ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY THOUSAND ATTEND THE TRUCK GRAND PRIX AT THE NURBURGRING !
Last weekend 18th 19th 20th July was for Stuart and his team the time to participate in the two rounds of the British Championship that are held annually at the world famous Nurburgring in the Eifel region of Germany.
The event is also host to round five of the FIA European Truck Race Championship, the teams have to race in a different format to that at home so much so the practice and qualification sessions are held on the Friday with the two British points scoring races called the Mittelrhein Cup held one Saturday and one on Sunday.
As always the German Truck Grand Prix weekend is more than just a truck race event and is without doubt the highlight of the calendar, with a vast display of all thing’s new in the road transport industry plus a truck show that host around five hundred “shiny trucks” and to entertain the visitors between races and during the evening and early hours in the centre of it all is a number of stages to host a country and rock music festival.
Stuart has always enjoyed his time at the Nurburgring so much so that he has won numerous truck races here in both the British and European Championships and he is proud to have been the recipient of the Ring Miester award in 2010.
On Friday the team had the chance in the practice session to set up the truck to suit the fast technical circuit, towards the end of the day it was then time to set a fast time within the twenty minute qualification session for the Saturday’s race. Due to the high track temperature the first laps with cool tyres and brakes was going to be the time to register the best lap, sure enough within a pack of British trucks and a number of wild card European Championship trucks Stuart came up on the time board with a time to put him fourth fastest and secure his position on the second row of the grid for race one, this was far ahead of the teams expectations due to the participation of a number of European Race Trucks.
On the Saturday the clear skies and bright sunshine came back to raise the track temperature significantly higher than we are accustomed to at home. Stuart was confident that if he could stay out of trouble on the first tight right corner he would be able to hold his own, sure enough the start went well and apart from a gentle rub or two Stuart emerged over the start line at the end of the first lap in third place, this position he managed to hold until the closing laps when one of the European intruders managed to power his way past, this put Stuart back down to fourth overall and third within the British Championship but with a significant lead ahead of the rest of the pack.
The second race of the weekend was held early afternoon on the Sunday again under clear skies and again on a very hot track, the grid position was determined from the previous days finish position this meant Stuart was in the same grid spot as the day before. Again on the start Stuart managed to avoid any major issues on the opening lap and looked good to hold station and be ready to pounce should the three ahead have a tangle, but unfortunately as can be typical of all racing towards the end of lap three the gremlins struck and the main air supply pipe to the gearbox clutch and brake water cooling system decided to come apart and gave Stuart no option other than to enter the pit lane, due to the loss of air in the system the rear brakes automatically applied and that was the end of the race!
As always Stuart was positive and happy with the trucks performance along with the excellent result on the Saturday the team still maintain the fourth place position in the championship.
The next outing is at one of Stuarts favourite circuits Donington Park during the August Bank Holliday weekend 24th 25th.
In the mean time the truck has a couple of easy weekends polished and on display at the famous Assen Truck Show in Holland 26th 27th July followed by a trip up north to the Scottish Truckfest 2nd 3rd August.