Last weekend, the fourth round of the British Truck Racing Championship took place at the famous Nürburgring in Germany. We participated in the Mittelrhein-Cup at the International ADAC Truck Grand Prix of the FIA ETRC, the highlight of the year for truck racing fans! For T Sport Racing, the three-day event with 4 races scoring points for the British championship started off with a great 1st race on Friday followed by a challenging and emotional race weekend packed with thrilling race action.
On Friday morning, all teams of the 32 trucks entered in the Mittelrhein-Cup had the chance to test and set up their trucks in a 20 minutes training session, which was followed by the qualifying for the first and third race.
The two fastest lap times achieved decided about the starting position on the grid. The team were very pleased with Terry’s consistent lap times, putting him on the 5th and 4th starting positions on the grids for the races 1 and 3.
When the first race got underway, Terry was determined to keep up with the leading pack on the top. Due to the unfriendly weather conditions in the Eifel region, he struggled a bit with traction problems during the first few laps. After turning off the cooling system for the intercooler, however, Terry picked up pace and managed to finish the race on 6th position.
T Sport Racing were very pleased with the result of the first race and were looking forward to another successful race day. Saturday saw two races on the timetable. Unfortunately, “lady luck” didn’t seem to be on our side.
As we were leaving our pit, Terry immediately noticed something was wrong with his steering. With 10 minutes left to make it to the grid, the pressure on the mechanics was pretty high. Luckily, they handled the stressful situation very well. Despite the short time, they managed to install a new steering pump. Accordingly, we made it into the pit lane just in time, but couldn´t get onto the grid anymore, so we had to start from the pit lane and thus from the last position.
Determined to show both the spectators and our partners what we are able to do, Terry was all set to overtake as many competitors as possible.
Unfortunately, a truck right in front of Terry spun shortly after the start because of the heavy rainfall and the soaking wet and slippery track. There was no way Terry could have avoided the imminent crash. As a result, the rear axle was knocked, a spring was buckled and a water tank was missing. So far, that’s the most intense damage we suffered this season. We were all over the truck trying to get it back out for the second race – it was indeed very frustrating to see the truck in such a bad condition. But the help offered by the competitors was simply overwhelming! Even the other driver involved in the crash and his team were working on our truck to make sure we would make it back out. Therefore, they really earned our most sincere respect. We want to use this opportunity to say thank you – for the help and support, but also for the sporty spirit.
In fact, in time for race 3, we were back out racing. But bad luck wouldn’t give in: When a steering damper broke due to a minor concurrence at the start, we had to retire early from the race. It would have been too unsafe to continue.
We worked late into the middle of the night to make sure the last race of the weekend would go well.
And there it was again: During the formation lap, the injector of one of the competitors’ race trucks failed. As a result, the complete diesel tank got spread all over the track. At first, the race was flagged red. Sadly, it was fully cancelled shortly after the organisers realised that the cleaning process would take quite a while. Three hours later – cleaning was still in progress – the organisers also had to cancel all other races, including the final race of the 2017 European Truck Racing Championship.
The results were not as hoped for, but we definitely drew some attention to our team throughout the weekend. Despite the great efforts of all team members and of the team mechanics in particular, there are some things we have no influence on – bad weather, oily tracks or spinning trucks right in front are definitely amongst those unpredictable handicaps. Nonetheless, we continue determined and optimistic to perform better next time. And after all, meeting our German team partners PE Automotive, Liqui Moly and Motec was a nice experience, too.
We are now on our way back to the UK. Once back, we will get the truck ready for the biggest UK truck racing event of the year taking place at Donington Park on the 22nd and 23rd of July!
We will keep you informed!