At the first weekend of July, T Sport Racing participated at the third round of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship at the famous Nürburgring in Germany. It was a very important weekend for T Sport Racing, as a number of team partners and their customers were expected to join us over the 3 days of this race weekend. Our main aim was to impress our current partners and to engage with potential new ones. Since everyone was very pleased with the T Sport Racing set-up and appearance, we definitely managed to achieve this objective. However, we had never ever thought that we would have to fly in several team members from the UK in the middle of the night to bring us three 32kg bags full of engine spare parts required to keep our race truck in the competition.
On Tuesday afternoon, the first part of the team arrived at the circuit together with our hospitality trailer. On Wednesday, the second trailer – carrying our race truck – arrived from the PE Automotive headquarters in Wuppertal (Germany).
On Wednesday and Thursday, we spent most of the day setting up the hospitality unit before the official programme started on Friday and our partners were due to arrive in the morning. On Thursday, we refused to participate at the VIP/press rides as we wanted to make sure we didn’t put too much unnecessary stress on the truck´s engine prior to the actual race weekend.
On Friday morning, however, and although we were so careful the day before, DISASTER STRUCK! During qualifying, a cylinder head cracked. Our truck was not at all fit to race. With some quick thinking and a great teamwork, we still managed to coordinate with team members who were still in the UK. Over night, they flew over to Germany – with six new cylinder heads in their suitcases.
Leaving the UK at 9:00pm, it took the rest of the team 6.5 hours of flying and driving until they reached Nürburgring at 3:30am. This was when we started reassemble the engine. Our team worked through the early hours of Saturday morning to get the truck ready – definitely no mean feat! Finally, at 7:30am, thirty minutes before the first warm-up session, the rebuilt engine fired up for the first time. From across the paddock, many could hear the cheers of the T Sport Racing team celebrating their achievement.
The team used the warm-up session to test the rebuilt engine and to make sure everything was working well. We were all really pleased with the outcome when we realised the engine was working within its parameters and all our hard work and the sleepless night paid off. Our lap times were good and we were ready to race and looking forward to welcoming our partners from PE Automotive!
Due to the issues with the engine the previous day, our driver, Terry Gibbon, had to start the first race on Saturday morning from the back of the grid. It was an eventful race and we managed to gain four places with the rebuilt engine. We felt this was a great accomplishment for the team, considering we didn’t have a working engine just 24 hours prior to the race.
The second race of the day started really well and Terry managed to gain a number of places. Unfortunately, we were given a drive through penalty for overspeeding at the start of the race. As a result, we finished at the back of the grid. Terry tried his best to catch up with the rest of the pack and managed to achieve some great lap times – similar to those of Shane Brereton who finished 11th on the grid.
Although our race results of the first day were not as expected, we are absolutely delighted with all of the positive feedback we received from our partners at the hospitality unit. We are also happy we made some great new contacts and we are very optimistic about the future of T Sport Racing.
With Terry making up seven places throughout the third race, our team had a really positive start into the second day of racing. With some fighting spirit and determination, the truck with the number 37 finished fourth in its class – which put us in a great position for the last race of the weekend.
The final race was a real highlight: Terry first struggled with his engine’s temperature but then carried on fighting for a good result once the temperature was under control. Our hard work definitely paid off when Terry crossed the finish line on 13th position, finishing 3rd in the Grammer Truck Cup!
A great finish to a successful weekend!
We now head back home to the UK were we will get the race truck ready for the next big round in the UK – at Donington on the 21st and 22nd of July. On site, we will once again expect several guests from PE Automotive and EMS & FPS Truck and Trailer Parts. Stay tuned. We will keep you informed.