The young driver from Plaidt is excited about Nürburgring, after his latest achievements with the Windpower Racing Truck
Sascha Lenz appears to be tired but full of drive. There has not been a spare moment for the 29-year-old, since he returned to his home in Plaidt, after the third race of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship in Nogaro (South of France). In his racing workshop, the perfectionist has been working towards success and even better tuning for his Windpower MAN racing truck. There is little time left for him to unwind and barely a quiet moment to spend with his family. The entire Lenz team is working around the clock on the racing truck. “We are eagerly awaiting the season highlight. The Truck Grand Prix at Nürburgring is a real climax and it is also our home race. So anything is possible. We might even make it onto the podium,” says Sascha Lenz. In order to achieve this, the Windpower MAN Race Truck with more than 1,000 horse powers has to run perfectly. At the moment there is still a bit of an issue with the rear axle. “I have the feeling that something isn’t running smoothly. We need to see about that,” explains the father of a young daughter. He is full of energy, despite the lack of sleep. “The team is highly motivated. We are extremely excited about the race at Nürburgring and about our fans. Feeling the support from our fans is an incredible experience. This will definitely help to make up for a couple of seconds.” Sascha Lenz is currently in 7th position of the European championship and even in 3rd place of the team ranking (Lenz/Janiec). And he is keen to achieve even more than that.
Family man on the road to success
The son of triple European champion Heinz-Werner Lenz is working towards success, paying great attention to every detail. His mother and team manager Silvia Lenz is always by his side. “Truck racing is our family business. When Werner took up the sport 25 years ago, we thought of it as a little excursion and an experiment. However, it soon became more than that, it has become something that our family revolves around,” explains Silvia Lenz. It came as no surprise that Sascha, the family’s youngest child, caught the racing virus at a young age. “If you can drive a truck at 8 and are steering a racing truck across the washing area and drivers’ paddock at 10, you just have to make it to the race track,” says his father Werner Lenz.
The family is a tight unit, living for shared success: “We win as a team and we lose as a team,” Silvia and Sascha agree. They are a real family clan and supportive of each other. And they need to be. “We are the smallest team of the entire truck racing circuit. Other teams attend the races with ten mechanics while we sometimes bring only two. This is why we are all the more excited about being sponsored by Windpower. We would not be able to manage otherwise,” explains Sascha. “Sascha is a likeable guy and his work is very down to earth and thorough. He and his entire team are very capable, reliable and always in touch with the fans. These characteristics make the team perfect for representing Bohnenkamp as a company, as well as truck tyres by Windpower,” says Henrik Schmudde, head of marketing for Bohnenkamp AG from Osnabrück, the exclusive vendors for Windpower tyres in Germany.
There is no doubt that Sascha Lenz has inherited his father’s talent and skill. However, that does not mean that he can sit back and relax: “Touch and mechanics used to be very important, but today’s trucks are computer-aided. So in addition to the driver’s instincts, data analysis is also very important. Trucks also used to be flexible like an accordion but they are rather more rigid these days,” says Lenz. This means that the road behaviour is totally different. Could four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel cope with a truck that size? Sascha Lenz continues to be humble: “He has the touch for driving and he is very skilled. He could manage.” Sascha is more concerned about a switch the other way round: “I would need to get used to Formula 1 speed first.”
High quality provided by the team and by Windpower tyres
Sascha Lenz lives for his sport and would not be able to shake off his enthusiasm for racing. The energy and emotion of motor sports are also important factors for the Windpower brand. “This is why we performed the ultimate test with our tyres last year,” explains Henrik Schmudde. Experts turned a genuine Windpower road carcass with a track record of more than 100,000 kilometres into a new racing tyre and had the truck take 20 laps on Nürburgring with it. “The results were amazing. The tyre showed the same performance as a new racing tyre by the series sponsor. This is proof of our Windpower tyres’ high quality,” says Schmudde. Quality and success are key to the partnership: “It is a true win-win situation,” the head of marketing is excited. He has meanwhile caught the racing bug, just like the entire Windpower team. He is hoping for a good ranking in the race at Nürburgring. “It would be great if Sascha’s and his team’s hard work were to pay off,” says Schmudde.
Henrik Schmudde, head of marketing for Bohnenkamp AG from Osnabrück, exclusive vendors for Windpower tyres in Germany and main sponsors of S.L. Truck Racing Germany since 2010, talks about the partnership:
1. Why are Bohnenkamp AG and Windpower involved in the FIA Truck Racing Series?
The Truck Racing Series is very popular not just in Germany, but it has a large fan base all over Europe - in all the places where we are exclusive vendors for Windpower tyres. This is one of the reasons why the FIA Truck Racing Series is an excellent platform for us. There are hardly any other events that would allow us to present truck tyres by Windpower to an expert audience in such an emotional setting.
2. Why did you choose team Lenz?
Sascha Lenz is considered one of the most talented young drivers of the scene. What’s more, team Lenz is very authentic and close to the audience, because it is a true family business and the smallest team of the FIA Truck Racing Series. We never cease to be amazed by the commitment, skill and perfectionism that is characteristic of the team’s approach. Their attitude is an ideal match for us and for Windpower products.
3. For how long are you planning to continue supporting Sascha Lenz' team?
As long as we feel we are a good match and we can achieve something together. Our cooperation is very open and it is based on partnership. Towards the end of a season we will talk about the next year. This is what we have been doing every year since 2010 and what we will be doing again this year. At the moment I can see no reason why we would not be part of the team in 2017.