From the UK Desk
Truck racing began in Atlanta in 1979. Unfortunately, the speed of the trucks are limited at 160 mph and no truck can weigh greater than 5500 Kg. Before the race the trucks need to be rolled into position. It tries to be a non-contact sport but the odd crash is not uncommon.
The first truck race was on dirt and the truck was not adapted. This has now changed; in the UK there is a special division – Division 1 – where all the trucks, including the braking and suspension, have been especially adapted.
In 1982 a top speed of 132 mph was at the Texas World Speedway. After 1986 the tag axle was removed, getting rid of 2000 pounds. The Bandit Big Rig Series began in 2017. It included the Hickory Motor Prize. Points were awarded in the qualifying rounds and included heat races, shootout races, challenge races and ultimately the final.
The FIA European Truck Racing Championship or ETRC includes events which have been running for thirty years. The championship, which attracts families, according to their website, usually has around 400,000 spectators or so.
The trucks are not supposed to emit black smoke and this will get them banned from the event if it happens twice in a row. The two categories are Chrome and Titan, the Chrome division plays for the Goodyear Cup. There are drivers and team categories too.
Each Competition takes place over two days. A day generally includes half an hour of practise followed by qualifying events and finally the championship race. The winner is the one allocated the most points.
A different type of truck racing involves trophy trucks or Baja trucks/trick trucks. Instead of the usual circuits this is off-road racing using high powered engines. The trucks are considered street legal but have been especially designed. There are minimal rules for each truck’s production.
When it began the trucks varied in design so drastically that no truck was the same. Over time a group of engineering firms got involved. The downside of this was that the trucks began to lose their individuality.
It’s weird but for a long period the trucks were two-wheel drive, but they now incorporate an all-wheel drive feature. Ford and Chevrolet engines are commonly most used. An air restrictor is required if the truck uses a turbo engine.
In order to maneuver against the terrain of the desert the minimum weight has to be 1,600 Kg. The gearboxes used have a choice of either being three speed or six speed.
Pickup truck racing has modified trucks which are more drivable in racing terms than most trucks but still aren’t as aerodynamic as the usual racing cars.
The NASCAR Truck Series began in 1995 and the electrical equipment and aerodynamics involved have evolved over time.
Whatever type of truck racing you decide to attend you are guaranteed a special event, which despite the size of the vehicle, still has some of the best racing drivers out there.