The third season of Tata T1 Prima Racing, India’s only truck racing championship, is all set to take place at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. The Tata Motors sponsored event will witness the spectacular performances of the T1 Prima 4038.S (4×2 Tractor) racing models that are being specifically tweaked for track use. The company has made 7 significant improvements in the new 2016-spec’d race truck, apart from the 22 major modifications that differentiates it from the regular road-going model, and numerous other minor changes incorporated last year.
Tata Motors is betting high on the truck racing event every season as it showcases the company’s superior technology and know-how in trucking, via challenging track performance. This is to be seen amid the larger campaign of the ‘Word-Smart Truck’ that pits the Prima range as a modern, global-ready model. The company is already selling the truck in many overseas markets in Europe, Australia, Africa, Gulf Cooperation region (GCC), South Asia, South East Asia, South America, and Russia.
# Engine and Output
The race-spec T1 Prima is powered by the same (as the regular model) 8.9-litre Cummins ISLe turbo-charged diesel engine mated to a 9-speed manual gearbox (with a crawler gear) sourced from Eaton. Delivering a maximum power of 370 bhp at 2100 rpm and a peak torque of 1550 Nm at 1300 rpm, the truck can now hit a top speed of 130 kmph. Thanks to a bit of engine calibration and turbo tuning, the race truck puts the road-going Prima delivering just 267 bhp to shame.
Tata Motors, along with its technology partners including WABCO and Cummins, has developed the T1 Prima race truck from scratch, as per the parameters laid down by British Truck Racing Association. Built on the regular Prima heavy truck chassis, the truck features the full-forward steel cab with rigid structure slapped with a sturdy roll-cage. The in-house developed rear axle, called as Tata Hub Reduction unit, has been kept standard. To main weight balancing, the fuel tank has been shrunk to 90 litres and placed at the centre of the chassis, right behind the cabin.
To meet the long-suffering braking needs of the racing, the truck is equipped with WABCO-developed ‘Dual Circuit Full Air – S Cam‘ braking system with water cooling system that uses pressurised sprinklers prevent the brakes from getting jammed out of exorbitant heat. The racing truck also sees the addition of propeller shaft guards, redesigned exhaust unit, and race-spec tyres sponsored by JK tyres.
There has been significant weight reduction using lighter components, and many of them are relocated to optimise the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The suspension and chassis heights have been significantly lowered than the regular truck, in pursuit of lower body roll and road stability.
# Safety Features
At the race track, the truck must not only exhibit its fluency in power delivery, but also assert control. The T1 Prima is equipped with regular ABS and ASR (Anti-Slip Regulation), along with new-generation wider drum brakes at rear wheels. The front wheels boast disc brakes. There are underride protection frames in front, sides, and rear. Inside the cabin, the truck boasts racing seats and seatbelts, quick-release collapsible steering, and roll-cage protection.
Tata Motors claims that the race truck has been subjected to rigorous tests for high speed ride and control. The Prima T1 is duly certified by FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India) after strict security checks.
# Key changes in 2016-spec’d T1 Prima race truck
In comparison to the previous year models, the 2016 race truck claims reduced centre of gravity by over 100 mm, which is likely to improve the truck’s track dynamics and stability at higher speeds. The suspension system has been softened a bit, while the shock absorbers have been improvised for increased stability during speedy turns.
The jet nozzles in the pressurised sprinklers in the brake cooling system has been enhanced, while the aluminium fuel tank is now lighter than before. The tyre profile has been reduced, from 315/80 R 22.5 to 315/70 R 22.5.