It’s not often you get to see oval racing in the UK, but I managed to witness some yesterday with the Pick Up Truck racing at Rockingham on the same bill as the Fiesta Juniors. The event certainly had a US feel to it, with the trucks being reminiscent of some of the American racing series. That was augmented when the trucks headed to the grid, the engines were turned off, and after a rendition of the National Anthem – for the avoidance of doubt, God Save The Queen – the drivers were given the instruction “Start Your Engines”. The grid roared to life, and rock music filled Rockingham.
The trucks headed off behind the safety car, as part of a rolling start. When the safety car peeled in, there was certainly plenty of close racing with trucks three abreast, using the oval configuration at Rockingham. There was an early incident when the truck of Mark Willis veered across and into the wall near the start line. Marshals and medics were quickly on the scene, and the driver left in an ambulance, although thankfully it was confirmed via Twitter later that he was ok.
The race continued, with plenty more side by side racing, and on several occasions there were three trucks wide coming around the Rockingham track. The race finished with a win for Pete Stevens, followed by Freddie Lee then Dave Longhurst. There was a later race in the day, won by Dave Weaver, with Freddie Lee and Pete Stevens taking second and third.
I really enjoyed the racing; it was of a style I normally only get to watch on television. I’ll watch out for it next time it’s at Rockingham. Definitely worth watching.