After having previously gotten a good glimpse of the Tata T1 Prima racing truck at the Auto Expo last month, we just got an idea of how the race-ready truck actually fares out on track. Earlier today, Tata Motors gave TopGear a taste of one of the contenders in the upcoming T1 Prima Truck Racing Championship at Buddh International Circuit.
Truck Racing, as a sport, began in United States back in 1979 and now after 35 years of its evolution, Tata Motors has taken the initiative to bring the heavy-weight brawlers to India. The T1 Prima race trucks that will participate in the championship – that will flag-off on March 23 of this year – are tweaked versions of road-going Tata Prima truck that we’ve been seeing around since 2008.
These trucks have been modified according to British Truck Racing Association regulation which subsequently comprises 22 key modifications, meeting some particular performance and safety needs. After some engine and turbo tuning, the T1 truck now churns out a hurricane 370bhp @ 2100rpm, making the street-legal trucks 267bhp feel like a gentle breeze. The rear axle is kept standard and top speed is limited to 110kph. To keep the weight optimum for track, the fuel tank size is reduced to 90ltrs and is shifted to the centre of the chassis just behind the cabin.
The truck also features a roll cage, a racing seat and a quick-release steering wheel on the safety front. To keep the weight of this gargantuan in check while cornering, various components have been relocated to increase the vehicles centre of gravity. To stop one of these mean machines on the dime, a new generation of wider drum brakes have been called into action. These vehicles are even equipped with a water jet cooling mechanism to keep the temperature of their drum brakes low. The truck uses slick JK racing tyres to get the grip it needs and to aid stability, the suspension height has been reduced.
A total of 12 qualified, and internationally-acclaimed drivers will be competing for the first-ever T1 Truck Racing championship at the Buddh International Circuit. The 5.12km-long track has been shortened to 2.1kms for the T1 race. Also, the races will flag-off with a rolling start. We can’t wait for the sun to rise on this new era in history of motorsports in India.
(Words: Nitin Rose)