So the weather has played havoc with the proposed PROMT schedule, add to this some significant no-shows from truck owners and the 2004 PROMT schedule has had some changes forced upon it in the first quarter of 2004.
The MTR Promotions crew were in for a surprise on arrival in Cork in Southern Ireland as two of the PROMT championship trucks, Blown Thunder and Thunderfoot had opted not to make the trip across the water. It was there loss as the MTR Promotions team had built an exceptional track in a wonderful setting in the exceptional grounds of the Mill Street facility. Qualifying saw Ian Batey in the much-changed Lil Devil truck take fastest time over BIGFOOT, Swamp Thing and Hulk. Driver Ian signalling his intent to be on the pace as soon as possible after a few years out of the drivers seat. Due to reduced numbers of trucks the racing format was changed, and saw each truck race each other two times, scoring three points for a win and a single point for a loss. At the interval the totals were tallied up and the two trucks with the most points raced for first and second, with the two lower scoring trucks in a race for third and fourth.
And what racing it was, in the final Lil Devil lined up against the ever-present BIGFOOT #17 in what is fast becoming the grudge race of the season, as good friends and work collegues Ian and Nigel are head to head for an event win yet again. Ian gets Lil Devil off the line better and has a clear lead over the first set of cars, but BIGFOOT is closing as they reach the turn. Its Nigel at the wheel of BIGFOOT which makes the cleaner turn, and lays into the big Ford power plant to surge over the line for the win. The run off for third and fourth is cut short when Swamp thing loses a torque converter on the line, handing drew Thornton an easy if unrewarding win.
The second Irish round was cancelled due to promoter issues, and was rendered a car crush display and not a PROMT racing round. Unfortunately the venue for round three of the Irish tour had to be changed at the last moment and the revised venue was deemed by the MTR Promotions team and MTRAE directors Nigel, Ian & Tony as not fit for racing. So this event also had to be rescheduled as a gala event only… All in all, a very frustrating time was had in the Emerald Isle.
Not the case with the excellent TIR Prince venue. Back for a third year and now on out fourth visit this venue just gets better and better. With the size and facilities required for top-flight monster truck racing, it's a venue that staff and driver alike all look forward to visiting. And this time even the sun was shinning. Ian Batey (assisted by his sons, Billy and Martin) and the MTR Promotions crew put together one of the best tracks yet seen in the UK. A long and demanding J shape course on a perfect surface with quick ramps and a long run into the 180-degree turn. Thunderfoot's Tim barks had abandoned his belief in shaved tyres turning up with a new set with considerable amounts of tread on them. Tim had been at them with the tyre cutting iron, but more to shape the tread than to remove it. It certainly seemed to help in the damp conditions, especially in the turns where Tim showed a clean pair of heels to a slithering BIGFOOT (on fully shaved tyres) in the final race of the day.