Brits get a French lesson at Donington
Just three weeks after the massive Nurburgring event, the Donington event (Round 5 of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship) was in many ways similar to the German one: big crowds and industry support, huge showtruck displays… and a whole lot of rain!
On the track the racing was fast and furious – with Frenchman Anthony Janiec making a real impression during his first appearance in the UK series. The Lion MAN driver claimed pole position in Qualifying – then took a narrow victory over David Jenkins in race one, just 0.529s covering the dicing duo at the chequered flag!
BTRA Champion Ryan Smith took the honours in race two – but Janiec sliced his way up to a super second with Michael Oliver taking a fabulous third in his Scania.
Dave Jenkins (MAN) stormed to victory in race three – having shadowed Simon Reid for almost the entire race. When the Iveco driver ran wide at the start of the final lap Jenks needed no invitation to grab the lead, followed home by Smith with Reid recovering to take the final podium spot.
Janiec was back on the top step with a great win in race 4, closely followed home by Smith and the on-form Michael Oliver.
But it all went wrong for the French champ in the final race of the weekend. Mat Summerfield slid onto the grass at high speed on the opening lap – and his MAN then smashed heavily into Janiec’s machine, bringing out the red flags.
The re-start brought the second victory of the weekend for Donington ‘local lad’ Smith, thereby extending his points total to 175.
Stuart Oliver (Volvo) took second followed home by the hard-charging Oly Janes (Freightliner). Jenkins in fourth added to his stack of points that sees him move up to 2nd in the overall BTRA Division One standings, 31 points behind Smith – but just four ahead of Shane Brereton.
Sisu boys in fine form in Division 2
Mika Makinen further extended his lead in the BTRA Division 2 rankings – picking up two wins and two seconds – moving 34 points clear of his nearest rival.
Tony Smith (in another Sisu) was the other top performer at Donington – claiming one win and two further podiums despite some early technical troubles although the consistent Steve Powell (ERF) outscored him with top five results in every outing.
Victory in the other two Division Two races went to Simon Cole (Mercedes) and Luke Garrett (MAN)… but all the drivers deserved some recognition for keeping their machinery pointing in the right direction in some really appalling conditions with torrential rain affecting most of the weekend.
Next BTRA Championship race: Snetterton – September 9/10.