2018 Driver by Driver Season Review – Part One

26 November 2018

In the first part of our 2018 season review, we’re taking a look at drivers who were classified up to 17th place in the final standings...

In the first part of our 2018 season review, we’re taking a look at drivers who were classified up to 17th place in the final standings.

This section of the championship table is mainly comprised of race-by-race entrants as well as smaller, often family-run, outfits.

Having said that, many of those who normally fight at the rear end of the pack, demonstrate great motivation and a solid will to succeed in the competetive world of the FIA ETRC!

NC – 0 pts | 12th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 43 pts | José Eduardo Rodrigues | Team Reboconort | MAN

Following three outings in 2017, the 18-year-old youngster continued to dip his toes into truck racing with three further appearances this season.

José Eduardo had the chance to get to know a new circuit – Autodrom Most and also took part in the rounds held at tracks that he’s already familiar with (Zolder and Jarama). It was in Race 1 in Belgium where his best result came in the shape of 12th overall and a third-place finish in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP as he continued to gain valuable experience ahead of more planned outings in 2019.

NC – 0 pts | 13th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 29 pts | Frans Smit | Cees Zandbergen (Rainbow Warrior Truck Racing) | Scania

Frans Smit took over the popular “Rainbow Warrior” Scania from the truck owner, Cees Zandbergen, this season to make two appearances, at the season-opening round at Misano as well as the season finale at Jarama.

His best overall result was 14th place in Race 2 at Misano. A couple of sixth places scored at Misano was his best effort in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP where he learned the tracks and enjoyed the exerience of competing in the FIA ETRC.

NC – 0 pts | 11th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 67 pts | Frankie Vojtisek | Czech Truck Racing Team | MAN

2018 was surely one of the toughest seasons in Vojtisek’s lengthy career in truck racing.

It all started with that infamous fire at Misano that left the team facing a herculean task to rebuild the truck. It ended with the Czech racer being involved in the opening lap pile-up in Race 1 at Jarama that forced him to sit out the rest of the weekend on medical grounds.

Along the way, Vojtisek earned a race ban for causing a collision at Most. Surely a season to forget for the veteran truck racer but the tenacious Czech is likely to be back for more in 2019.

NC – 0 pts | 9th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 86 pts | Eduardo Rodrigues | Team Reboconort | MAN

The veteran Portuguese racer continued his partial FIA ETRC programme in 2018. Overall, there were no fireworks from the oldest member of the Rodrigues racing clan, but consistency was rewarded with a top ten spot in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP at the end of the year after some engaging scraps with Erwin Kleinnagelvoort.

It was with much emotion that Eduardo announced his retirement at the 2018 FIA ETRC Awards gala in Jarama where he was applauded by all his fellow competitors after a fine career.

NC – 0 pts | 14th in GRAMMER TUCK CUP – 19 pts |Teo Calvet | Lion Truck Racing | MAN

17-year-old Calvet is surely one of the future stars of truck racing. The youngster, who keeps clocking up the miles in the French series, only appeared once in the FIA ETRC this season – at the Nürburgring.

One appearance was enough for the young Frenchman to make history as he recorded a podium finish in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP with Lion Truck Racing. It will be fascinating to see if he can make more FIA ETRC appearances in 2019.

NC – 0 pts | 7th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 149 pts | Erwin Kleinnagelvoort | EK Trucksport | Scania

Kleinnagelvoort probably embodies trucking spirit best across the entire FIA ETRC field.

Away from races, the Dutchman works as a lorry driver. Yet, he managed to take part in all rounds but one this season, making good use of his limited resources and a slightly outdated truck, scoring GRAMMER TRUCK CUP points on a regular basis to finish seventh in the category with his tight-knit but well prepared EK Truck Sport squad.

20th – 2 pts | 8th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 134 pts | Terry Gibbon | T Sport Racing| MAN

After a single FIA ETRC outing in 2017, Gibbon came for more this year, making a total of five appearances.

Apart from two top-ten finishes, he also became regular podium visitor in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP, with his best category finish being a second place in Race 3 at Misano. There followed more podiums at Le Mans and Jarama in a very promising first season as a full time entrant.

The entire T Sport Racing team also showed great spirit, particularly when thet had to fly and engneer overnight from the UK to the Nürburgring to pick up engine spares following issues in qualifying.

19th – 2 pts | 5th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 166 pts |Luis Recuenco |Truck Sport Lutz Berau | MAN

2018 was a steep learning curve for the rookie Recuenco. Under the watchful eye of his team-mate mentor Antonio Albacete, the Spaniard kept improving as the season went on. His best result came in Race 1 at the Slovakia Ring where he finished ninth overall and second in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP.

Recuenco's confidence soared as the season went on and the Spaniard fitted in well to the FIA ETRC paddock with his professional and courteous approach.

18th – 4 pts | 6th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP – 164 pts| Ray Coleman | LRS Racing | MAN

Ray Coleman made six FIA ETRC appearances this season, skipping Nürburgring and Most.

The Brit had a solid start to his rooking campaign but somewhat faded as the season went on. All of his three finishes in the points came in the first part of the season (a tenth in Hungary and a ninth and tenth in Slovakia). In addition 101 of his 164 GRAMMER TRUCK CUP were collected in his first three outings.

Overall it was a fine effort from Coleman and the well-drilled LRS Truck squad.

17th – 7 pts | 10th in GRAMMER TRUCK CUP  - 77 pts | Thomas Robineau | Team Robineau | MAN

The Frenchman only appeared twice this year in the European competition but was impressive from the off, finishing ninth and sixth at Misano. The Nürburgring round didn’t bring overall points but a 50% second-place finish rate across four races he contested in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP is an evidence of what could have been if the Frenchman had raced more regularly.