CRACKING WEEKEND AT BRANDS HATCH
Last weekend 2nd 3rd November TEAM OLIVER RACING attended the final round of the 2019 British Truck Race Championship at Brands Hatch. For the event the race organisers had scheduled plenty of additional entertainment, such as a large family fun fair, a show truck display and on Sunday evening the spectacular MSV fireworks display, all these attractions complemented the healthy attendance of race competitors.
The Saturday morning race qualification session was Stuart’s first opportunity in a few months to go on track and put his VOLVO VNL through its paces. In what were damp and greasy conditions Stuart did not take long to get up to speed and post several fastest lap times in the session, at the end of the session he had to settle with the second fastest slot. The team were delighted considering Stuart was up against several FIA European teams that had attended the event to finish off their 2019 season.
Race one of the four got underway mid-afternoon on Saturday with Stuart starting on the outside of the front row, history shows it’s not the best place to be on the start grid at Brands Hatch in the wet, sure enough things had not changed and Stuart’s truck was forced wide on the turn into Paddock Hill bend, resulting in it dropping back in the race order. Stuart as expected kept the pressure on throughout the race and worked his way up to finish the race in 5th place.
On the Sunday morning the rain had blown over and the surprisingly the sun was out, so all was set for some good close racing. Race two got underway mid-morning with Stuart starting from the middle of the grid, this time he was able to get a good race line through Paddock Hill and very soon was making progress up the order. By mid-race he had worked up through into second place and was closing on the leader, despite posting the fastest overall lap of the race by the chequered flag he was unable to get past the leader and had to settle for second place.
Race three got underway straight after lunch and Stuart was eager to score a race win, all went well at the start and by mid-race he was up into third place, the battle continued until the chequered flag, not for the want of trying Stuart had again to settle for another second place finish.
At the time of the start of the last race of the weekend and season, the weather had turned and the rain had returned making the circuit very greasy, Stuart started from the back of grid and very soon it was apparent that the trucks at the front of the grid had stolen a march, Stuart worked hard and made progress but the gap to the front was too great to catch up, resulting in him closing his 2019 season with a seventh place finish.
The team were delighted with the overall performance over the weekend and they are already looking forward to a full championship campaign in 2020.
Final word; Stuart wishes to take this opportunity to thank all his team members and sponsors who have committed to support TEAM OLIVER RACING throughout the 2019 season.
TEAM OLIVER RACING – Had the peddle to the metal at – CONVOY IN THE PARK
Last weekend 10th 11th August at Donington Park the 2019 premier British Truck Race event took place under the now famously recognised brand of “CONVOY IN THE PARK”. Following on from the popularity of the previous two years events it was always going to be a bigger and better event, and this it was with record number of public and trade visitors. The race activity because of Friday circuit noise restrictions got underway on the Thursday afternoon, with two thirty-minute test sessions.
Stuart and the team used the time to blow the cobwebs out of the trucks and also to allow Michael, who was back behind the wheel of the SCANIA for the weekend, to get to grips with the trucks improvements that Martin and the team introduced during last season.
Following the two test sessions both Stuart and Michael were happy with the set-up changes made and both trucks were in good shape ahead of the Saturday morning qualification session.
Saturday morning soon came around and the bumper amount of trucks all went out on track to qualify ahead of race one. Stuart and Michael both knew they were up against stiff competition because for this event several British FIA European Truck Race teams were in attendance, nevertheless Stuart soon started to notch up lap times that saw him in sixth-place, a position that was commendable. As the qualification session progressed Stuart’s times got faster, at the end of the session he had managed to secure fourth fastest, with a lap time of 1:26.761 and an average speed of 82.11 MPH. Michael also did not disappoint and posted his fastest time at 1:29.420 and an average speed of 79.67 MPH.
Race One; on Saturday afternoon got underway in sunny but rather windy conditions. Stuart with his VOLVO managed to hold on throughout the race to fourth place, at times he was able to challenge for third and at other times he had to defend hard to hold his position. Michael managed to hold his own and despite a few scrapes and spins he brought the SCANIA across the line in tenth place.
Race Two; on Sunday morning the reverse grid format had come into play, with the top eight trucks from Saturday’s race being reversed. Stuart therefore started from the middle of the grid and Michael started from three rows further back. Once the start lights went out Stuart immediately made progress and very soon he was up among the front four trucks. Lap after lap he steadily gained places and closed in on the leader, who had initially pulled a good lead. With four laps to go Stuart had caught the leader but at the same time had a train of European race trucks very close behind. The pressure was well and truly immense, but as always Stuart dug deep and managed to challenge and defend until the chequered flag, giving him a very well earned second place podium finish. Michael also did not disappoint and piled the pressure on moving past a number of top-class machines and again not frightened to share paintwork he brought his truck past the chequered flag in a very commendable seventh place.
Race Three; followed the lunch time grid walk, unfortunately when Stuart’s truck was standing on the grid a loud bang was heard which was then discovered to be a steering arm bolt that had snapped. Because of the limited time the truck was taken from the grid and ultimately Stuart had to watch the race from the pit lane. Michael who started from near the back of the grid soon made progress and his way past a number of trucks ahead, holding on to cross the finish line in eighth place.
Race Four; the final truck race of the event and as always this is the race the gloves come off. The team had managed to remove and replace the broken steering bolt on Stuart’s truck and Michael’s truck was performing well. So, all was set for a grand finale. Michael started the race from pole position and Stuart started from way back on the seventh row. As soon as the start lights went out Michael was over the line and off as fast as possible with a gang of trucks on his rear bumper, Stuart could only go forward in the ranking and that he did lap after lap. Michael trucks unfortunately did not have the pace to keep the European spec machines behind, but Michael did not make the task of overtaking him easy. By mid-race Stuart had made great progress and had cleared a group of trucks and was closing down on the fourth-place truck, unfortunately before he could get close enough to make a challenge the chequered flag came out, meaning Stuart had to settle for fifth place. Michael’s truck unfortunately received some mid-race damage causing him to have no option other than head to the pit lane with still a few laps to go.
In summary Stuart was delighted with the overall performance of the team and wishes to thank all the teams loyal sponsors for their support and commitment.
TRUCKS AT SPEED – ON THE ROAD – AT – COVENTRY MOTOFEST
Last weekend, 1st 2nd June TEAM OLIVER RACING attended the Coventry MotoFest, to participate in the road sprint race and to support the activities of two team sponsors, Giti and Power Maxed, who were also the two main sponsors of the event.
As soon as the team arrived on Friday evening, ahead the weekend ring road closure to gain access to the team’s city centre setup location, it was clear the public interest in the race trucks was significant. So much so it is reported that over the two days 210,000 visitors attended the event.
On Saturday morning under clear blue skies the visitors soon started to flock to the event, it was clear they were not disappointed to see the skeptical of the Team Oliver Racing paddock set up, with the teams two race trucks parked with a GT Radial Fun Cup car either side and the very impressive super-charged BMW M3 of French drifting ace Benjamin Boubles parked in the centre.
During the two-day event all the drivers were kept busy taking part in several sprint races and demonstrations, with the trucks taking a number lucky competition winners along for a high-speed passenger ride.
The sprint races were very different from the norm that Team Oliver Racing are accustom too, with the racing carried out as a timed sprint along a large section of the Coventry city ring road. All the vehicles started the sprint from a standing start, then going through underpasses and under bridges, over flyovers and through several temporary chicanes, (to spice things up even more)! The lap turnaround was done by going down an off-slip, around a roundabout and return up the on-slip and back along the opposite carriageway to the finish line. With four race trucks in attendance this gave the visitors a great taste of close up, high-speed, heavy weight race truck action.
Over the weekend Stuart Oliver drove his VOLVO VNL race truck and his son Michael drove the SCANIA, Martin Gibson the teams SCANIA driver from last year, was also kept fully occupied over weekend along with colleague Ellis Hadley they drove the two GT Radial Fun Cup cars, as a bonus they picked up a second place trophy in the performance car timed sprint race.
As well as the sprint circuit activity, the event hosted a drift action arena and a vast amount of other motor and motor sport activities along with a large amount of static display and demonstration vehicles and motorcycles of all types and ages, all parked among plenty of food and beverage outlets and family entertainment, such as Fun Fair Rides, the Wall of Death, live music stages plus lots more.
Stuart and his team were delighted and privileged to be invited to be part of 2019 Coventry MotoFest and are already looking forward to next year.
THREE GOOD ONE BAD – OVER EASTER AT BRANDS HATCH
Over the Easter weekend the first round of the 2019 British Truck Racing Championship got underway at the prestigious Brands Hatch race circuit in Kent. For this opening round Team Oliver Racing chose to only run the teams outstanding satin-black VOLVO VNL race truck with Stuart at the wheel. When the team arrived at the circuit on the Saturday morning to prepare for the Sunday and Monday race programme, it was a concern that due to some recent in-house engine modifications the performance of the VOLVO was uncertain.
On the Sunday morning underneath an unusually bright clear sky the race trucks went out for a fifteen-minute session to qualify for grid positions for race one. It was clear from the outset that the recent engine modifications on the VOLVO had greatly improved its performance from that of 2018. During the short session Stuart made several visits to the pit lane to allow the team to make suspension adjustments ultimately to accommodate the improved engine performance. At the end of the qualification session Stuart had managed to secure a very respectful third fastest lap time.
On Sunday afternoon race one got underway with the sun still shining bright and warm. With no delay Stuart was hot on the tail of the two trucks ahead and throughout the race he managed to keep up the pressure. Unfortunately at the chequered flag he had to settle for third place on the podium.
During Sunday evening the team made a few more truck set up changes in preparation for race two on the Monday morning. Again the sun was out as Stuart started the race from the second to back row of the grid. When the red lights went out Stuart executed a text book race start and very soon began overtaking one by one, the pack of trucks ahead of him. By mid-race he was at the front and began pulling out a commendable lead and at the chequered flag Stuart had gained a gap to second place of more than twelve seconds.
Just prior to the start of the third race the drivers were informed that a new race start format was to be adopted which meant that the drivers start positions would be made up from the second fastest time posted in the qualification session. Stuart was very disappointed at this last minute change his view has always been that one of the main spectacles of truck racing is the reverse grid format that, in Stuart’s words, sorts out the fast drivers from the race drivers. Nevertheless, the race got underway and as predicted became a procession throughout until the chequered flag. Stuart finished where, he started in third place.
Towards the end of the day race four got underway, this time the start positions had reverted to a reverse grid. Stuart again made no delay in moving forward overtaking a number of trucks on the opening lap, unfortunately when entering Druids for the second time a truck came down the outside and out of control hitting the rear of a number of trucks causing one to spin ahead of Stuart’s truck. Stuart avoided a head on collision with this truck but unfortunately another truck had no space to avoid and skidded into Stuart’s truck shredding his front tyre, forcing Stuart no option other than to retire from the race.
In Summary Stuart and his team were happy with the overall performance of his truck and are confident more race pace is possible, they are now looking forward to the next team outing. Where and when this is still to be decided.
FIZZ BANG – WALLOP AT BRANDS HATCH
The final British Truck Race Championship event took place last weekend 3rd 4th November at the immaculate MSV Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. Many of the teams including Team Oliver arrived early to take advantage of the two Friday test sessions. Stuart and Martin both used this track time to setup the trucks to best suit the circuit ahead of the final race weekend.
By Friday evening the team had managed to erect what was an impressive team paddock area to accommodate the large number of sponsors, friends and families that attended at the weekend. On Saturday morning, on a damp track the trucks went out to qualify for the first race of the weekend. During the session Stuart was holding his own up at the top of the timing screen, Martin also was posting very respectful lap times. Stuart’s last flying lap put him third fastest overall, then within the thirty seconds following and the rapidly changing track conditions Stuart was pipped by several following trucks and ending the session overall sixth fastest. Martin on his last flying lap posted a very respectful lap time that put him onto fourth place on the start grid for race one.
Mid afternoon on the Saturday race one got underway, the sun was out but the circuit was still very cold and damp making the grip very unpredictable, on the rolling start both Team Oliver trucks got away very well. Martin was holding his own among the front runners and Stuart was lap by lap, one by one overtaking the trucks ahead. By the chequered flag Stuart was up to a podium finish position in third place with Martin not far behind and crossing the finish line in fifth.
On Sunday morning race two got underway with the reverse grid format, meaning Stuart was near the back of the grid and Martin in the middle. Again, the circuit was damp and cold. Martin wasted no time in moving up the order with Stuart doing much the same. Martin had without doubt mastered the technique of getting around the Kent race circuit in good time and was holding strong in third place, until the closing lap of the race when an over ambitious move by a following driver pushed Martin wide and of the circuit at Paddock Hill. Stuart found himself in a strange predicament after an incident on the second to last lap when his truck was squeezed between another and the pit wall, ending with Stuarts truck jumping up in the air and attaching itself with the steering axle up off the ground to the rear of the other truck, Stuart then became only a passenger for the remainder of the race. The result of the race was Martin finished in a very respectable fourth place and Stuart in ninth.
Race two got underway straight after the lunch break, in front of a bumper crowd many who had attended to see the race action as well as the end of day spectacular MSV firework display. Stuart as always was determined to prove he could deliver race wins. Martin started the race from the second to back row of the grid and Stuart from up at the front. When the start lights went out Stuart was off to an immediate race lead. Martin was also not hanging back and he soon made headway past several trucks ahead. Stuart drove a faultless race taking full control, so much so he won the race by a magnificent margin of more than twenty-three seconds ahead of the truck finishing in second place. Martin also did not disappoint and crossed the finish line in a well-earned sixth place.
The final race of the weekend and the 2018 British Championship started as the sun was setting. This time Stuart started from the very back of the grid and Martin from the middle. Martin quickly moved forward in the order with Stuart soon close behind, unfortunately again Martin’s truck was hit by the same driver as earlier sending them this time both off onto the grass. Martin very soon recovered and continued to the end of the race to finish in ninth place. Stuart’s truck also encountered a few race contact issues delaying his progress, however by the chequered flag Stuart was up into sixth place.
Following the final race Stuart and his team discussed the overall performance throughout the season and all members were very happy with, for another year the team’s outstanding performance, by securing no less than sixteen visits to the podium.
Unfortunately, not all was as positive as a large majority of team members within the race paddock made no secret of the fact of major disappointment due to unscrupulous, irregularities and inconsistencies made throughout the season by the championship management, all hopes are set on seeing many positive changes being implemented prior to the 2019 BTRC season.
Finally, Stuart and Martin would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the many valued team sponsors and team members who have contributed greatly to keep TEAM OLIVER RACING at the forefront of the truck racing platform, at home and around the world.
STORM CALLUM – ALSO PARTICIPATES AT PEMBREY
Last weekend 13th 14th October TEAM OLIVER RACING made the long journey from the team’s home, to the Pembrey race circuit in the South West corner of Wales. As all the teams arrived to set up for the weekend the weather forecasters predictions became true, with Storm Callum delivering very high winds and constant heavy rain, this meant very little could be done by the teams to prepare for the weekend ahead.
On Saturday morning it soon become apparent due to the amount of standing water on and around the circuit the race programme would be greatly affected. With the organisers struggling with the situation eventually in the early afternoon the trucks were allowed out on the circuit to qualify for race one.
The first race of the weekend then took place late in the day, starting for apparent safety reasons with all the trucks in-line of stern and with no overtaking allowed until after the trucks had gone around the Hatchets Hairpin. Unfortunately, this idea was made earlier in the day and by the time of the race the conditions had greatly improved therefore the idea turned out not to be a recipe for good close racing. In the race Stuart finished in fifth place and Martin in seventh.
On the Sunday morning the rain had stopped, so the second truck race of the weekend started as planned, this time in the normal side by side, rolling start way. Stuart and Martin both had good starts, followed by plenty of close racing action. Stuart crossed the finish line in second place and Martin in seventh. Post-race the officials decided to award Stuart the only driver penalty of the weekend, giving him a preposterous ten second penalty for an overtake manoeuvres they deemed unsafe.
The second race of the day and by this time the sun was out, Stuart and Martin both again made very good starts. Stuart battled hard to work through the pack ahead and finishing again in second place, Martin`s truck was hit hard and pushed off track early in the race recovered well to finish in seventh place.
The final truck race of the weekend got underway in the late afternoon with the sun still shinning, both TEAM OLIVER drivers without surprise got off to another great race start, by mid-race Stuart was up into third and Martin up into sixth, both drivers worked hard throughout, unfortunately Martin’s truck experienced more heavy contact on a number of occasions, at the chequered flag Stuart had to settle for a third and Martin for a well-deserved sixth place.
In summary over the weekend both drivers managed to secure a good haul of championship points, although it was no secret that the mood of the team was somewhat deflated by the deplorable and inconsistent decisions of the race organisers and officials.
