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 Championship races over the three days ran alongside four FIA European Truck Championship races giving the 117,500 spectators the opportunity to see plenty of truck racing 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 the start grid for the first race. Martin also produced an outstanding performance and secured ninth place on the grid.
On 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 and 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 Unfortunately, due to a technical infringement Martin’s eighth place result was withdrawn.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.
On the Saturday afternoon the top eight drivers start positions were reversed from the results of Friday’s race putting Stuart fifth on the grid and saw starting from the back of the grid Martin due to the previous day’s technical issue. The second race got underway no different to race one and, when the dust had 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.
On the Sunday morning the weather again was unusually hot for the third race of the weekend. Due to the previous day’s steering problems Stuart started from the back row of the grid with Martin much further forward in eighth place. The race got underway and as expected and Stuart quickly moved up the leader board. After some heart stopping moments the chequered flag fell and Martin finished in eighth place with Stuart close to his rear bumper in ninth place.
For the last race of the weekend Martin started from pole position with Stuart further back in ninth. This time the rubbing on the opening lap 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 fourth 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 services 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.