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Heartbreak for Taylor at Most

Posted onPosted on 30th Aug

Taylors Trucksport Racing suffered a blow in a big crash during the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Autodrom Most, Czech Republic (26th – 27th August) writes Paul Horton.

 The Huthwaite-based race team were left devastated after a first race third place put them on the podium again in Europe.

All was not lost for Mark Taylor, their 36-year-old pilot brought another trophy home leaving Czechia, and is fourth in the Goodyear FIA ETRC Promoters Cup and 12th in the overall.

Since taking on Europe for the first time Taylor has excelled in just about every race beyond everyone’s expectation that usually takes more that a season to become accustomed to a new race series, new contenders, and new circuits to learn.

Taylor had tested at Most’s 4.212km long, narrow and 21 cornered circuit before the start of the season, so he was hoping for a reasonable weekend.

Friday saw two Free Practice sessions. The first saw Taylor in a good position, the truck ran fast without any issues during the 30-minute session. Finishing in 10th spot with a time of 2:04.984s, completing 11 laps and a speed of 121.321km/h.

The second session was just as good, over 12 practice laps, fastest in 2:04.076s to finish 9th.

Qualifying saw Taylor fly in the faultless #81 super beast, his 7 laps of the tarmac saw P9 by end of the session and into the 10-minute shootout Super Pole session to determine first race grid on Saturday.

The Superpole was rapid that saw Taylor finish P10.

Race one saw Mark on the 5th row of the grid, a great start retaining his 10th place into the first lap. A slight tap from behind knocked Mark offline slightly but regained the position well.

At halfway distance, Taylor was maintaining his 10th slot, the tight twisty circuit taking its toll for overtaking.

By lap 7 the rear arch over the tyre had popped off and a lap later Steffen Faas was piling the pressure on Mark from behind, a gap of 00.540seconds between them. A battle commenced with Faas nose to tail on Taylor throughout the rest of the race, Mark held him off positioning his truck well to keep the German behind to take to chequered flag in 10th place and a podium 3rd spot in the Promoters Cup Championship.

But Race Two was to be a different story, as the lights went out a major start line incident occurred in the middle of the field. It was a normal start until Andre Kursim made an opportunistic move trying to get between Taylor and Faas, who had started in the row in front of Kursim. Not being able to make it work and three trucks wide, Kursim caught the rear of Faas, pushing the German into Taylor’s truck beside him. Taylor lost control of the #81, spinning to face the racing traffic and hitting the wall of the pit lane with a terrific impact.

The race was red flagged,  #81 sustaining extensive damage, as rescue and medical crews attended, they forced the door open and Taylor was luckily OK and taken to the Medical Centre for a check-up and released with bruising.

The truck was in a different state, 20-minutes to recover, that was the team out of racing for the rest of the weekend.

Afterwards Taylor said: “Words cannot describe how the weekend felt for the myself and the team. We had a great Qualifying getting into Super Pole and a podium in Race One in the Promoters Cup.

“Race Two’s crash caused damage beyond repair for the rest of the weekend, but the main thing is I was OK, just a little battered and bruised, we will be back for the next round at Zolder, we can’t wait.

“I would like to thank all the teams in the Paddock and all the fans for their offers of help and kind words. Also, to the Marshals, Safety and Medical Teams and FIA Officials for their support after the crash.”

The next round takes place at Zolder Circuit, Belgium on 9-10 September.

Image Credits Andre Bartscher Photography