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 complementing 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 posted several fastest lap times during the sessionand, by 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 and 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.
By Sunday morning the rain had blown over and 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 and 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 and, 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.
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.