2020 - The year of youth - Part 2
18. January 2020This season, a youthful trio will lower the average age of participation in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship dramatically.
Lukas Hahn, son of Jochen and grandson of Conni Hahn, is the eldest of the three by some – having turned 22 only a week ago. At last year’s Truck Grand Prix Lukas gave us ample evidence of his talent after he and his crew transported his Iveco to the Nürburgring on a race trailer belonging to 2007 champion Markus Bösiger. The truck racing circus is one big family, in which everyone helps everyone, a family Lukas was born into and has been raised in. Over the last 20 years he’s grown to know everyone in the paddock, and everyone in the paddock knows the boy from the Black Forest – not least for his penchant for cruising around in or on anything with wheels that he can lay his hands on. Early on, it was clear to most that the apple hadn’t fallen far from the tree...
Lukas eagerly strove to emulate his father’s successes in the Hahn clan’s recreational sport of choice, drifting – in light trucks, some of which have a few odd horsepower more under the hood than the current race trucks!
But it was at the Nürburgring, in the races for the Mittelrhein Cup, that Lukas’s truck racing smarts were on powerful display, against battle-hardened competition from the British Isles. He drove three flawless races out of three, going head to head with the Brits chasing points towards their own championship, and bringing his Iveco home on the podium each time – once second and twice third in a field of 25.
Following his successful initiation, Team Hahn Racing is planning for Lukas to graduate to racing in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship this year.
Next of the trio is Téo Calvet who, though he only turns 19 next month, can boast considerably more track experience than his older German comrade, including one-off rounds of the ETRC in the last two seasons. Téo already has one distinction to his name that nobody’s likely to be in a position to dispute – at 16 years and a couple of weeks over four months, he became the youngest winner ever of a championship truck race in Nogaro in 2017.
Like Lukas Hahn, he too has grown up surrounded by truck racing. His father Fabien was a French champion in the SuperRaceTruck class and competed in the ETRC for three seasons starting 1997, with one second-place overall finish and one third, before Téo was even born.
Most truck race enthusiasts will know Fabien for the many hats he’s worn in truck racing officialdom – as FIA Technical Delegate, FIA Coordinator, president of the Truck Race Organisation TRO, president of the truck racing commission of the Fédération Française du Sport Automobile (FFSA), and not least as track commentator and moderator at several races in France.
That meant Téo was always – schoolwork permitting – at the races. In mid-2017, when he was just old enough to acquire his competition licence, the French teen was offered a drive by the Lion Truck Racing team alongside French champion Anthony Janiec. In no time, he was winning the prize for up-and-coming driver at every race. The next year was his first full season in the French championship and he finished fourth in a field of 25. Last season he went one better, climbing to third.
This year Téo will race for Buggyra in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship (see report From Lion to Panther, 16 October 2019). Teaming up with him there later in the season will be Aliyyah Koloc. Like him and Lukas, Aliyyah too has truck racing in her genes. Her father, Buggyra boss Martin Koloc, was himself a very successful truck racer from 1994 till 1998, winning the title in 1995 and 1996.
Unlike the other two young guns, Aliyyah cannot claim any truck racing competition exploits – the young lady turns 16 only in July, when she can apply for her truck racing licence. But for the last couple of years she has seized every opportunity to train and test the Buggyra Fat Fox at Autodrom Most, the team’s home circuit. We might just see her make her competition debut as a guest racer in July itself, though she will almost certainly be in action from the end-August Czech Truck Prix onwards.
Photos: Buggyra, truckracing.de