Countdown to the 2017 season: Lion Truck Racing
22. January 2017Team Lion Truck Racing is presently preparing several race trucks for the 2017 season. But getting the French outfit to reveal anything definitive about its plans is nigh impossible. The driver decisions haven’t been finalised yet, and negotiations with sponsors are ongoing.
That the Lion Truck Racing workshops in Toulouse are (re)building at least three race trucks is no secret, but it’s possible a fourth could also be in the works.
One of the emphases will once again be the French national championship. Following last season’s final race in Albi the team had invited a number of drivers for exhaustive tests, but who’s going to be racing what – that’s something the folks in Toulouse and Lyon aren’t very forthcoming about.
Equally unclear is the exact extent of the team’s potential engagement in the European championship. It looks fairly certain, though, that we’ll be seeing at least one of the yellow trucks in action in the ETRC this season.
In any case the team has what it takes to be competitive at the top flight. After the 2011 season Patrick Folleas acquired the entire equipment of exiting Austrian Egon Allgäuer for his new Lion team. The lion mascot may be a carry-over, but it was the heraldic animal of Lyon, where Folleas’s BFT logistics enterprise is headquartered, that provided the original inspiration for the team’s name.
Folleas mixed it up right from the start in the Coupe de France Camions, going on to propel his German pilotess Steffi Halm to the title, making her the first female champion in French truck racing.
For the last couple of seasons Frenchman Anthony Janiec in an MAN has led the points hunt for Lion in the FIA ETRC while also taking part occasionally in individual races of the French series.
But even there, Lion Truck Racing has continued its dedicated engagement with Renault trucks.
The French are among the most flamboyantly – and professionally – presented teams in the paddock, upholding the Allgäuer tradition. Their large promotional semitrailer, a cosy meeting place for sponsors and supporters, is one of the biggest attractions at every circuit.