May 1, 2024

Taylor's Tale: A Debut Season of Surprises

For Mark Taylor, his 2023 rookie season in the Goodyear FIA European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) was marked by unforeseen challenges and remarkable achievements.

"When we first started, we expected to be at the back of the pack," Taylor recalls. "It was all a big learning curve. Just finishing races, that's all we were aiming for. And then when we started getting podiums, we knew we could do more than that."

The British team surprised itself, when Taylor secured a spot in Super Pole at Misano. "The team came on the radio and said, 'You’re in Super Pole,' and I went, 'Are you sure?'" Taylor remembers with a chuckle. "It was a good thing really looking back."

The momentum continued to build as Taylor showcased his confidence on the track, with a standout performance in round three at Poland, where he secured four podium finishes. "Poland was a game changer," Taylor reflects. "We got a podium in every race. We were finding our feet and everyone was really getting into it. It was the best weekend I’ve had."

However, the euphoria of success was met with the harsh reality of racing at Most, where a big crash in Race two brought Taylor's season to an abrupt halt. Reflecting on the incident, Taylor acknowledges the steep learning curve that comes with such challenges. "It's a very expensive lesson, but it's a big learning curve at the same time," he admits.Despite the setback, Taylor's resilience shone through as him and his team, with the help of some other teams in the paddock, rallied to rebuild the damaged truck in record time, a testament to their unwavering dedication and the true #onetruckfamily spirit of the Goodyear FIA ETRC. "For all of them to do that, you're grateful for it to just get back on track again," Taylor reflects.

For the remainder of the season, Taylor faced a series of ups and downs, battling through teething problems and unforeseen setbacks. "We were on for a solid third in the Promoter’s Cup up until Most," Taylor explains. "Then with the teething issues, we weren’t going on track that much and if we did go out, we had things go wrong.” Despite all the challenges, he achieved two more podium finishes in the last three rounds.

As the pre-season test in Most signalled the dawn of the 2024 season, Taylors Trucksport marked a successful return to form, with Mark's #81 MAN truck running flawlessly after the extensive rebuilding efforts over the winter: “Testing has gone well and the truck is back on form. Our performance and times were great,” said

Mark Taylor remains determined to build on the lessons learned from his debut season and set his sights on more success. "I'm aiming for at least being top three in class.”

With the team's renewed confidence and determination, all eyes are eagerly set on the opening round of the championship in three weeks’ time in Misano.