The team now have a few weeks to prepare for the final BTRC meeting of the year, held on 3rd 4th November at Britain’s best loved MSV owned Brands Hatch circuit, were the fireworks are sure to not to be the only things going bang.
BELGIUM Delight for TEAM OLIVER at ZOLDER
Last weekend TEAM OLIVER RACING crossed the channel and made the short journey across mainland Europe to participate at the challenging Zolder race circuit. The team arrived on Friday morning and set up for the busy truck race programme. On Saturday morning Stuart and Martin went on track to qualify to decide the start grid positions for the first race of the weekend. Stuart posted the fastest lap time and Martin was not far behind in second.
Race one; on Saturday afternoon got underway in glorious sunshine, on the race start Martin managed to squeeze Stuart around the first left turn and then took the race lead into the right at turn two, this position he held for several laps with continuous pressure from Stuart who was very close behind. In the closing stage of the race Stuart managed to get a better drive out of the last chicane onto the start finish straight and pass to take the chequered flag, Martin finished in second to achie his first truck race career podium in his Giti sponsored truck.
Race two; on the Saturday evening started from a reverse grid determined from the previous race results, this was without doubt a race that kept the European truck race fans on their feet, with fifteen trucks charging into turn one and then off around the narrow and twisty 4 kilometre circuit. Lap by lap both TEAM OLIVER RACING trucks managed to pick off the opposition, by the closing laps Martin was up into second place and Stuart was in third, then at one of the many tight corners, the front positions changed Martin went up into second and Stuart went around both trucks ahead and into first place to go on to win the race, Martin finishing again in a very respectable second place.
On Sunday morning all the drivers went out to qualify for grid position for the third race of the weekend, the outcome was along the same lines as on the Saturday with Stuart posting the fastest time and Martin started alongside him on the grid on the second spot.
Race three; started again in glorious sunshine and was eagerly watched by the tens of thousands of truck race fans that attended the trucking event. This time Stuart did not give Martin the chance to slip ahead allowing Stuart to pull out a comfortable early lead. Unfortunately for Martin things were not so easy, on lap three his truck lost its air supply to the rear axle causing the rear brakes to automatically apply forcing him to visit the pit lane, after the team carried out a quick repair Martin went back out into the race, unfortunately he was too far back to catch the racing pack. Stuart however went on to notch up a three out of three-race win.
Race four; the final race of the weekend and was very possibly the most exciting one of the weekend, Martin started on pole position and Stuart was at the other end of the grid starting from the back. When the lights went out Martin was off into an early race lead, closely followed by more than a dozen other drivers wanting to take the last race win of the weekend. Stuart also had no intention to let the race win go without a fight, after several harts stopping overtake manoeuvres, by mid race Stuart was up into third place and with a clear track ahead, lap after lap he closed down the two trucks ahead, with only two laps to go he was up into second place with Martin only about 500 metres ahead. At the finish line Stuart had to settle for second but Martin was delighted to take the race win and his first trip of his truck race career to the top spot of a truck race podium.
The team now have a few weeks to prepare the trucks for the penultimate round of the British Truck Race Championship to be held at Pembrey on 13th 14th October.
“EASTBOUND AND DOWN” TO SNETTERTON
RIP, BURT REYNOLDS 1936-2018
Last weekend 8th 9th September TEAM OLIVER RACING travelled to the high speed MSV circuit at Snetterton in the heart of Norfolk. Arriving on the Friday evening the team set up to be ready to participate in the four races of the British Truck Racing Championship.
On Saturday morning the trucks went out on track in the fifteen-minute qualification session to decide the starting order for race one. The pressure was on Martin as it was his first ever outing around the Snetterton circuit in a race truck. During the session Stuart struggled to get his truck to perform at the level it should and unfortunately was only able to qualify fifth fastest. Martin very soon got to grips with the circuit and on his last lap of the session posted a time that put him in seventh place on the start grid for race one.
Only one race was scheduled for the Saturday so following a long wait and time for some setup changes the trucks went out to race on the Saturday afternoon. After the rolling start the race soon settled down and apart from a few hairy moments the positions didn’t alter, meaning Stuart finished in fifth and Martin finished in a very respectful seventh place.
On Sunday morning for race two the reverse grid format came into play and as always the fun began as soon as the start lights went out. Stuart and Martin both made good progress moving forward through the pack and by the chequered flag Stuart was up into fourth and Martin was not far behind in sixth.
Race three got underway after the lunch break and again both Team Oliver drivers made short work of moving forward in the ranking, unfortunately in the closing stages of the race as Martin was going through the famous high-speed “Bomb Hole” turn a main steering component failed sending him as a passenger in his Scania across the run off into the armco. Stuart who was close behind at the time went on to achieve a podium finish crossing the line in third place.
Following major repair work by the team to Martin’s truck they managed to get it ready just in time for him to start the last race from the pit lane. Stuart who started from near the back of the grid. As soon as the start lights went out Stuart was off with no delay and very soon was up into second place, Martin set off from a standing start out of the pit lane and had sixteen trucks ahead, he very soon caught the tail end of the pack and quickly worked his way up the race order, unfortunately around mid-race, damage caused during the previous race incident developed into a safety issue giving Martin no option other than to retire from the race. Stuart at this time was still in a strong second place position, unfortunately his truck on the opening lap developed an air supply problem to his brake water cooling system, meaning he had no brake cooling and his brake temperatures were up at more than nine hundred degrees as opposed to the norm of around three hundred, by the last lap Stuart after some very breath-taking braking moments had no option other than to concede two positions to avoid the risk of going off into the barrier.
Post-race Stuart said he was amazed how well the JURATEK brake components had performed throughout the whole of the race when at such high temperatures.
The team now have a very short time to repair and prepare both race trucks ready to participate this coming weekend 15th 16th September at Zolder, a circuit about one-hour east of Brussels in Belgium.
10-4 We sure had ourselves a “CONVOY in the PARK”
Following another quick workshop turnaround, last weekend 21st 22nd July TEAM OLIVER RACING travelled to the East Midlands to participated at the premier BRITISH TRUCK RACING CHAMPIONSHIP event, held at the home of Truck Racing at Donington Park. Again, this year the event was organised jointly by the circuit owners MSVR, TRUCK & DRIVER and TRUCK SPORT UK, under the banner of “CONVOY in the PARK”.
As well as the on-track truck race action the event had plenty for the bumper crowds that attended to do and see with; On-stage live entertainment, Fun-fair rides, a big top Circus, an 800 plus Show Truck display and competition, Truck manufacture displays, Truck related trade stands and a large live action arena, featuring Car and Truck drifting and stunt shows, Monster truck rides and the unrivalled TRUCK SPORT UK drift truck – caravan smashes.
Thursday prior to the weekend the drivers had the opportunity of two 30 minute practice sessions to familiarise themselves with the fast and technical circuit, Stuart who has been around the Donington circuit in a truck many times, used the sessions to try out some different chassis set-up on his truck. Martin however was in at the deep end and went out on the track for his first time in a race truck, true to form it was not long before he was up to speed and posting very respectful lap times.
For Stuart and his team it was without doubt the busiest weekend of the season, as well as the team having the two race trucks to prepare and maintain, Stuart was also at the wheel of the KELSA drift truck that was used to entertain the crowds on the live action arena, with several drift shows and caravan smashing going on in between the truck racing.
On Saturday morning it was down to business and during the qualification session Stuart was just pipped to a front row place on the grid and left to start race one from 3rd place, Martin soon made his mark and recorded a time to put him into 8th place on the grid.
Race one, got underway in the blistering heat in true Convoy, “Arizona Desert” like conditions. When the start lights went out the trucks raced off in close formation, with as expected plenty of drama, by mid race it became apparent the drivers were adapting driving techniques to accommodate the extremely hot track temperature, brakes, engines, and tyres were all feeling the heat. At the chequered flag Stuart managed to secure a 3rd place podium place, Martin after a hard-fought race crossed the finish line in 9th.
Race two, on the Saturday evening started in slightly cooler conditions, Stuart started on the grid third from the back and Martin from up near the front, the race got underway in the usual rubbings racing style and throughout the whole race every lap positions had changed. At the finish line Stuart was up into 4th place and Martin again after an all action race finished in 8th.
Sunday morning Race three, got underway again from a reverse grid, this time on the opening lap going into Redgate corner Martin’s truck was hit in the side sending it into a 360 degree spin, fortunately all the following trucks including Stuart managed to avoid any heavy contact, Martin soon recovered to chase down the tail end trucks, Stuart applied the pressure and one by one worked his way forward to cross the finish line again in 4th place. Martin after his opining lap incident made excellent progress and crossed the line in 7th.
Following the lunch time grid-walk Race four, got underway again in very hot and sunny and conditions. Both TEAM OLIVER RACING trucks were soon to be seen in full race battle trying to move forward in the race order, both Stuart and Martin drove to the max and as a result Stuart got on the podium finishing in 2nd place, Martin following heavy combat finished in 7th.
Race five, took place with the sun still shining high in the sky putting the track temperature up into the high 40’s. As always on the rolling start all the drivers were eager to make the last race a good one, this lead to many seat of the pants high speed race manoeuvres, throughout the race Stuart made steady progress Martin’s truck unfortunately around mid-race developed a power steering fault that made tight corners very difficult, however determined to finish Martin held on tight and finished the final race of the weekend in 9th place, Stuart after his hard-fought race finished in 4th.
Following the last race on Sunday Stuart during interview confirmed he was delighted with the performance and commitment of all the team during the season so far and expressed his happiness to have such great support from all the team sponsors.
The team now have a few weeks to recover and prepare before the next championship event, to be held at the Snetterton in Norfolk on 8th 9th September.
HOT STUFF ON TRACK AT THRUXTON
After a quick workshop turnaround following the previous weeks trip to the Nürburgring TEAM OLIVER RACING made the journey south on the evening of Friday 6th July to the high-speed Hampshire circuit to participate in the next round of the British Truck Racing Championship. For many years the weather at this event has not been great, this meant due to the extreme track temperature over the weekend would be a major contributor to tyre degradation. No practice session were available meaning all the teams had to hope the chosen truck setup would produce a good qualification lap for race one.
By the time the trucks went out to qualify the sun was high in the sky and the track temperature was well into the forties. Stuart immediately posted a time to give him pole position but unfortunately on the closing stages of the session was pipped by one tenth, meaning he would be starting from second place on the grid. Martin who was presented with a huge task of not only qualifying in a truck with an unknow set-up but also on a track that he had not previously driven. His result was therefore far from disappointing securing him eighth place on the grid.
On Saturday afternoon when the race got underway the temperature had further increased, as expected the football and F1 activity had kept the main of the spectators away but never the less the action was intense Stuart held on to his second place to the chequered flag, Martin quickly settled in and made up two places to finish sixth.
Late Sunday morning race two got underway once again in very hot weather conditions, the team were confident from the previous days race performance the GiTi tyres could withstand the arduous high temperature conditions, so all was set for another thrilling race. Stuart started from the back with Martin ahead, unfortunately, on the opening lap during an overtake manoeuvre, Stuarts truck was hit hard on his driver’s side front wheel by a truck that had straight lined a chicane. This caused the tyre to deflate and leaving Stuart no option other than to retire. Martin however was enjoying the high-speed circuit and just missed out on a podium position, finishing in fourth place.
The second race on the Sunday, due to Stuart’s previous DNF meant he was starting from the back row and Martin from two rows forward, immediately the lights went out Stuart wasted no time to move forward and very soon both TOR trucks were going nose to tail at 100 mph. Mid race Stuart overhauled Martin and continued to move forward, unfortunately with only two laps to go the power steering failed on Martins truck sending him into the tyre wall. Stuart however kept the pressure on and finished in fourth place.
Following the incident with Martin’s truck the team, as always, pulled out all the stops and carried out extensive repairs to his truck. As well as preparing Stuart’s truck in time for them both to participate in the last race of the weekend. By this time the temperature had further increased and when the lights went out and the eighteen trucks roared off Martin was determined to quickly make up ground. Stuart also wasted no time and after plenty of race action Stuart crossed the finish line again in fourth place with Martin in a commendable eighth place.
The team have only a few days back at the workshop to fully prepare the race trucks and support equipment ready for the highlight of the championship, to be held at Convoy in the Park on 21st 22nd July.
HIGH TEMPRATURE ACTION AT THE NURBURGRING
Last weekend 29th, 30TH June 1st July Team Oliver Racing crossed the channel to participate in the third round of the British Truck Racing Championship held at the world famous Nürburgring in Germany. The four British Truck Race Championship races over the three-days ran alongside four FIA European Truck Championship races, this gave the 117,500 spectators the opportunity to see plenty of truck race action.
The team arrived in Germany on the Thursday afternoon in time to set up the trucks and team paddock area ready for the practice session early on Friday morning. The session, with a grid of 27 trucks gave Stuart and Martin an indication of the level of competition. Following a few minor truck set up adjustments the trucks went out in the twenty-minute qualification session that set the grid for the first race of the weekend. During this Stuart quickly posted a time that at the end of the session awarded him fourth-place on race one start grid, Martin also produced an outstanding performance and secured ninth place on the grid.
Race One: on the Friday afternoon, in blistering hot weather conditions the first race got under way in the usual truck racing “rubbing is racing” style. After around two laps things settled down and the thirteen-lap race put to the test all drivers and machines. The race results were favourable, Stuart got to the podium in third place. Unfortunately, due to a technical infringement Martin’s eighth place result was withdrawn.
On Saturday morning the drivers had to undergo a second qualification session to decide the start grid for the first of the two Sunday races, unfortunately Stuart’s truck on the first flying lap had a steering pump failure, leaving him stranded on the side of the track, Martin however, following the team’s late-night truck modifications, managed to secure eighth position.
Race Two: on the Saturday afternoon the top eight drivers start positions were reversed from the results of Fridays race, putting Stuart fifth on the grid and Martin because of the previous days technical issue started from the back of the grid. The race got underway no different to race one when the dust settled all the drivers continued with plenty of position changes. By the chequered flag Stuart had to settle for a hard fought sixth place and Martin after a very eventful charge through the field secured a very respectful eighth place.
Race Three: on the Sunday morning with the weather again unusually hot, Stuart due to the previous day’s steering problems started from the back row of the grid with Martin much further forward in eighth place. The race got underway and as expected Stuart quickly moved up the leader board, after some heart stopping moments and as the chequered flag fell Martin finished in eighth place with Stuart close to his rear bumper in ninth place.
Race Four: the last race of the weekend Martin started from pole position with Stuart further back in ninth. On the opening lap this time the rubbing turned to into a bit more causing several trucks to sustain heavy damage, fortunately both Stuart and Martin avoided the incident and got down to business with Stuart moving up the order to finish the race in forth place and Martin in sixth.
Immediately following the last race, the team had little time to celebrate as they had to make the long journey back to the teams HQ at Hexham to carry out truck service and a few modifications in preparation for this coming weekends British Truck Race Championship round, to be held at the high speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.
It´s all about Wales!
Following last weekend’s success in Pembrey in South Wales, this weekend Team Oliver Racing ventured to Anglesey in North Wales, to participate in Europe´s leading endurance championship, the Fun Cup. Both Michael Oliver and Martin Gibson were behind the wheel of the Giti sponsored number 97 car along with team manager Ellis Hadley. The weekend´s race activity consisted out of two 3 hours endurance races which included a minimum of 2 x 30 minutes driving sessions per driver!
Following the qualifying session team Giti found themselves on the second row of the grid in 4th place. Race 1 got underway with a grid of 28 car in good conditions, after a number of high speed race incidents that brought out the safety car, collectively Ellis, Michael and Martin drove an outstanding race with Rookie Michael posting lap times equivalent to the drivers that made the podium. Finishing the race in a very respectable 8th place.
The start grid for race 2 was decided by a lottery draw that saw the team starting in 16th place. It was Michael that went behind the wheel for the opening 30 minute stint.
The rolling start went without an issue and Michael soon settled into an “on the pace” rhythm making steady progress up the ranks.
As the 3 hour race developed so did a few race incidents, these unfortunately set the team back due to the need to have a few unscheduled pit stops.
Even with the unscheduled stops, Michael, Ellis and Martin still managed to bring the Giti car across the finish line in a very respectful position.
CRASH-BANG WALLOP AT PEMBREY
Last weekend 21st 22nd April Team Oliver Racing went to Pembrey in South Wales to participate in the second round of the British Truck Racing Championship. Prior to the five-race championship event there were three practice sessions on the Friday afternoon which gave Stuart the chance to test his truck repairs were OK after its big crash during the final race at Brands Hatch and allowed Martin to have the opportunity to familiarise himself with the requirements of racing around the Welsh circuit for the first time.
