Last weekend, on the 13th and 14th of May, T Sport Racing went to Austria to participate as a race-by-race entrant at the opening round of the 2017 European Truck Racing Championship. The event at Red Bull Ring turned into a challenging but worthwhile race weekend!
The adventure began with a road trip across the UK, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and all the way right to the centre of Austria. We had a fantastic trip until we got into a quite stringent control in Luxembourg that stopped us for a few hours. Luckily, our good friend and prior truck racer Jean-Pierre Blaise came to rescue us so we could continue our journey through Germany. Tired but as planned, we than arrived at the circuit on Thursday.
The weekend´s race programme started on Friday morning with VIP/press rides. Throughout the first session, everything went well and looked promising. At the second session, however, the engine power suddenly dropped.
Back in the paddock, the team found out that the throttle position sensor wasn´t working properly. We were straight on the phone to several Austrian MAN dealers, trying to organise a new part. It turned out there was only one left on stock in the whole country. Without wasting any time, we sent out a mechanic to pick up the sensor in Vienna.
Once he returned, the team worked late into the night to get the truck up and running for the races on Saturday. In the morning, the weather cleared up and the sun came out. We hoped for a good race day but it didn’t take long until we realised that the problem wasn´t solved yet. Throughout the day, the team checked the wiring loom, the engine, the turbo and even the replaced sensor. We talked to anyone we could think off and even considered flying in a friend from the UK who had found another throttle position sensor. It was nice to see that the other competitors came by offering their help! Since we couldn´t find any faults, we figured that the problem might be caused by water getting into the wiring loom. We decided to run without the water jets for the intercooler on Sunday. This decision turned out to be the right move forward to get the truck back onto the circuit.
In the qualifying session on day 2, Terry managed to put in a good lap time but we were confident that it was possible to improve it further.
Keeping in mind he has a less powerful engine than most of the field racing in the European Championship and the fact that the boost produced by the turbo was less than usual, Terry’s performance throughout the first race was great. His lap times had improved thus allowing him to close up to the group in front and crossing the finish line on 12th position.
Nonetheless it wasn’t until race 2 on Sunday that all of the hard work really paid off. Terry had a great start and a consistently good race. Fighting for positions with the top drivers, he finished the race ranking 7th overall – and second at the new Promoter’s Cup category!
Terry is happy and proud to take home an official Red Bull Truck Race Trophy and he gladly learned a lot in terms of driving techniques! The weekend definitely helped the whole team making huge progresses and heading into the right direction!
In just about two weeks, on the 3rd and 4th of June, we will be racing in the British Truck Racing Championship again – this time at UK´s fastest circuit in Thruxton. We will keep you informed!