On track or Road: Faas is a Trucker at Heart
Most of the drivers competing in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship are truckers by heart.
However, with the ongoing sophistication of the sport, very few dovetail being a racing driver with driving a lorry on the road.
In this year’s class, there are two, who despite being formidable competitors, remained faithful to the profession of truck driving on the road – Sascha Lenz and Steffen Faas.
SL Trucksport’s racer Lenz, who took his maiden FIA ETRC win earlier this year at Misano, and GRAMMER TRUCK CUP front-runner Faas, who joined Team Tankpool24 Racing for his first full campaign this season, both drive their teams lorries from base, located in Weißenthurm and in Nürtingen respectively, to every single venue across the season.
For Fass, driving a truck is a big part of his adult life.
“I have a driving licence for a lorry since I was 18”, says the 34-year-old. “I began with a small truck, a kind of recovery vehicle we had at home. That was the reason for doing the licence,” he explains.
“I do it only for fun,” adds Faas, who picks up the team’s lorry from headquarters based in Nürtingen, 35 km southeast of Stuttgart before every round of the championship.
“I live 80km away, I go there before every race and take the truck completed with a trailer and my race truck on the back of it.”
“Normally I take a 45-minute break after 4.5 hours. Then I can do another 4.5 hours, take one more break and then I can drive for an hour.
“After that I must take a night break. Sometimes I have a mechanic or an engineer with me, but normally I drive all the way.”
“All the way” can have a very different meaning, from roughly a 360km drive to the Nürburgring for the ADAC Truck Grand Prix to a monstrous, nearly 1900km-long road trip to Circuito de Jarama for the season finale in October.
The latter one won’t be a straight run as the team will first go to Le Mans, for the penultimate round of the championship, and from there will head on to for the venue in Madrid.
In between races Faas works as a classic car mechanic. His skills and attitude are a valuable asset for the team as he’s often seen in the paddock overseeing the work of his mechanics, giving them a helping hand when needed or driving the teams’ forklift truck.
All of that is done sometimes when the paddock is nearly abandoned and most of the teams’ staff has headed to their accommodation.
“When I can help, I help – I’m a mechanic and when you’re a mechanic you see when others need a hand,” he explains.
Faas’ bond with his service crew is so strong that he only stays in hotels because he was told to by his superiors. He would rather spend the nights in the paddock along with his mechanics overseeing his racing Tankpool24 Mercedes-Benz challenger.