Flying start for Huthwaite truck racer Mark Taylor in Italian opener

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Taylor’s Trucksport Racing Team’s start to their second season in the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship in Italy went well with a podium last week, writes Paul Horton.

The Huthwaite-based team with their 37-year-old driver, Mark Taylor, were well pleased with their performance at Marco Simoncelli World Circuit, Misano, Italy that saw them start their busy season of truck racing across Europe.

It was Taylor’s second season in the championship, and the whole team did a sterling job over the weekend, that saw them leave Italy in third place, buzzing for the next round at Slovakia Ring Circuit this weekend.

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Taylor said, “What a great weekend, the truck ran fine all weekend, and the team did a great job keeping me on the tarmac over the weekend, a big thank you to you all.

Mark Taylor in action in ItalyMark Taylor in action in Italy
Mark Taylor in action in Italy

“Sealing third in chrome in the last race topped the weekend off for us all.

“We have come away with some points in the championship as well and now look forward to Slovakia Ring.”

Taylor’s first season last year saw him collect many trophies to finish the season in the Promoters Cup in fifth place.

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A new look to the championship this season saw new regulations, an all-new qualifying format and a new and more challenging championship with a Titan and Chrome class for the drivers to gain points to become the elite champions when the season comes to an end in October this year, after travelling all over Europe over seven rounds.

Saturday’s two practice sessions in bright sunny weather were well received by Taylor and the team, the truck ran faultlessly and saw him take P11 and 12th spot respectively and topping speeds of around 80mph.

Qualifying in P11, the 12-lap race one was going to be tough for Taylor, starting from row six on the grid.

By the end of lap one he was into P9 and third in chrome category.

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On lap four Taylor moved into P2 in chrome but was back into P5 on lap six and got a 10 second penalty for over speeding.

He took the flag in P5 but further penalties were handed out and he was demoted to P6 in chrome and 11th overall.

Another row six start in a restarted race two saw further disappointment for Taylor as a coming together between him and Newell saw Taylor pushed into last spot.

He had sustained some damage and headed back to the pits, but after inspection was out again but over a lap behind.

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By lap eight he was chasing a P5 slot in chrome but nearly two minutes adrift off pole position.

By lap 10 Mark was still pushing, although with damage, and was into P4 in chrome class due to a retirement and 10th overall as he limped to the end.

The team worked like trojans into Saturday night to repair the truck and service it ready for Sunday’s final two races.

Another qualifying session saw Taylor seal a fifth row start for race three.

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As the lights went out Taylor had a big off on lap one and a case of waved yellows.

Taylor rejoined in P12 with front end damage to the bumper. Determined as ever, by lap three he was into P11 after overtaking Garrett.

By lap 11 he was into P10 and took the chequered flag and P4 in chrome classification.

The final race of the day and a reverse grid race saw Taylor on row five.

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A great start saw him power his way into P9 virtually straight away.

For the next 10 laps he tried every which way to gain places with no luck but on the air of caution too as he needed to fend off any competition from behind as well and all was to play for in a podium place.

As the flag came out, he finished with a podium third spot in chrome placings and ninth overall.

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