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Success for Taylors Trucksport in Italy

Posted onPosted on 1st Jun

Taylor’s Trucksport Racing Team made a good start to their debut season in the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championshipwell with two top 10 finishes, writes Paul Horton.

The team with their 36-year-old driver, Mark Taylor were well pleased with their performance at Marco Simoncelli World Circuit, Misano, Italy (20th and 21st May) that kicked their busy season off truck racing across Europe.

With a new championship, new truck, new circuit and new challenges, the whole team did a sterling job over the weekend, which saw them leave Italy and looking forward to the next round in Slovakia.

With three days limited testing at Autodrom Most race circuit in the Czech Republic a few weeks earlier, driver Mark Taylor was still getting used to the new truck, built in Germany for the team over winter.

The beast of a new truck’s statistics weigh in at around 5.3 tonnes, with 1,100bhp and a top speed of 100mph, the truck is a beast. The six-cylinder 12000cc race tuned engine delivers power through a 16-speed manual gearbox with a locked rear differential, special race tuned tyres and water-cooled brakes. Its faster than a Porsche.

The whole team travelled from the UK the week before with the new paddock set-up already for action on the Thursday, which saw Taylor out on the 2.52-mile and 16 corners of the Italian track early on the Saturday morning for two free practice sessions.

Both sessions went well for the five years previous British Championship contender, despite both sessions being in wet conditions. Taylor used his previous experience in the wet to finish the first session in 12th, followed by a great seventh spot later in session two – topping speeds of around 106.7kph.

The qualifying session followed. Again the session was wet, but Taylor was flying and finished seventh in the Super Pole that followed straight afterwards.

The 10-minute session saw Taylor keep well up with the current and previous European champions and gave them a run for their money, putting every effort into it he crossed the line in eighth, where he would line up for race one later Saturday. He was getting faster with speeds around 114kph.

The track was still wet for race one and the first lap saw all the trucks under yellow flags and behind the pace truck due to the conditions. Taylor slowed just after passing the first lap marker to a halt when one of the steering components failed, but Taylor managed to control the truck and get to a safe point on track.

At the end of the race a slow recovery only gave the team one hour to fix the problem, working like trojans got the #81 out on track just three minutes before the pit lane gates were closed.

The weather was not giving way for race two and horrendous conditions faced the drivers.

The team started at the back of the grid due to not finishing race one. Mark battled his way through the traffic in a terrific race to see him take the chequered flag ninth.

A complete change in weather for Sunday saw the sunshine and very hot conditions, the type of weather that usually welcomes the racing.

A second qualifying session saw Taylor finish in P11, missing out on the Super Pole that followed being pipped at the post.

Taylor lined up on the grid in 11th and as the pace truck peeled off, by lap three Taylor was 10th. During the race Taylor gained places and dropped a few, but he showed his ability to keep up with the leading pack and finished where he started in P11.

The last race of the weekend saw Mark line up 11th. By the end of lap one Taylor was in P10 and by lap three was in 8th.

Taylor remained there until a mistake on lap seven saw space for Sascha Lenz to get ahead and a lap later Clemens Hecker to slip past, leaving Taylor having to settle for 10th.

Taylor, son of team boss Alan Taylor, the managing director of Taylor’s Transport Group in Huthwaite, said: “The weekend has been fantastic for me and the team. I found it a learning curve getting used to a new truck, new racing and new circuits but by the ending of the last race was getting better and faster.

“We are thoroughly looking forward now to the next round in Slovakia. We have come away from Misano with some points and hope to carry on where we left off.”

The team aims to please their UK fans when they return to racing in the UK in mid-August, in between a busy European calendar, at Convoy In The Park, Donington Park, for the International Truck Prix.

The team now travel to Slovakia Ring Circuit, Slovakia for the next round on 10th and 11th June.

Image Credit: Andre Bartscher Photography