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Italian victory in Scania's competition for young truck drivers

27-year-old Michele Sandri from Trento in northern Italy is Europe’s best young truck driver. He won the final of Scania’s road safety competition Young European Truck Driver on Saturday in Södertälje, Sweden. Second was Laurens D’Huyvetter from Belgium. Mika Venäläinen from Finland finished third. The competition has attracted a total of 6,000 contestants.

”Do like me, drive smoothly and think safety!” was the first comment from the happy winner in an interview after the victory.

”As a manufacturer, Scania wants to encourage people who drive our products to develop their professional skills. That’s why we promote a safe and environmentally sound behaviour among Europe’s truck drivers. All you who have taken part in our competition are models to other road users for good behaviour on the roads,” said Kaj Lindgren, Executive Board, Scania.

Scania’s road safety competition Young European Truck Driver – organised in co-operation with the European Commission and co-sponsored by Michelin, Shell and the International Road Transport Union and others locally – is Europe’s biggest competition for young commercial vehicle drivers. The competition attracted six thousand participants born in 1973 or later.

“The competition has been a great success, not least in highlighting road safety and environmental aspects. Scania has therefore decided to run the Young European Truck Driver again. Scania will run the next competition in 2005,” said Kaj Lindgren.

The overall winner, Michele Sandri, is directly qualified for the final next time, and the 19 other finalists are granted a place in the national finals.

The finalists came from each of the 15 EU member countries and Norway, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic. An initial qualifying round comprised various manoeuvring tests and economy driving. The six best drivers qualified for the final in front of a stand full of 4,000 spectators.

The overall winner, Michele Sandri, who drives a tanker truck for Dalla Serra Carlo Autotrasporti in his work, was jubilant after the final – understandably, since first prize is a trip to Rio de Janeiro and Scania in Brazil.

Together with Laurens D’Huyvetter in second place and Mika Venäläinen in third, Michele Sandri will represent Europe’s young truck drivers at Scania’s high-level road safety conference in Brussels on 8 October. All finalists are also invited by Scania to the press day of the international truck exhibition in Amsterdam on 16 October.

Pictures from the final and more information about the Young European Truck Driver competition are available on Scania’s homepage www.scania.com/about/news/Events/yetd_final2003.

For further information, please contact Hans-Åke Danielsson, tel. +46 8 5538 5662