The next morning (05/09/19) we set off at 0800hrs to finish the last bit of the drive to the track. We spend the next few days setting up and working at the track which if I’m honest wasn’t very interesting. The time management at the team isn’t very good, so there’s a lot of time standing around with nothing to do and by a lot I mean around 9 hours a day, so there’s plenty of time to wander about and see what else is going on between duties.
We set off on September 4th and it’s 1240 miles from the workshop. We are double manning in two Freightliner Cascadia’s. I drive a Mercedes-Benz Actros at home so there are some familiar sights and sounds right away as Mercedes have some steak in Freightliner (Both owned by Daimler – TB) as the gearbox is the same, albeit hooked up better than it is in the Merc and the steering wheel and a lot of the buttons and dashboard are the same. Our first destination is Kenly 95 a truck stop in North Carolina. Some of you will know the truck stop shop in Lymm and some of you will know the one in Brescia est (Italy)… well if those two had a baby then put it on steroids you’d get this place! There’s so much in there it’s hard to know what to look for in there. It’s so big it has a Peterbilt truck on a turntable in the window and a Kenworth with a trailer on the shop floor. The highlight was the aisle of stack exhausts that from the other side of the room looked like a church organ!
On the 3rd of September we go to the workshop to meet our new rides and load them ready for the first race in Pocono. Two amazing Freightliner Cascadia’s will be our steeds for the trip. We get everything ready and of course help get all the equipment loaded up.
I’ve been saving these blogs for a while but they make for great reading! Increasingly regular blog contributor Luke Power-Hippisley, the big boss down at Tudor Services in Bristol, did the road trip of a life time at the back end of the summer. This trip would be a bucket list trip for most of us in a car or camper van, but to do it in a brand new Freightliner pulling a race trailer across the USA…….well some people get all the luck……or do we make our own?! The rest of these blogs will be in Luke’s own words.
6 weeks ago I was sitting in Altafulla (Spain) thinking about who to call to drum up a bit of work for September and before I could get started ringing around the call came to me. To see if I was available to go to America to work as a truckie on the Indy Car Series for the British team Carlin Motorsport and take the truck from track to track and help setting up and packing down. They also asked if I could bring a second driver so I called on of my best friends Matthew Campbell and asked if he was up for it and as you can imagine we ripped their arm off!
We flew to Orlando on September the 2nd and were told upon arrival one of our new colleagues would be picking us up from the airport in a blue pick up truck. What I didn’t expect was the beast in the picture with a total length of 40ft!
We will be flying to Orlando then making our way to Boca Ranton to the workshop, then we will be driving for the next three races. First Pocono, Pennsylvania next St Louis, Missouri then lastly Portland, Oregon before flying home.