The British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) 2017 roared into life at Brands Hatch over the weekend of 25th & 26th March, with Rooster’s Luke Taylor showing a turn of pace that will stand the team in good stead for the long season ahead.
The sun shone and the crowds came out in force at a picture-perfect Brands Hatch, and truck racing fans soon had evidence that Rooster – ably supported by partners G-Truck and UAN Truck – would be a force to be reckoned with in 2017.
After a truncated first practice session – one truck span into the gravel and had to be retrieved – Luke spent the qualifying session showing just what the team’s new MAN racing truck (affectionately named King Klaus) could do.
“Luke was on fire,” says team manager David Taylor. “With his mentor (European truck racing legend) Jochen Hahn presiding over events, Luke blasted into position two on the grid, which shows just how fast he can be in this truck.”
Taking second place in the first qualifying session of the season would be an impressive feat for any driver making his first competitive outing in a new truck. What made Luke’s achievement more surprising is that the young driver had spent the best part of half of last season sidelined with a serious wrist injury.
It wouldn’t be the last good news for Rooster on a successful Saturday of breakneck racing. Luke took a battling third place in the first race of the new season, and Rooster’s delight at a first podium finish so early in the championship was matched by their joy in the performance of the new MAN racing truck.
“The truck is just amazing,” says David. “It’s a thing of engineering beauty, both in full flight and stationary on the grid. It looks superb and drives brilliantly.”
Sunday was a more mixed day for the team, at least in terms of results. Luke finished in the middle of the pack in each of the three races, which was perhaps evidence of a driver yet to fully familiarise himself with a new machine.
But the results don’t tell the whole story of another exciting day. Brands Hatch was always going to be about testing Rooster’s new potential, and the last of the day’s races showed just what that potential might be. Luke finished in seventh place, but posted the fastest lap of the race and the second fastest lap of the entire weekend. If he can translate that sort of driving into podium finishes, the season holds considerable promise.
“This is the Chinese Year of the Rooster and Luke’s confidence is sky high,” says David. “He is very focused. We also have new recruits to the team and of course the superb backing of partners G-Truck & UAN Truck and all our sponsors. Taken together, that makes an awesome looking package.”
Partners make “awesome package”
Martin Sangster, Commercial Manager for G-Truck, added: “It was a fantastic weekend for Rooster as well as for G-Truck, UAN Truck, and all the partners. The weather was great and the truck looked at its absolute best – it will look superb on the TV coverage! There was a nice crowd who were happy to mingle in the paddock and see what this team is all about.”
The BTRC championship now moves on to Pembrey, South Wales, on 22/23 April, after which Rooster and the team take a trip to Austria to compete in ETRC FIA European Truck Racing. “These are exciting times for Rooster,” says David. “Watch this space.”