the last 20 years, however. Not only do we no longer have the factory teams in the Super Race Trucks category – the Formula 1 of truck racing as it were; – even those exotic, high-budget prototypes have long departed the scene.
And so, in the first half of the last decade, when many from the erstwhile Super Race Truck teams moved over to the (thitherto) largely looked-down-on “amateur class”, this “second-rung” category suddenly experienced a rapid growth in professionalism and a massive increase in performance. But the demands on the individual teams also multiplied. That’s why it’s amazing how teams with relatively minuscule budgets still manage to mix it up at the very top of the field – like Sascha Lenz and his crew did in 2016.
The young pilot boasts excellent qualifications and an impeccable pedigree. No less importantly, he’s been blessed with a support structure that’s second to none. All in all, the best preconditions for extreme and sustained competitiveness.
From dad Heinz-Werner he’s inherited his truck racing genes; mom Silvia is as involved as manager as she was in the “golden” nineties; and the technical expertise that the Lenz heavy-vehicle recovery firm, the family’s core enterprise, affords is top-notch.
Sascha has literally grown up in the world of trucks – and of truck racing. Along the way he’s also succeeded his father as managing director of the company. The massive expanse of the Lenz headquarters houses every kind of equipment needed for the construction of a race truck from the ground up.