On the Saturday morning all the race trucks went on to the track to qualify for the first race of the weekend, Stuart and Martin quickly posted very respectable lap times. Unfortunately, because another truck fractured a fuel line early in the session, which caused far from ideal track conditions, it meant that there would be no improvements on the earlier posted times and at the end of the session Stuart had to settle for 3rd and Martin a very respectful 8th.
Race one on the Saturday afternoon got underway in the normal rolling start fashion, Stuart had a text book start and at the first turn at the Hatchets Hairpin, the pole setter slid marginally wide giving Stuart the opportunity to take an early lead. At the start of lap two Stuart was more than three seconds ahead of the pack, unfortunately because a truck had ran wide onto the grass on the opening lap, even though it quickly continued, a race official prematurely called to put out the Red Flags to stop the race. On the restart Stuart was not as lucky as previously and had to work hard to make up one place allowing him to finish in 2nd place. Martin unfortunately was not so fortunate during the opening stages of the race his truck was hit hard in the side, heavily damaging a rear wheel, leaving Martin no option other than to retire from the race.
Race two on the Sunday morning in what were very wet conditions, both Team Oliver Racing trucks started from the back of the grid. Both drivers made very early headway, unfortunately around mid-race Martin’s truck was hit yet again hard sending him into a high-speed spin down the pit lane entry road. Stuart crossed the finish line in third place, Martin after his unscheduled pit visit finished but much further back than planned.
Race three was a race to forget, unfortunately on the opening lap a number of trucks had a heavy coming together, resulting in Stuart’s truck suffering a broken rear axle and Martin’s suffering heavy cab damage.
The extent of the damage gave the team and the many appreciated helpers the opportunity to show what could be achieved with limited resources and under extreme time pressure, unfortunately due to the tight timetable it meant both trucks missed race four, fortunately enough time was available to weld the VOLVO rear axle back together and carry out major repair to the SCANIA cab ready for the final race of the day.
Race Five saw Stuart and Martin starting from the back of the grid, this time the race got underway with only little drama, both drivers quickly made headway up through the field. Stuart after several class overtakes got up to cross the finish line in third place, Martin despite significant damage to his truck managed to finish in eighth place.
The team took away from this weekend the importance of teamwork. Without their commitment and sheer determination neither of the trucks would have made the last race. Sometimes its not the winning that makes the weekend but the ability to work together to overcome the hurdles thrown at you. They now have a until the end of June to fully repair and prepare both trucks race ready for the next round of the British Truck Race Championship to be held at the world famous Nürburgring in Germany.
BRANDS HATCH’s an EASTER SUPPRISE
Last weekend 1st 2nd April at Brands Hatch was the date and place for the opening rounds of the 2018 British Truck Racing Championship. With the new season Team Oliver Racing was delighted to welcome to the team many new sponsors and partners alongside the many existing and loyal ones that have provided support and enjoyed the team’s record breaking success for many years. The team also welcomed a new driver Martin Gibson to the fold. Martin will take hold of the wheel of the SCANIA for the season with its all new livery. Michael Oliver will stay as major part of the team providing technical support and will never be too far away from the action as he is also having a go at car racing going behind the wheel in the FUN CUP championship.
Due to the season opening event being held over the Easter Bank holiday weekend the team had the opportunity to have plenty of time to set up the all new team paddock area that included a new double awning, enclosing the whole of the teams work and hospitality area.
On the Saturday afternoon Stuart and Martin had the opportunity to have a first run on track in the trucks after their winter overhauls. Martin was faced with a massive learning curve, having a wealth of race car and bike experience sitting in a race truck was a new experience. Stuart however with his experience was eager to get the season underway, the unknown was that Team Oliver Racing was one of many teams that was to be racing on the new GiTi Truck Race tyre. During the two test sessions both drivers made great headway with the truck setups that suited the short 1.2 mile Brands Hatch Indi circuit.
On Sunday morning all the drivers went on track in the qualification session, unfortunately due to various over winter championship management changes the field of competitors was significantly depleted from that of 2017, fortunately this did not reduce the challenge. Stuart immediately on his first fast flying lap posted a lap time of 59.154 seconds with an average speed of 73.51 MPH. This secured him pole position for race one, as always with Stuart he was still looking for more, lap after lap he went faster and faster, finishing the session with a significant time advantage ahead of the second-place driver. Martin did not disappoint and quickly got to grips with the truck and the track, at the end of the session he had secured ninth place on the grid for race one.
Sunday afternoon and Race One things got underway, Stuart did not disappoint and made a text book start and took the lead, unfortunately mid-race a truck ran wide at clearways bringing out the Red Flags, this meant Stuart had to do the start all over again, there was little doubt that he would not get around Paddock Hill bend first, this he did and again took control of the race and reached the chequered flag with ease. Martin also made very good headway and quickly learnt how to throw his five and a half tonne truck around crossing the finish line in a very respectful seventh place.
The result of race one gave the team yet another record to add to their tally by winning the first ever BTRC race on the new GiTi Truck Race Tyre.
Easter Monday morning the second race of the year was when the reverse grid race start format came into play this seeing Stuart start from the back row and Martin from near the front, when the lights went out on the rolling start both Stuart and Martin made good headway unfortunately following some aggressive driving the Red Flags came out again, resulting in a short break to carry out repairs to the Armco. On the re start both drivers again were off to a good start, by the chequered flag Stuart was up into third place and Martin was again in a respectful seventh place.
For the second race of the day the weather had turned and the track was wet, again Stuart was starting near the back and Martin a few rows further forward, in very difficult conditions the race got underway at a steady pace, unfortunately on the fifth lap Martin slid wide at Druids ending up stuck in the gravel trap, the Red Flags stayed rolled up and Stuart kept on his charge through the pack once again finishing the race in third place.
Following the race, the teams were hit with a bomb shell by the officials stating they had decided to add another championship race to the day, with little time to prepare the team worked to prepare for the next race, again Stuart was starting from near the back, due to his previous DNF Martin started from the back row. With the rain still falling the race started but unfortunately on the first turn a driver lost control and went into the gravel trap causing another red flag stoppage, when the re start got underway the weather had deteriorated further but both Team Oliver drivers managed to stay out of trouble and they both made headway and by the finish line Stuart was yet again in third place, Martin secured a fantastic fifth place.
Because of the surprise addition of another race, time was short for the team to prepare the trucks for the last race, however the trucks were made ready in time to race, with Stuart starting one row behind Martin the pressure was on for both to make a good start. The start went like clockwork Martin got off the line without delay and quickly took the lead of the race, however Stuart managed to get up past on the approach up to Druids and was then off ahead of the field, quickly pulling a significant lead, unfortunately at the start of the second lap on the approach to Paddock Hill bend when Stuart applied the brakes the air bias valve burst causing a loss of air to the brake system sending him into the tyre wall at a speed of more than 80 MPH, fortunately the safety tyres did their job and no major damage was done, with the truck stranded in a vulnerable position remarkably the race continued, Martin held his ground and crossed the finish line in sixth place.
The team are delighted with the performance of both trucks and both drivers all are looking forward to continuing their 2018 British Truck Race Championship challenge.
In the points standing even with both drivers unfortunately having one DNF each, Stuart is currently in second place and Martin is in an unbelievable sixth place in the Championship.
2018 RACE SEASON
Following a successful first day of testing @BrandsHatch, all the team are looking forward to the new season and also welcome a new driver, Martin Gibson to the team who brings a wealth of experience from many other race formulas.
The team are also happy with the continuing support of many long standing sponsors, Kelsa, Synergy, Odyssey, GDM and Motis, as well as delighted to have a number of new team sponsors, like Giti Tire, MWheels, PowerMaxed, MEI and Lazer Lamps.
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thanks for your support in 2017 – we are looking forward to an exciting 2018!
FIREWORKS ON AND OFF-TRACK AT BRANDS HATCH
Last weekend 4th 5th November at Brands Hatch was the date and venue for the season grand finale of the British Truck Racing Championship. Stuart and his team made the journey to the famous Kent circuit on the Thursday evening to set up and prepare the trucks for the Friday afternoon test sessions. Stuart was keen to set his truck up for the weekend ahead, this was mainly due to him participating in a sponsor promotion event at the F1 test track in Valencia, Spain doing passenger rides for four days, only just the week before the Brands Hatch event.
All went very well during the Friday test sessions and the truck performance and lap times were looking very positive for the weekend ahead.
On the Saturday morning it what was very wet and cold conditions, both Stuart and Michael went out on track during the fifteen minute qualification session to post lap times that would decide their start positions on the grid of the first race of the weekend. Stuart was only just pipped in the challenging conditions and missed out on getting pole position by less than four tenths of one second, Michael also did not disappoint the team and posted a lap time to secure his starting position on the fifth row of the grid for race one.
On the Saturday afternoon the first of the four Class A truck races got underway, in what was very wet and challenging conditions, during the race the weather conditions deteriorated even further, by the chequered flag Stuart had managed to hold onto fourth place overall, Michael managed to finish the race in tenth place overall.
By the time of the start of the second race on the Sunday morning the rain had gone and the sun was out. After a pre-race public grid walk for the record crowd in attendance the race got underway, unfortunately on the opening lap on Paddock Hill, Stuart’s truck received a hard hit from behind pushing him sideways into another truck, causing major damage to a front axle damper as well as also receiving a burst rear tyre. The damage caused Stuart major truck handling problems throughout the race, Michael managed to show good pace and held his own, at the chequered flag he crossed the finish line in sixth place and less than one second behind was Stuart in eighth place.
By the time of the third race Stuart’s truck was fully repaired and he was keen to better his previous performance. On the rolling race start, when the lights went out, Stuart immediately made headway through the field. By the start of lap two he was at the front and it was not long before he had pulled out a significant lead that he was never to lose. Michael however found himself tied up in a mid-field battle with six other trucks, resulting in him crossing the finish line in ninth place.
The fourth and grand final race of the weekend and the last race of the season got underway, with a twenty-truck grid and due to Stuart’s previous race success, the reverse grid format was not looking favourable, Michael started from mid-field and Stuart from the back. As with tradition the last race of the season normally is even more action packed than the norm. Without delay when the lights went out both Team Oliver trucks made haste to move up the rankings, after what was an all action fourteen lap race Stuart crossed the finish line in a commendable fourth place overall, Michael also after having another action-packed race crossed the finish line in seventh place overall.
Following the final race, it was not long until it was confirmed that Stuart had secured a well-deserved second place in the 2017 British Truck Race Championship, Michael also did not disappoint the team by finishing in ninth place overall in the championship standings.
Both Stuart and Michael overall are reasonably happy with the outcome of the season, Stuart’s only comment was that things could have been much better, if not for the mechanical gremlins that plagued his trucks transmission early in the season.
It is now time for the team to take a well-earned rest before the winter race truck rebuilds start.
Finally, Stuart, Michael and the team would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank all team sponsors and partners, who help make all the outstanding Team Oliver Racing achievements possible.
Pembrey for the Second time
Last weekend the 14th 15th October was the date of the second visit of the British Truck Racing Championship to attend the home of Welsh motorsport at Pembrey Nr Llanelli in South Wales.
When Stuart and his team arrived at the Pembrey circuit on the Friday, the weekend weather was not looking favourable, fortunately by the Saturday morning the rain clouds had moved away and the circuit had dried up, giving Stuart and Michael the opportunity to go out on a dry track to qualify for the first of the four championship truck races, Stuart straight away recorded a lap time to secure a front row spot on the grid in second place. Michael managed also to record a respectable time putting his truck on the ninth spot on the grid for the first race.
The first race of the weekend got underway mid-day on the Saturday in fine style and with plenty of the usual rubbings-racing action, at the chequered flag Stuart had to settle for the third step on the podium, Michael after a hard race crossed the finish line in eighth place.
The second race of the weekend took place mid-morning on the Sunday this time the reverse grid format came into place, Stuart was starting from the second to back row of the grid and Michael from up near the front, as always at Pembrey the first tight right Hatchets Hairpin is a regular spot for incidents, race two was the norm with truck panels flying in all directions, fortunately both Michael and Stuart managed to stay reasonably clear of trouble and progress through the thirteen lap race to the chequered flag. Stuart made his way forward and into fourth place, Michael after a mid-race incident managed to recover and finish the race in ninth place.
By race three at mid-day on the Sunday the crowds had arrived and packed the perimeter of the Welsh circuit. With the reverse grid format Stuart again started from the second back row of the grid, Michael started from near the front, this race also saw plenty rubbing with many of the trucks suffering significant damage, Stuart finished again in third and Michael finished ninth place.
The fourth and final truck race of the weekend got underway following a delay caused due to a serious on track accident in a previous car race. Once the truck race got going and the start lights went out the action immediately started, Michael quickly made progress up into the lead of the race, Stuart was also making quick headway through the pack, unfortunately due to two trucks making heavy contact with each other and then the tyre wall, the red flags came out in lap two bringing the race to an early end, at the time Michael was out front, but the officials deemed that he had been out of position on the race start and dually applied a ten second penalty, relegating him down to seventh place, Stuart within the two laps had made his way forward and was awarded forth place.
The final championship event of the year is to be held at Brands Hatch on 4th 5th November first Stuart and a few of the team have to make the long journey with the team’s two race trucks down to Valencia in Southern Spain, to entertain one of the teams sponsors guests, by giving them high speed passenger rides around the Spanish F1 circuit.
ROUGH AND TUMBLES AT SNETTERTON
Last weekend 9th 10th September at Snetterton in the heart of Norfolk was the date and time of the latest round of the British Truck Racing Championship.
When Stuart, Michael and the team arrived on the Friday evening many teams had spent the day in what had been very heavy rain, setting up their trucks for the weekend.
Saturday mornings qualification session was the first time this year for Stuart and Michael to go out on the fast and technical three-mile race circuit. Stuart immediately made his presence known by posting a lap time that secured him a front row grid position for race one. Michael did not disappoint and within a field of 24 trucks posted a lap time to secure him a place on the fourth row of the grid in eighth.
Race One on the Saturday afternoon got underway as planned, unfortunately on the opening lap a truck ran off track and into the armco, causing a red flag stoppage. Immediately after the re-start another incident this time involving Stuarts truck being hit hard from behind at the first turn, the offending truck then became stranded in the gravel trap and the red flags came out again. Following a re-shuffle of the timetable the race finally got underway later in the afternoon, this time the race went the duration within what turned into very wet conditions. Stuart managed to cross the finish line in fourth place and Michael in seventh overall.
On the Sunday morning race two started with the reverse grid format, Stuart started on the second to back row with Michael two rows forward. When the red start lights went out like normal the field of trucks roared off, at the first right turn Stuart unfortunately was pushed off track to the left. At the same time Michael was pushed off track to the right and hard into the armco, both managed to re-join and continue until the chequered flag, Stuart managing to work up to finish fourth, Michael with his heavily damaged truck crossed the finish line in tenth.
The third truck race of the weekend started again with a reverse grid, this time Stuart and Michael had a good and trouble-free start, by the second lap Michael was in second place and Stuart was very close behind in third. Unfortunately, once again following a multi truck collision further down the field the red flags came out again and the race was subsequently declared as being abandoned.
Truck race four of the weekend, which due to the circuit time curfew restriction, was to be the last of the weekend. With twenty trucks on the grid the bumper crowds were treated to the spectacle of an all action truck race from the start of the chequered flag. Stuart this time had a text book start and worked hard throughout the whole race, unfortunately the race winner got away from the pack early on and Stuart did not have enough laps to catch him therefore had to settle for a second place at the finish line. Michael did not hold back in his heavily damaged truck and crossed the finish line in sixth place.
The team have now only a few days to repair and prepare both race trucks, before they head off to race at a European Challenge race event at the world famous Le Mans circuit in France on 22nd 23rd September.
TEAM OLIVER RACING JOINS THE “CONVOY IN THE PARK”
Last weekend 22nd23rd July TEAM OLIVER RACING made the journey to what is the closest to home Donington Park race circuit, the place many believe is the true birth place of Truck Racing. This year the event organisers had pulled out all the stops to create an event specifically for the truck and driver, cutely named “CONVOY IN THE PARK” the event without doubt turned out to be one of the best truck race events held in Europe for many years. Off the circuit the tens of thousands of spectators that attended the two-day event had plenty to do and see, with more than twelve hundred very well-presented show trucks, industry vehicles and equipment manufacture displays, trade stands, kids play areas, fun fair, roaming entertainers, an all action arena (including caravan smashing) as well as a host of other activities for all the family to enjoy including a live entertainment main stage.
Both Stuart and Michael had for many months looked forward to the opportunity to race in front of a great many family, friends, sponsors and business associates. Due to the compact timetable, the race schedule was very demanding, with no less than twenty-nine trucks entered at the event the twenty-minute qualification session on the Saturday morning was a tense time. Stuart managed to post a time to secure third place on the grid for the first race, only two tenths slower than the pole place man. Michael also did not disappoint and secured a place on the seventh row of the grid.
