The seventh round of the 2016 BTRA British Truck Racing Championship left many of the Division One trucks looking a bit second-hand after some rather brutal battles at Snetterton (September 10/11).
The annual visit to the Norfolk circuit got off to a bumpy start with wet conditions and delays forcing organisers to amend the programme so there was just one outing on Saturday. That meant a really hectic schedule on the Sunday with no less four fiercely contested races – but under warm sunshine the large crowd was well entertained.
Ryan Smith (MAN) took two victories over the weekend while his main championship rival Stuart Oliver had to be content with just one win.
Smith was certainly the quickest man around the Snetterton 300 track – but was ‘handicapped’ in race two when he was forced to take the re-start from the pit-lane…and not allowed to join the circuit until the Division 2 pack had passed by.
More consistent results by Stuart in the other outings saw the Volvo driver match Smith point-for-point over the weekend, both collecting a total of 40. That means Smith still enjoys a 17-point advantage with two rounds remaining.
Dave Jenkins had a strong weekend including one win to secure third overall with the other victory going to another MAN driver, the on-form Shane Brereton.
Steve Thomas picked up a total of 39 points over the weekend (just one less than Smith and Oliver) and was on the podium three times – pushing Stuart really hard for many laps in the final outing before having to settle for second. He took fourth in the other two races and moves up to 4th overall.
But reigning champion Mat Summerfield had a weekend to forget; after strong third places in the first two races he was spun out twice – the final race seeing his MAN striking the barriers backwards after a startline incident!
Simon Reid had looked on course to score a first victory in his Iveco in the last race of the weekend – until his gear selector broke, forcing a retirement. Oly Janes had also been on course for the podium earlier on Sunday before having turbo trouble in his Freightliner.
The Rooster Racing Renault didn’t get on-track in the actual races; unlucky Luke Taylor had broken his wrist in a recent motorbike accident – and his ‘substitute’ (Dave Taylor) unfortunately suffered injector failure during Friday testing.
John Powell Scores Division 2 Hat-Trick
John Powell was on top form in Norfolk taking his Ford Cargo to three Division 2 class victories. The Kent driver had also led the field across the line in a fourth race but was excluded for overspeeding offences – handing John Bowler (Foden) his first ever win.
Bowler was also the top individual points scorer of the weekend – picking up a total of 43.
Championship leader Adam Bint (Volvo White) also scored consistently well and took one win to stretch his championship lead to 45 points.
Paul McCumisky was the other strong performer in this category – three podium placings in his Volvo boosting his points tally for the weekend to 40.
Trevor Martin was a bit off the pace; finding the new electronic engine in his Scania “A lot slower – perhaps 200hp down on the old one”.
Brian Burt had some vibration issues over the weekend – but brought his White home to pick up points in all five races.
Good to welcome Jim Bennett back to the paddock for the first time this year; the local Norfolk driver running well in his Seddon to collect 5th and 6th place results – and netting 28 points in total.
Next round of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship takes place at Pembrey Circuit, near Llanelli in south Wales on October 15/16.