ALL ACTION PEMBREY
Last weekend the 22nd 23rd April was the date of the second round of the British Truck Racing Championship held at the home of Welsh motorsport at Pembrey Nr Llanelli, South Wales.
Team Oliver Racing made the trip to the circuit early on Friday morning to take advantage of the Friday test sessions. The sun was shining early in the day and both Stuart and Michael were looking forward to the opportunity to fine tune the set-up of the trucks ahead of the race weekend.
Stuart made many set-up changes to his new VOLVO VN truck following the Brands Hatch event, in the first test session the team were amazed at the pace Stuart was achieving. Michael was not as fortunate after only a few laps the trusty SCANIA developed a major engine overheating problem.
By the end of the Friday test sessions Stuart and his team had found a set-up for the truck that made him significantly faster than his opposition.
Michael was not so fortunate he found himself hot footing it along the M4 to Swindon on Friday evening to collect the replacement engine parts that would rectify his trucks engine problem, at the same time the team got to work stripping down the engine, when Michael returned with the new parts the team set about re-building the engine, working well into the early hours of Saturday morning to get his truck up and running.
On the Saturday morning, all the trucks went out to set a time in the qualification session that would determine the start grid for the first of the five races.
Unfortunately for mysterious reasons Stuart’s truck performed far from that of the previous day, fortunately he still managed to post the second fastest time, be it more than one second slower than his lap times of the Friday. Michael not having the benefit of all the Friday test sessions still managed to post a lap time to put him on the fourth row of the grid in eighth place.
Race one got under way on the Saturday afternoon with Stuart starting from the outside on the grid, after the start the first time the trucks reached the notorious Hatchets Hairpin Stuart’s truck was pushed out wide and dropping him down the field, after a hard fight he managed to cross the finish line in third place. Michael was not having any luck only a few laps into the race yet another engine problem developed that forced him to retire from the race, after examination it resulted in him having to withdraw from the rest of the weekends racing.
Sunday was set to be a gruelling day with no less than four truck races over a short period of time. The second truck race of the weekend got underway with Stuart starting from the second to last row of the grid, after yet another all action race Stuart managed to move up the field posting the fastest lap of the and to finish the race in seventh place.
The second race of the day, the third of the weekend was to be a race not to forget, at the start Stuart was quick off the mark and soon made his way to the front and in full control of the eighteen-truck race, he easily crossed the finish line the clear winner. Post-race Stuart was called up in front of the Clerk of the Course to be told he was excluded from the race result apparently due to an incident on the opening lap.
Without dwelling on the mystery of the decision following the previous race, Stuart started the next race from the back row of the grid. With no delay, he swiftly got away and worked his way through the field, with plenty action from flag to flag he crossed the finish line in fourth place.
The final race of the weekend Stuart was this time starting from the middle of the start grid, still dumfounded by the earlier official’s decision he was determined to claw back as many championship points as possible. When the start lights went out he quickly made haste through the pack, after yet another all action race he emerged across the finish line in second place.
The team now have a few weeks to repair and prepare the trucks ready for the trip to the high speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 3rd 4th June.