The British Truck Racing Association Championship delivered a feast of entertainment this past weekend (September 8/9) at Snetterton as the title race in both Division’s endured further twists and turns.
Returning to action after more than a month away, the series descended on the Norfolk venue with both Ryan Smith and Luke Garrett looking to protect their healthy point’s advantages at the summit of each class.
Entering the weekend having been the man to beat for a majority of the season, reigning champion Smith set his stall out early as he stormed to pole position in what proved to be a frenetic qualifying session. Topping the times with a blistering lap, the MAN driver converted his front row start into a commanding lights-to-flag victory.
Beating David Jenkins and Jamie Anderson to record his 18th victory of the season, Smith had looked like he would go on to dominate the rest of the meeting. That wasn’t to be the case though as Simon Reid entered the winners circle in race two, edging out Anderson and Smith in a tense affair – one which resulted in the top three being covered by little less than a second.
Terry Gibbon then added his name to the long list of race winners with victory in race three of the weekend. Starting on the front row, the MAN racer jumped into the lead on the opening tour and was then never headed, whilst Smith clawed his way through the field.
With both Division’s 1 and 2 combining for the final race of the weekend, sparks were always set to fly but former champion Jenkins proved to be in a league of his own as he made his escape to score victory. Behind, ten-time title winner Stuart Oliver had run in second place for a majority of the seven-lap encounter before Reid and Anderson made their way past the Volvo driver on the final lap.
Jenkins’ victory in the finale meant that Division 1 saw four different winners from four races – underlining how competitive the championship is.
In Division 2, all eyes were on Garrett to see if he could continue his relentless charge towards a maiden title; Eric Forsstrom sprung a surprise in qualifying however as he stole pole position from Garrett.
Garrett was to encounter his first non-finish of the season in race one as a mechanical warning flag curtailed his run at the front of the field. With the MAN driver out of contention, that jumped Brad Smith into the lead and on to his second victory of the season whilst Steve Powell and John Bowler.
Powell was declared the winner on the road in race two for the more production-based truck category however his glory was to be short-lived. Adjudged to have made a false start, Powell was issued a ten-second time penalty – which ultimately promoted Garrett to the top step of the podium.
Garrett was back at it again in race three, this time taking the chequered flag in dominant fashion, finishing eight seconds ahead of Smith and Powell.
Having seen his victory taken away from him the day before, Powell made no mistake in the final Division 2 encounter of the weekend as he served up a scintillating display to beat Garrett and Craig Reid.
The 2018 British Truck Racing Association Championship in association with Truck & Driver continues on October 13/14 as the series heads to South Wales and the picturesque Pembrey Circuit for the penultimate event of the season.