Race one; held mid-day on the Saturday got underway without great drama then only a few laps in the heavyweight one hundred miles per hour machines started pushing and shoving each other resulting in a many off-track excursion for both Stuart and Michael, by the chequered flag Stuart had recovered from a number of unscheduled excursions and crossed the line in fifth place, Michael crossed the line eleventh.
Race two; started in damp conditions in the late afternoon, this time the all action reverse grid format was in play. Stuart started from near the back and Michael from near the front of the grid. As expected the action started immediately as the red lights went out, unfortunately the red flags came out on lap two, after a fellow competitor went off track and hit very hard the safety barrier. After a short delay, the race restarted in what was by then very wet conditions. With the front nine trucks all running flat out in nose to tail formation, to venture of the race line would have resulted in a certain off-track excursion. At the chequered flag Michael had done enough to secure third place and what was his first career podium finish in the British Truck Race Championship. Stuart finished only two places behind in fifth. The whole team and all associated were delighted with Michael’s milestone achievement.
Race three; on the Sunday morning, the rain clouds had passed, Stuart started from a mid-field position, Michael from near the back of the grid. Stuart was determined to better his previous days performance, Michael on a high was hungry to better his previous days outstanding performance. Mid-race all was going well Stuart was working up through the pack when his truck was hit hard from the rear in the breaking zone entering the Goddard’s chicane, resulting in a trip through the gravel trap and a burst rear tyre, the tyre damage was manageable but unfortunately the gravel had shredded the water pump drive belt on the engine, forcing him to retire to the pit lane, Michael however kept the Team Oliver flag flying and crossed the finish line in tenth place.
Race four; the sun was bright in the sky and things were set for an action-packed race, Stuart because of his previous none finish started from the very back of the grid, Michael started from near the front. As soon as the start lights went out both Team Oliver trucks were soon heading towards the front of the pack. With what was yet another all action race, Michael managed to score his second championship career podium with another fantastic third place finish. Stuart had a hard race and after a long battle crossed the line in sixth place.
Race five; the last race of the weekend and generally the one that all drivers want to score well in to allow them to go home happy. Stuart was at this time disappointed with his trucks performance over the weekend and was determined to better his previous race performance, Michael was happy but still eager to move further up the podium steps. Stuart started in the middle of the grid while Michael was further towards the back. When the twenty-two trucks moved off on the formation lap the rain started to fall and the scene was now set for a spectacular battle. The trucks roared over the start line and the action commenced. Positions were changing corner by corner as all the trucks competed to get to the chequered flag first and after what was a nail biting time for the many team supporters, Stuart emerged over the finish line close behind the race winner in second place ensuring him his first visit to the podium. Michael also did not disappoint and finished the race in sixth place.
The team now have only two weeks to prepare for a none championship demonstration and passenger ride event at Lydden Hill in Kent 5th 6th August, then they have a few weeks more to prepare for the next British Truck Race Championship event to be held at Snetterton, Norfolk on 9th 10th September.
During the last two weeks TEAM OLIVER RACING visited two European truck race events. First the team made its way to the circuit of Nogaro in the South West corner of France, this was to participate in a four race European Truck Challenge. The race weekend began with a trip in the race trucks through the town centre stopping off at the town square to soak-up the culture strongly associated with the region.
The race programme after practice and qualification sessions was as per the British Championship with the race one grid set by qualification times, there after the start grids were reversed. The first race got underway in extremely hot conditions, Stuart finished in second place and Michael came over the finish line in fifth. The second race of the day Stuart very quickly made his way up through the field then on a challenge to get to the front on the very last lap was pushed onto the grass and ended up spinning off into the gravel trap. Michael started mid-field and had a very challenging race resulting in a seventh-place finish.
On the Sunday, the first of the two truck races turned out to be a milestone moment for the team as Michael scored his first race career podium crossing the finish line in second place with Stuart only a few metres behind. The second race of the weekend Stuart unfortunately had to pull out due to a mechanical issue, Michael however with the taste of champagne still fresh on his lips managed to get on the podium again with a third place finish.
After the celebrations finished the team headed North towards the Nürburgring to compete in four truck races that would count towards the British Truck Race Championship, however en-route Stuart had to make a detour to a workshop in the Czech Republic for a quick engine overhaul.
By early Friday morning the team was assembled and ready to perform in front of no less than 155,000 European Truck Race fans. The qualification session was one both Stuart and Michael wanted to forget, Stuart had a transmission failure and Michael was penalised for a track limit infringement. With little time between the qualification session and the first race Stuart started the race from the pit lane with no clutch operation and Michael started from the back of the grid. With a grid of 28 trucks Stuart had his work cut-out but managed to work through the pack to cross the finish line in eighth place, Michael also did not disappoint and finished two places back in tenth place.
On the Saturday, the teams had two races both with the all action reverse grid format. From the start of the first race Stuart was determined to improve on the previous days result and did not disappoint by taking his VOLVO truck across the finish line in first place claiming the top step on the world famous Nürburgring podium. Unfortunately, Michael was not so fortunate when on lap seven a turbo pipe connection failed causing him to retire from the race.
The second race of the day again with a reverse grid got underway in very damp conditions and after a race long battle Stuart had to settle with a second-place finish. Michael managed to also come from the back of the 28 truck grid and finish the race in eighth place.
On the Sunday, the BTRC race was scheduled to start at 13:00, thus giving the teams plenty of time to explore and absorb the German truck race festival themed culture. As regularly happens at the Nürburgring just prior to the race start the very heavy rain started, for safety reasons the race officials opted to run the pace truck around for two laps. During the first of the two warm-up laps Stuart’s truck developed a major internal engine fuel leak. Because Stuart was unaware of the problem and coupled with the heavy rain the fuel quickly spread over the circuit causing a Red Flags to be shown. Unfortunately, this then resulted in the race officials abandoning the race on the grounds of safety.
The team are now back at the workshop preparing the trucks and equipment for the UK’s premier truck race event “Convoy in the Park” to be held at Donington Park on 22nd & 23rd July.
RAIN STARTS PLAY AT THRUXTON
Over the weekend of 3rd 4th June TEAM OLIVER RACING attended the Thruxton race circuit, the high-speed Hampshire venue that hosted the third round of the British Truck Race Championship. Stuart, Michael and the team were set and fully expecting to have an all action weekend, among the twenty-eight-truck entry.
On the Saturday morning with the sun shining bright all the teams had the opportunity to go out on track in the two test sessions to setup the trucks for the early afternoon qualifying session. In the qualifying session Stuart managed to set a blistering time and secured a front row position in second place on the grid for the first race, with a lap time of 1:38.398, an average speed of 86.19 mph. Michael, with the newly acquired and unproven engine in his trusty Scania, managed to secure a respectable ninth place on the grid for the first truck race of the weekend.
Race One of the weekend got underway on the Saturday afternoon, at the time on a dry track but with very black clouds looming on the horizon, the race was only two laps in when the clouds burst and then fun began. With all the trucks setup for racing in dry conditions the drivers had the challenge of keeping them all heading in the correct direction at up to 100 mph. Stuart was in his element and very quickly used his wealth of experience to get to and stay out at the front of the field and take the win in what was very challenging conditions. Michael who was in the thick of the midfield action managed to hold on and cross the finish line in eighth place.
Race Two on the Sunday now with the reverse grid format in play Stuart started from the back row of the grid and Michael from the middle. The sun was out and the track conditions were good. In line with the characteristics of the fast-flowing high-speed circuit, for a good part of each lap the trucks are all running at the maximum 100 mph limit, minimising the overtaking opportunities to only a few places around the track like the tight club chicane and the twisty complex. By mid-race Stuart had managed to move up positions and was racing in the middle of the field close to Michael, both were working hard to progress further up the rankings and after a gruelling few closing laps Stuart achieved a well-deserved third place, unfortunately Michael was pushed wide and off track into a spin (not by Stuart) making a quick recovery Michael then crossed the finish line in tenth place.
Race Three Stuart started one row forward of the back of the grid and Michael started on the second row. On the rolling formation lap the rain came again this was just what Stuart wanted, as soon as the lights went out Michael was away like a flash and very determined to better his previous race finish, Stuart also went past a number of trucks without delay and things were looking good, on entry to the first right turn into the complex at Campbell on lap one, Stuart was confronted with a truck out of control coming across the grass, Stuart made a quick change of speed to avoid contact, unfortunately behind the first out of control truck was another, he was not so lucky as the second truck made heavy contact with the front of Stuart’s VOLVO resulting in the bonnet and front bumper being ripped off. Stuart quickly recovered and re-joined the race with what was a very heavily damaged truck. Not to be put off he gave chase and was soon picking trucks off one by one in what was very slippery conditions, by the chequered flag Stuart had recovered to finish in fifth place, Michael had once again found himself being pushed into a unplanned spin, then fortunately recovering to finish the race in ninth place.
Race four, the final truck race of the weekend Stuart started on the third row from the back of the grid and Michael from the second row from the front, both as always were determined to leave Thruxton with a good haul of championship points. The circuit had dried up and all was looking good, when the lights went out Michael made a great start and quickly moved to the front and in doing so managed to hold on to the lead for a number of laps, until the armada of charging fellow competitors decided to see how strong his rear bumper was, unfortunately dropping him down the field and subsequently to cross the finish line in fifth place. Stuart managed to avoid any contact and worked hard to move up the field, crossing the finish line in second place. Shortly following the race finish Stuart was informed by officials his race performance was all in vain as his truck had for an unknown reasons recorded an overspeed infringement thus taking his second-place podium position away.
The team is now preparing the trucks for a European double where they head off to Nogaro in the South of France to participate in a none championship French truck race event, then they go direct to the Nürburgring for the weekend following, 1st 2nd July to participate in four BTRC races at the ADAC Truck Grand Prix.
ALL ACTION PEMBREY
Last weekend the 22nd 23rd April was the date of the second round of the British Truck Racing Championship held at the home of Welsh motorsport at Pembrey Nr Llanelli, South Wales.
Team Oliver Racing made the trip to the circuit early on Friday morning to take advantage of the Friday test sessions. The sun was shining early in the day and both Stuart and Michael were looking forward to the opportunity to fine tune the set-up of the trucks ahead of the race weekend.
Stuart made many set-up changes to his new VOLVO VN truck following the Brands Hatch event, in the first test session the team were amazed at the pace Stuart was achieving. Michael was not as fortunate after only a few laps the trusty SCANIA developed a major engine overheating problem.
By the end of the Friday test sessions Stuart and his team had found a set-up for the truck that made him significantly faster than his opposition.
Michael was not so fortunate he found himself hot footing it along the M4 to Swindon on Friday evening to collect the replacement engine parts that would rectify his trucks engine problem, at the same time the team got to work stripping down the engine, when Michael returned with the new parts the team set about re-building the engine, working well into the early hours of Saturday morning to get his truck up and running.
On the Saturday morning, all the trucks went out to set a time in the qualification session that would determine the start grid for the first of the five races.
Unfortunately for mysterious reasons Stuart’s truck performed far from that of the previous day, fortunately he still managed to post the second fastest time, be it more than one second slower than his lap times of the Friday. Michael not having the benefit of all the Friday test sessions still managed to post a lap time to put him on the fourth row of the grid in eighth place.
Race one got under way on the Saturday afternoon with Stuart starting from the outside on the grid, after the start the first time the trucks reached the notorious Hatchets Hairpin Stuart’s truck was pushed out wide and dropping him down the field, after a hard fight he managed to cross the finish line in third place. Michael was not having any luck only a few laps into the race yet another engine problem developed that forced him to retire from the race, after examination it resulted in him having to withdraw from the rest of the weekends racing.
Sunday was set to be a gruelling day with no less than four truck races over a short period of time. The second truck race of the weekend got underway with Stuart starting from the second to last row of the grid, after yet another all action race Stuart managed to move up the field posting the fastest lap of the and to finish the race in seventh place.
The second race of the day, the third of the weekend was to be a race not to forget, at the start Stuart was quick off the mark and soon made his way to the front and in full control of the eighteen-truck race, he easily crossed the finish line the clear winner. Post-race Stuart was called up in front of the Clerk of the Course to be told he was excluded from the race result apparently due to an incident on the opening lap.
Without dwelling on the mystery of the decision following the previous race, Stuart started the next race from the back row of the grid. With no delay, he swiftly got away and worked his way through the field, with plenty action from flag to flag he crossed the finish line in fourth place.
The final race of the weekend Stuart was this time starting from the middle of the start grid, still dumfounded by the earlier official’s decision he was determined to claw back as many championship points as possible. When the start lights went out he quickly made haste through the pack, after yet another all action race he emerged across the finish line in second place.
The team now have a few weeks to repair and prepare the trucks ready for the trip to the high speed Thruxton circuit in Hampshire on 3rd 4th June.
SUPRISE – SUPRISE
Brands Hatch March 2017
Last weekend 25th 26th March at Brands Hatch was the date and venue for the opening round of the 2017 BTRC (British Truck Racing Championship). Many teams arrived in the paddock on Friday to show for the first time their new race machines following the winter break. It was with no doubt that Stuart’s new racing truck was the greatest unexpected change and surprise.
As always during winter breaks several trucks change hands but it is not very often the trucks identity changes in such a way as that of the TOR (Team Oliver Racing) VOLVO. Due to the tight timing of the winter modification work the team did not get to shake-down the VOLVO subsequently it therefore did not get seen out and about.
In the glorious spring sunshine when Stuart went out on track in the first of the two Friday test session, it was clear the performance of the new conventional cab configuration was greatly improved from that of the previous cab-over version. After the team made a few small set-up changes following the second test session Stuart was ready for the qualification session. Michael in the TOR SCANIA was also happy with the winter modifications to his truck.
During the qualification session Stuart set a blistering lap time of 59.414 putting him easily on pole position for race one. Michael did not disappoint and managed to post a lap time of 1:01.89 securing him eighth place on the start grid.
For the first Class-A race of the season on the Saturday, again the sun was shining bright making the track conditions close to perfect. As soon as the start lights went out Stuart made his trademark flying start and ultimately dominated the whole race from flag to flag comfortably taking the first race win of the season. Michael who started in the middle of the pack managed to hold his own among stiff competition and crossed the finish line in eighth place.
Race two, on Sunday the reverse-grid start came into play meaning Stuart was starting from the very back of the grid and Michael was starting again from the middle of the grid. When the start lights went out, very quickly both the TOR trucks made headway up through the field, Michael was locked in a lap after lap battle trying to hold onto third position unfortunately in the closing stage of the race he was overhauled on the exit of Clearway’s demoting him down from a podium position to cross the finish line in a very respectable fourth place, Stuart had a hard-fought race managing to cross the finish line close behind Michael in fifth place.
Race three, Stuart and Michael both started side by side from the third row of the grid, when the lights went out they both did not delay in putting on the pressure, by mid-race Stuart was through into second place unfortunately the leader had pulled out a significant lead that Stuart managed to greatly reduced before taking the chequered flag in second place. Michael held on to a strong mid-field position until the final lap of the race when unfortunately, the engine in Michael’s truck suffered terminal engine damage that brought his race and weekend to a sudden end.
Race four, the last truck race of the weekend Michael’s truck was out of action, Stuart again started the race from the back row of the grid, again as soon as the race start lights went out Stuart made no delay in working forward up through the pack, spending the later part of the race in a six-truck nose to tail battle with all crossing the finish line within three seconds with Stuart in fourth place.
Post-race when the race result points were calculated it transpired that Stuart had come out on top and he left Brands Hatch leading the championship.
Stuart was delighted with the performance of his newly modified VOLVO race truck and said the performance and subsequent weekend results were far beyond expectation. Michael was very happy with his own performance, unfortunately a terminal engine problem brought his race weekend to an earlier than expected end.
The team now have a few weeks before the next BTRC round at Pembrey on 22nd 23rd April to implement additional performance enhancing modifications to Stuart’s truck and to do some serious engine re-build work to Michael’s truck.
TEAM OLIVER RACING – LIGHT UP THE TRACK AT BRANDS HATCH
The last round of the British Truck Racing Championship was held last weekend 5th/6th November at the famous Kent circuit in Brands Hatch. With what turned out to be a record number of visitors through the gates, as well as the largest number of race trucks for more than twenty-five years, the last truck race event of the year was set to be a cracker.
Following the incident only three weeks earlier at Pembrey, Stuart had a hard challenge ahead of him to claim the 2016 championship title with his closest rival now holding a very comfortable championship lead. Never the less Stuart went out in the timed qualification session in what was very difficult, damp conditions and very soon he stamped his intention to try his best and posted a lap time over half of one second faster than any other driver thus claiming pole position for race one. Shane also following some serious truck re-building work after Pembrey, managed to secure fourth fastest overall, Michael also did not disappoint managing to secure sixth place overall in what was a packed field of twenty-six trucks.
