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Demanding weekend for Taylor’s Trucksport

Posted onPosted on 20th Oct

Huthwaite-based Taylor’s Trucksport Racing Team had a demanding weekend both on and off track in the British Truck Racing Championship at Pembrey Circuit, reports Paul Horton.

The Taylors Transport sponsored #81 MAN TGA 12000 racing truck with their race ace driver Mark Taylor behind the wheel encountered a mixed weekend of red flags, truck damage, and frustrating results in the penultimate round of the 2022 series.

But the 35-year-old Mansfield racer still chalked up some fastest laps at the South Wales circuit

The team’s free practice sessions paid off and saw Taylor on Saturday morning’s nine-lap, 20-minute session take fifth fastest on the 1.4560-mile tarmac and set up the 5.5 tonne beast of a truck. He was fastest on the circuit on lap 3, with a time of 1.11:832s and an average speed of 72.97mph.

The qualifying session was just as rapid, deferring fourth place for races one and two for exceeding track limits during the session, despite having his best lap times disallowed.

Saturday’s first race of the weekend saw a massive racing incident at Hatchets Hairpin, only five seconds into the race when another truck took the #81 out along with Simon Reed and Stuart Oliver, and the red flag was shown.

The #81 suffered some extensive damage and was towed back to the paddock due to being unable to steer, leaving a frustrated Taylor in the Paddock and left to sit and watch the re-started race one.

The Taylor’s Trucksport team sprung into action, know that time was the essence in getting the truck ready for race two. In 2 hours, they had achieved it, working like trojans the truck was all shipshape ready for race two.

In race two Taylor started from fourth on the grid, as the pace trucked peeled off into the pit lane the rolling start was underway.

Yet another incident at Hatchets Hairpin caused some issues and damage to the truck. Mark kept his cool throughout the race and, despite having a broken wheel shock absorber, finished fifth.

Again, the team worked tirelessly into the night to complete the repairs and the #81 was looking good as new by Sunday morning.

Race 3 on Sunday saw a reversed grid from race one with Taylor starting from the back only to see another red flag appear, it was like d v of race one, yet again at Hatchets Hairpin. The race was stopped.

The race re-started but with just four minutes on the clock another red flag was put out due to one of the Division 2 trucks pulling up on track in a dangerous position.

Race officials ruled due to timing this race was to be cancelled and, if time allowed,would be rerun at the end of the day’s schedule. There were no points in this race for any of the teams.

Race 4 was the first race of the weekend that didn’t see a red flag. He was back in P4 on the second row of the grid. Taylor had a good start, he was into P3 by the end of laps 1and 2. By lap 3 he had dropped back to 8th spot after being held up at Hatchets Hairpin remaining there for 6 laps. By lap 10 he was making headway and into P7.

Three laps later when the chequered flag came out, he took the line in fifth, only to find he had got a 5 second penalty for exceeding track limits amending his finish into seventh.

Race 5 of the weekend saw Taylor again back of the grid, which meant he had a battle to get through from the back past the closely packed trucks ahead of him

Again, the red flag made an appearance just before halfway through the race as one of the trucks ran in to problems and it was left in a dangerous position to the side of the track.

Mark finished the first part in eighth as the flag came out.

A six-minute restart race was declared which worked in Mark’s advantage, he restarted P7 on the grid. A seventh place over line for him.

Race Officials deemed that a shorted six-lap race of the second part to race 3 that had been cancelled at the beginning of the day could take place as time permitted.

Taylor lined up back of the grid to re-start and for once over the weekend his luck was in and despite many division one and two incidents, he managed to avoid them all finishing a respectable seventh.

It was a very mixed up and frustrating weekend for Taylor’s Trucksport with some extensive damage sustained during the weekend that took its toll on the team.

Afterwards Mark Taylor said: “Firstly I would like to thank the whole team for their endless work over the weekend, getting me out on track for every race. They worked tirelessly late into the night on the Saturday to get the truck sorted after some hefty damage.

“The weekend was not what any of us expected and that’s what racing is all about, we now look forward to the last round of the season at Brands Hatch in a few weeks’ time.”

Taylor still retains his sixth place in the of the British Truck Racing Championship as he goes into the last round back at Brands Hatch on 5th and 6th November.