Ireland’s professional drivers take on the best in the world.The World Professional Driver Championships is taking place in Ghent, Belgium from the 27th of September until the 1st of October. For the first time Ireland will be represented by a team of five who will compete against twenty-two other countries. The competition tests the knowledge as well as the driving skills of the drivers. An Eco driving section is also being contested for in their C+E section by Team Ireland.
Meet the team
Brendan Conlonis one of the drivers competing. Brendan spent many years as an owner driver doing continental work, he has a very good knowledge of driving regulations and the mechanical and loading legislation. This knowledge and experience will be crucial to the team. Brendan is currently driving for Gencat Limited and works on three of their key accounts Johnston Mooney & O’Brien, C&G Logistics and Know How.
Matthew Kavanaghis one of Irelands best ECO driving experts. He continually out performs most drivers in the HGV section. An excellent driving record along with a passion for the ultimate truck driving behaviour gives the team a solid performer. Matt has a strong mechanical background, having worked on trucks in the formative part of his career. He spent many years doing European work in a left hooker, which like Brendan will be of benefit to the team. Matt works out of Keelings in St. Margaret’s Dublin and in an avid truck model maker in his spare time.
Pamela Dennsionis taking up the third slot and is a very experienced driver. Working for the family business W S Dennison Pamela has plenty of hours of driving between their two bases in Antrim and Limerick. With no left hand drive experience, Pamela true to her nature has put in a lot of practice getting to grips with the orientation of the wheel on the left side. In 2017, Pamela won the ‘Driving Style’ category at a National ‘Driver of the Year’ competition, ran by the FTA, proof that, not only can women drive trucks, they can also do it well. Pamela was the only female shortlisted in a group of twenty. We are looking forward to seeing Pamela in action.
Barry Lyonsis the team coach , with a wealth of experience in the road transport sector, firstly having served his time as a truck mechanic Barry went on to driving nationally and internationally and then set up a specialist professional driver behaviour training company. Barry works for Gencat Limited who have a dedicated team of professional drivers providing support for some of Dublin’s leading road transport operators. As Chairman of the European Professional Drivers Association an organisation dedicated to creating and promoting a professional driving culture, he spends a lot of his spare time working to enhance the role of the professional driver.
Siobhan O’Marais Ireland’s International Competition Jury member. Her role is to insure that the rules of the competition are delivered fairly by the competition referees., she will also make sure that the team are fully aware of the competition rules and will keep the team updated on their performance throughout the competition. The European Professional Drivers Association (EPDA) are members of the Union Internationale Des Chauffeurs Routiers (UICR) the governing body for the World Championships. This year is the 31st event which is run every two years and this years hosts are the Belgium Truckers Club. Without the support of our volunteers and our sponsors the EPDA would not be able to do the work it does on behalf of professional drivers. We would like to thank the many volunteers who work to ensure that Ireland’s professional drivers are recognised for their dedication to ensuring that they lead the way in driver health and road safety.
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