Podium place at Pembrey truck racing after close finish for Mark Taylor

Huthwaite-based Taylors Trucksport Racing Team had a successful weekend in the British Truck Racing Championship at Pembrey Circuit, writes Paul Horton.

Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 3:53 pm

Driver Mark Taylor, 35, took the Taylors Transport-sponsored #81 MAN TGA 12000 Super racing truck to a well-deserved second place podium spot after being pipped to the line on the final stretch of the race on Sunday.

Overall, Taylor had a fantastic weekend that saw him gain more points in the championship and also bring back a trophy in the making.

He said “Race three was so close, I had a good start and led the race up until the last corner of the race and the flag was in sight but was pipped to the post. We took a well-deserved podium second place.

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Mark Taylor with his trophy after taking second place.

“All in all the weekend went really well and the truck performed great.

“The team did a great job as usual and have come away with more points in the championship.

“It is still early in the season and I’m looking forward to the next round now at Thruxton.”

The team were on it from arriving on Thursday evening at the South Wales circuit after a mixed weekend three weeks ago at Brands Hatch that put the team in seventh spot in the Championship on the seasons opening race weekend.

Again, the usual timetable of five races over the weekend were on the cards and Fridays opening practice sessions in fine dry conditions saw Taylor getting faster each session and amongst the top times on circuit for the day.

Saturday’s race one saw Taylor line up on row four (seventh place) on the grid alongside David Jenkins in identical machinery.

As the lights went out on the rolling start Taylor had some traffic to challenge and a mistake let Jenkins through.

For the first eight laps Taylor was on the back bumper of Jenkins that was turning out to be a procession in front, then a mistake by O’Rourke on lap eight saw Taylor back into seventh slot and still putting pressure on Jenkins

The procession continued with Taylor trying his hardest to pass with no reward, he remained in seventh to take the flag.

Second race of the day saw the #81 MAN of Taylor all shipshape and on the third row ready for take-off.

A slow start saw Taylor let Powell and Jenkins through, by lap nine Taylor was back in seventh spot and piling the pressure on, but settled for it at the end of the 15 minute race.

The team encountered several front brake discs cracking in qualifying and the early races which were cured by Sunday.

A turbo was also swapped on Saturday night due to the original showing signs of significant wear.

All was not lost, and Sunday’s three races were another day,

Sunday’s race three of the weekend saw a reverse grid format and Taylor lining up second on the front row alongside the #86 MAN truck of Tom O'Rourke and a further 18 truck compliment behind them.

The race couldn’t have started any better for Taylor. He was off like a whippet, he flew down Park Straight and was first into Hatchets Hairpin. By lap two he had pulled away from the pack behind and with 11 minutes remaining on the clock he led the race by 5.2 seconds.

With five minutes left he was over six seconds clear, by lap six, the Daimler truck of Ryan Smith was putting the pressure on Steve Powell and Tom O'Rourke in front of him trying to get through to challenge Taylor.

By lap nine Smith was in second place only 5.4 seconds behind and getting faster each lap.

On the penultimate lap Smith had caught Taylor up, who was pulling out every stop to keep Smith behind with only a 0.829 second gap between.

As Taylor turned into Honda Curve to the end of the last lap, Smith made a last bend lunge to take Taylor that saw Taylor take the flag in second with only 0.479 seconds behind to settle for a very well earned spot.

A jubilant Taylors Trucksport Team back in the Paddock were still happy with a podium spot, leading 12 out of the 13 laps and taking three fastest times in the race.

Another front row spot for Taylor in race four again saw him line up next to Simon Reid’s Iveco Stralis 13000 truck.

Reid got the better start and by lap three Ryan Smith had put pressure on Taylor to take second spot.

A lap later Stuart Oliver had taken Taylor too and he was in fourth spot.

But Taylorkept his cool and fended off the rest of the pack of 15 trucks behind to take the flag in fourth spot and missing out on a podium by nine seconds.

Last race of the day saw Taylor seventh on the grid, a lap later he was in sixth slot.

By lap five Taylor had made up another place into fifth.

But Simon Reid put pressure on him and Taylor dropped to sixth spot before Taylor showed who was boss, pushing the 5.3 Tonne beast of a truck into fourth place where he stayed to take the flag for another well earned placing and more points in the championship.

After a short break, the next round of the British Truck Racing Championship moves south to Thruxton Race Circuit in Hampshire on 9th and 10th July.