I had a chance to watch a heavy duty truck race up close in Misano, Italy, in late May.
The opportunity came as part of an exclusive Meritor press event for a select group of North American truck industry magazine editors, of which I, representing Fleet Maintenance, was a part.
Meritor – a leading global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets – sponsors many of the heavy duty race tracks in Europe. Truck racing is very popular sport there.
At the Misano Grand Prix Truck Race, we got to go into the pits, walk on the race track where the race trucks were set to begin the race and view the race from alongside the track at the start/finish line.
Twenty tractors competed in the circuit course race.
The Misano Grand Prix Truck Race is a part of the European Truck Racing Championship – the racing of production two-axle road tractors organized by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
The Championship consists of a series of official races held throughout each year on weekends. Each weekend two races held are on Saturday and two on Sunday.
The FIA is also the governing body for motor sport worldwide.
Some facts about the European race trucks:
- The average two-axle race truck weighs around 5.5 tons.
- These trucks have all stock components.
- Speed is limited to 160 kilometers per hour (about 100 mph).
- Engine displacement is typically 12.5L to 13L.
- These engines are restricted to 1,180 hp to 1,200 hp by using restrictors on the air intake. The engines could produce 2,000 hp if not restricted.
Three weekends of racing equals about three to four years of commercial truck life in Europe. That is equivalent to 200,000 to 300,000 km of operation (about 124,000 to 186,000 miles), as European truckers usually drive 90,000 km (56,000 miles) per year.
At the track