Mansfield's Mark Taylor all ready for new British truck racing season's start this weekend

Huthwaite-based Taylor’s Trucksport Racing are all ready for the start of an action-packed British Truck Racing Championship season that kicks off this weekend at Brands Hatch, writes Paul Horton.

Monday, 11th April 2022, 1:03 pm
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 1:03 pm

Mansfield’s 35-year old-truck racer, Mark Taylor takes to the wheel of the Taylor’s Transport-sponsored MAN TGA 12000 Supertruck in what is expected to be a demanding weekend on and off track for the team that saw Taylor bring home some silverware on his last excursion to the Kent circuit at the end of last season in November.

Taylor said: “ I am looking forward to the new season and this weekends opener to the season at Brands Hatch.

“Testing at Pembrey a few weeks ago went very well with some very satisfying lap times. The truck ran well and with a few improvements it ran even better

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Mansfield truck racer Mark Taylor is ready for action. Picture by Paul Horton.

“Brands Hatch is my favourite circuit and I hope to get on the podium at the weekend and look forward to more as the season goes on.”

Taylors have worked their race boots off to completely re-build the beast of a supertruck with the aim of getting some podium spots and even chance of a championship by the end of the season.

Born in the USA in 1979, truck racing hit British shores not long after and captured the imagination of racing enthusiasts.

The organising governing body, the British Truck Racing Association, was founded in 1984 and has been at the helm ever since.

Division One is home to the most advanced machines that have bespoke braking and suspension systems while Division Two is likened towards more production-based machines; both delivering fast-paced heart-stopping moments throughout the season.

Taylor’s MAN truck weighs in at around 5.3 tonnes and, with a stiffened sub-frame holding the race tuned 12,000cc 1000plus brake horse powered engine delivering the power through a 16 speed gearbox, it will be the one to watch.

Other essential tweaks that make it so special include uprated springs, water cooled braking and specialist shock absorbers that ensure traction to the race track tarmac through the race tyres.

This weekend sees five races in the championship on the Indy circuit at Brand Hatch and for Taylor competing in Division One, the top category of truck racing sees competition from a further 12 trucks and closely followed behind them seven Division Two trucks to add to the mix.

With seven race weekends during 2022 the truck racers will visit Brands Hatch and Pembrey twice, Thruxton and Snetterton as well the popular Donington Park Circuit 'Convoy In the Park' in August.

A couple of weeks ago the team went to Pembrey Circuit in South Wales for two days extensive testing, the purpose to establish the best set up of the truck and to understand the impact of the changes made.

These included front wheel tracking, tyre pressures, shock absorbers, anti-roll bar settings along with optimising the water cooled braking system used to bring the beast of a truck to a rapid halt.

Significant data analysis took place of both truck performance and driver, overall both days testing were a huge success and improving lap times.

A few design changes were noted and have been implemented and the truck is now awaiting to set off to Brands Hatch at the weekend

Taylor began truck racing at the end of the 2018 season and finished the 2019 season fourth overall.

The 2020 season was very disrupted by the Covid outbreak and the truck was completely re-built in readiness for last season that still suffered and started later in May.

Last season Taylor finished fifth in the championship and took six podium places including a great start at Brands Hatch taking a first and a third place.

Brand Hatch is Mark’s favourite circuit, the 1.2079 mile tarmac with its sweeping Graham Hill bend and ultra-fast Brabham straight that leads down Paddock Hill into Druids will definitely take a pounding, and he hopes the weekend will be kind and see more silverware on its way back to their Nottinghamshire base.