Team Oliver Racing – Pembrey
The penultimate round of the 2021 British Truck Racing Championship took place on the weekend of the 9th & 10th October at the home of Welsh motorsport in Pembrey, South Wales.
As is becoming the norm, most of the teams arrived on the Thursday evening to prepare for the on-track truck testing that was available on Friday. Team Oliver took good advantage of the track time to adjust the set up of the two race trucks to suit the tight turns of the Welsh circuit. By the end of Friday, both Stuart and Martin were happy with the performance of the trucks and all was made ready for the qualification session on the Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning, when all seventeen trucks went on track to qualify, the weather conditions were good and the circuit was dry. Stuart and Martin went early to secure a good time, this Stuart did and was second fastest, but unfortunately on the out lap one of Martin’s truck brake discs shattered leaving him no option other than to retire to the pit lane. During this session in the pit lane the mechanics made a few minor adjustments to Stuart’s truck to hopefully allow him to secure pole position, however during his last flying lap he was unnecessarily blocked by another competitor, thus leaving him to settle for second place.
After lunch Race 1 was underway as always at Pembrey, the first time the trucks reach the Hatchet Hairpin the fun starts. This race was no different to the norm and Stuart survived the push and shove and managed to hold on to his second place throughout the race to cross the finish line second overall. Martin, after having his shattered brake disc replaced, started from the back of the grid and challenged hard throughout the whole of the race however still managed to secure a strong ninth place.
Late on Saturday afternoon the second race got underway, this time with a reverse grid start which saw Martin starting from the front row and Stuart starting from the back. With no delay both Team Oliver drivers made good headway and Martin was in a strong second place for a number of laps then progressed to the lead of the race. Stuart also made good progress and was soon up into a podium finishing position, however with a few laps to go, Stuart at 100 mph was pushed off track, dropping him back down the order. In the closing laps of the race, Martin found himself run out wide and dropped back into second place for the chequered flag, however when the officials reviewed the reports and video footage the official result was amended meaning Martin was the race winner.
On Sunday morning the sky was clear and the sun was shining. Race three got underway mid-morning and with Martin on the back row and Stuart one row ahead, the scene was set for an exciting race. At the start, both made early progress and it was looking good for two good results, however mid race Stuart again got pushed off track, resulting to him going down into last place. Martin pushed hard to move forward in the race order, Stuart also recovered and was soon back in among the action, however when the chequered flag came out Martin had to settle for fifth place and Stuart sixth.
Early afternoon came and the fourth race was in progress, in front of a record number of attendees. This time, Stuart was starting just ahead of Martin on row two. As always, both drivers were determined to achieve good results and when the lights went out, Stuart didn’t delay by moving up the order with Martin close behind him, so much so by the early stages of lap three, Stuart was in the lead and Martin was holding on to fifth place, with plenty of mid pack action keeping Martin’s attention. By the finish line, Stuart had pulled out almost a ten second lead on the position two truck, Martin with a battle scarred truck held on to finish in fifth place.
The fifth and final race of the weekend was, as always, a showdown with all drivers eager to lift the last trophies of the weekend. With Stuart on the back of the grid and Martin on row two, the chances of good results were looking slim. When the start lights for the rolling start went out again, both our drivers made swift progress, Martin was soon up into second place, Stuart also made some outstanding manoeuvres and by lap three was hot on the heels of Martin in third place. The race soon developed into a train of five trucks racing in close combat, this battle continued for the main of the race and until Stuart’s truck was hit in the rear left, causing his tyre blow out and unfortunately, due to the lack of grip he fell back down the order to cross the finish line in fifth. However, Martin battled hard and held position finishing the race in second place and also recorded the fastest lap of the race.
With Martin in second place in the championship, only five points behind the leader, it is all still to play for, so the team have plenty to do during the next few weeks to prepare the trucks ahead of the final race of the season to be held at Brands Hatch on 6th and 7th November, which we are sure will be a showstopper and a exhilarating watch for everyone. We are excited to hear how they get on!
To find out more about the gang over at Team Oliver Racing, Head over to their website: https://www.teamoliverracing.co.uk/