Updated: Jul 25, 2019
RIP, BURT REYNOLDS 1936-2018
Last weekend (8th & 9th September) Team Oliver Racing traveled to the high speed MSV circuit at Snetterton in the heart of Norfolk. After arriving on Friday evening, the team set up ready to participate in the four races of the British Truck Racing Championship.
On Saturday morning the trucks went out on track for fifteen minute qualification session to decide the starting order for race one and 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 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 the reverse grid format came into play for race two 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 to Martin's truck by the team, they managed to get it ready just in time for him to start the last race from the pit lane and, due to the reverse grid, Stuart also started from near the back. As soon as the start lights went out Stuart was off with no delay and very soon was up into second place. Martin, however, 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 however, on the opening lap his truck had 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 900°c as opposed to the norm of around 300°c. By the last lap, and after some very breath-taking braking moments, Stuart 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, even 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 Circuit, about one-hour east of Brussels in Belgium.