TEAM OLIVER RACING – KINGS AT NURBURGRING
Last weekend 2nd 3rd & 4th July TEAM OLIVER RACING made the annual trip across the channel to the world famous Nürburgring in Germany to participate in front of the 123,000 enthusiastic spectators in both the FIA European Championship and the popular Mittelrhein Cup races.
Stuart and Shane had the advantage over Michael by having previous experience racing around the high speed German circuit. On Friday all drivers had the opportunity in the practice sessions to acquaint themselves with the demands of putting together a fast lap prior to the qualification sessions that would set the grid for the Saturday Mittelrhein cup race. With a field of 28 trucks all trying to achieve pole position the action was intense. At the end of the session it emerged that Stuart qualified in 2nd place only 3 tenths of one second of the pole position man, Shane finished the session in 9th and Michael managed to pull off a remarkable 14th.
Saturday, Shane had to also qualify in a field of 20 trucks to participate in the 2 FIA European Championship races, with no delay he managed to post a lap time to secure him 13th place on the grid.
Following the FIA qualification session, all three TEAM OLIVER RAING drivers had the first of two Mittelrhein Cup races of the weekend. With no delay Stuart was off on a charge to try and take the win and after a strong challenge he had to settle with the runner up spot. Shane progressed during the race to finish in 4th, Michael unfortunately after a good start developed a gearbox problem causing him to retire from the race.
The rest of the day was taken with the two FIA races that Shane had chosen to compete in, race one with him starting 13th the race started and progressed in a formation very different to the action of the previous race, Shane held his own and crossed the line in 13th.
For the second FIA race of the day the team had made some set-up changes to Shane’s truck and all was looking good, again starting 13th this time Shane straight away started to work forward up the leader board, unfortunately at mid-race he developed a braking problem that forced him to retire from the race.
Saturday evening the team had plenty of work to do with a gearbox to change in Michael’s truck and the brake problem to rectify on Shane’s truck as well as join in with Stuart’s birthday celebrations, the latter going on well into the early hours of Sunday.
Sunday morning Shane had to go out and qualify for his grid position for the first FIA race, this time following the previous day’s set up changes saw him make it into the top ten Super-Pole session and achieve a qualifying position of 9th overall.
The first race on Sunday was the second of the Mittelrhein Cup races, the grid was set by the top eight from the previous day race finish positions being reversed. This meant Stuart was to start in 7th Shane in 4th and Michael due to his none finish was to start from the back in 28th.
From the very start the racing action was intense with track positions changing numerous times per lap, the spectators in the packed grandstands were ecstatic with the all race action, up until the last corner of the last lap it was not possible to predict a possible result. It turned out Stuart managed to finish 4th overall, with 3rd place being taken by a German FIA participant meant he achieved 3rd overall in the British Truck Racing Championship. Shane also had an all action race at one stage in second and challenging for the lead, following some had challenges he managed to cross the finish line in 5th overall, 4th in the British Truck Racing Championship. Michael from the back was on a mission, working his way passing trucks lap after lap throughout the race at the chequered flag he had managed to secure 11th place overall and 9th in the British Truck Racing Championship.
After the lunch break, Shane was out again in the first of the two Sunday FIA races starting 9th on the grid he was set for an action packed race. To make things more interesting just prior to the start the sun disappeared behind a black cloud that turned into a down pour, because of this the FIA officials decided to run two formation laps followed with the first race lap under full course yellow flags, this allowed the grid to spread out and not allow Shane with plenty British wet race experience to catch up with the front pack, resulting in a race that was short on action in comparison to the previous race, with Shane crossing the line in 10th place.
The second FIA race of the day was similar to the first apart from the sun had returned and the track was dry Shane held his own in a field of 20 trucks crossing the finish line again in a very respectable 10th place.
Following all the racing of the weekend the big surprise came to the team during the podium award ceremony, when it was announced that the prestigious “RING MEISTER” trophy also known as the “KING OF THE RING” award was presented to Stuart. This achievement is the second time Stuart has received the award for consistent, clean, on track achievements throughout the whole weekend.
Stuart and the whole team were delighted with the excellent achievements by all of the Team Oliver Racing members and he said he could not have wished for a better birthday weekend.
It is now full steam ahead for all the team to prepare the trucks for the highlight of the British truck race calendar in just over two weeks at Donington Park on 23rd 24th July.