The Tata T1 Prima Racing Season 2 was bigger and better than last year and saw some adrenaline action from race-spec modified Prima trucks.
Tata Motors takes truck racing in India to a whole new level yet again, packs a lot of fun
And what a weekend it was! Filled with action, drama, superlative performances, and some tarmac restricted nudging, the Tata T1 Prima Racing Championship Season 2 had all the ingredients to be a money-spinning entertainer while also winning the hearts of motorsport fanatics. Concluding on a tremendous high, Stuart Oliver from team Castrol Vecton emerged as the victor for the second year in a row in the 16-lap final race to win the championship, amidst a crowd of over 45,000 spectators that witnessed history in the making on the 3.1 km long track.
Spread over two days, the venue, teams, and the drivers did not see many changes; but it was the race-spec Prima trucks that went through a host of upgrades evolving from the learnings of Season 1. Making all the difference, the trucks are now 700 kgs lighter with a lower ground clearance and a retuned suspension set-up. The engines have witnessed a 10 percent improvement in performance, now producing 370 HP of power and are capable of hitting a top speed of 130 km/hr (monstrous for a six ton weighing truck). Braking performance has also been enhanced with the new pressurized water tanks added at the back to cool off the brakes.
Identical to each other in terms of mechanicals and styling, the twelve Tata Prima trucks competing from six teams were differentiable courtesy of their livery as they scorched the tracks with some heavy-duty performance. A contact sport, unlike other racing events, truck racing allows drivers to nudge and shove without having to worry about penalty points or disqualification which made sure the drama on the track escalated to a whole new level. Steve Thomas from Team Allied Partners (Truck no. 33) grabbed the lead at the end of qualifiers on 14th March and managed to maintain the same at the end of the super qualifiers on race day (15th March) as well. However, Stuart Oliver (Truck No. 7) was in no mood of giving away his title and got the better of Steve in the very first turn itself during the final race.
As ruthless as it gets, the wet tarmac from the excessive downpours earlier in the day only made sure that control was lost more naturally by these mammoths with power slides turning into crashes. The race seized its victim in the second lap itself as Paul McCumisky from team Dealer Daredevils (Truck no. 99) spun out of control only to crash in the concrete barricades at turn one. The trucks were called back to the pits and a complete restart was announced.
The entire race from then on went to record some heavy one-on-one action between the British drivers that kept the audiences captivated throughout the 16-laps. There was heavy nudging between turn three and turn four while drivers got a chance to open the throttle completely hitting the top whack on the 1.2 km long straight. Following Steve and Stuart closely was Steven Powell from team Tata Technologies (Truck no. 9) eventually grabbing the third position, but saw tough competition coming from Mathew Summerfield of team Cummins (Truck no. 1) who grabbed fifth position in the final rankings.
Paul McCumisky and David Jenkins (team Tata Technologies) who also crashed in the same turn as Paul, retired from the race due to technical issues. Till the very end, the fierce competition between Stuart and Steve ensured some nail biting visuals with a difference of just 0.698 seconds between the two as the chequered flag made an appearance.
With motorsports still gaining popularity in the country, the sheer acceptance of adrenaline rushing truck racing opens new avenues for Tata Motors and also other manufacturers to expand the sport. Sharing its future plans for the next seasons, the automaker aims to do exactly that by inviting other manufacturers for a multi-race season with similarly specced trucks taking the entire event to a whole new level. Tata will also be organizing a truck driver hunt across the country that will see the manufacturer discover and nurture talent preparing Indian drivers to participate in future seasons. To the ambitions Tata Motors, all we can say is ‘the more, the merrier’.
2015 Tata T1 Prima Truck Race Results –
1) Stuart Oliver – Team Castrol
2) Steve Thomas – Team Allied Partners – +0.698
3) Steven Powell – Team Tata Technologies – +0.607
4) Chris Levett – Team Allied Partners – +10.761
5) Mathew Summerfield – Team Cummins – +0.693
6) Graham Powell – Team Dealer Warriors – +1.554
7) Oliver Jane’s – Team Castrol – +1.280
8) Simon Reid – Team Cummins – +0.403
9) Richard Collette – Team Dealer Warriors – +0.813
10) Ben Horne – Team Dealer Daredevils – +5.179
Further Reading –