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On 7th October, 37 drivers from 20 countries competed against each other in Lisbon during the third International Final of the Optifuel Challenge eco-driving competition organised by Renault Trucks. José Ramón Jano Gago from Spain was declared the winner ahead of a Lithuanian driver and a driver from Portugal in third place.

The drivers each 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. The challenge was eventually won in a close contest by José Ramón Jano Gago, a driver and manager of Spanish hauliers Janocargo. He was followed in second place by Vytautas Luotè, a Lithuanian driver for Stella Nova with Vitor Pereira, a driver for the Portuguese company, JLS in third place.

José Ramón Jano Gago 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 (£6,000) voucher to be used in a store of his choice and the Janocargo company earns one year’s full-service rental of a Renault Trucks T Optifuel.

Vytautas Luotè, the Lithuanian driver in second place said, “I was very pleased with my result, particularly since the route was very practical, 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.”

His company’s fleet of 12 trucks is entirely made up of Renault Trucks vehicles. recently acquired 4 Renault Trucks T High models. Vytautas Luotè wins a €2,000 (£1,500) shopping voucher and earns his company, Stella Nova, €3,000 (£2,250) worth of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.

The third place was taken by Vitor Pereira, a driver with 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’s third place earns him a €1,000 (£750) shopping voucher and his company receives €2,000 (£1,500) worth of vouchers for purchases from Renault Trucks.

There were two parts to the competition: firstly all the finalists had to answer a questionnaire designed to test their knowledge of economical driving. Then they had to complete a 40 minutes journey on the open road 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.

During this driving phase, which accounts for 90% of the final marks, drivers were judged 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.

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