The first race of the Class A trucks got underway early on the Saturday afternoon with Stuart making an early charge to distance himself from the pack. This lead he did not lose to the chequered flag, despite some strong challenges from Ryan Smith who at the end of the race finished in second place, securing him the 2016 BTRC title. Shane held station and finished in fourth place, Michael had a very eventful race swopping many places many times to finish in eighth place overall.
The second Class A race of the weekend was held on the Sunday morning with the reverse grid format coming into play. Stuart was at the back of the grid and Shane and Michael were a few rows forward. Unfortunately, when Stuart went out on the formation lap an air system fault developed with the truck leaving him with no air assist for gear changing and the brake cooling system. When the race got underway Shane and Michael managed immediately to make good progress through the pack, unfortunately mid-race Michael’s truck was hit hard from behind pushing him wide and off track at Druids, fortunately he was able to re-join the race, but in last place. Throughout the race Stuart was making progress but not at his normal pace. At the chequered flag Shane just missed out on a podium finish, crossing the line in fourth place, Stuart finished in eighth place, Michael made a great recovery from his unavoidable excursion and finished in tenth place overall.
What was meant to be the third Class A race of the weekend did not go to plan. When the red lights went out on the rolling start, Michael from the front row sped off clear of trouble. Stuart from the third row went through a gap in the second row to then find himself, when halfway through, being squeezed from both sides, with trucks pushing from behind which made him became a passenger in his own truck. This resulted in a flying race truck ride up and over the armco barrier at the end of the pit-lane. The race was immediately stopped and subsequently abandoned to allow for the clean-up, fortunately none of the drivers were injured and the blame was firmly pointed away from Stuart.
After some major repair work to the circuit infrastructure and to a number of race trucks the forth Class A race got underway. This time the race start went without drama, with fifteen trucks on the circuit the action was plentiful throughout the whole race. To add to the excitement in the closing laps of the race, one truck laid oil around the whole circuit resulting in very difficult driving conditions, the end result was good for Team Oliver Racing with Shane finishing in second place and Stuart in third place, only one tenth of a second behind. Michael scored his best result of the weekend finishing in a very well earned fifth place.
The final Class A race of the weekend and season was as always set to be a good one and to add to the excitement the rain had appeared and the light was fading fast. Stuart and Shane were starting from the back of the grid and Michael was starting from mid field. All drivers were eager to claim a podium finish in the last race, in front of the bumper crowds. The race got under way in what could be described for many reasons very difficult conditions. With many trucks exchanging places throughout, the crowds were undoubtedly entertained by a display of very good, high speed truck race action in fading light with headlights blazing. At the last chequered flag of the 2016 season Stuart had done enough to secure a third-place podium finish in the race, Shane finished in fifth place and Michael in ninth place overall.
Stuart and all at Team Oliver Racing are delighted with the overall championship results. It was recognised early in the year Stuart’s own BTRC campaign was going to be challenging, within what was a field of very good equipment, teams and drivers. “Finishing runner up behind the team that won the 2014 and 2015 FIA European Truck Race Championship, I am more than happy with”, said Stuart.
Shane started the season with an all new race machine and has not disappointed, with several successful trips across into Europe to participate in the FIA season as well as his strong challenge in the BTRC, he has managed to secure a well-deserved BTRC fifth place overall.
Michael “the new kid on the block”, with no previous race experience, started his race career by going straight into Class A of the BTRC. With an open mind in the team at the start of the season, Michael has excelled massively beyond expectations and performed well beyond what would be expected in his first year. To the extent he managed to secure eighth place overall in the BTRC.
Team Oliver Racing would like to take this opportunity to thank all who have worked with, supported and sponsored the team throughout the season and we look forward to bigger and better things in 2017.
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.
TEAM OLIVER RACING – PARTICIPER EN LE MANS
Last weekend 8th/9th October TEAM OLIVER RACING (TOR) participated at the world famous, “24 Hour Le Mans” Bugatti circuit in France.
All three team trucks made the channel crossing to participate, Stuart and Michael in the Coupe De France races and Shane entered in the FIA European Championship races.
When the team arrived at the circuit on Friday morning the party atmosphere was already well under way.
With plenty of track time available on the Friday, there was also the chance for Stuart and Michael, (Coupe De France participants only) to give all the team members a high speed ride around the circuit.
On Saturday morning it was time for all three drivers to get down to business and qualify for grid positions for the first races in each championship. Unfortunately, Stuart’s truck developed on the out lap a gearbox problem, this meant he had no drive in the high split position, ultimately only allowing him reach 148 KPH, instead of the maximum of 160 KPH (100MPH). With this he still managed to pull off a qualifying lap time to put him fifth and the top British driver, with Michael not far behind in seventh place. Shane in his FIA qualification session managed to secure tenth place.
Race one in the FIA European Championship, the fourteen truck grid got underway in what could only be said, in true FIA European Truck Race Championship style with all the trucks in order over the finish line pretty much as per the qualifying order, Shane finishing tenth.
Race one in the Coupe De France Championship was the opposite to the previous FIA race, with a full maximum grid of 26 trucks. Unfortunately, for Stuart due to the requirement for the team to do a quick gearbox change within the short time available, he found himself starting the race from the pit lane, as soon as the pack roared past on the rolling start he was released from a standing start. Towards the end of the opening lap he had already managed to catch and overtake a fair number of trucks, then due to a fellow Brit becoming beached in the gravel trap, the red flags came out, this played well into Stuart’s hand, as the re-grid, re-start put him into his original fifth place qualifying position one row ahead of Michael. When the race re-started the action was fast and furious with multiple overtaking manoeuvres lap after lap. Across the finish line Stuart was fourth and Michael sixth.
At the start of race two, FIA European Championship race Shane found himself in an unavoidable situation resulting in, him and a number of other trucks being heavily damaged and unable to make the re-start, leaving only eight trucks to re-start.
Within the Coupe De France regulation for the second race, the top six previous race finish position are reversed this subsequently placed Michael on the start grid on “Pole Position”. Due to delays starting the FIA race, the second Coupe De France race started as the sun went down, this allowed the packed grandstands to see the spectacle of a full grid of trucks race with lights a blaze, with the turbo chargers and brake discs glowing red in the all action race from flag to flag. As soon as the race got under way, this time Stuart managed to move forward in the field and get second place result and subsequently up onto the world famous “24 hours of Le Mans” podium, Michael after some very intense action crossed the finish line in an outstanding and commendable fourth place.
On Sunday morning the FIA European Championship qualification session, due to heavy accident damage on the previous day was missing a number of its regular drivers, Shane and the team had worked into the early hours of Sunday morning and managed to get the truck ready to race, albeit with what was a very used looking race truck, with it Shane managed to secure eighth place on the on grid for Sundays first race.
Stuart and Michael’s qualification session also went very well, Stuart secured fifth fastest and Michael was eighth fastest.
The first of Sundays two FIA Championships races, Shane held on to his qualifying position finishing the race in eighth place, this secured him, due to the top eight reverse system, pole position for the second race of the day / last 2016 FIA European Championship race of the season.
Stuart and Michael’s first race on Sunday was again very intense with both TOR trucks deep in the action, crossing the finish line with Stuart in fourth place and Michael in eighth.
The last FIA European Championship race of the season historically has provided plenty of race action, Shane was in pole position on the grid, shortly after the race got underway, on the opening lap Shane got spun off dropping him down into last place. After re-joining the race he managed to work hard to move forward two places and finish the last race in tenth place.
The last Coupe De France Championship race of the weekend for Stuart and Michael went as expected with a number of very close rubbing manoeuvres. Stuart unfortunately in a three-way battle for the lead received a drive through penalty demoting him back down the field, not to be put-off, he managed to post consistent lap times on a par to the leading FIA European Championship trucks. Recovering well from his penalty he crossed the finish line in fifth place, Michael was again among the action throughout the race, finishing one place behind his father in sixth place.
In summary after a difficult weekend for Shane in the FIA European Championship, Stuart and Michael’s performance and achievements in the Coupe De France championship went a long way to make the weekend very successful and memorable.
The team now have only a few days to prepare for the penultimate round of the British Truck Race Champion held at Pembrey this next weekend 15th/16th October.
TEAM OLIVER RACING – SUCCESS AT SNETTERTON
Last weekend 10th/11th September TEAM OLIVER RACING (TOR) participated at the fast and technical MSV Snetterton 300 race circuit, located deep in the Norfolk countryside. Stuart and Shane had the advantage of participating previously at the circuit, Michael unfortunately, like at all events to date had to adopt a steep learning curve.
To help Michael, both he and Stuart attended the truck test sessions on the Friday afternoon, which were very successful in the bright Norfolk sunshine.
On Saturday morning it was straight out on track for all nineteen truck in attendance, to try and post the fastest lap and claim pole position for race one. Unfortunately, the truck set-up work that had been done on the Friday went out the window, the weather had turned and the black clouds were delivering heavy rain onto what was now a very slippery circuit. In the fifteen-minute session Stuart managed a time to secure third place on the start grid, Shane secured fifth and Michael surprised all by securing sixth place. The whole team was delighted with the achievement in what could only be described as very difficult conditions.
Race One; on the Saturday afternoon the weather had not improved and the windscreen wipers were working overtime. All TOR drivers had a very good first race start, unfortunately on the second lap the Red Flags came out due to a stranded truck and the race was subsequently stopped. All trucks were re-gridded and a race re start took place. Again all three TOR drivers had good clean starts with Stuart soon moving up into second place, Shane had a coming together causing him to drop a number of positions, Michael avoided any contact and got his truck around the 3 mile circuit trouble free. By the chequered flag, Stuart had secured second place, Michael crossed the finish line in his best race career position, a well-earned fifth place, Shane recovered and fought hard to finish in seventh.
Race Two; due to a number of race delays and an 18.30-time curfew, the race was moved to the first slot on Sunday morning. Fortunately the rain had stopped and the sun was out, but the track was still very damp. Stuart was starting on the grid from the back row with Michael two rows ahead and with Shane one row in front. On the rolling start all drivers were very cautious because of the unknown level of grip, as the race settled down all three TOR drivers started to work up the field. Stuart passed Michael on the second lap, unfortunately on lap three Michael had contact from another truck pushing him wide, leaving him stranded in a dangerous position causing a Red Flag race stoppage. Due to the need to be recovered, Michael was not allowed to re-start the race. On the re-start Shane and Stuart both made good progress and were soon moving up the field again, because of the stoppage the race was cut short with Shane crossing the finish line in second and Stuart in fifth.
Race Three; the track now was completely dry and the team could adopt the truck set-up’s from Fridays test sessions. With both Michael and Shane starting at the back of the grid and Stuart in the middle of the grid all three drivers had allot of work to do. As soon as the lights went out all three were on a charge to better their positions, Stuart had a hard race and managed to work his way up into second place at the chequered flag, Shane and Michael both also worked hard and stayed out of trouble to finish seventh and ninth respectively.
Race Four; Shane was starting from mid-grid with Michael one row behind and Stuart on the back row. The conditions now were perfect and the large number of spectators that attended were seeing truck racing at its absolute best, the previous races had provided plenty of overtaking action and things were not about to change. At the start Shane quickly made his way to the front and was in full control of the race, Michael was holding his own, Stuart was working through the field and by mid-race he had come behind a train of nose to tail race trucks that were not to be moved. At the finish line Shane had secured a well-deserved race win, Stuart crossed the line in fifth still stuck very close behind three trucks, Michael managed to move up from his start position, to finish in eighth.
Race Five; the last truck race of the weekend, it is always the one the drivers want to win, as it is seen as the finale of the weekend. Stuart was behind Michael on the grid with Shane on the back row, when the pace truck pulled off and the lights went out the action started. Stuarts truck was hit hard in the side pushing him wide approaching the first corner, fortunately he managed to hold station and stay clear of a spinning truck, heading for the Armco. By lap two Stuart was up into second and putting pressure on for the lead. Shane also was working through the field followed closely by Michael, halfway around lap three Stuart had an opportunity to get ahead and take control of the race, then after a hard defensive remainder of the race Stuart crossed the finish line the race winner with Shane in fifth and Michael in ninth.
The whole team were delighted with the overall team performance over the weekend, with five podium finishes including two race wins. The team are now working hard to prepare for the penultimate round of the British Truck Racing Championship held at Pembrey, South Wales on 15th 16th October.
TEAM OLIVER RACING SUCCEED AT SILVERSTONE
Last weekend 13th/14th August TEAM OLIVER RACING (TOR) attended the sixth round of the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) event at Northamptonshire’s Silverstone race circuit, the home of British Formula One. Like at Donington Park a few weeks ago, both day’s the sun shone high in the sky.
Stuart, Shane and Michael had very open minds about the Silverstone event, this is largely due to the nature of circuit having few corners and very long straights, never the less the whole team were focused on scoring valuable British Truck Racing Championship points.
The meeting organisers (BARC) had incorporated into the timetable a short practice session on Saturday morning, this allowed the drivers time to do a few laps and check all the repairs and modifications undertaken following the arduous Donington Park event. Stuart and Shane had the advantage over Michael by having participated last year on the Silverstone circuit, as with at many circuits this year Michael has not experienced any problems and he very quickly learnt the best racing line.
Soon after the free practice session all thirteen Class A trucks of the BTRC went on track in a fifteen minute session to qualify for the first truck race of the weekend. At the session end Stuart was just pipped for pole position and had to settle for second place with a lap time of 1:13.627 an average speed of 80.21 MPH. Shane only two tenths of one second slower was fifth fastest, Michael posted a time that would see him starting ninth on the grid for race one.
The first of the five BTRC races got underway early on the Saturday afternoon, as predicted due to the circuit layout the race had very little overtaking action, to the point, Stuart, Shane and Michael all crossed the finish line in the exact same positions as they were on the start grid, this is not to say the race had no action, on many occasions overtaking attempts were being made by all three, unfortunately none came to fruition.
Race two on Saturday was when the weekend race action really started with the grid reversed from the previous race results, this meant Stuart was starting from the back row, Shane in the middle of the grid and Michael on the second to front row. As soon as the green lights went out on the rolling start the race action started with Shane and Stuart both making good progress to move up the field. By mid-race Shane was up in amongst the front runners and Stuart was very close behind. In the closing stages of the race Shane was in second place battling for the lead with Stuart still behind. Shane made a high speed class manoeuvre that allowed him to take the lead, unfortunately Stuart at the same time got pushed wide and back down into fourth, fortunately on the last lap Stuart managed an overtake manoeuvre to regain one place. The race result, Shane taking the win and posting the fastest lap time of the race, Stuart finished in third place and Michael eighth.
On Sunday morning the third race of the weekend got underway, again with a reverse grid, Shane starting on the back row, Stuart one row in front, Michael was starting from the third row from the front. The rolling start got underway as always full of action unfortunately due to an oil leak from another truck, on the second lap Stuart’s truck got hit hard from behind, spinning him around at Luffield, due to the impact Stuart’s truck was stranded mid-track causing a red-flag stoppage. After some quick teamwork safety repairs to the truck and after the circuit team treated the oil on track, Stuart was allowed to re-start the race from the back row of the grid. The re-start was no less spectacular and again Shane and Stuart were soon up amongst the front runners, Stuart‘s truck was carrying heavy damage but he still managed to post the fastest lap time of the race. In doing so, he managed to cross the finish line in sixth with Shane behind in seventh and Michael in eighth.
After some major repairs were carried out Stuart’s truck was ready for the fourth truck race of the weekend, again with a reverse grid and with Stuart, Shane and Michael all starting the race from the middle of the grid, things were looking good for a good result. As with many result predictions regularly the opposite prevails, this was to prove to be one of those times. Immediately after the green lights went out at the start and at the breaking point for Copse Stuart’s truck was hit again hard at the rear sending it into a spin and causing a puncture to the right rear outer tyre. Stuart quickly turned his truck around and made chase, Shane managed to avoid the first corner incident and was working hard to move up the field, Michael was also giving his opponents a run for their money. By the closing stages of the race Stuart with his heavily damaged truck had managed to work his way up into seventh place behind Shane in sixth. The result at the chequered flag was Shane sixth, Stuart seventh and Michael eighth.
Following the previous race, the team had to carry out again more repairs to Stuart’s truck, Shane´s truck also had a mechanical issue to resolve. As in true Team Oliver Racing style all three trucks were fully prepped and ready for the fifth and last championship race of the weekend. Again all three were starting in the middle of the start grid. The team were all concerned and anxious to see the outcome of the race start, as in the previous two races Stuart’s truck seemed very much to be a target. On the start Stuart, Shane and Michael all made blistering starts, this time Stuart avoided trouble and by the third lap was out in front, only one lap later Shane was behind and into second, Michael was also holding his own in fourth place. Stuart manged throughout the race to lap by lap open out a comfortable lead, Shane worked hard to stay at the front of a train of race trucks, including Michael. At the finish line Stuart secured a dominating final race win, Shane with a well-earned second place and Michael finished seventh overall and his best result of the weekend.
