Brands Hatch podium place for Huthwaite racer
Taylors Trucksport racer Mark Taylor finished the season bringing home some silverware from Brands Hatch, reports Paul Horton
The Huthwaite based truck racing outfit finished the 2021 British Truck Racing Championship in fifth spot after a mixed final weekend of ups and downs.
He reaped rewards at the Kent circuit, taking a second place podium on the Sunday and also three fastest laps during the weekend.
The truck suffered set up issues first time out on the 1.2079 miles of the Indy circuit tarmac. After a few tweaks by the team, Taylor’s second session was better but still in need of a few more set up changes.
Saturday’s qualifying session saw Taylor bring the MAN TGA12000 race truck over the line in 12th spot. The session was red flagged after 13 minutes after a truck went off at Druids. With only two minutes left on the clock the session re-started with Taylor deciding to sit it out.
Race one would see Taylor on the back row of the grid knowing he had some work to do to bring the beast of a truck home in a good spot.
As the pace truck peeled off after the parade lap Taylor put his foot to the floor to a 7th place finish.
A reverse place grid for race two saw the #81 truck pole sitter and as the lights went out Taylor lost the lead at Paddock Hill bend on the outside to Tom O’Rourke. Taylor put the pressure on O’Rourke but on lap 4 the Mercedes of Ryan Smith put Taylor back into 3rd spot. By lap 8 Taylor was back in 6th spot and settled for that after the chequered flag came out on lap 13.
All was not lost. Taylor was promoted to fifth place after Mark Gibson was disqualified for contravening maximum road speed.
Sunday morning’s race three saw Taylor line up on second row and again a great start saw him hammer the MAN truck into first place coming out of Paddock Hill and powered it into Druids.
He had four phenomenal laps before Ryan Smith appeared from nowhere to take top spot on lap 5. For the next 10 laps the pair had a nose to tail battle that saw Taylor finish with a podium second place and two flying laps that saw him fastest in the race. He lapped the circuit in 1m 01.326secs, topping speeds over 73mph.
Race four was short lived after a red flag after 3 laps, Taylor having to settle for 7th place.
Last race of the day and season saw Taylor in pole position again. A great start again saw him fly into the lead. By lap 2 Smith had taken that spot with Mark in second.
Disaster struck on lap 4 at Clearways. Dave Jenkins pushed Taylor onto the grass, this put Taylor into the side of him and Steve Thomas narrowly missing Taylor. Taylor clawed back from 11th place to finish in 7th place with some extensive damage to the truck.
Taylor Trucksport have had a fantastic season for the second season running. They finish the Championship in 5th place with 324 points.
A well pleased Taylor after the race commented: The whole season has been great. I’m well pleased with the second place in race 3 and narrowly missed out on another podium also.
"The season has been fantastic despite the late season start due to the Covid pandemic. I would like to thank the team for all their hard work as usual during the season and everyone involved in the Championship.”
Elsewhere, Mansfield’s Ryan Smith finished the Championship in 1st place for the fourth successive title.