ROOSTER RUNS WITH THE BIG GUNS. PODIUM IN THRUXTON
NEXT STOP NURBURGRING
by Jonathan Reeves
Round 3 of the 2016 BTRA British Truck Racing Championship saw the heavyweights thundering around the sweeping curves of the high-speed Thruxton circuit – a real test of man and machine, especially in the unseasonable and slippery conditions the truck racers had to handle this year.
For Luke Taylor and his MKR Renault the weekend was story of continuous progress – the team worked together and made several setup adjustments to the truck, which led to a well-deserved third place finish in the final race of the weekend.
The action got underway in damp and dismal conditions on Saturday morning – but there is no missing the striking livery of the GTruck Rooster Renault.
The light rain combined with a rival truck leaking oil left the track surface a little less than treacherous for Race One – but Taylor controlled the beast and drove a sensible race, progressing from 11th on the grid to be classified 8th at the flag, just 0.741s behind Dave Smith (Sisu) on the line.
Race 2 provided a better opportunity for Luke to show his talents and the performance of the Renault – making good use of his front row starting slot to initially head the pack, leading multiple champion Stuart Oliver.
Luke enjoyed the tussle on the track during the race, and fought a strong battle amongst a couple of the BTRC veterans providing fans with some exciting action.
Luke maintained a strong pace all the way to the end, taking the chequered flag in fourth place – over 1.5 seconds clear of the next finisher, Shane Brereton (MAN).
The Sunday action started with Race 3 – before which the team took the decision to adjust the trucks set up to more suit a longer track such as Thruxton. Luke had a stead run, dealing with the changes, and came home 7th, this time holding off Dave Smith’s Sisu.
Team management then insisted to stick with the trucks alterations, and awaited further feedback from Luke. Race 4 was a steady race for the team, but not a wasted one – Luke steered clear of trouble.On return to the paddock, the team made further adjustments based on the feedback of race 4. Race 5 then saw Luke on the front row on the ‘reverse’ grid.
As the lights flashed green for the last event of the weekend the Rooster Racing Renault leapt off the line – heading the packed field into the first turn.
Luke ended the first lap still out in front – with reigning BTRA British Champion Mat Summerfield snapping at his heels.
For several laps Taylor successfully fended off the blue MAN and this pair were circulating at high speed in very close company, Luke maintaining his lead with some defensive driving.
But hard-charging Ryan Smith was closing in on the dicing duo – which for a while became a three-truck freight train. Eventually both Taylor and Summerfield ran a little wide through one of the sweeping turns – providing championship leader Smith with the opportunity he’d been seeking to nip up the inside and grab the lead.
Summerfield finally also found his way to overtake – but Luke held on to secure the final spot on the podium with a fighting third.
The Rooster Racing Team would like to thank their sponsors and fans for the continued support.
NOW IT’S NURBURGRING
Siguiente stop on the busy summer schedule for the BTRA Championship is the annual trip to Germany for the ADAC Truck Grand Prix (July 2/3) –the biggest event in the truck racing calendar.
The Rooster Racing team haven’t been to the Nurburgring for several years – but Luke will be pleased to return to the venue where he actually made his racing debut… this time armed with a very competitive piece of machinery!