A weekend of two halves!
Last weekend, saw the sixth round of the BTRA Truck Racing Championship 2015 taking place at Silverstone Circuit. Silverstone last hosted a race truck championship in the late 80’s so there was much excitement and anticipation to see how the teams would perform around this world famous track.
Two testing sessions were scheduled for Friday afternoon and both of the Team Oliver pilots appeared to have no problems at all with challenging new circumstances. Both of them achieved outstanding lap times and repeated these successes on Saturday morning both in the free practice and at the qualifying sessions with Stuart setting the fastest lap time with Shane achieving 5th position in the free practice and qualifying session on Saturday morning. Despite this being Shanes first truck racing season he has certainly settled into his driving and is learning more and more about how to get the best out of the Scania after each round.
Stuart, who had taken the championship leading at Donington kept the pressure on in the first two races of the meeting on Saturday. The grid position for the first race saw him starting on pole. Stuart, despite starting on the outside of the track kept cool and brought his Volvo home to secure the first win of the weekend with an outstanding performance. The second race saw Stuart starting from 10th position on the grid. Stuart again remained calm and set about manoeuvring his Volvo to the front of the field to bring her across the line in first position.
Shane was not to be outdone and after finishing 7th in the first race he stepped up a gear in the 2nd race and achieved a remarkable second place finish. The team was over the moon to see both their drivers on the podium.
Sunday started with the anticipation of further success. The first race saw Stuart starting in 10th position after a grid reversal. Stuart set off on the green light but after two laps his times began to slow down finally seeing him bring the Volvo home in 10th position. He had had a gearbox failure and once it was back in the paddock his experienced team of mechanics set about changing the gear box in time for the grid walk at 12.35. The truck was presented in its usual professional condition and sat proudly on the grid at the allotted time.
The second race of the day saw Stuart starting in pole position and after a flying start he was pushed wide on the first corner and then had to settle with 4th position. An additional race was then scheduled at short notice where all division 1 and 2 trucks were to start together for the first time during the weekend. The finishing positions of this race would decide the starting positions for the final race of the weekend. During the 3rd race Stuarts engine performance began to drop and he had to fight to hang on to first position but he managed to bring her across the line in one piece and more importantly put him in pole position for the last race of the day.
The final race of the day saw all competitors on the grid with the Division 2 trucks starting in front of the Division 1 trucks. At the green light Stuart started well and being on pole meant he was on the outside of the track with the first corner being a right hand turn. It was a closely matched run into the first corner and Stuart was pushed wide into 2nd position. On the third corner of the first lap there were three trucks battling hard for first place. Unfortunately Stuart was pushed off the track by an over enthusiastic competitor into an unsuspecting Oly Janes. Both trucks managed to manoeuvre themselves back onto the circuit to resume the racing but for Stuart it was a case of damage limitation and he finally brought home is Volvo in 10 position securing him 3 points.
The team now have a five-week break until Snetterton to repair the damage and resolve the engine problem however they have achieved so much this season and they are confident that both trucks will be presented at the circuit in the immaculate condition which the team have come to pride themselves on.