Buggyra is leaving European truck racing after 30 years. Calvet wins Promoter’s Cup
The race weekend in Jarama not only marked the end of this year's Goodyear FIA ETRC season but also the end of an era for Buggyra ZM Racing. One of the most successful teams in the history of the championship is leaving European truck racing. To finish in style, Téo Calvet won the Promoter's Cup title and Adam Lacko finished fourth overall. In the team standings, Buggyra claims third place.
It is time to turn the page. We will continue to follow the events in the truck championship and we don’t rule out a return to the series in the future but we will definitely not be on the grid next year. The team will now be concentrating on endurance racing with the target of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other long-distance races including the Dakar Rally. That’s why we will be slimming down our racing program, so we can better prepare for these challenges. However, we are not completely done with truck racing as we will continue to support our drivers participating in the Buggyra Academy France programs and the French championship,“ explained Buggyra ZM Racing team principal Martin Koloc this unexpected step.
Buggyra said goodbye to the European Championship in style. Téo Calvet secured the Promoter's Cup triumph in the first race on Sunday which he celebrated by winning the afternoon race. On Saturday he claimed second place in the handicap race.
"It's great to end the season with a title. We worked hard for it all year; we had to deal with a lot of problems. That's why I'm incredibly happy. We fought until the very end and I would like to thank the team for the great work they have been doing all year," said the happy 21-year-old Frenchman.
Adam Lacko also had a very successful weekend on his favorite Jarama circuit. On Saturday, he took third place in Race two. In the first race on Sunday, he lost only to champion Norbert Kiss.
„We have a full season behind us. We fought not only for ourselves but also for the whole team. Téo claimed a well-deserved third place. It wasn't easy at all but we managed to do it in the end. My fourth place overall is also a decent result. This year, for the first time since 2015, I have missed the top but we fought hard and the results from Jarama show that we are still among the top,“ explained the experienced Czech pilot.
But now it's time to say goodbye to the European series. „We have achieved a lot as the statistics, which I personally do not like very much, show quite clearly. Winning a third of almost 1000 races we have started, is something we are very proud of. Countless numbers of very good drivers drove for the team, several of whom we led to winning the title. I am very happy for every year we spent here together and wanted to thank everyone for that,“ said Martin Koloc.
30 years in brief
On Sunday in Spain, the Buggyra team said goodbye to European Truck Racing after exactly thirty seasons. And those were three very successful decades indeed. They brought eight driver titles and five team championships. In addition, Buggyra remained faithful to truck racing during all this time, while many renowned companies have come and gone.
Buggyra drivers have won an incredible 326 races which means a victory in every third race the team has started. The team also claimed 156 golden cups in the team championship. The total number of podiums is also staggering with 812 driver podiums – meaning a podium in more than 82 % of the races and another 334 for the team. And one more astronomical number: Buggyra scored a total of 13,052 points during its time in truck racing, that's over 13 points per race.
Everything began in 1993 when Martin Koloc began competing with LIAZ. Two years later, he celebrated his first title with Sisu Truck, only to be repeated the year after, in 1996. In both seasons he won the prestigious Golden Steering Wheel.
Another important milestone was the year 2001 when the Sisu and Praga brands were replaced with the first truck coming from a workshop in Roudnice in the Czech Republic, named Buggyra. In 2002, German driver Gerd Körber won the title, continuing the now "good tradition" of winning the title again the year after. In the 2007 season, Swiss pilot Markus Bösiger became European champion.
Then, talented Czech David Vršecký got behind the wheel of the Buggyra trucks. He added another double victory as he dominated European circuit truck racing in 2008 and 2009. Buggyra’s collection of FIA ETRC titles (until 2005 the series was called FIA European Cup) was completed five years ago by Adam Lacko who has just celebrated the title of European champion in Jarama.
In addition to the driver championships, Buggyra also has five team championships to its name, winning three years in a row from 2007 to 2009 and then again in 2015 and 2017.
In thirty seasons, a total of 23 pilots, including three women, drove for Buggyra. Lenka Vlachová was behind the wheel of a Sisu in the 2000 season. Nine years ago, popular German driver Ellen Lohr started in two races, and for the whole 2020 season, talented Aliyyah Koloc was racing for the team.
Other interesting personalities that drove for Martin Koloc and the Buggyra team were Czech singer Daniel Landa and truck racing legend Antonio Albacete from Spain. And legends such as two-time Formula 1 world champion Emerson Fittipaldi, the only Czech F1 driver Tomáš Enge, or now President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Mohammed Bin Sulayem tested for the team in the past.
Buggyra in European Truck Racing in numbers:
Seasons: 30 (1993–2022)
Driver titles: 8 (Martin Koloc 1995-1996, Gerd Körber 2002-2003, Markus Bösiger 2007, David Vršecký 2008-2009, Adam Lacko 2017)
Team titles: 5 (2007–2009, 2015, 2017)
Drivers: 23 (Martin Koloc (CZ), David Vršecký (CZ), Daniel Landa (CZ), Chris Tucker (GB), Lenka Vlachová (CZ), Gerd Körber (D), Antonio Albacete (E), Ludovic Faure (F), Adam Lacko (CZ), Markus Bösiger (CH), Uwe Nittel (D), Chris Levett (GB), Jurij Jegorov (RUS), Michail "Mike" Konovalov (RUS), Michal Matějovský (CZ), Ellen Lohr (D), Jiří Forman (CZ), Alen Draganovič (SLO), Enes Draganovič (SLO), Oliver Janes (GB), Mika Mäkinen (FIN), Téo Calvet (F), Aliyyah Koloc (UAE).
Total racing weekends: 270
Total number of races: 985
Wins: 326, i.e. 33.1 % of races started
Podium places: 812, i.e. 82.44 % of races started
Total points: 13,052, i.e. 13.25 points per race started