British Contigent Stars at Nürburgring
The British Truck Racing Association Championship served up a feast of wheel-to-wheel thrills this past weekend (June 30/July 1) in front of a bumper crowd at the iconic Nürburgring.
Following a lengthy break since competing at Pembrey in late April, the British contingent was back out in force on track and stealing the show at the ADAC Truck Grand Prix.
Battling it out across four Mittelrhein Cup races, a raft of drivers underlined their credentials on the international stage. In Division 1, reigning champion Ryan Smith set his stall out as the man to beat, setting the time sheets alight from the beginning.
Storming to pole position for race one, Smith proved to be in a league of his own as he surged into a lead that he would ultimately never lose. Taking victory by more than 11 seconds, the double British champion gave his rivals a flavour of what to expect as the weekend progressed.
David Jenkins ended the opening encounter in second place whilst there was to be frustration for Jamie Anderson who had taken third place on the road originally. Handed a ten-second time penalty for over-speeding, Anderson was bumped down to fifth with Stuart Oliver and Luke Taylor taking third and fourth respectively.
Division 2 saw plenty of high-octane moments in race one too with Luke Garrett claiming outright honours after powering to tenth overall. Craig Reid clinched second, albeit some 19 seconds behind Garrett, with Brad Smith third in the category.
Also competing in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship over the weekend, Smith could have been forgiven for taking his foot off the pedal but that wasn’t to be the case in race two.
Starting eighth virtue of the reverse grid, the MAN racer scythed his way towards the front of the field within two laps and from there controlled proceedings. Romping to his second win of the weekend, Jenkins once again could only follow Smith to the chequered flag whilst Anderson got his redemption and with it the podium finish he missed out on in race one.
Garrett once again strengthened his position at the summit of the Division 2 standings with a second win of the weekend, triumphing ahead of Brad Smith and Steve Powell.
Starting from row six in the third race of the event, Smith’s chances of completing an impressive hat-trick had originally looked bleak. Picking his way through the field, the double champion clawed his way into contention whilst Jenkins and Taylor duelled for the lead, both leading the pack at one stage respectively.
A Full Course Yellow neutralised the action and brought the top three closer together. However when green flags were waved and racing resumed, both Jenkins and Taylor were caught off-guard and could only look on as Smith powered past on the straight and then onto victory.
Elsewhere in Division 2, Garrett scored a hat-trick of his own as he left his Division 2 rivals in his wake, claiming victory by more than 17 seconds ahead of Craig Reid and Brad Smith.
The final race of the weekend at the Nürburgring saw Smith’s chances of a Division 1 clean sweep disappear as he was forced to retire with damage, a result of a clash with local hero Heinz-Werner Lenz.
With Smith out of the race and Jenkins recovering from avoiding the incident, Anderson and Taylor were left out front and gave fans plenty to get on the edge of their seats about. Dicing all the way to the chequered flag, Anderson edged out Taylor for the win whilst Simon Reid took the last podium spot.
Garrett meanwhile was able to ensure he left Germany with a perfect record, notching his fourth win from four races at the Nürburgring. Craig Reid went one better than his brother to finish second in Division 2 to finish narrowly ahead of Steve Powell who rounded out the rostrum.
Despite missing out on his fourth victory of the weekend, Smith walked away with the ‘Truck Master Germany’ title – which was awarded to the driver recognised for their outstanding overall performance at the 2018 ADAC Truck Grand Prix event.
The British Truck Racing Association Championship returns to UK soil this weekend (July 7/8) to tackle the fastest circuit in the country, Thruxton.