Team Oliver at Thruxton in British Truck Racing Championship
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 unknown 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.