TEAM OLIVER RACING AT PEMBREY “ONE NOT TO FORGET”
Last weekend 15th/16th October TEAM OLIVER RACING (TOR) participated at the home of Welsh Motorsport at the BARC Pembrey race circuit. Because of media commitments, Stuart and Michael were out on track on the Friday, giving hot lap rides to members of the local media.
When the race action started on Saturday morning, Stuart, Michael and Shane had the opportunity to go out and get the feel of what was now a wet track. Shortly after this, it was time to qualify for truck race number one of the weekend. Stuart was constantly posting the fastest lap, on at this time a drying track. Unfortunately, in the last minutes of the session Stuart had to settle for second place on the start grid, missing out on pole position by only two tenths of one second behind his main championship rival. Shane secured sixth place and Michael not wanting to be left behind secured seventh.
Race One – the rain fall had changed from showers to constant rain. This did not put off all three TOR drivers who made no hesitation in keeping up at the front. Unfortunately, Shane developed steering problems and had to retire from the race early. Stuart kept the pressure on the leader all through the race but had to settle for second place with Michael crossing the finish line in sixth place overall.
Race Two – with the rain coming down like stair-rods the race was started with very poor visibility. Stuart was starting on the back row, a few rows behind Michael. It was a challenge to be able to see a line, never mind to overtake. However, Stuart managed to work up to finish fourth overall. Unfortunately, Michael’s truck developed an air brake problem causing him to retire. Shane had managed to rectify his steering problem and after starting from the back of the grid he also made headway through the field and finished in fifth place.
On Sunday morning, Race Three got underway in weather condition the same as that of the previous day. Michael started from the back due to his previous race none finish with Stuart and Shane both starting from the middle of the grid. Straight away both Stuart and Shane made progress managing to overtake in what was very difficult conditions and by mid-race Stuart and Shane were up in second and third place and putting pressure on to take the lead. With one lap to go Shane went off line at the entrance to the fast Honda turn, aquaplaning and loosing grip and subsequently hitting Stuart’s truck as it turned into the corner. This forced them both to become passengers in two trucks traveling at around seventy miles per hour across very sodden grass and both hitting hard into the tyre wall and finally ending with one truck on top of the other. Fortunately, both Stuart and Shane walked away without injury. After a major recovery operation, it was clear however, both trucks were very badly damaged and they would not be out on track again for the remaining races on Sunday. At the time the Red Flags came out Michael was going well and up to seventh place.
Subsequently in the Fourth Race of the weekend Michael was the only TOR driver running. After a very productive opening few laps his air brake problem returned, causing him with no option other than to retire into the pit-lane.
Race Five – with the rain still coming down hard and the problem with Michael’s truck rectified, all TOR eyes were on him. From the green light race start he made no delay in doing a great job and was posting very quick times, working his way up through the field. After passing a number of previous race wining trucks he was then unfortunately pushed wide and off the track, putting him back down to the very back of the field. Not to be put off he quickly recovered and started again to work up through the field posting consistent lap times that were the second fastest and only just behind the race winners pace, resulting in him finishing in sixth place overall.
The team now has only a few weeks to prepare and repair all the trucks for the final round of the BTRC championship to be held at Brands Hatch on 5th/6th November.