Vive la fuel economy!

Vive la fuel economy!

Efficient driving and conserving fuel were a priority when the French finalist for YETD 2014 was chosen in southern France.

Stéphen Lacombe, a 33-year-old driver with transport company Transports Daniel et Demont, has been crowned national champion in the French division of the YETD competition.

Practice makes perfect

Lacombe received the honour after beating eight rivals in a thrilling final at the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet, east of Marseilles. The win was Lacombe’s second. He was also the French champion in 2012.

“I’m honoured to receive this title and to represent France for a second time in the European final,” Lacombe said. “This is the fourth time I’ve taken part in the competition. I think it’s important that it recognises our profession while showing the abilities and skills necessary to be a truck driver.”

Economical driving awarded

The French competition places a particular emphasis on economical driving. A special prize, the Ecolution Award, is presented to the driver who demonstrates outstanding performance in this area, with Thomas Prin picking up this year’s award.

The YETD final was held on June 7 and 8 in the Truck Grand Prix course at Paul Ricard in front of nearly 15,000 spectators. The nine participating drivers were required to demonstrate their competence across five key areas: economical driving, manoeuvring, regulations, first aid and cargo stowage.

Thomas Prin used the vehicle in an intelligent way, allowing it to roll over the hill crests on the demanding test circuit.

Thomas Prin used the vehicle in an intelligent way, allowing it to roll over the hill crests on the demanding test circuit.

Just four drivers were chosen to compete in the final round on Sunday June 8 and the national winner was chosen after a series of exciting face-to-face events.

Two times a national champion

For Lacombe the victory was especially sweet. He began competing in YETD in 2007 when he placed third. He again competed in 2010, placing ninth, before winning the French national competition for the first time in 2012. In that year he went on to place third in the European final in Södertälje, Sweden.

Judging of the 2014 Ecolution Award was conducted after the first day of competition. Judges analysed the fuel economy scores of competing drivers, ultimately presenting the prize to Thomas Prin. Prin, who at 25 runs his own transport company, used his vehicle in an intelligent way, allowing it to roll over the hill crests on the demanding test circuit.

Productivity in focus

He not only maintained low fuel-consumption, he also recorded the highest average speed, making him the most productive driver in the final.

Proving the importance of such efficient driving, Stéphen Lacombe won the 2012 YETD Ecolution Award.

Lacombe now has the opportunity to compete in the European final again in April 2015. He will compete for glory and the chance to win 100,000 euros for use in purchasing a new Scania truck.
Scania Driver Competitions are dedicated to recognising the role played by bus and truck drivers and this year some 85,000 drivers are taking part. The European component YETD has attracted 20,000 participants, 2,800 of which came from France.

Key role in the transport industry

At the awards ceremony, Scania Driver Competitions Manager Mikael Person said truck drivers have a key role in our industry.

“Scania considers them the most important factor when it comes to economy, protecting the environment and safety,” he said. “Skilled and engaged drivers allow for efficient transport. They reduce emissions and contribute to making our roads safer. I congratulate the 2,800 French participants who, through their participation in the competition, have proven their commitment to road safety and rational driving.”

Stéphen Lacombe, Thomas Lacombe and Loïc Coelho on the podium.

Stéphen Lacombe, Thomas Lacombe and Loïc Coelho on the podium.

The final rankings were:

  1. Stéphen Lacombe
  2. Thomas Lacombe
  3. Loïc Coelho
  4. Thomas Prin
  5. Jean-David Selselet
  6. Mikaël Lanoe
  7. Alexandra Vetois
  8. Florian Delage
  9. David Malpezzi