Luke Taylor takes his first win in the BTRC at the iconic SILVERSTONE Race Circuit
G-TRUCK / ROOSTER RENAULT RACES TO VICTORY
The sixth round of the 2016 BTRA British Truck Racing Championship took place over the weekend of August 12/13 at Silverstone circuit – this famous track was unknown territory for Luke Taylor, however the team were excited for a great weekend of racing!
The G-Truck / Rooster Racing Team were on top form for the Silverstone event – taking their first-ever victory after a strong performance from truck and driver in the fiercely contested Division One category of the BTRA series.
The Saturday morning Qualifying session gave an early indication of just how close the competition was going to be. Luke Taylor posted a best lap time of 1:14:473s (Average speed 79.29mph) – which was quick enough to place him 7th on the grid (just 0.368 sec. behind the reigning champion Mat Summerfield).
In fact, just 1.5 seconds covered the top eight drivers!
The first of the five races got underway in front a large crowd on Saturday – and it proved to be a very closely contested event with the Silverstone track providing few passing opportunities.
Luke made a clean getaway to maintain his starting slot – and then chased Summerfield’s MAN home in 7th spot (just 0.929s. splitting the pair at the line). In fact Taylor had his hands full – and he had to drive defensively in the closing stages as his rear view mirrors were full of Iveco with Simon Reid just 0.534s behind at the chequered flag.
In race two Luke got held up in a very crowded opening lap – he lost a lot of ground but finally brought the Renault home unscathed in 12th spot.
The fans were really flocking into a sun-soaked Silverstone as the trucks lined up for the third race of the weekend on Sunday morning. Hopes were high in the Rooster Racing camp as Luke was lining up on the front row of the grid – alongside the MAN of Ben Horne, who he quickly shook off to take an early lead.
However the race was red flagged and brought to a stop after just two laps as one competitor had blown his engine, leaving a trail of oil on the racing line.
But from the re-start cool-headed Taylor again blasted away from the rolling start and took an immediate lead. Soon Dave Jenkins (MAN) was nibbling away at the rear of the Renault – but Luke maintained his composure, strung together some clean and rapid laps to maintain his advantage – and eventually was delighted to receive the chequered flag; his first-ever win in the bag!
Jenkins had continued to chase the Renault throughout the eleven laps – and at the finish line Luke’s winning margin was a strong 0.857s. Summerfield came home in third place with championship leader Ryan Smith very close behind him in fourth, just 1.6 seconds covering this quartet.
Of course with the ‘Reverse Grid’ format in operation Luke’s superb win brought him one penalty in the following race; he found himself back on the sixth row of the grid for race number four. But the Renault racer made up a couple of places and came through to gain 10th place – just 0.5 seconds behind the Renault of Luke Garrett.
The fifth of the championship races saw Luke gaining another 3 valuable points as he came through to a fighting 8th spot – in an entertaining mid-field battle. Luke took the flag less than half a second behind Michael Oliver (Scania) – while maintaining a 0.837s advantage over Reid’s Iveco.
The Silverstone weekend had produced five different winners from five races – and Luke could proudly collect his trophy as one of that elite group.
A very successful trip to Silverstone had netted the team a total of 18 points – bringing his overall total to date into three figures (103 points).
That means he maintains a solid 7th overall in the hard-fought BTRA Division One Championship – heading towards the next round of the series at Snetterton on September 10/11.