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 predictions became true with Storm Callum delivering very high winds and constant heavy rain, meaning very little could be done by the teams to prepare for the weekend ahead. On Saturday morning it soon become apparent that, due to the amount of standing water on and around the circuit, the race programme would be greatly affected. After a great struggle and the organisers working hard to overcome the situation, the trucks were eventually allowed out onto the circuit to qualify for race one in the early afternoon.
The first race of the weekend then took place late in the day - starting, for obvious 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 and therefore the idea turned out not to be a recipe for good close racing leaving Stuart to finish in fifth place and Martin in seventh.
By Sunday morning the rain had stopped so the second truck race of the weekend started as planned, this time with the normal side by side rolling start. 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. Unfortunately, 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 manoeuvre they deemed unsafe.
The sun was out in time for the second race of the day giving both Stuart and Martin the opportunity to make very good starts. Stuart battled hard to work through the pack ahead and finish, again, in second place. Unfortunately, Martin's truck was hit hard and pushed off track early in the race however he recovered well and managed 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, and, by mid-race Stuart was up into third and Martin up into sixth and both drivers continued to work hard throughout the race. Unfortunately, Martin’s truck experienced more heavy contact on a number of occasions and at the chequered flag Stuart had to settle for a third and Martin 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, where the fireworks are sure not to be the only things going bang!