Following in the tire tracks of the 1450 S and 1834 S, the Atego race truck represented the third stage in the Mercedes-Benz race truck development program. The truck was powered by V6 engine providing output of 1100 kW (1495 hp). In 1998, its first season, Ludovic Faure drove the Atego to the European Truck Racing Cup (ETRC) title in the Super Race Class for purpose-built race trucks. In 2000 Atego finished runner up in the standings. Mercedes-Benz withdrew from truck racing at the end of the 2001 season.
In the 1999 ETRC season Atego was used by five teams – Tiger Racing Team Dehnhardt, Team Atkins Mobile, DKV M-Racing Motorsport, Team M-Classic Racing and Hasseröder Team Muller. For Hasseröder Team Muller, a team sponsored by a brewery in Wernigerode, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, and managed by former racing driver Peter A. Muller, 1998 was the first season in the ETRC. Team debuted with Spanish driver Jordi Gene in the second half of the 1998 season. For Gene the season started at Nurburgring, ETRC round 5, where he finished 8th and 9th, and ended with the spectacular crash at his home round at Jarama. Gene finished last in the overall standings of the SRT (Super Race Trucks) class. It didn’t get any better in 1999. Gene scored no wins in Qualifying or Cup races, and finished the season 9th among 12 participants in SRT class.
For Jordi Gene, the older brother of formula One driver Marc Gene, the truck racing experience was just a short episode of his racing career. After racing in F3, F3000 and Spanish touring cars, he was invited by Manuel Santos Marcos to drive the Cepsa MAN in the European Truck Racing Cup. However, Cespa finally preferred Antonio Albacete, and Gene spent two years in Hasseröder Team Muller before coming back to sport and touring cars in 2000. As to Hasseröder Team, it raced under that name in 1998 – 2001, and then was rebranded as Deutsche Post Truckteam.
Mercedes Benz Atego racing car scale models in 1/43 was initially produced by Schuco in their Junior Line series, and then the same models were issued by Minichamps, High Speed and Corgi Toys.
|1998||FIA ETR Cup|
|Jordi Gene||11||Hasseröder Team Muller|