RYAN SMITH CLINCHES THIRD DIVISION 1 TITLE AT BRANDS HATCH FINALE.
15th February 2019
Ryan Smith wrote his name into the British Truck Racing Association Championship history books at Brands Hatch this weekend (November 3/4) after clinching his third consecutive Division 1 title.
Having been the benchmark driver in 2016 and 2017, the Mansfield racer underlined his star power throughout the 2018 season, at times finding himself in a league of his own.
On a weekend where fireworks were set to fly both on and off the track at the Kent circuit, Smith cemented his status as a now three-time champion in the opening encounter of the event.
Entering the season finale with just David Jenkins standing in his way of a third crown, the MAN driver produced a superlative lap in qualifying to storm to yet another pole position.
Starting on the front row of the grid, Smith converted pole position into a 21st victory of the season, however he didn’t have things all his own way. Coming under constant pressure from Jenkins throughout the 16-lap encounter, Smith withstood the onslaught to notch his latest victory and with it, wrap up the championship title.
Stuart Oliver rounded out the podium but all eyes were on Smith as celebrations began with friends and family in the pit lane.
After narrowly missing out on a podium in race one, Jamie Anderson made amends in race two of the weekend as he stormed to victory in emphatic style. Having climbed his way through the order on the opening tour, Anderson got the better of early race leader John Newell and soon made his escape.
Despite being handed a ten-second penalty for a false start, newly crowned champion Smith was doing his best to thread his way through the order and ran Anderson close at the flag, ultimately finishing second.
Jenkins salvaged third place whilst Martin Gibson scored an impressive fourth place finish, showcasing the improvements he has made throughout the season.
With a capacity crowd lining the spectator bankings around the 1.2 mile layout, ten-time champion Oliver made a welcome return to the top step of the podium. Having not won a race since the season-opener in March, the Volvo driver put a truncated campaign behind him to take victory in dominant fashion.
Launching off the front row of the grid, Oliver proved to be in a class of his own as he stretched his legs out front to triumph by more than 20 seconds ahead of Anderson and Jenkins.
The final Division 1 race of the season brought a fitting end to what was an enthralling year of truck racing as John Newell signed off the year by taking victory ahead of the chasing Simon Reid and the returning Oly Janes.