Outstanding team performance at the 30th anniversary of the Truck Grand Prix at Nürburgring
Last weekend saw the fourth round of the BTRA Truck Racing Championship. This round was to be held at the world famous Nürburgring in Germany. This venue is always a welcome highlight for all participating teams with this year’s round marking the 30th anniversary of the Truck Grand Prix. The event draws tens of thousands of spectators with the ADAC Mittelrhein Cup forming part of the BTRA Truck Racing Championship alongside the four races of the FIA European Truck Racing Championship. For the 30th anniversary of the Truck Grand Prix the organisers had planned a unique support programme to compliment the racing which included a huge industrial park, show trucks, the X-Bow battle, motorcycle stunt shows, a live concert and famous firework n Saturday evening.
A total of 28 race trucks signed up for the ADAC Mittelrhein Cup which outshone the field entered for the FIA European Championship. The two Kelsa trucks of Team Oliver Racing stood proud in the paddock and attracted many visitors throughout the weekend. Shane Brereton, who has been working with the Team Oliver race trucks for quite a while thanks to his paint shop TOR Trucks was again piloting the second race truck for the event. The first time he ever piloted one of the race trucks was two weeks ago at Thruxton. After completing his first outing successfully he insisted in participating once again as Stuart Oliver’s teammate piloting the Kelsa Scania.
The team set up in the paddock under glorious sunny conditions on Thursday ready for the two training sessions and the qualifying scheduled for Friday. The first race took place on Saturday with the starting grid resembling the results of the qualifying session from Friday. Stuart was positioned 4th on the grid with Shane starting from 10th position. Stuart started the race and had soon gained a position after the first lap to bring him up to 3rd behind Jeremy Robineau. It didn’t take long though until he overtook the red MAN to bring him up to 2nd place behind Ryan Smith. Ryan held the field with quite a gap and was almost certain of his victory. Stuart Oliver, however, was not for settling for 2nd position. He calmly raced through each lap without any flaws or mistakes and with each lap, he reduced the gap towards Smith. On the last lap, he was close enough to see his opportunity to overtake which secured him a first place finish. Newcomer Shane also performed consistently and stayed within the leading half of the field throughout the whole race – a remarkable performance for his second outing.
The second race, on Sunday, was much to prove much more action-packed. Due to a reverse grid rule, Stuart Oliver started from 8th position. After the first few corners Stuart was involved in an incident where he was pushed off the track and fell back 10 positions. Stuart surprised everyone, not only his own team, as he showed the extent of his experience and his extreme calmness during the race. Step by step, he recaptured all of the 10 positions he lost at the start! Shane also performed well until he touched the tyre barrier at the chicane. As a consequence, his race truck started leaning and finally tipped over to its left side. The race was interrupted immediately and the race truck was recovered and towed away. Emergency workers and paramedics looked after Shane who was not injured and luckily got away with just some bruises!
Of course, the whole team was shocked by the accident at first, but soon the decision was taken to try anything possible to get the race truck back on track for the last race. The team became a major attraction at the paddock – obviously, nobody wanted to miss out on the team frenetically working on the race truck. Shortly before the start of the race, a safety inspection was made which confirmed the great job the team had done – the truck passed the inspection and was ready for action again and so was Shane! He started from 10th position but soon levelled up two positions during the race. Finishing 8th, he achieved his best result of the weekend!
Although Stuart Oliver started from 2nd position on the grid, he experienced some problems with the gearbox in the early stages of the race and fell back some positions at first. Again as he had done in the race before, he quickly recaptured most of the lost positions during the race and finally finished 3rd, however this was not to be the final finishing positions! Dave Jenkins was given a time penalty for passing on a waved yellow which saw Stuart move up one more position, ranking 2nd in the end. As a consequence, he claimed the BTRA Division One victory with Mat Summerfield as runner-up and Steve Thomas completing the podium.
All-in-all it was a wonderful and thrilling weekend with great results and an outstanding team performance – particularly concerning to cooperation between the drivers and the mechanics working hand in hand – indeed a remarkable team play!
In just three weeks, the next round of the BTRA Truck Racing Championship will take place in Donington – back in the UK. Make sure, not to miss out on it.