Thruxton 28/29 July 2012
The fourth round of the BTRA season was to be held at Thruxton Circuit. Known to be the fastest circuit of the season and consisting of long sweeping bends with few tight corners, this track was sure to be a test for truck and driver.
With Saturday came sunshine, the TTX team in high spirits for the weekend ahead and the truck ready to go. The team were using the practise time to set the truck up for this track, and to test brakes, shockers etc. So when Luke went from going round well to the back end being very loose, he knew something wasn’t right. He pulled into the pits to check over the truck, it appeared that we had a broken rear spring hanger and this was obviously the reason for the drastic change in handling. Back in the paddock, the team thought over their options and came to the conclusion that the only quick fix in the short time between being on track would be to carry out their own ‘Scrap Heap Challenge’ and re-manufacture and weld a new hanger into place and hope it would withstand the trucks power around the track – hopefully for the remainder of the weekend!
Everything seemed to be going well and the team qualified in Third position for the first race on Sunday. This was great news considering earlier that day the team thought they may not make it out.
The first race on Sunday was going well for Luke, he was chasing Collett and started to build a lead on Horne, however with only 2 full laps completed, Luke lost all drive and rapidly slowed to a halt. He tried to set off but there appeared to be a problem concerning the clutch or gearbox and had to be towed back to the paddock. Shortly after this happened for Luke, David Jenkins ploughed into a barrier after battling with Matt Summerfield for the lead. The race was then red flagged after only two completed laps. Next on the timetable came the ‘Last Chance Race’. The TTX mechanics managed to sort out the problem with the gearbox in time to get Luke on track for this race, which wasn’t for points. On track the rain started to pour, there was even some thunder, and rain drops the size of golf balls! On came the wipers for Luke and the hunt continued, he did mention that the closer he got to catching Collett and Jenkins, battling for second, the worse his vision got, due to the spray off the track. Luke finished Fourth in this race ahead of Ben Horne and with just less than two seconds between him and Jenkins who finished Third. However Luke’s times were great, he had the Third fasted lap time from the whole race. Unfortunately, Luke didn’t managed to finish the final points race, but still managed to clock the third fastest lap time before he made the difficult decision to retire on the 7th lap as the truck was getting uncontrollable.
So even though no points were gained at Thruxton and the truck only chose to break down on the points races, the team still came away happier than ever that Luke’s times improved massively which again confirms that we are heading in the right direction.
Moving forward, the team have a lot of work to do on the truck before our next outing at Donington on the 18/19 August, we are all very optimistic about the future for Luke and the team and this is the driving force for us to do the best we can.
Luke would like to take this time to thank the team mechanics, Steve, Keith, Paul and Chris who without them this weekend would have ended on the Saturday. Also to the rest of the team for keeping everybody’s hopes up during this trying weekend. Last but by no means least, the dedicated fans of the sport who take the time to visit the team whenever they can.
If you would like to follow the teams progress during our repairs on the truck please follow us on Twitter: @TTXMotorsport and also ‘Like’ our Facebook Page for up to date photos and news: /TTXMotorsport79.
See you soon!