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Team Taylor's Goondiwindi Journey
Wednesday, 04 November 2015
The 2015 Goondiwindi 400 off road race was set to be the last event for the year for Team Taylor Nitto Tyres. To celebrate, they took the #24 and #6 pro buggies, as well as teaming up with fellow Nitto Tyres competitors, Josh and Danny Curran for 5 laps of an iconic 80km looped Queensland event.

Ryan was out to push the #24 twin turbo V6 as hard as he could in the prologue to get a good place in the starting order to get some clean air on section one. With 78 vehicles starting the event, the 80km loop course would quickly become choked with dust making passing tough and times back in the field slower.

Unfortunately for Ryan, he pushed a little too hard in Prologue and after sailing a little too high over a set of triple jumps, had the steering wheel ripped out of his hands on impact, causing a slow but time damaging roll.

This event allowed seeding, wherein a vehicle may be placed in the section one starting order based on previous merit, in the event that something (ie Ryan's roll) happens while qualifying. Ryan was seeded 21st out of 78 entrants, which meant that after his prologue roll, he wasn't too disadvantaged by slower moving vehicles and their dust.

Nev Taylor in the #6 Pro buggy was also seeded after misfortune in the prologue after he clipped the strainer post of a tight farm gate crossing and tore the steering out of the front right side of the Tatum. Nev was seeded in position 27 for the first section of the main race.

Josh Curran was also representing Team Taylor and their sponsors Method Race Wheels and Nitto Tyres over the weekend in their #941 Jimco pro buggy. The Curran's have been racing on Nitto Tyre's all year with great success, backing up their solid prologue history with another solid start at this weekend's race.

With Prologue out of the way, Ryan was able to begin Section One with a chance at redemption, of which would have to wait for the following day's racing after the #24 suffered over boosting issues that would lead to overheating of the V6 and the need to stop mid race to allow it to cool.

Section two and three on Sunday were the saving grace for Ryan and the #24 as after an afternoon of work on the buggy in the pits, the boost issue was rectified and the lap times were quickened.

Ryan was only 3-4 minutes off the leaders lap times once the buggy was running lower engine temperatures, these times all with Ryan stuck in slower vehicles dust, awaiting 20-odd times a lap for the opportune moment to pass a slower vehicle. With cleaner air at the front of the pack, the #24 would of easily been able to sustain, if not improve on the new found speed and reliability.

The Curran brothers were able to tick off their 320km's of section one and two with ease. The Jimco pro buggy performing flawlessly as it always does.

Nev Taylor was struck (literally) with steering problems all weekend after his fence post glance in prologue, the damage sustained tore apart the front right mounts for the tie rod and bent the tie rod itself in half. With an efficient fix in the pits thanks to Dale Martin and his offering of spare parts, Nev was able to get back into the race with the pit crew working overtime to rectify the damage.

The #24 GET was by this time picking off the slower cars one by one, rarely seeing clean air as the wind died down and the dust would not settle. Ryan unfortunately pulled out of the race on the last lap due to sheering the crankshaft off behind the timing sprocket. With the constant problems with the engine over the weekend, a 42nd place (out of 78 starters) was all Ryan was able to salvage.

Through the course of the second section, the other side of the Tatum's steering let loose due to fatigue from the prologue issue, Nev called the event on the completion of lap 4 of 5 due to the steering issues that were making the car unpredictable to handle. This placed Nev in 53rd outright. Although this seems way down the order of finishers, he finished the event placing similarly to many of the bigger teams all having their own issues throughout the weekend.

The #941 Jimco of the Curran brothers finished the event with ease - the Curran's Pro Buggy finished the race in 14th outright.

Thank you to the Goondiwindi motorsport club for holding one of Australia's toughest and greatest events as well as all of the land owners who allow us to race through your properties.

All three vehicles will now be stripped completely in preparation for the 2016 season. The #24 GET will be getting further engine attention with the fate of the VQ35TT in limbo after the crank failure this weekend. The #6 Tatum will be torn down and prepped as per usual with a full replacement of pivot joints, bolts, engine components and suspension maintenance. The #41 (#941) Jimco is set to be completely tore down for chassis work and more than likely will have a powder coated chassis in 2016.

Over the course of the Goondiwindi 400 weekend, the three cars raced a combined 1,040km's on 35" DOT legal Nitto Tyres. All three buggies had zero wheel or tyre issues and we cannot thank Nitto and their Australian distributors YHI enough for supporting the team/s with a superior product. We see other teams time and time again coming into the pits with shredded tyres, of which many are dedicated race models.

We will make contact with all of our team sponsors shortly with a de-brief of the season and our plans for 2016. Thank you all for your ongoing support.

Source: Team Taylor
Photographer: Andrew Stott

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