Part One of a look at the new boys racing in the FIA ETRC in 2018...
This year the FIA European Truck Racing Championship features a bumper entry list of 21 full-season participants.
The class of 2018 is the richest in numbers for over a decade, hence there are a few unfamiliar faces on the grid this year.
In part one of our ‘meet the FIA ETRC rookies’ focus we’re introducing Brits, Oly Janes and Jamie Anderson, both of whom are making their first foray into the European truck racing scene.
Anderson Switches Codes
Jamie Anderson is new not only to the FIA ETRC but to truck racing in general, having devoted his career to date to rallying. “I came from rallying, I’ve done British and European series,” said Anderson, whose business projects contributed to him switching disciplines this season. “Our business is solely [focused] around commercial vehicles and that gave us the ability to do it. I’ve always wanted to do it since I was a young kid,” he explained.
Anderson, who drives an MAN previously used by David Jenkins, prepared for his rookie campaign by competing in the British series earlier this year. “I’ve done Brands Hatch and Pembrey and then we’ve decided that we’re going to have a go at the European series because there’s nowhere better to go than to the FIA ETRC,” said Anderson.
Despite a good start to the new chapter of his truck racing career with a GRAMMER TRUCK CUP win in Misano last month, the Brit remains modest when assessing his goals for the year. “It is to be in the mix really,” he replied when asked about his target for the year. “I’m not coming here to break any records, and I’m here to learn.”
Janes Takes the Euro Leap
Anderson’s compatriot Oly Janes joins reigning champion Adam Lacko in the title-winning Buggyra Racing 1969 outfit and has big shoes to fill as he replaces double champion David Vršecký in the squad.
Unlike Anderson, Janes is familiar with truck racing, having raced in the British series for the number of years.
“A relative of mine [Jeff] took part in the very first truck race at Donington Park in 1984. I was doing semi-professional karting from the age of around 11, and when I was 18 I progressed to Formula Ford,” said Janes, shedding some light on his background.
The BTRC regular for the last couple of season finally completed the FIA ETRC move at Misano.
“We’ve been looking to do it for the last three years, with our own team.
“At the end of last year, I had a big accident [during qualifying for the Pembrey round of the BTRC] and I completely damaged my truck, and myself,” explained Janes, who injured his ribs, hand and broke his foot in a 130km/h impact.
“[After] we made contact with Buggyra to do some winter testing and we had a deal on the table. We reached a solution over the winter and in January we decided to do a full championship,” he added.
Janes deals with trucks on a daily basis via his business. “We run a company that does roof cladding and we have 30 trucks so it sort of works together. We know about trucks and the mechanics of them.”
“Buggyra is a big team with the pedigree of winning championships and David Vršecký is very good at bringing me up to speed.
“Podiums in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP is the goal in the first year, and if we can make some reverse grid races, then for sure we’ll try to win,” he assured.
Anderson and Janes will bolster the British contingent in this year, joining Ryan Smith, Terry Gibbon, Shane Brereton and Ray Coleman.
“When we made the deal we thought we’re going to be the only ones from the UK,” revealed Janes.
“So it is nice to see fellow racers from the UK doing their stuff on the continent.”