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Rooster driver Luke Taylor walked away from his overturned truck after an 80mph collision at a rain-swept Donington Park on the weekend of 22-23 July.

A combination of the slippery surface and a mechanical fault with King Klaus – Rooster’s MAN racing truck – sent Luke careering into a high-speed slide that ended at the barriers and tipped the vehicle onto its side.

Recalling the incident later, Luke said: “I came out of the corner and, scarily, the steering locked. As soon as the wheels locked and I started sliding on the wet grass, I knew there was nothing I could do. Once the truck had come to an abrupt stop I looked at the fence and thought, ‘that’s not straight’, and at that moment the truck tipped back onto all six wheels.

Close call

It was a terrifying moment for Luke and the watching Rooster team, which included a host of sponsors and guests invited by partners G-truck and UAN Truck. Thankfully, no serious harm was done, at least to the driver. An ambulance ride to the circuit’s medical centre was a sensible precaution, but Luke was quickly discharged.

King Klaus, on the other hand, was not so fortunate.

David Taylor, Rooster team Principal, said: “Once the truck was recovered we were able to look at the damage and evaluate the situation. The front axle had come out, the steering arms snapped, dampers broken, shockers in bits, major cab damage, engine and gearbox mountings bent, and much more.

“It’s a big job but it’s all fixable. The main thing is that Luke is fine and walked away without injury. We would like to thank the marshals, medical team and the staff at Donington Park for their efforts this weekend.”

Looking ahead

Discussions will now turn to the cause of the accident. A greasy surface had seen Luke slip on to the grass on a couple of occasions earlier in the race, but the steering lock problem will be investigated and resolved by the Rooster mechanical team before the next race meeting at Snetterton in September.

Martin Sangster, Commercial Manager for partner G-Truck, said: “It was a worrying moment for us all and we were very relieved to see Luke walk away unharmed. Now attention turns to the truck, which has taken a bit of a battering. But we are a united and committed team and everyone will do everything in their power to get Klaus back in racing shape for Snetterton. And despite the accident the sponsors and guests had a great weekend, enjoying the hospitality and seeing some excellent racing.”

For a while at least, they also enjoyed the weather. Saturday started with blue skies, warm sunshine and some encouraging early laps for Rooster. The first race of the BTRC series, watched by a large and appreciative crowd, saw Luke start and finish in 8th place, though he clocked some impressive lap times and would have finished higher were it not for a slip in concentration that saw Klaus touch the grass and lose momentum.

Luke was handily placed in fourth on the grid for Race 2 and was feeling confident, but then rain, locked wheels and an unplanned excursion to the crash barriers put paid to what was shaping up to be a competitive weekend. In true Rooster fashion, the team will now look forward to their next outing.

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