Stuart Oliver wins inaugural Tata T1 Prima Truck Racing C'ship
Well, we've waited for the day to come. And it finally did. After witnessing the first ever FIA approved Indian truck race, on the country's biggest circuit. Here's how it all went down
It's a contact sport of sorts, truck racing. The Tata T1 Prima Truck Racing championship is not like F1 where at the slightest of contact, the car breaks into a zillion pieces. Because they're commercial vehicles, they're built to take a pounding and stride on. Now prepped for racing, their sturdiness and safety aspects improved, this paved the way for some killer fender bending action. As a spectator sport, The T1 Prima truck race is up there with the best. It was the first time we'd witnessed a section of the BIC s grandstand transform into an amphitheatre. The entire event was entertainment packed to say the least, and all present absolutely loved it.
Unlike most of last season's Formula 1 races, right from the start, it wasn't shy of any big thrills and spills, and it was hard to foresee a predictable outcome in the T1's sprint and main races.
Moving into the 5-lap sprint race, the order of drivers changed dramatically with pole-setter, team Dealer Warriors' driver Ben Horne losing much ground after he spun out at the during sprint to finish last. Ten-time British Truck Racing Association division 1 champion and Team Castrol Vecton driver, Stuart Oliver finished out ahead of the pack, in 10:20.151s with Tata technologies Motorsports driver Dave Jenkins lined up along side him on the front row. Oliver's teammate David Ball lined up on the second row with reigning BTRC Division 1 champ/Team Cummins driver Mathew Summerfield by his side.
The crowd went absolutely nuts at the main race's rolling start. Stuart went completely off the track on lap 3, got himself stuck in the gravel. He managed to quite literally get back on track, resuming the race in 9th position. Mathew Summerfield who started fourth in the mean while, made his way up to 1st by then - under pressure from David Ball. Battles for track positions ensued on all corners over the 2.5km short loop at the BIC - with Stuart battling his way up the order each lap. By lap 7 of 15, he was through on Third placed Dave Jenkins and right on Mat's tail. Stuart eventually took the lead of the race the following lap and remained out in front till the end. Oliver crossed the finish line first after 30:26.848s, more than 4.5seconds ahead of second placed Mat to be crowned the first ever T1 Prima Race Truck champion.
The feat achieved by Stuart Oliver was truly remarkable. Wonder if it's because he has a bit of The Stig in him?
Tata T1 Prima Truck Race Provisional Result:
Driver standing Team Gap
1. Stuart Oliver - Castrol - 30:26.848s
2. Mathew Summerfield - Cummins -4.674
3. Dave Jenkins - Tata Technologies - 5.565
4. Steven Powell - Dealer Warriors -6.168
5. David Ball - Castrol Vecton -6.457
6. Simon Reid - Cummins -9.114
7. Steve Thomas - Dealer Daredevils -9.847
8. Graham Powell - Dealer Daredevils -11.856
9. Ben Horne - Dealer Warriors -13.323
10. Paul McCumisky - Allied Partners - 18.819
11. Brian Burt - Tata Technologies Motorsports -21.489
12. Richard Collette - Allied Partners - 34.208