Sunshine and Trophies at the Home of Welsh Motorsport
Convoy Cymru was the event name given to last weekend’s BTRC event that was held at the Pembrey race circuit in Carmarthenshire. Team Oliver arrived on Thursday afternoon to setup for what was undoubtedly a bumper weekend in many ways largely due to the successful Convoy brand bringing along many additional attractions, such as, Tractor Pulling, Show Truck displays, US truck driving, manufacture displays, trade stands and on-stage live music and entertainment.
On the Friday all twenty-race truck team had the opportunity to participate out on the circuit in four test sessions to help fine tune the setup of the trucks ahead of the five-truck race weekend. Michael took full advantage of the time to refamiliarize himself with the tight, technical, and very fast circuit. Stuart was not so lucky on his first first flying lap of the first test session on his engine the fuel pump drive shaft parted with the drive gear, leaving him and the team a partial engine strip down and rebuild before Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning for the qualification session all was looking good for both Stuart and Michael, other than Stuart did not know if his truck was setup correctly to allow him to post some good lap times. However, in brilliant sunshine things went very well and Michael posted plenty respectable lap times and Stuart without delay shocked many by posting several fast lap times and secured himself front row position for the start grid for races one and two.
Shortly before lunch the first truck race of the weekend got underway and without drama Stuart stayed as he started and secured a strong second place finish. Michael unfortunately saw the return of his Brands Hatch steering problems and was forced to retire from the race.
Race two on the Saturday afternoon the sun was still shining bright in the sky and in front of a record Saturday crowd, Stuart again started from second place and with plenty of pressure from behind he held the position to secure another second-place finish. Michael’s truck after further repairs was on the starting grid in eighth place and throughout the race, he was moving up the leader board, then unfortunately in the closing laps of the race again the power steering pump failed, causing him to retire from the race.
After extensive overnight work on Michael’s truck all was set for a good day on Sunday, with the sun once again shining and a record-breaking public attendance the scene was set for some great truck racing and results. For race three Stuart started from seventh and Michel due to his DNF started from the back row. Throughout the whole race both Stuart and Michael were among plenty heavy weight action for the whole of the race and Stuart crossed the finish line in sixth and Michael drove like he stole it and managed to progress up into eighth at the chequered flag.
Race four started similar to race three, Michael again fought hard from the back of the grid and worked through the field to secure another very respectable eighth place, Stuart started from the middle of the grid and did better than in the previous race and got up onto the podium by crossing the finish line in third.
As often the case race five, the final truck race of the weekend can bring some hard hitting action, and it did just that with Michael starting from pole position and Stuart one row back the hope was to have both drivers on the podium, unfortunately at turn one on the opening lap Michael’s trucks steering problems reappeared and he had to abort the turn putting him back down the order, Stuart was in a battle throughout the main part of the race but in the closing laps he had progressed up into second place and secured his fourth podium finish of the weekend. Michael fought on for three laps but unfortunately the reoccurring steering issue forced him to retire.
In summary, Michael is far from happy with his truck’s unreliability issues, but he is confident when they are rectified, he will be deep among the race action. Stuart is delighted with his four podium finishes and the fact that he has moved up from fourth overall in the championship to second.
The team are now hard at work servicing the trucks and in particular rectifying the steering problems on Michael’s truck as well as preparing all the team support equipment, in readiness to be displayed within the Truck Race Zone at Road Transport Expo 2022 at Stoneleigh Park on 30th June - 2nd July. Then one week following it will be back to racing for the third round of the BTRC that is to be held at Thruxton in Hampshire on 9th 10th July.