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Stuart Oliver scores sensational Truck Grand Final victory

Sunday, October 31 2010

2010 champion Stuart Oliver carved his way from the back of the field to score a supreme victory in an enthralling reverse grid Delphi British Truck Racing Championship finale at Brands Hatch on Sunday.

The non-championship season finale began with Oscar Clark's Volvo rig on pole position beside the Foden Alpha of David Smith, however after much order shuffling it was 2010 Ginetta G50 Champion Frank Wrathall that led at the end of the opening lap on his debut truck racing weekend.

Wrathall held on valiantly as the Class A machinery scythed their way through the field, before the MAN of Matt Summerfield became the first premier category machinery to challenge for the lead - although he was shortly followed through by Oliver.

With both Class A drivers through to the front, a sensational battle ensued for overall victory. Summerfield kept Oliver's advances at bay despite several attempts until lap six, when the duo went side by side into Paddock Hill Bend. Oliver then performed a sensational move around the outside to clinch the lead, which gave him sufficient advantage to secure the final race win of the season.

"That was a gem - it's what racing is all about!" said a jubilant Oliver at the chequered flag. "It was a fantastic feeling to keep chipping people off every lap. You have to remember that you don't win the race in the first lap, it's all about picking the right moment."

David Jenkins also produced several show-stopping manoeuvres en route to the final podium position, whilst a charging Ricky Collett crossed the line in fourth.

Dutchman Cees Zandbergen fought a hard battle to take fifth overall and Class B victory, ahead of Steven Powell's Ford Cargo. One-time leader Wrathall secured seventh, and the Ginetta racer was delighted with his performance considering his rookie truck racer status.

Hendrik Antoine Tijhuis recovered from a run through the gravel trap at Paddock Hill Bend to finish in eighth position ahead of Graham Powell, whilst Ben Horne's Volvo rounded out the top ten.

There were several off-track excursions and on-track rotations during the frenetic 12 lap encounter, including David Smith exiting the race at Druids on lap three and Marco Donk beaching his Volvo in the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend on lap nine.

Delphi British Truck Racing Championship, Brands Hatch, Grand Final:
1. Stuart Oliver (MAN TGS), 12 laps
2. Matt Summerfield (MAN ECT), +3.078s
3. David Jenkins (Sisu), +11.703s
4. Richard Collett (MAN TGA), +13.880s
5. Cees Zandbergen (Scania 124), +23.275s
6. Steven Powell (Ford Cargo), +35.899s
7. Frank Wrathall (Sisu SL250), +39.141s
8. Hendrik Antoine Tijhuis (Scania 124), +39.325s
9. Graham Powell (ERF ECX), +42.952s
10. Ben Horne (Volvo White Aerodyne), +47.175s

The next event at Brands Hatch is the Lotus 1000km endurance race on Saturday 6 November. Tickets are now on sale from £10 for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.