The British Truck Racing Association Championship, in association with Truck & Driver produced a feast of action at the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, this past weekend (July 7/8), setting up an exciting prospect heading into the second half of the season.
In front of a bumper Hampshire crowd who were soaking up the scorching sun, Ryan Smith dominated proceedings in Division 1 whilst there were three different winners from four races in Division 2.
Entering the event as the series leader, reigning champion Smith kicked off his weekend with a scintillating performance in qualifying as he stormed to pole position. From there, the MAN driver proved to be in a league of his own, dominating proceedings in race one to take a lights-to-flag victory ahead of Stuart Oliver and David Jenkins.
Smith’s second win of the weekend came in emphatic style as he charged from the back of the grid to extend his championship lead further. Threading his way through the field to second place on lap four, the double title winner then hounded race leader Jamie Anderson. The decisive move for the lead came as they descended on the fastest corner in the country, Church, with Anderson running wide and gifting Smith another victory ahead of Jenkins and Simon Reid.
Victory number three for Smith was taken in superlative style as he replicated his race two heroics, charging from the back of the grid. Sweeping around the outside of Oliver and Jenkins off the start, the #1 machine was soon inside the top three and took second off Collett with a daring overtake around the back of the circuit.
By now Luke Taylor had built up a sizeable advantage out front but with laps in hand and strong race pace to utilise, Smith wasted no time in catching the Rooster Truck Racing ace. Hounding Taylor, Smith wrestled the lead away at the Complex and from there went on to make it a hat-trick of triumphs ahead of Taylor and Anderson.
With both Division 1 and Division 2 combined for the final race of the weekend, Smith was perfection personified to cap off a memorable two days. Jumping into the lead on lap five, no one was able to stop Smith taking the chequered flag for one last time, with Anderson and Reid his nearest challengers.
In Division 2, Steve Powell bagged a brace of race wins whilst there was also a breakthrough triumph for Brad Smith and another victory for Luke Garrett.
Storming to pole position in qualifying, Powell was never headed in the opener despite fending off the late advances of series leader Garrett. Building up an early advantage, Powell saw his lead eaten into by Garrett in the closing stages but the latter was unable to find a way through and instead had to settle for second whilst Craig Reid was third.
Race two of the weekend saw a new first-time winner write his name into the history books as Smith scythed his way from the middle of the pack to take a popular win. Despite a late charge from the rapid Mercedes Beast of Simon Cole, Smith held his nerve to claim the chequered flag ahead of Cole and John Powell.
Watching others share the spoils on Saturday, Garrett’s title charge picked up momentum as he piloted his MAN to a tenth victory of the season. Made to fight his way through hugely competitive field, Garrett was imperious on his way to his latest win ahead of Cole, with Adam Bint scoring a first podium of the weekend too.
Steve Powell rounded off the weekend in a similar way to how he started it, on the top step of the podium. Starting on the front row of the grid, Powell was in a league of his own as he headed Smith and Garrett.
For the full classification of results, click here.
The British Truck Racing Association Championship heads to Donington Park in two weeks time for the latest chapter of the season to be written at the annual Convoy in the Park event (July 21/22)