The International Truck Prix enjoyed a debut to remember at Convoy in the Park this past weekend (August 12/13) as a host of big names served up four blockbuster races around Donington Park.
Making its long-awaited bow at the Leicestershire venue after months of preparation and excitement, the International Truck Prix delivered its fair share of thrills and spills as a bumper grid battled it out for supremacy in at times challenging weather conditions.
Hot on the heels of a pulsating qualifying session which was topped by Jamie Anderson, the opening encounter – sponsored by HGV Direct – had everyone on the edge of their seats as the first-ever International Truck Prix race took centre stage.
Blasting into life shortly after heavy rain had battered the circuit, the opening lap saw plenty of action as drivers tip-toed their way around the damp 1.64-mile layout; with Martin Gibson the first to encounter trouble as he skated into the gravel at Redgate.
Gibson was able to continue but the same could not be said for Luke Garrett and Mika Makinen, who both exited the fray early on and subsequently brought out the red flags.
When the action restarted, Anderson and John Newell had everyone captivated as they scrapped for overall honours however it was Anderson that would reign supreme – albeit by a little over half a second. Further back, Mark Taylor completed the podium in third.
Anderson would complete what was a ‘Super Saturday’ at the Leicestershire venue in race two – which was sponsored by Northside Truck & Van – as he swept his way to a second victory of the day from seventh on the grid.
Despite being again interrupted by a lengthy red flag stoppage – this time to recover the stricken Volvo F12 of Willem Breedijk – the action-packed bout saw the former British Truck Racing Championship race winner produce a commanding performance to comfortably triumph.
Behind, Gibson bagged second place whilst Newell came out on top of an alrighty scrap for third which also included Ray Coleman and John Bowler.
Returning to action on Sunday, race three – which was sponsored by Dynes Motor Group – saw Anderson complete his hat-trick with another superlative drive at the wheel of his MAN TGX.
Having narrowly missed out pole position to Newell in qualifying, the #33 machine hounded the rear of Newell’s MAN over the course of the opening five laps before finally making a decisive move for the lead on lap six.
From there he didn’t look and cruised to victory ahead of Newell. Taylor had claimed third place on the road however a 15-second time penalty for track limits infringements meant that he dropped back to fifth and promoted Gibson to third.
Further down the order, those in attendance were treated to a number of captivating battles, one of which pitted Coleman against Isle of Man TT legend and truck racing debutant John McGuinness MBE.
Taylor’s dismay of missing out on the podium in race three was vanquished in the weekend’s finale – sponsored by GB Tyres – as the former BTRC front-runner served up one of the standout drives of Convoy in the Park to triumph.
Starting fifth, Taylor wasted no time in muscling his way into the lead over the course of the opening tour – although that was to be just the start of his exploits as hot on his heels was Anderson.
Eager to clinch what would be a clean sweep of International Truck Prix race wins, Anderson threw everything but the kitchen sink at Taylor however the latter was impenetrable as he delivered a defensive masterclass out front.
Taylor would hold off Anderson all the way to the chequered flag – where there was less than two tenths of a second separating the pair – whilst Gibson once again completed the podium in third.
To view the full classification of results from all International Truck Prix sessions at Donington Park, CLICK HERE.
All four races from the inaugural International Truck Prix will be available to view on the British Truck Racing Championship YouTube channel HERE.