The team was delighted with the weekend’s results. Stuart had a win, a second and a third place, to maintain his championship second place, Shane had a win and a second place and maintained his sixth place in the championship, Michael’s consistent Rookie performance moved him up from tenth to eighth in the championship.
All the TOR members now have a few weeks to prepare the three trucks for the next round, at the fast and technical Snetterton circuit in Norfolk on 10th/11th September.
PLENTY OF ACTION IN THE SUN AT DONINGTON
Last weekend 23rd/24th July TEAM OLIVER RACING attended the fifth round of the British Truck Racing Championship event at the world famous and home of truck racing, Donington Park in Leicestershire.
The weather forecasters had hedged their bets with a changeable forecast. Fortunately when the sun came up on Saturday morning it was there to be seen all day resulting in a clear blue sky day; with Sunday being very similar, this helped to bring spectators through the gate to reach close on record attendance numbers. Donington Park is the closest to home for the team and many of our sponsors so it was a great opportunity for the team to entertain a large number of sponsors, guests, family and friends.
Because of the action packed race programme Stuart, Shane and Michael did not get the opportunity to test their trucks around the high speed and very technical Leicestershire circuit prior to the qualification session. Stuart and Shane had the advantage of previously racing at the circuit, Michael had to make do with a trip around on a push bike on Friday evening.
Following the previous race at the Nurburgring Stuart and the team had made many changes to the rear axle configuration on his VOLVO and the qualification was to be the first test. In the short fifteen-minute session Stuart managed to secure fourth overall, only three tenths off the pole position time, Shane secured sixth and Michael tenth place on the start grid for the first race.
Race one of the five Class A races of the weekend got underway shortly after lunch on Saturday to then be stopped straight away by a Red-Flag due to a truck becoming beached in the gravel at Redgate corner. After a quick re-grid all the trucks got underway in the usual Truck Racing way, when the dust settled and the loose body panels landed the action then continued throughout, with Stuart finishing fourth overall, Shane sixth and Michael ninth.
Prior to race two Stuart and his team had made many set-up changes to both his and Michael’s trucks. When the race got underway the set-up changes immediately became apparent were correct, as Stuart who started in the middle of the grid was by the end of lap one at the front leading the race with Michael not far behind in second. Shane also had a good start and also had made his way forward through the pack. Stuart was in a position to control the race and lap by lap he pulled ahead of the rest to cross the line and win the race with a very comfortable lead. Shane fought hard all race and after a couple of forced excursions off track managed to cross the finish line in fifth, Michael held his own among the pack and finished in eighth overall. Resulting in all three TEAM OLIVER RACING trucks crossing the line within the top ten.
Sunday morning race three got underway in front of again a large number of spectators, when the lights went out on the rolling start Stuart made a move up the inside unfortunately was then pushed out wide towards the pit wall thus causing the truck in front to lose control, spin and stop on track to instigate the second Red-Flag stoppage of the weekend. Once the trucks were lined up back on the grid the race got underway again. This time Shane from a mid-place on the grid had a clear, trouble free start allowing him to get away and take an early lead, Stuart unfortunately got pushed wide at the top of the 100MPH Craner Curves and had to make a detour down the grass and re-join at the Old Hairpin at the very back of the pack. Michael managed to stay clear of trouble and move one by one up the field. At mid-race Shane was still at the front, Stuart was now up to and behind Michael. At the start of the last lap Shane was still leading the race, Stuart was fourth and Michael sixth, things were looking good for the best team result of the season until on the approach to Redgate Corner. The driver in second position “missed his brake point” and in doing so pushed Shane off into the gravel trap to result in a none finish, this hollowly moved Stuart up to third over the finish line and Michael to his best ever race career finish of fifth place overall.
The second truck race on the Sunday was obviously going to be a nail biting one due to the tension built up from the previous race. Shane was starting at the back of the reverse grid with Stuart alongside, with Michael starting only one row forward. When the lights went out on the rolling start Stuart was off in signature style immediately working through the pack, managing to avoid any contact. Shane and Michael also made good progress; throughout the whole race positions were exchanged. By the closing stages, Stuart had worked to get to the front and go on to win the race in style with a clear lead of more than four and a half seconds. Shane crossed the finish line in a respectable seventh and Michael in ninth place.
The fifth and last championship point’s truck race of the day was as expected to be a hard challenge as historically all drivers want to win the last race. On the grid Stuart was at the back Shane two rows in front and Michael on the second row. The race started with nineteen drivers all wanting to get around the first corner first, after the dust settled Stuart had been pushed out wide Shane and Michael had both encountered contact with a dislodged tyre from a front row truck. At mid-race the close action was still happening, Shane unfortunately developed an engine cooling problem due to radiator damage, Michael was going well albeit with various panels and bodywork missing, Stuart recovered from his excursion and was working towards the front of the pack. Unfortunately by the chequered flag he had only made it up to fourth place with Michael behind in fifth place and Shane limping over the line in seventh.
The last race of the weekend the “Donington Park Truck Grand Final” was not for championship points, but never the less, not less important. Unfortunately the damage to Shane’s truck in the previous race was unable to be rectified in time for the start. Stuart and Michael both started on the second to back row of the grid, not wanting to encounter any further damage the start was slightly more gentle than previous. The speed and action was no less exciting with plenty of overtaking throughout, at the finish line Stuart was third overall and Michael scored his personal best race career result of fourth place.
Overall Stuart and the team were happy with the race results over the weekend and are now preparing all the trucks for the next round of the championship at Silverstone on 13th/14th August.
NEXT EVENT AT DONINGTON PARK 23rd/24th of July
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.
HIGH-SPEED TOR SUCCESS AT THRUXTON
Last weekend, 11th/12th June, TEAM OLIVER RACING attended the third round of the BRITISH TRUCK RACING CHAMPIONSHIP at the high speed Thruxton circuit near Andover Hampshire.
The weather forecasters had predicted a rather wet and miserable outlook for the two days, fortunately this did not happen and at times the sun did make an appearance. Because of local environmental noise restrictions, none of the teams had the opportunity to test or have any practice prior to the Saturday morning qualifying session. Both Stuart and Shane had the advantage of previously racing around the fast Thruxton circuit unfortunately for Michael he had not had the opportunity to find his line prior to qualifying.
When the time came on Saturday morning to go out on track to qualify for the first race, the track was damp but the sun was out, so the conditions were to improve all through the 20 minute session. It emerged that for the whole of the session Stuart was constantly recording the fastest times, unfortunately coming towards the line to do a last flying lap the chequered flag came out not allowing him to continue improve his lap time and allowing two of his competitors to grab a faster lap by only 3 tenths of a second. Because of the changing conditions Shane was struggling with his truck set-up but at the end of the session he still managed to pull out a respectable time which put him tenth on the twenty truck grid. Michael, who had until the green flag never driven around the circuit more or less started to post lap times up towards the top of the timing board and at the end found himself recording eighth fastest time overall.
Race 1 on Saturday afternoon all twenty trucks lined up in qualifying order with Stuart in third, Michael in eighth and Shane in tenth. When the lights went out on the rolling start as expected all three Team Oliver trucks immediately started to make progress and by the end of lap one Stuart had moved up to second and Shane was up to seventh. Throughout the race all three drivers were engaged in battles to move up the rankings. On the second to last lap Stuart managed to pull off an overtake manoeuvre on the approach to the Club chicane that put him at the front, but unfortunately unseen by the officials he was overtaken by a truck that straight lined the chicane, Shane continued for the whole race to move up the field. At the chequered flag Stuart finished second, Shane sixth and Michael a respectable tenth, not bad for a rookie on his first outing to the circuit.
Race 2 on Saturday evening the reverse grid format meant Michael started on the front row, Shane in the middle and Stuart at the back. Immediately after the lights went out on the rolling start Stuart was on a mission to improve on the previous race finish position and by the end of lap one was up into fourth place behind Michael. Shane had also made up places and the scene was set for a positive result. By mid race Stuart was through to the front, Shane was up to fifth and Michael was in eighth, for the remainder of the race all three Team Oliver drivers held position and crossed the finish line with Stuart recording first, Shane fifth and Michael eighth.
Race 3 mid-day on Sunday again the trucks lined up on the grid in reverse of the previous race finish positions. This time Shane immediately made great haste and by mid race was at the front, Stuart also was putting pressure on the third place man unfortunately having a coming together sending them both off hard into the tyre wall. Stuart recovered and continued to recover from his off and at the chequered flag Shane crossed the line in second with Stuart in sixth and Michael in tenth.
Race 4 was the most difficult race of the weekend, the weather had changed to showers that left the track grip conditions different on every lap. Michael was starting on the front row, Stuart was mid-pack and Shane was at the back. Stuart was determined to overturn the disappointment of the previous race and with no delay when the lights went out Stuart and Shane started to move up through the pack. Stuart was quickly up to the front and Shane was also making good progress, Michael found himself in a mid-pack battle that took him off wide at the complex, re-joining down the pack, by the chequered flag Stuart had secured his second win of the weekend Shane was up to fifth position and Michael had recovered and made his way back up to eleventh.
Race 5 the sun was out and all the drivers were as usual looking to claim a good result in the last race. With Michael on the front row of the grid, Shane in mid-field and Stuart at the back things were not going to be easy and when the lights went out all the trucks as normal made the charge at 100 MPH up to the complex, unfortunately one over ambitious move by a competitor saw Shane being hit hard in the side also causing Stuart to go wide to avoid the incident, this meant both Shane and Stuart had to work hard to catch up to the front runners. Mid-race saw Michael have a high speed excursion off track but managing to re-join with only little damage. After a hard challenge Stuart managed to overtake Shane and close in on the front runners notching average lap times in excess of 86 MPH (140 KPH) and crossing the finish line with Stuart in fifth Shane in sixth and Michael in eleventh.
In summary the team were delighted with the overall results of the weekend and are now preparing for the next round at the Nurburgring in Germany on 2nd 3rd July.
The Pembrey TV broadcast starts this Wednesday evening (21:00 UK time) on Motors TV, Sky Channel 447, Virgin Media Channel 545! International Broadcast at 21:40, Lat/North America Broadcast at 21:15
PROMOTION AT THRUXTON BTCC
Shane Brereton took his race truck to the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton this weekend to promote the British Truck Racing Championship!
MOTORS TV – BRANDS HATCH
Don´t miss the Brands Hatch TV broadcast this Wednesday evening (21:00 UK time) on Motors TV, Sky Channel 447, Virgin Media Channel 545!
International Broadcast at 21:40, Lat/North America Broadcast at 19:55.
Team News Bulletin N02 – 2016
ACTION PACKED – BLUE SKY PEMBREY
Last weekend 23rd/24th April was the team’s first of two trips of the year to the home of Welsh motorsport at Pembrey circuit Nr Llanelli South Wales. When the team arrived on Friday evening the heavens were open and things looked set for at best a very damp weekend. On Saturday morning it was all change the rain clouds had gone and the sun was drying out the track very fast.
Because the team had decided not to participate in the Friday test session, the twenty minute qualifying session was to be the first outing to both test the trucks and also qualify for race one.
Stuart went straight out and immediately set a time that would in past times put him easily in pole position, unfortunately he was pipped by less than one tenth of one second, fortunately still securing a front row place on the grid for race one. Shane secured a very commendable time to secure sixth fastest spot putting him on the third row of the grid. Michael, in his first ever race participation at Pembrey managed to secure a well-earned and respectable eleventh overall within a field of nineteen trucks.
The first race of the weekend early on the Saturday afternoon was set to be a challenge for all, as the race officials had laid down the law to all drivers that track limits and driving standards had to be improved and adhered by all at all times, this basically meant the black bit (the track) is for racing and the green (the grass) is only to be driven on after the event by the circuits grass cutting machinery!
Race 1, the track conditions were perfect, all three team drivers and trucks were ready as always the race started from a rolling start. As the lights went green Stuart’s truck during an up-shift his gearbox went into a false neutral resulting in him having no high gear for the whole of the race restricting his top speed down to 80 mph and not up to the limit of 100mph. He dropped down the order but still salvaged a seventh place finish. Shane had a flying start and an all action packed race and moved up the order to cross the line in fourth place less than half a second behind third place. Michael also had an action packed race and moved up a few places and found himself exchanging places with Stuart many times and eventually crossing the line in eighth place overall only seven tenths of a second behind Stuart.
Post-race the whole team worked hard to carry out the normal pre-race preparation work as well as remove and fit a replacement gearbox into Stuart’s truck.
Race 2, Stuart and Michael were on the front of the class A grid, Shane was starting from the second to back row, things were all set for an exciting race, unfortunately on the out lap Stuart’s trucks clutch linkage failed and left him with no clutch operation, meaning on the grid he had to start the truck in-gear with the starter motor! On the rolling start Michael had control of the start and when the lights went out both went into the first corner side by side with Stuart exiting ahead but slower than normal due to having a much slower gear change than normal. This however did not seem to impede his performance in the early stages as he had control of the race, in the closing stages of the race when he caught up to lap the backmarkers the requirement to make more (slower) gear changes to overtake allowed two other Class A trucks to catch in the closing laps and overtake leaving Stuart to cross the line in third place overall. Shane had a strong challenge and managed to move up the field to cross the line in fifth. Michael did not disappoint by posting faster and faster laps and crossing the line in eleventh overall.
Race 3, Sunday morning with blue skies and the sun again shining high in the sky, Michael was on the front of the start grid, Shane back on row four and Stuart on row five. When the lights went out both Stuart and Shane made lightning starts then halfway around lap one Stuart was pushed wide and off track dropping him to the back of the pack, without delay he started the charge again up through the rankings and by mid-race found himself up into seventh. After an overambitious manoeuvre up front that resulted in the three front running trucks having an off track excursion. Stuart managed to avoid the incident and move up into second a position he held until the chequered flag. Shane was not so fortunate in the incident and got held up resulting in him not having the fortune Stuart enjoyed but still managed to cross the finish line in a well-deserved fifth place. Michael once again improved further his lap times and managed to avoided trouble, crossing the line in tenth overall.
Race 4, second truck race of the day the team was needing a win. Michael was on the front of the grid Shane was on row three and Stuart was up at the back. As always each start at each event gets faster and closer and race three was no exception. When the lights went out Michael was off “like a shot” Shane went fast down and around the outside, Stuart went through the middle, at the breaking point for turn one Stuarts truck was hit by an out of control truck lifting the rear axle into the air and sending him down the grass towards the trucks ahead turning right of him. In a swift manor Stuart got his truck straight and managed to get rid of enough speed to turn and avoid any contact with the charging pack. It soon became apparent though that unfortunately his truck had suffered a rear wheel blow-out when he was initially hit. Stuart however is not one for giving up and he continued to pick off the trucks ahead and finally managing to secure a well deserved third by the chequered flag. Shane’s outside flying start paid off, he avoided any contact and soon gained control of the pace that allowed him to settle into a routine that gave him his FIRST EVER TRUCK RACE WIN. Michael also had a commendable race, finishing in his best place in his short race career crossing the line in eighth overall. The whole team were delighted with race four’s results; Shane and Stuart on the podium with first and third respective and Michael eighth.
Race 5, the last race of the weekend and the large crowd that had attended were not going to be disappointed with the action. Michael was starting on row two of the grid, Stuart on row four and Shane on row five. As expected the race started at lighting speed with over one hundred tonnes of race trucks heading to turn one at 100mph. Michael managed to stay out of trouble and hold his position on the opening laps. Shane stayed close to the pack and out of trouble, Stuart after turn one was pushed off wide and had to re-join at the back. By mid race Michael was holding on to a good mid-field position, Shane was cutting through the opposition and Stuart was hot on his tail. In the closing last few laps Michael was in a battle for the last scoring position in the race. On the last lap during a overtaking manoeuvre he suffered contact that pushed him wide leaving him to finish in eleventh overall. Shane was hungry for more silverware and worked is way up to third with Stuart in forth less than three hundredths of one second behind him over the finish line.
In summary all at TEAM OLIVER RACING are delighted with the team performance and race results at Pembrey and are looking forward to the next round held at the high speed Thruxton cucuit in Hampshire on 11th 12th June.
Note; Don’t miss the TV coverage of the first round of the BTRC at Brands Hatch first of many, shown on Sky’s MOTORS TV channel on the evening of Wednesday 27th April.
Team News Bulletin N01 – 2016
Team Oliver Racing’s – Three Brands Surprise !
