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Podium for Taylor at Le Mans

Posted onPosted on 26th Sep

Editorial:  Paul Horton

Image Credits: Andre Bartscher Photography


It was the icing on the cake for Taylors Trucksport Racing last weekend when they took a well-earned second place podium spot in the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship at Le Mans (23rd – 24th September).

They faced another challenging weekend at the Le Mans Bugatti Circuit but to finish the last race with a Promoters Cup podium meant the weekend couldn’t have ended any better for them.

It was celebrations in the camp for the team, yet the start to the weekend wasn’t so good after the previous round in Zolder two weeks ago where the team encountered some mechanical issues.

Repairs and maintenance were carried out including a new back axle fitted and new steering column and gearbox issues rectified.

Saturday’s two free practice sessions went well with the usual fine tunes made in set-up to suit the circuit. First session saw the team complete 13 laps and finish 13th. The second session was even faster, finishing 12th.

It was the first time Taylor had encountered the 4.185km tarmac and 14 cornered Bugatti circuit, but he glided the truck around it like a regular.

Qualifying 1 wasn’t the session planned for the #81 team. There were problems with the truck, preventing it going out, but with 7 minutes left on the clock of the 20-minute session they managed to get some fast laps in. A massive understeer coming out of Garage Vert hairpin saw Taylor run wide. He was under pressure to get some track time pushing hard to end the session in P14 for race one.

To add to issues the oil line on the turbo split and a new turbo needed to be fitted.

In record time the team did it and the truck was out for race one. Taylor had a great start and straight into P13, in a great move on Clemens Hecker. On the last lap Taylor moved into 12th to take the flag and was promoted into P11.

Race Two saw Mark battle with Jose Rodrigues and, shortly after, three into a corner didn’t go! Taylor came off worst and went into the gravel after contact with Rodrigues. Taylor regained for a lap before retiring with a broken shock absorber from the coming together.

Sunday’s Qualifying Two saw Taylor settle for P12.

For Race Three Taylor lined up on the 6th row of the grid, a red flag stopped the race after Andre Kursim became stranded on the pit straight. A restart straight away and Taylor avoided drama with two trucks in front, straight into P12 by lap 3. It was a race of swapping positions and settling for 12th place.

Race 4, last race of the weekend, saw Taylor line up on row 6, a fantastic start and into P9 by the end of lap one and straight into P8. An eight-truck train followed, Taylor trying his hardest. By lap 5 he had slid into P7, two laps later into 6th remaining to take the chequered flag and a podium second place in the Promoters Cup.

Afterwards Taylor said: “The last race couldn’t have gone any better, it was brilliant a good end to the weekend. It was a good battle, I enjoyed it and keeping up with Jamie and Sascha for a good few laps.”

“The weekend didn’t start so well for us, but the team pulled out the stops and got us back up in the points by the end of the weekend. A big thanks to them all and we now look forward to Spain next weekend.”

The last round of the series takes place this weekend Jarama Circuit, Spain, on 30 September – 01 October.