Easter fun in the sun at Brands
Updated: Apr 12
Not a chocolate egg or bunny in sight this Easter! It was all about trucks! Race Trucks! The season opening races took place this Easter weekend at Brands Hatch Circuit in Kent. The trucks were looking good and after some alterations and upgrades over the winter they were ready to go! The practice session on Friday ran very well for both our drivers – Stuart and Michael Oliver and as a bonus the sun was shining! First up was the qualifying session on the Saturday morning. This again went well again for the team and put them in good stead and a positive mind set for the first race.
The opening race of the seasons grid positions were decided from earlier qualifying session. Stuart second row and Michael staring row 5. The race was certainly a lively start with a chaotic opening lap which included the first crash of the season at Druids corner. 4 trucks were caught up in this and sent into the gravel including Michaels. The race was of course red flagged, and damage assessed. The impact of this incident unfortunately caused damage to Michael’s back axle forcing him to retire from this race. A 12-minute restart race proceeded which was much calmer in comparison! Stuart crossed the line in a strong 4th place. The team’s expert mechanics got to work on those repairs to Michael’s truck to get him ready for the next race later that day.
The second race of the days grid positions were based on the second fastest times from qualifying. Stuart was 2nd row and Michael 5th. After a couple of minutes into the race the red flag made an appearance. The circumstances were not quite as dramatic as the first race! A truck ran into issues and need recovery from the gravel. A restart race of 12 mins was organised and the trucks set off again. Unfortunately, not for long as the red flag was brought out yet again with 7 minutes still left to go. Another team had an issue which caused an explosion at the back of their truck causing a considerable amount of oil to leak on the track. Due to timing constraints and the clean-up needed the race was called to an end and results were decided on the placement of the teams when the flag went up. This meant that Stuart was awarded that 2nd place trophy! Michael had a much calmer race this time and was 10th when the flag came up.
Sundays first race of the day’s grid was based on the results from yesterday’s race 1 with the top 8 reversed. This meant Stuart started on row 2 and Michael on row 7. Stuart made the most of his position and had a fantastic start pushing his way to the front straight away. This is where he stayed and kept a good gap of around 3 seconds ahead of the rest of the pack using his expertise to fend off any challenges to that lead. He coasted nicely over that line claiming a well-deserved first place trophy. Michael also had a good race mid pack. He came over that line in 8th place. A good position for him as the last race the top 8 will be reversed on the grid again giving Michael that pole position. A great start to Sunday with good results and a full race with no red flags to be seen!
Grid for race 4 was the top 8 reversed from Saturdays race 2. Positions were Stuart on row 4 and Michael just behind on row 5. Right from the beginning Stuart edged his way to the leading pack. Working up through the positions until he got into the lead at the halfway point. And that’s where he stayed - although not as easily as the last race! The top 3 were extremely close and Stuart had to use all his skill to defend his position as the competition were hot on his heals!!!! He kept his nerve and crossed that line in a very well deserved first place! Michael wasn’t too far behind in a battle between the 5th and 6th place. He kept on and achieved his best finish of the weekend in 5th place! Some excellent driving demonstrated by all the teams in this race, and it certainly gave the crowd some exciting viewing.
The final race of the weekends grid was top 8 reversed from race 3 earlier today. This meant that Michael was on pole and Stuart 4th row. Unfortunately, the pole position did not give Michael the start he wanted. As he came round the first corner at Paddock Hill Bend the two front row leaders were tangled up together forcing them into the gravel and tyre wall. Thankfully both drivers were both ok but same could not be said for their trucks which incurred considerable damage. Of course, the race was red flagged and both trucks needed recovery. This was the end of the race for Michael and the start of some major repairs for the team! Stuart joined the rest of the group to begin a 12-minute restart race. He battled to try and get through the front pack managing to avoid a truck spin which helped him push through into 4th place where he stayed to the end.
A great first weekend to the season with a large crowd flooding the track on both days to enjoy the weekends racing and entertainment. The Championship also debuted their new YouTube channel that live streamed every race, brought driver interviews and also features from around the track making it accessible for all. Although mixed results with some highs and lows for team we have certainly enjoyed getting back racing and now begin preparations for Pembrey in May.
Thank you to all our sponsors for their ongoing support.