Team Oliver Racing started the new season at Brands Hatch over the Easter Weekend 26th 27th 28th March in fine style – three drivers, three different race truck brands! Stuart Oliver fighting once again for the British Truck Race Championship title behind the wheel of his trusty VOLVO RH-13, last year’s newcomer Shane Brereton testing his skills with his new MAN TGX and a surprise race entry by Stuart’s son Michael Oliver in the Scania P1150, starting out his task to follow in his father’s footsteps.
For the first time in many years the A and B class race trucks competed separately, entertaining the spectators in 10 action packed and very exciting truck races on Easter Sunday and Monday.
The weekend started brilliantly for Team Oliver with all three race trucks in the top ten in Saturday´s qualifying session. Stuart Oliver managed to hold off stiff competition to achieve the fastest time and subsequently pole position for race one. Shane Brereton showed real ambition in his new machine securing third place on the grid and Michael Oliver didn’t disappoint in his first ever qualifying session and managed to secure a very respectable tenth position on the grid in what could only be described as very tricky, wet and slippery conditions.
The first race showed that Stuart will once again have a hard season up against a number of competitors all vying for the top spot. After two aborted starts that saw Shane and Steven Powell run of the track at druids, a slight loss in traction by Stuart’s number 7 machine on the climb of Halewood’s Hill allowed Summerfield the first win of the season. Stuart, with an excellent display of control, despite the terrible English weather conditions came over the line in a close second, holding off a growing group of trucks, including David Jenkins, Ryan Smith and Steve Thomas. Shane had an excellent start but found himself in the gravel after a busy push going into turn 2, causing a red flag situation to stop the race. On the restart he had to re-join at the rear of the pack, but managed to fight his way up to an impressive 7th place finish! Michael had a tough 1st race of the weekend and his race career. In horrendous weather conditions and three restarts, he managed to bring his silver Scania over the finish line in 10th place despite the best efforts from a number of old hands to try and pass the newcomer, thus scoring his first ever British Truck Racing Championship point!
The second ‘A’ class race of the weekend started as per the regulations in reverse grid order with Michael starting from the front row of the grid (because of the poor weather conditions a very daunting place to be even for an experienced racer). During the race Michael managed to hold his own and bring the truck over the finish line unscathed. Shane also had a promising start but in the closing laps of the race caught a high curb sending him crashing out hard into a tyre wall at the entrance to Clearways bringing a red flag end to the race. Stuart started from the back row of the grid. During the race he worked through the field and managed to hold off tough competition to win the race and take the lead of the championship after the 1st day of racing.
Easter Monday morning saw the ‘A’ class race three get underway with Michael again on the front of the grid and Shane on the back due to his non race finish in the previous day’s race. Alongside him was Stuart who was at the back due to his previous day’s race win. For this race the weather was kind and the sun was shining. Michael again did not crack under the pressure and held his own for a number of laps, keeping the Scania on the racing line and making it no easy task for the charging pack to overtake. Shane and Stuart both started the race in fine style immediately making headway up through the pack and by mid race Shane was up to seventh position which he went on to hold to the finish line. Stuart had made his way up to fourth position when he realised that he was losing power and his engine was overheating this forced him to ease off the power and bring the Volvo home in fourth place. Once back in the pits it was found that the cause of the overheat was a puncture to the radiator.
‘A’ class race four saw again Michael up on the front of the grid. Shane was to start in the middle of the grid and Stuart on the second to back row, with again a dry track the pace was to be flat out. On the green light Michael was off the line in great Team Oliver style and as previously he did not give an inch to the charging pack. Unfortunately due to a cooling fan failure he had to retire mid-race to save causing terminal engine damage. Shane also had a lightening start cutting through the pack and by mid race was up into third place. In the closing laps he managed to skilfully manoeuvre his truck into the runner up spot only 1.936 seconds behind the race winner. Stuart also worked up the order having very stiff opposition to impede his progress but eventually securing a hard earned fifth place finish.
The final and fifth ‘A’ class race of the weekend was to be as expected a very action packed race. This time Michael was starting on the back row due to his non finish of the previous race. Shane was to start from the second to back row with Stuart one row in front. On a dry track, the opening lap going into Paddock Hill bend saw Stuart make a top class manoeuvre avoiding what turned out to be a five truck pile-up putting him into 3rd place. Unfortunately, due to two of the trucks beaching in the gravel on the first bend the red flags came out and the recovery trucks were deployed to recover the stranded trucks. The restart saw all the trucks lined up again on the grid in the original grid position, again the race started, this time also on the opening lap at Druids, the second corner, two of the same trucks involved in the first stop came together yet again ending in the tyre wall causing a second red flag race stop. After the recovery teams finished for a second time all trucks went onto the grid again. The third start was to be very different as the heavens had opened during the second stoppage causing the track conditions to change from good and dry to very wet and greasy. With all Team Oliver trucks set-up for dry conditions and the regulations not allowing any set up changes under a red flag stop, the race ahead was to be a hand full for the drivers and entertaining to the watching audience. This time when the race got under way Stuart was off the line and displaying for all to see his ability to drive his truck on the limit of grip to move up to the lead of the race by lap four. He went on to maintain his lead until the chequered flag making him the only double race winner over the weekend and more importantly putting him two points ahead in the championship. Shane worked hard in the difficult conditions to finish ninth with Michael also pushing to the limit crossing the line only two places back.
Stuart said; “he was delighted with the performance of the team, both on and off the track. To run successfully a three truck team is not easy, it is a great pleasure to see all who are involved working successfully together”.
The team are now working hard to prepare the trucks ready the next British Truck Racing Championship event on 23rd 24th April at Pembery, South Wales.
A second series of TruckWorld TV will start soon!
A 6-week series will commence on the 7th of March at the primetime slot of 7pm (before the Monday night football) on SKY 261 / Freeview 402 and Freesat 254 and will finish one week before the CV Show 2016.
Keep an eye out for it! In this series, you will see background footage of Team Oliver Racing!
International Autosport Show – NEC Birmingham
Autosport International is Europe´s largest indoor pre-season motorsport event!
On the 16th and 17th of January the show opens the doors for the public! At stand 9240 you can see one of Team Oliver´s race truck, at the BARC (British Automobile Racing Club) stand we have Stuart´s race engine to view!
TRUCK RACING DATES FOR 2016
March 26-28 Brands Hatch
April 23/24 Pembrey
June 11/12 Thruxton
July 2/3 Nurburgring …
July 23/24 Donington Park
August 13/14 Silverstone
September 10/11 Snetterton
October 15/16 Pembrey
November 5/6 Brands Hatch
Motorsport Web TV
Here you can watch all 2015 BTRC races: www.motorsportwebtv.co.uk
Team News Bulletin N10 – 2015
Down to the wire at the Brands Hatch Finale 2015
Last weekend saw the final round of the 2015 BTRA Truck Racing Championship at the famous Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. The stage was set for an exciting weekend where the overall championship winner would be decided. This was to come down to the last race of the day where the leading duo went into the race separated by only two Points.
On Friday afternoon, the team had the opportunity to set up the truck in the two testing sessions scheduled for that day. Due to heavy rain, several teams had significant problems finding the right set-up, however, the weather conditions were no real challenge for Stuart as he is known to cope well with changing situations. The truck performed well and the team were pleased with the set up they had chosen as the Kelsa backed Volvo continually produced the fastest lap times during the two sessions.
Saturday morning again saw heavy rain and a wet track, however this did not phase the team and they were confident that all the hard work done the previous day would pay off. They were not to be disappointed as Stuart set by far the fastest lap time during qualifying session.
As the starting grid of the first race was decided by the ranking of the overall standings, Stuart started the opening race alongside Summerfield. The first corner at Brands is notoriously difficult under pressure and as the lights went green the pack charged hard for the first bend. Stuart settled in behind Summerfield and started to race. The second lap saw Summerfield run wide which gave Stuart the opportunity to come up the inside and take the lead. Soon the leading duo were battling hard and as they caught up to the end of the Division 2 trucks Stuart went wide to avoid a back marker which left the door open for Summerfield to take the lead. Again the duel continued with Stuart hard on the heels of the blue MAN. On the last corner before the finish lane straight Summerfield again ran wide allowing Stuart to get his Volvo up alongside, unfortunately contact was made between the two trucks and the Volvo was pushed on to the grass where it lost traction. This sent the Volvo into a 360 degree spin and saw Stuart lose valuable positions and points. He finally finished the race in 7th position.
The second race of Saturday again saw a wet track and the Volvo started in the middle of the pack. The team knew that it was all to do and were not to be disappointed. Stuart settled in and began to pick off his fellow competitors one by one with an outstanding performance. At the end of the 15 minute race the Volvo was finally brought across the finish line in first place and 7 points behind the championship leader at the close of the day.
Sunday morning’s weather proved a little better with cloud and wind but thankfully no torrential rain. The crowds started to pack in and the air of anticipation was great as they knew that the third races planned for the day would finally see the overall championship winner. Stuart and the team were confident that they would be able to bring home the Volvo and give the crowds what they had come for, an exciting race weekend.
The first race of Sunday was a tough race and Stuart managed to bring home the Volvo into second place after some exciting racing but more importantly close the gap to five points with two races to go.
The reverse grid saw Stuart starting fourth, again the pack started hard and charged for the first corner. The packed crowd on Druids were then witness to a collision between the two leading trucks which saw both Stuart and Summerfield spin off track. Stuart managed to regain control of the Volvo and re-join the race however Summerfield had become lodged on the Armco barrier. The race was red flagged and Summerfield was allowed to re-join the grid after having his tyres changed. The race restarted and Stuart made the perfect start and to the delight of the packed crowd was soon leading the race. He held the lead to bring home the Volvo in first place again and reduce the championship lead to just 2 points with the final race planned for 3.15pm.
You could actually feel the suspense in the paddock and around the circuit as the fans that had travelled from all corners of the country waited to see the outcome of the last race. Stuart started one row behind Summerfield and again he accomplished a great start. By the first corner he had passed two competitors and was flying. Unfortunately, however, the race was stopped just one lap in as a truck had come off the track and was deemed as being in an unsafe position. The race was actually meant to be restarted, however due to failing light and a BMW race to run the decision was made to cancel the race and not allow the champion to be decided on the track which meant Stuart had to settle for runner-up position in the Championship. The disappointment and disbelief was apparent among the many thousands of fans that had waited for the showdown.
Stuart would like to thank all his sponsors for their support throughout the season and also would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in his team. Without them none of this would be possible. The dedication and determination from them all has helped him achieve by far the most race wins in 2015.
He would also like to thank all the fans that have supported us along the way and say a big thank you to those of you that had travelled down to the circuit and battled through the rain to watch the finale. Unfortunately we were not given the chance to decide the Championship on the track and we would like to say thanks to all of you that came over and wished us well. Without your support none of this would be worth it.
Team News Bulletin N09 – 2015
Fighting for the BTRA Truck Racing Championship title
At last weekend´s eighth round of the British Truck Racing Championship in Pembrey, Stuart Oliver scored two more victories thereby closing up to the current championship leader. Stuart now ranks just two points behind Mat Summerfield!
The stage was set for an exciting spectacle at the demanding and tricky Pembrey circuit as it was the second last event of the season. The first event in Pembrey, earlier this season, made history and got known as the ‘Fast and Furious’ weekend. But even though the pressure was even higher this time, all drivers acted with great respect and a high degree of fairness.
The weekend started off well with Stuart dominating the field in the first race thus bringing in his first podium of the weekend. The second race saw Stuart starting from the back row due to the reverse-grid rule. After some hard battling with his competitors, he managed to bring his Volvo up to third place.
On Sunday, much more fans attended the races in Pembrey. They probably spent the previous day watching their national team playing against Australia at the Rugby World Cup. An exciting day with great, very close battles was waiting for them as Stuart Oliver started into the second racing day ranking just one point behind his closest championship rival.
At the 3rd race, Stuart got off with a great start from the middle row but a hard-charging Thomas soon loomed alongside him thus leaving him boxed in at the first corner. Thomas tried to maintain a steady line but unfortunately he clipped the unsuspecting Coleman who sent him into the tyre barriers. Stuart remained composed and managed to avoid disaster. He then settled in and started to overtake the rest of the field. In the end, this brought him a fantastic 2nd position as the race finished and set him level on points with the championship leader.
The 4th race saw Stuart starting from the back row once more. Again, he remained composed and after some clever racing due to a brake-cooling issue, he managed to finish the race on 5th position.
The expectations for the final race were big. Once again, Stuart started very well and soon led the race. There was no stopping him. Consequently, he managed to bring home his race truck unscathed and on first place!
This race weekend, his teammate Shane Brereton competed both in the Team Oliver Scania with the number 77 and in his pickup truck. For Shane it was the first time out on the circuit. At the first practice session on Saturday morning he was pushing too hard on the final corner into the start/finish straight when he suffered a severe crash seeing him collide with the pit wall and ending his racing weekend piloting the pickup truck.
His first two races driving the race truck on the Saturday, however, saw him nursing a sore back and yet he managed to bring home the truck on 7th and 6th position respectively. A job well done – especially considering the crash earlier in the day.
On Sunday, he started from the pole position due to the reverse grid. He got off well and managed to fend off his fellow competitors for the first few laps but then he ran wide and finally finished on 5th position. The 2nd race of the day saw him bring in his truck on 8th position after a hard race and determined to push harder for the final race of the day – the team was not to be disappointed. And so he did; after a great start and a successful race, he finally brought home the truck on 4th position.
The big showdown will be in Brands Hatch on 7th and 8th of November! If you have the chance to attend – don´t miss it! It seems like we can expect fireworks on and off the track!
Team News Bulletin N08 – 2015
Tight battle for the BTRA Division 1 championship honour
At last weekend´s event in Snetterton, the battle for the BTRA Division 1 championship title reached its peak – with Stuart Oliver taking victory in three out of five races and netting a total of 40 points.
The weekend started with two testing sessions on Friday afternoon. The engine & gearbox problems which had hampered Stuart’s progress at Silverstone had been rectified and Stuart managed to achieve two of the fastest lap times in the sessions – thus the stage was set for a successful race weekend.
The opening race on Saturday morning saw Stuart work his way to the front of the field after passing his closest rivals to secure his first victory of the meeting.
The second race of the day saw Stuart starting from the back of the grid. After a tough race where Stuart was pushed wide off the racing line he managed to finish the race in 5th position.
Sunday morning saw blue skies and sunshine and an optimistic team for the days racing. Stuart again started at the back of the grid in race 3 but again managed to work his way through the competitive field to cross the line first.
Into the 4th race Stuart started well and was soon in 4th place when he was push out hard causing him to drop back 3 places and finally finish the race in 6th Position. The 5th race of the day proved to be tricky for all concerned. Stuart started 3rd on the grid and was soon chasing down his team mate Shane who had started on pole. A few laps into the race and one of the Division 2 trucks had a mechanical issue which caused their truck to leak diesel around the circuit. At this point Stuart had taken the lead and was ideally placed to be cautious as he navigated his way round. He brought his Volvo home unscathed to secure his third victory of the weekend.
His teammate Shane Brereton also showed a great performance which included three races finished on 8th position and a 3rd podium place on Sunday morning.
With only two more races meeting to go and 100 possible points yet to win, we are looking forward to some great race action both in Pembrey (10/11 October) and at the Brands Hatch final in November (7/8 November) – especially considering that the current leading trio consisting of Mat Summerfield, Stuart Oliver and Ryan Smith are only separated by just 9 points!
Team News Bulletin N07 – 2015
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.
Team News Bulletin N06 – 2015
Exceptional race weekend at Donington for Team Oliver which sees Stuart Oliver take the lead of the British Truck Racing Championship
Last weekend, the second half of the current season started with the 5th round of the British Truck Racing Championship 2015 at Donington Park. For many years Donington has been amongst the largest and most loved truck-racing events on the race calendar, it is also the home race for Team Oliver Racing! More than 200 invited guests and partners witnessed an exceptional performance from the Team Oliver duo of Stuart Oliver and Shane Brereton culminating in Stuart finishing the weekend at the top of the BTRA championship standings with a terrific performance!
Stuart Oliver, the only race driver within the field who has brought home a victory trophy after each of this year’s events, began the race weekend accomplishing the fastest lap in the qualifying session. His team-mate Shane Brereton also achieved a great 5th position – bear in mind that his Scania race truck, number 77 rolled at Nürburgring 3 weeks ago! Getting the truck back to racing standard in such a short time shows the dedication of the team.
On the first race of the day, Stuart Oliver amazed everyone on site! Due to incidents on the first lap, the race had to be restarted three times! – and three times Stuart took the lead position among the Division 1 trucks after just a few corners. After seven laps he had also managed to fight his way through the Division 2 group, which started the race 20 seconds earlier. This saw him cross the finish line first as overall winner. The second race saw the reverse grid position and Stuart started at the back of the grid. Again, he had a great start and set of on the heels of Ryan Smith. Soon they were both making their way through the field of the Division 2 group closely followed by Mat Summerfield, Steve Thomas and Dave Jenkins. Ryan finally won the race with Stuart as runner-up and Mat Summerfield completing the podium.
