On 7 October, 37 drivers from 20 countries competed against each other in Lisbon during the 2015 International Final of the Optifuel Challenge eco-driving competition organised by Renault Trucks. José Ramón Jano Gago, driver and manager of Spanish hauliers Janocargo, was the winner of this third edition, ahead of Vytautas Luotè, a Lithuanian driver for Stella Nova and Vitor Pereira, a driver for the Portuguese company, JLS.
In Lisbon, on 7 October 2015, 37 drivers from 20 countries took up the eco-driving and cost efficiency challenge at the wheel of a Renault Trucks T, voted International Truck of the Year for 2015. This challenge, set up and organised by Renault Trucks, was won by a Spanish driver, followed by a Lithuanian and a Portuguese driver in second and third places.
José Ramón Jano Gago, driver and manager of Janocargo, a Spanish haulage company, won the Best Eco-driver of 2015 title. “I don’t drive for my company every day,” he explains. “But despite all my careful preparations, I was very nervous, particularly since the route used for the tests was highly technical. I’m really very pleased with this result and I think my drivers will be proud of me.” On a day-to-day basis, José Ramón Jano Gago pays great attention to his vehicles’ cost efficiency: “Every time I buy a new vehicle I test its consumption performance for myself and I make sure that every new driver who joins the company is given instruction in eco-driving.” The Janocargo fleet is made up of 22 vehicles, 17 of which are Renault Trucks. Furthermore, José Ramón Jano Gago has recently taken delivery of four Renault Trucks T vehicles. “I appreciate these vehicles’ technical qualities,” he adds. “Particularly all the technologies they have on board to reduce fuel consumption even more. In addition, I always pay great attention to my drivers’ comfort and I’m very satisfied with what the Renault Trucks T offers in this regard.” José Ramón Jano Gago wins an €8,000 shopping voucher to be used in the store of his choice. At the same time, the Janocargo company earns one year’s full-service rental of a Renault Trucks Optifuel.
A Lithuanian driver, Vytautas Luotè, who drives for the Stella Nova company, was in second place. “I was very pleased with my result, particularly since the route was very technical, with its roundabouts and undulating road surface.” Elected best driver out of a team of 18 – all trained in eco-driving, Vytautas Luotè has six years’ experience on a Renault Magnum and, for the last year, has been driving a Renault Trucks T. “I appreciate the safety options offered on the Renault Trucks T, the Optiroll and the Soft Cruise Control,” he explains. “I also find the cab insulation to be absolutely incredible, giving me real driving comfort every single day.”
The company’s fleet of 12 trucks is entirely made up of Renault Trucks vehicles. Stella Nova recently acquired 4 Renault Trucks T High models. Vytautas Luotè won a €2,000 shopping voucher to spend in the store of his choice and earns his company €3,000 of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.
The third place was taken by Portuguese driver Vitor Pereira who works for Portuguese haulage company JLS. “I entered because I wanted to show what I could do as far as rational driving is concerned, and I’m very pleased with my result,” he explains. “Instruction in economic driving is very important for our company; every one of our 250 drivers has been through the training.” The company owns, at this moment, 3 Renault Trucks T vehicles. Vitor Pereira enjoys driving so much: “I feel particularly comfortable with using Optiroll and the cab… It’s amazingly comfortable!” Vitor Pereira won a €1,000 shopping voucher to spend in the store of his choice and earns his company €2,000 of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.
There were two phases to the competition: first of all, finalists had to answer a questionnaire designed to test their knowledge of economic driving. They then had to complete a journey on the open road lasting around 40 minutes in a Renault Trucks T Optifuel. This offer combines a vehicle benefiting from the latest technologies with an offering of dedicated services: Optifuel Training driving instruction developed by Renault Trucks with Optifuel Infomax driving mode monitoring software to track and analyse drivers’ performance.
This driving phase, which accounts for 90% of the final result, judges drivers on the quality of their rational driving, their journey speed and fuel consumption. All this data is then assessed, largely on the basis of information supplied by Optifuel Infomax. Once this phase was completed, each finalist discussed the issue of saving fuel and economic driving with a Renault Trucks expert, in order to give a more comprehensive view of their approach to driving.
Key figures for the 2015 edition:
2,214 companies and 9,000 drivers took part in the regional and national selection phases.
470 days of competition
2,000 hours of driving
List of countries taking part in the Optifuel Challenge 2015 national finals:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey.