On Your Marks, Get Set, Truck!
Head over to Brands Hatch on the weekend of the 11th-12th April, and you won’t see professional truck drivers taking it steady and getting the best performance out of their vehicles. Instead, you’ll be treated to trucks whizzing around at top speeds like larger, heavier Formula 1 car. Ok, you might not see the likes of Jensen Button flashing past your eyes, but, believe it or not, truck racing is as big in certain circles, as fans of those F1 superstars and cars.
British Truck Racing Association
The – ahem – drive to make truck racing a widespread and popular spectator sport is all down to the British Truck Racing Association. Truck racing has been a staple for a colossal 25 years, although most people probably didn’t even realise it even existed. Sure, it may have started out as a relaxed way of letting off steam for truckers, but pretty soon folks were demanding that the sport be regulated and voila – the BTRA was formed. Since then, the truck racing scene has really taken off. They even screen some of the races on TV, so if you’re a trucking aficionado, there’s plenty of chances to watch the show.
It’s not just Brands Hatch that’ll see these magnificent motor-beasts ploughing around the track. They’ll also be doing laps at those other famous racing institutions, Donington Park (25-26th July) and Silverstone (8-9th August). Not only that, eager truck fans will also catch a glimpse of the racing trucks in Wales and Germany. In fact, the whole truck racing season goes on right through summer, and into winter, coming full-circle with the chequered flag finally dropping on the 9th November at Brands Hatch.
Ok, let’s be clear – just because you own a truck, that doesn’t mean you’ll be good to rock up at Brands Hatch on the day of the race and tear the title away from Division 1 leader, Mat Summerfield. That’d be like owning any old automobile and expecting to go head-to-head with Lewis Hamilton!
The trucks used for truck racing are specially designed machines, and all of them need to be BTRA-approved. So what are they? Well, pro racing trucks are twin axle tractor units with turbocharged diesel engines that go up to 14,000ccc. These super engines have a super output too: 1200 horsepower and 5000nm + of torque. So not your everyday haulage vehicle, then.
All of the trucks involved in the race top out at speeds of 100mph, and feature a minimum 5,500kgs weight, with the majority of that weight front-loaded on the front axle – 3,200kgs, to be precise. Oh, and no ABS, before you ask. Although there is a GPS which doesn’t check the most efficient route to the finishing line, but does ensure that the vehicles don’t go over their maximum speed limit.
Service vs. Spectacle
That makes the trucks wildly impractical – not to mention pretty unsafe – on normal roads, and for normal uses like, y’know, delivering goods. Don’t expect too much fuel efficiency from these beasts! Having said that, one thing’s for certain when it comes to truck racing: it’s definitely a spectacle, with trucks savagely cornering around each twist and turn of the track in their bid to lift the championship cup!
Of course, if maintaining a fuel-efficient fleet is more your thing, then we can certainly help. We’re the market leaders when it comes to delivering fuel management systems that work for you, just the way they should. To get the lowdown on our products and services, simply contact the FuelTek team on 01254 291 391 and we’ll be delighted to assist with your enquiries.