International DAF Driver Challenge ’22 winner revealed

Hungarian Gábor Szabados has been named ‘DAF Driver Challenge Champion 2022’. In a thrilling international final at Goodyear’s impressive proving ground in Luxembourg, 15 candidates from across Europe competed for the coveted title.

Second and third places went to Pierre Emmanuel Huet from France, and Emanuel Mezei from Romania respectively. Representing the UK & Ireland, Colin Court finished sixth; a very creditable performance considering the extra challenge of driving unfamiliar left-hand-drive vehicles.

Colin, a driver trainer with Hanson UK, was the national winner at the 2022 edition of the DAF UK Driver Challenge.

All driving tests were performed behind the wheel of New Generation DAF trucks, including the brand-new DAF XD for vocational and distribution applications – revealed just two weeks ago at the IAA Show and awarded ‘International Truck of the Year 2023’. “The challenges, which included practical driving tests with trucks and trailers, were extremely tough and the exams that we had to take covering technology, legislation and regulations tested us to the limit,” said Gábor Szabados. “Driving an electric truck was completely new to me – and I have to admit, I loved it!”

Best of Europe

With over 1,000 contestants in total, the DAF Driver Challenge competition began in 2021 with national events in 20 countries, leading to the international final last weekend, for which only the ultimate 15 best truck drivers made the grade. A jury carefully monitored the performance of the competitors at all stages.

Harald Seidel, DAF Trucks’ president and chairman of the jury, noted, “An excellent truck driver needs a great skillset. This final has again confirmed that. Only those who combine knowledge, experience, skills, dedication and cool-thinking can boost the performance of their truck to its maximum. DAF really feels that truck drivers are true craftsmen and deserve to be on a podium!”

Richard Zink, Director Marketing & Sales and Member of the Board of Management of DAF Trucks, said, “We build trucks that offer market leading efficiency, safety and driver comfort. However, it’s the man or woman behind the wheel who unlocks a vehicle’s potential. That’s why we develop our trucks with the driver in mind. It was impressive to see Europe’s best drivers demonstrating their exceptional skills behind the wheel of our award-winning vehicles.”