Unpredictable… and expect more of the same!
With four different winners from the first four races at Brands Hatch no one could accuse the Division One category of the BTRA British Truck Racing Championship of being predictable.
Stuart Oliver, Ryan Smith, Shane Brereton and Mat Summerfield each took a turn on the top step of the podium in last month’s opening round but as the scene moves on to Pembrey (April 22/23) we can surely expect several others to be making a serious bid for the silverware.
David Jenkins, Luke Taylor and Ray Coleman all had podium results and will be now be aiming for victories. Michael Oliver only just missed out on podium before his Scania had a big engine failure – and Terry Gibbon’s new MAN looks sharp and would having featured strongly if it hadn’t been for gearbox trouble at Brands.
Ricky Collett’s MAN should be stronger in Wales – and expect the Iveco of Simon Reid to be a serious contender too.
But unluckiest driver at Brands was Oly Janes; he led the final race all the way until suffering compressor failure just two laps from the chequered flag. If his luck changes surely the Freightliner driver must be in with a shout!
Diversity in Division 2
John Powell (Ford Cargo) took a win at Brands and along with reigning Div.2 champion Adam Bint (Volvo White) is likely to be on the pace at Pembrey.
But look out took for Tony Smith (Sisu), Andy Lovenberry (Renault), Paul McCumisky (Volvo), Simon Cole (Mercedes) and John Bowler (Foden) who all got close to the silverware at Brands Hatch.
In fact with the ‘Reverse Grid’ format in operation almost any of the starters could be on for a Pembrey podium.
But the man they’ve all got to match is Mika Makinen who took a hat-trick of wins at the season opener. The last time we had a Finn competing with a SISU at Pembrey was back in the mid-90’s – when Minna Kuoppala came to Wales on her way to winning the Division 2 British title.
Like Mika she didn’t speak a lot of English (or Welsh!)… but she did smile a bit more than Mr Makinen!