TRO goes to India
05. March 2017The 2017 truck racing season kicks off in less than two weeks. While the teams that compete in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship still have a couple of months to prepare, the race trucks are ready to roll on two other continents. In Brazil, the first of 10 rounds in the Fórmula Truck series will take place at the Velopark in Porto Alegre, while the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida near New Delhi hosts the fourth edition of Tata Motors’ T1 Prima Challenge.
For at least three years now the Truck Race Organisation (TRO) led by its president Fabien Calvet has sought opportunity to expand the geographic scope of TRO’s activities to India; a recent approach from India’s dominant truckmaker has finally resulted in a breakthrough that will see six of the most accomplished racers from the European championship compete in the T1 Prima Pro Class race against a sextet of successful British drivers.
The contingent TRO has put together represents the absolute top flight of European truck racing – Germans Steffi Halm and Gerd Körber, Spanish matador Antonio Albacete, Hungarian ace Norbert Kiss, Czech David Vršecký, and Thomas Robineau account for 10 European championships and four French titles between them.
Gerd Körber, who celebrates his 30th year in the sport this season, could never have dreamed that, 26 years after his first European title, he’d still be racing – and in India of all places!
But it’s not only India that the TRO is active in; Fabien Calvet has long nurtured close contacts in Brazil, and played a pivotal role in setting up truck racing championships in China and the USA. The Buggyra team is already engaged in the Chinese event, and Stuart Oliver (the T1 Prima champ in 2014 and 2015, incidentally) has also represented TRO as a guest participant in the ChampTruck series in the US. From the looks of things, it’s increasingly likely that groups of European racers will compete in growing numbers of events overseas.