Terry Gibbon on the podium at Donington Park
Last weekend, on the 21st and 22nd of July, T Sport Racing participated in the 4th round of this year’s British Truck Racing Championship at Donington Park – the closest circuit to the team’s home. As last year, the so-called “Convoy in the Park“, a massive show truck exhibition formed part of the event. Thousands of spectators attending the two-day event had plenty to see and do: there were 10 truck races – divided into two classes – as well as trade stands, a kids fun fair and an action arena including caravan smashing.
Once again, our team had a fairly impressive setup in the paddock including our large hospitality unit to cater for the numerous guests of our partners EMS, FP&S Truck and Trailer Parts and PE Automotive.
As there were no practice sessions on Friday, Terry was under a lot of pressure on Saturday morning as he went out on track for the first time to qualify for the opening race of the weekend. All members of the T Sport Racing team were pleased when Terry achieved a quick lap time that would have put him in 8th place. Due to a track limit penalty, however, he moved one place down to 9th.
All of our guests where present when the first race began. Gathered together and hoping for a good result, we all cheered Terry on. It was an exciting race. Terry posted competitive lap times and moved up the field until finishing in 7th place.
Due to the reverse grid rule for the second race, we started from 5th position. Terry once again proved that he is one of the best off the line as he gained two positions before the first corner. The team´s adrenaline levels were running high with the possibility of a trophy for T Sport Racing. It was exciting to see Terry holding on to his position, fighting hard and knocking little bits off his time with each lap. When the trucks crossed the line, we all rushed down to greet the drivers at the podium and to celebrate Terry´s third place.
On Sunday, we were looking forward to another successful race day. But things didn´t quite go as planned. Terry was well underway in the first race of the day. He had another excellent start and managed to keep up with the race leading pack, fighting to finish in 5th. Unfortunately, an engine problem occurred 2 laps prior to the race finish which forced Terry to retire.
Everyone noticed the tension of the T Sport Racing team members and everybody who heard the story from Nürburgring – where we had to change the cylinder heads over night – understood that we were really worried that the same issue could have occurred again. We checked the engine right after the race and realised that the injection pump was damaged. Although the damage wasn´t as severe as it was at Nürburgring, we still needed some parts from our workshop 2 hours away. We thus asked a very close team member and friend to bring them as quickly as possible. In the meanwhile, we missed the 4th race of the weekend. But most importantly, we managed to install the injection pump and to get the truck running and ready for the final race of the weekend!
We had to start last, but Terry drove a fantastic final race entertaining both fans and guests. He moved up the grid and managed to overtake 4 trucks. When he finished in 7th place, we were all very pleased!
All in all, we had a fabulous weekend. We are proud to take home a podium and happy that our team once again pulled all strings together in a very difficult situation to make sure we stayed out racing instead of giving up!
We are now heading back to the workshop where we will prepare the truck for the next round of the FIA European Truck Racing taking place on the Czech Autodrom Most on 1st and 2nd of September.