Heavy rainfall was predicted for Sunday, but Stuart kept cool. At an interview on the Saturday evening he stated: “If it rains, my race truck will fly around the circuit!” In spite of the vast amount of attractions offered to the visitors, with this statement Stuart attracted the attention of many spectators. Their eyes were set on Stuart and his number 7 Kelsa race truck. Unfortunately the third race had to be cancelled completely due to an incident on track between the Division 2 trucks. Although Stuart had to start the two remaining races from the back of the grid the fans were not to be disappointed as Stuart showed just how good the truck set up was as he gave a master class of driving in very wet conditions to secure two further wins. Overall this saw Stuart finish the weekend with three 1st place positions and a second place position but more importantly for Stuart and the team it now sees him take the lead of the Championship. The team as a whole had certainly shown how to promote a calm and professional image which allowed the drivers to do their job and the results showed this.
Shane Brereton also did an excellent job at Donington. For the third time now, he showed a great performance in the Team Oliver race truck – despite piloting a pickup truck at the supporting programme at the same event. In the first race, he left 14 competitors behind him before finishing on position 5. After a difficult 2nd race he had to stick to the 12th position. On Sunday he showed how motivated he is by ranking higher than several more experience competitors in the field by 5th twice in the Division 1 standings.
In just two weeks, the next round will take place in Silverstone!
Team News Bulletin N05 – 2015
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.
Team News Bulletin No4 – 2015
Full-throttle heavyweight thrills on UK´s fastest circuit
Last weekend, Thruxton Circuit hosted the third event of the BTRA Truck Racing Championship 2015, combining the most powerful race vehicles in British motorsports with the UK´s fastest circuit.
After the successful race weekend in America and a great media day in Silverstone, Stuart Oliver was looking forward to competing at this 2.35-mile high-speed track, which puts high demands on the turbocharged 12-litre diesel engines whilst requiring the drivers’ full attention. Tough competition was expected amongst the drivers of Division 1. After the furious weekend at the Pembrey Circuit three weeks ago, which caused a lot of damage for several teams, he hoped that Thruxton would prove cleaner and fairer on all concerned.
Team Oliver Racing once again participated with two race trucks but presented a new driver for the Scania since Luke Taylor was unable to attend this event. Shane Brereton, who races with a Kelsa-branded pickup truck in a side championship took the chance to get his first go in a real race truck. Although he has never raced a one-thousand-horsepower truck before, he handled the Scania really well and secured himself an outstanding 8th place amongst 20 other competitors in the qualifying and warm-up session. In all five races he finished among the top 10.
Stuart Oliver´s weekend started off very promising with him accomplishing the fastest lap in the qualifying session. In the subsequent race that followed on the Saturday, he unfortunately was involved in a racing incident, which kicked him out of the leading field. He managed to regain control of the truck but despite posting fast laps was unable to make up the ground that was lost. The incident however did mean that the team had their work cut out to ensure that the truck was deemed safe and legal and cosmetically appealing to the eye. The team did not fail and everyone pulled out all the stops as always to get it race fit and ready for the second race of the day. The second race saw Stuart starting 20 seconds behind group 2 due to the split grid format. As expected he was very focused and his flying start helped him to move up through the pack very quickly. After the first two laps he settled into his racing and he started to overtake one after another until he finally crossed the finish line ranking first!
Sunday dawned and the team were in an optimistic mood after a day of two halves on the Saturday. Their optimism was not to be disappointed! Stuart was determined to show how much the truck had improved from Pembrey in part due to their hard work. With a demonstration of skilful driving, determination and a cool head he managed to secure two 2nd place and one 3rd place podium finishes on the Sunday. More importantly the damage to his truck was minimal which showed that the racing had been much cleaner and fairer.
Stuart would like to thank both his partners and his team for their support so far. With their help and belief it has helped him to get to the 3rd position in the overall standings of the championship.
The next event in two weeks will take place in Germany celebrating the 30th anniversary of the famous Truck Grand Prix on Nürburgring. Make sure not to miss it.
Team News Bulletin No3 – 2015
10 times British Truck Racing Champion racing in 3 Continents
Stuart Oliver, ten times British truck racing champion, is to race a Freightliner at the end of May at the famous Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado Springs!
The ChampTruck World Series is an all new truck racing championship in North America ! The highly modified tractor units have a manual gearbox and a huge 15ltr turbo diesel engine and are prepared with a full-cab roll cage, race seat and 5-point racing seatbelt harness for action-packed racing. Stuart will be the ﬁrst race driver from the British Truck Racing Championship to participate in an American race truck.
The media interest and fan base is growing day by day, a press day is planned and thousands of spectators are expected for the round at Pikes Peak International Raceway on the 29th -31st of May.
Earlier this year Stuart competed in the Tata Motors T1 Prima truck race event in India, where he was crowned champion for the second time. The race in the United States will be the third continent this year that he has raced in and plans are underway to compete in other truck racing championships on other world continents !
Updates will follow
Truckfest Peterborough 3rd and 4th of May
Team News Bulletin No2 – 2015
Successful start into the British Truck Racing Championship!
With numerous spectators watching the season opening in Brands Hatch, both pilots, Stuart Oliver and Luke Taylor, had a highly successful start into the new season.
Team Oliver Racing presented itself in an overly impressing manner, with a large team set-up at the paddock, two Kelsa grid girls and a Kelsa pace truck.
For the first time, the team participated with two race trucks: on the one hand, with a former MKR Renault race truck from the European championship the team turned into a Volvo during the winter break and on the other hand with the well-known Scania from last year’s season.
During three training sessions on Friday, last fine tuning and adjustments were made on the trucks before participating at the decisive qualifying on Saturday morning.
Stuart Oliver got hold of the second position on the starting grid finishing just a three-hundredth of a second behind Ryan Smith – who, for his part, drives a former race truck of the triple European champion Jochen Hahn this season.
The subsequent races on Saturday and Sunday were packed with thrilling action. At the BTRA Championship, race trucks compete for the title in two different divisions – with a gap of 20 seconds between the two classes and with a completely reversed starting grid.
Stuart Oliver made clear he is willing to fight and to rank at the top this season. Throughout all of the races, he stayed amongst the top 3 and achieved a victory, a second position and twice the third rank.
Luke Taylor also had a quite satisfying weekend. Ranking among the top 10 at the qualifying, he finished twice on position 6 and 8 and once on the ninth rank.
Live timing was available for all those unable to watch the races live and on site. In addition, the BBC One Breakfast Show covered the event on Saturday morning. The sports presenter Mike Bushell interviewed several pilots and drove some laps around the circuit in Stuart´s Scania accompanied by Mat Summerfield and David Jenkins. A summary of the weekend will be broadcasted on 6th of May on Sky, Motors TV, Virgin media, Freeview and youview prior to the second racing event of the season taking place in Pembrey on 23rd of May.
Team News Bulletin No1 – 2015
Fighting for the BTRA Championship with a new Volvo race truck
Every year, the race trucks with up to 1,200 HP and a speed of up to 100 mph fascinate thousands of spectators. The entertainment programme with live concerts, fireworks, fun parks for children – to mention just some of the attractions – guarantees an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages! A 90-minute Europe-wide TV broadcast after the event will summarise the racing event itself and provide an insight behind the scenes thanks to team, driver and partner interviews.
Stuart Oliver is looking forward to a great season. He is very confident to stay amongst the top-ranked pilots thanks to his new race truck built in accordance with FIA standards.
During the winter break, some modifications were made to the new race truck. Now, shortly before the start of the season, both the team and its partner Kelsa Truck Products are proud to announce that Stuart Oliver will race a Volvo truck this year.
In addition, Team Oliver Racing will also participate at most of the races with a second pilot driving the well-known Scania race truck – at the season opening in Brands Hatch on 11th and 12th of April, the second driver will be Luke Taylor.
Directly after the first event, one of the race trucks will be exhibited on the Miller Oils stand 4E110 at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham from 14th to 16th of April. Who doesn’t make it to the season opening in Brands Hatch can thus also have a look at the truck on the CV Show.
Team News Bulletin No9 – 2014
ON TRACK WITH LITTLE AND LARGE AT BRANDS HATCH
The final British Truck Race event of the season took place over the weekend 1st & 2nd November, the weekend comprised of two truck races on the Saturday and three on the Sunday, just to keep all who are involved in the team busy, Stuart had agreed also to race a car in between the truck races and participate in the Legend car championship.
The Brands Hatch event being the last of the season always proves to be very busy for all the team especially this year with Stuart racing a truck and a car along with the large amount of sponsors guests and friends attending.
Most of the Truck and Legend car races were back to back so Stuart had very little time between races to get from the inner car paddock to the outer truck paddock he was very excited throughout the whole weekend and recommended that all race drivers should have a go at racing in two different championships at the same event! “The buzz is fantastic and you have to be very quick to adjust your thinking from a truck to a car and back to a truck”. Remarkably on the track the lap time of the car was only around five seconds a lap faster than that of the truck.
In the truck it was going to be a tall order to improve over the weekend on Stuart’s fourth place championship position but forth place could easily be lost because of this every effort was made by the team to ensure that the truck was in tip top condition to allow the team the best possible chance to finish fourth overall in the championship, a position that was unexpected considering the high level of machinery the competition have along with the unreliability issues early in the season.
In the twenty two truck maximum capacity race grids on the Saturday Stuart managed to finish in fourth and third respectfully, these very good results also stretched out his lead over the fifth place team.
In the two Legend races on the Saturday Stuart was up against it from the start due to him being a none championship entrant his qualifying place of fifteenth within a grid of thirty two cars did not help he still had to start all races from the back row, this made for very interesting times for Stuart on the track and for the spectators Stuart finished in seventeenth and twenty third place respectively.
On Saturday night the whole team, sponsors and friends enjoyed time together with an end of season party in the paddock to celebrate the teams achievements. Stuart obviously had to steer clear of the alcohol but the majority of the rest of the team participated.
Sunday morning the weather had changed significantly from the glorious weather the previous day, unfortunately for the ten’s of thousands of spectators the rain was to stay for the whole day.
Again with maximum starting grid the truck racing was set to bring some very slip sliding racing and this it did throughout the whole day, the track got wetter and slipperier. Stuart in the testing conditions still managed to work up through the pack and finish the last day of the season with two third place and a fourth place finish, safely securing fourth place overall in the 2014 season championship standings.
In the Legend car Stuart again did very well in his two races starting from the back of a thirty two car grid and considering the difficult weather conditions finishing in fifteenth and seventeenth respectfully.
Stuart and his team would like to thank all who have supported them in every way large and small throughout the whole season and trust that everybody involved has enjoyed it as much as the team.
Plans are now well underway for next season, when news is available we will let you know, in the meantime all at Team Oliver Racing hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Team News Bulletin No8 – 2014
FOUR OUT OF A POSSIBLE FIVE TRIPS TO THE PODIUM AT PEMBREY
Last weekend 4th & 5th October Stuart and his team ventured to the home of Welsh motorsport at the Pembrey race circuit in deepest South West Wales to participate in the five races of the penultimate round of the British Truck Race Championship.
The weather forecasters predicted on Friday that for Saturday morning there would be rain then it would clear out and stay dry for the weekend, true enough early on Saturday morning the heavens opened fortunately by the time of the morning free practice session the rain had stopped but the track was still wet. The team made the necessary changes to the truck to accommodate the wet track. Stuart went out and managed only to complete one fast lap before a truck with a split fuel line laid diesel all around the track, unfortunately this then gave no opportunity for Stuart to improve his time of being the third fastest overall.
By the time of the first race on the Saturday afternoon the sun was out and the track was dry. Stuart was starting in the middle of the pack and with all the race starts at Pembrey they are always entertaining for the crowd mainly due to the first right turn at the end of a long high speed start finish straight, a tight double back turn this can be make or break for the drivers fortunately Stuart had a very good start and stayed clear of trouble, apart from a few early race tussles he managed lap by lap to work up into third place by the chequered flag.
Race two on the Saturday Stuart was starting on the second to back row of the grid again this was going to be a challenge for Stuart to work through the field as well as stay out of trouble on the notorious first corner, again Stuart had a good start and again he was soon starting to work through the pack when on lap three as he braked from 100mph to enter the fast right turn onto the start finish straight one of the front axle drop ropes that control the travel of the suspension broke consequently sending Stuart sliding sideways off onto the grass, not to be put off he managed to rejoin the race and to make up places throughout the remainder of the race to reach the chequered flag in fifth place.
The third race of the weekend was held at mid-day on Sunday because of Stuart’s misfortune in the previous race he was to start in the middle of the grid, on the start Stuart made as expected another good start and immediately was on a mission to get into the lead after half a lap he was at the front unfortunately because of a first corner collision the red flags came out and the race was stopped. On the re start Stuart was not as lucky, he made another good start but a driver behind jumped the start and at the start of the second lap Stuart attempted an overtake manoeuvre on the same truck that was blocked causing both trucks to tangle and both to loose position infact to leave Stuart second to last, from this position Stuart fought hard to gain ground but again he had to settle for another third place finish.
Race four with Stuart again on the second to last row of the grid he was determined to make early progress this time the race started without incident and Stuart made his way up the leader board but after some hard challenges Stuart again had to settle for another third place finish.
For the fifth and final race of the weekend Stuart was very determined to better his three third place finishes, when the race got under way it was plain to see he was driving on a mission this paid off after a hard four way battle. Stuart went across the finish line in second place with only just over one second separating the top four placed trucks.
The next and final 2014 British Truck Race Championship event is to be held on the 1st & 2nd of November at Brands Hatch.
Before Brands Hatch Stuart and the team are off to the world famous Bugatti Circuit at Le Mans, France on 11th & 12 October to participate in the (24 Heures Camion) the French Truck Race Championship final event.
Team News Bulletin No7 – 2014
HIGH SPEED WHEEL TO WHEEL ACTION AT SNETTERTON
Last weekend 13th & 14th September was the date for the team to head to the east of the country to participate at the fast and technical Snetterton race circuit.
On the Friday prior to the weekend Stuart had the opportunity to get out on track and take a reporter from the BBC Look East team around the circuit to record a short promotional news feature to go out on BBC 1 on the Friday evening.
For the weekend the weather forecasters had predicted a dry sunny and warm weekend and on this occasion they got it correct.
On the Saturday morning the teams had the opportunity of a fifteen minute free practice session this would give Stuart the opportunity to see if the change in the truck set up from the wet Donington circuit would be OK, sure enough so much so that Stuart recorded the fastest lap time some six tenths faster than the second fastest.
As always race one of the weekend was to start with reverse grid of the finish positions of the last race at Donington Park, this meant Stuart was starting on the second to last row of the grid, with a grid of thirteen trucks as always it was not going to be easy to get to the front. Straight away Stuart started to make his way through the pack and lap by lap he was moving towards the front, by the chequered flag Stuart was up to second place only two seconds behind the winner.
Race two on the Saturday Stuart was determined to improve but this time starting on the back row of the grid he had a lot of work to do, after a very action packed first lap Stuart managed to start working his way up the field but unfortunately at the end of the race he only managed to secure the last spot on the podium.
The third truck race of the weekend was to start just before lunch on the Sunday morning, it was clear to see from the visiting spectators that the TV exposure on the Friday evening had drummed up a vast amount of interest; again Stuart was starting from the second to last row of the grid. This time Stuart did not have a good race start and found himself blocked in on the tight hairpin, this put him back down the field and left him with a lot of work, by the chequered flag he had worked up to finish in fourth.
Race four Stuart was determined to better his previous positions unfortunately on the first corner on the very first lap during an overtaking move Stuart’s truck received a heavy impact that resulted in a bent rear outer wheel rim and a burst tyres, not wanting to give up Stuart still managed to move forward through the field and managed to finish the race in third place.
Race Five with a new wheel and tyre fitted and Stuart starting again from the second to last row of the grid, he made a very good start unfortunately once again on the first lap on the very same corner as the race prior he received another hit in the side this time destroying the wheel rim, this then causing a major vibration through the whole truck, not to be put off Stuart adapted his driving style to deal with the handicap and for the final race of the weekend he crossed the finish line in a respectable under the circumstances fourth place.
Team News Bulletin No6 – 2014
THIRTY YEARS OF TRUCK RACING AT DONINGTON PARK
The August Bank holiday weekend was the date for the team to participate at what is their nearest to home Truck Race event and as always a very busy time for all the team both on and off the track. Along with the fact that the Donington Park organisers were using the event to mark thirty years of Truck Racing at the circuit the stage was set for a busy weekend for all the team.
The team arrived at the circuit early on Saturda