On the 1st and 2nd of November, Brands Hatch in Kent hosted the final five races of the British Truck Racing Championship for 2014.
As well as the trucks racing there were also; the BARC Tin Top Championship, the UK Legends Championship, the Quaife Intermarque Challenge, the Quaife Motorsport News Saloons and the Pickup Truck Championship. In addition to having all the fantastic races on track there was plenty of off track entertainment. Some of the off track entertainment included monster truck rides, a traditional fairground and a big kids’ tent that had balloon modellers and a Punch and Judy show. Also, on Sunday after the racing had finished there was a truck parade, made up of over 150 trucks, going round on track. Meanwhile, there was a bonfire and magnificent firework display to top off an amazing weekends worth of racing.
In race one, division two title challenger Ryan Smith powered his SISU to outright victory, he also got the division two class honours. Graham Powell, in his HTML Renault-Mack, came in 2nd place. Simon Reid ran strong in his Iveco and managed to secure 3rd place, Frans Smit in his Scania came 4th and Steven Powell, brother of Graham Powell, managed to secure 5th place in his Foden.
Meanwhile, Ray Coleson lead the field and succeeded in keeping his Lantern Racing Renault in the leas for a few laps until Richard Collett found his way past in his HGV Direct MAN. Collett ended the race in 1st. Chris Levett started at the back of the grid, he battled his way up through the pack and took 2nd place. Mat Summerfield came through to finish the race in 3rd place. The race unfortunately had to be prematurely ended after 11 laps due to Ryan Colson and Brian Burt slid off track, into the gravel trap at Paddock Hill bend. Officials had no other option other than to bring out the red flag to be able to recover the two stranded trucks. Therefore, the results were declared after 11 laps of the race.
Race two saw another packed grid with the maximum permitted number of 20 starters. Graham Powell steamed off into an early lead, he kept his head and managed to maintain the lead. This meant that Graham Powell took the division two honours. Ryan Smith made a bold but unsuccessful bid to fight from the back row to the front at the flying start. He found himself stranded on the outside line, dropping back on his main rivals. The SISU driver was soon storming back up the pack, by mid race he was up into 2nd place and quickly closing in on Powell. Smith held on and finished the race in 2nd place. His championship title rival Simon Reid finished the race in 4th behind Frans Smit’s Scania.
In division one, David Jenkins set the pace for the majority of the race whilst he was fending off Levett. In the closing stages Jenkins had to give in and let Levett, in his freshly painted monster liveried Renault, take the lead. Stuart Oliver put his experience to good use and brought the Kelsa Scania home to finish the race in 3rd place. This left Mat Summerfield settling to finish in 4th place in race two.
With the British Truck Racing Association’s ‘Reverse Grid’ format in operation over the weekend, there were fantastic and entertaining battles for the positions throughout the whole field for the entire 15 laps of the race. In this race all 20 trucks avoided being in any accidents and they all took the chequered flag.
In race three Steven Powell took the win of the shortened race. Ryan Smith took 2nd and Graham Powell came 3rd. Paul McCumsky and Cees Zandbergen led their classes on a greasy track on the opening lap. Zandbergen got caught out by the tricky conditions at Paddock Hill bend. Unfortunately he took Collett out in the process. Stuart Oliver and Mat Summerfield then had contact at Graham Hill bend but they both managed to recover. The officials had to bring out a red flag to be able to recover the two stranded trucks of Zandbergen and Collett from the gravel trap at Paddocks Hill. Steven Powell and Richard Collett led their restarts but Summerfield took the lead halfway round lap one until he ran wide at Clarke Curve, this made him drop to the back of the field. This left Steven Thomas ahead of Richard Collett briefly until the former leader returned to the lead. At the head of the field Ryan Smith was running 2nd to Powell, whilst title leader Reid was only in 8th. In the division one title battle Summerfield and Levett were having an on track fight. Just as it was about to get going, the championship leader spun unaided at Graham Hill bend. Along with other incidents on track, the red flag came out again to recover those involved in the incidents. This time the red flag terminated the race. The red flag coming out gave the Powell family a second overall victory, this time it was Steven who took the division two honours. Ryan Smith came 2nd and Graham Powell came 3rd. Collett took the division one honours ahead of Thomas and Oliver. Levett finished 5th and Summerfield ended the race in 6th.
In race four, Ryan Smith took a second BTRA victory of the weekend, but unfortunately was unable to prevent Simon Reid from taking the division two championship title. In division one Mat Summerfield celebrated his third consecutive title. Andy Lovenberry led the field on the opening lap as further back, Summerfield and Levett fought out the division one title at the head of their field. The pair ran side by side along the pit straight as Levett took the class lead. In division two, Reid took 2nd and set off after Lovenberry as Smith was made to stay towards the back of the pack. Steven Powell was an early casualty at Druids bend and his brother Graham Powell had pulled off track earlier with mechanical issues. Smith recovered quickly and caught up with his title rival at mid distance after they had both passed Lovenberry. Smith then took the lead as Levett began to close in on the race leaders. Meanwhile, Summerfield and Oliver were passing division two midfield. Oliver tried an optimistic move and Steve Rothery ended up in the gravel trap at Paddock Hill bend. Unfortunately this caused the red flag to be brought out again. Rothery returned to the circuit but results were already decided. Reid and Summerfield, both 2nd in class, were crowned champions of their classes.
In race 5, Graham Powell started on pole along with his brother Steven, who started in 2nd place in division two. Ray Coleman started first in division one along side Richard Collett who started 2nd. Ryan Smith, who started in 9th came up to finish in 1st place. Frans Smit gave an amazing drive from 12th place on the grid to finish 2nd in the race. Richard Collett drove a strong race to finish 3rd. Meanwhile, Chris Levett started 7th in his division, this meant he started from the back of the whole grid, drove outstandingly to finish in an amazing 4th place followed by Thomas in 5th, Oliver in 6th, Steven Powell in 7th and Ray Coleman finished in 8th place. Unfortunately Simon Reid was unable to finish the race. The fastest laps for this race were set by Steven Thomas in division one and Ryan Smith in division two. Steven Thomas’ time was 1:22.604 whilst doing 52.64mph. Ryan Smith’s time was 1:24.547 whilst doing 51.43mph.
Congratulations are in order for Simon Reid, the champion of division two, and Mat Summerfield, champion of division one. They both battled their ways through the packs at every event and are well deserving champions. Congratulations guys!
All pictures featured in this story were taken by me at the meeting. Feel free to follow me and tweet me on Twitter @fc_tilley if you have any comments, suggestions or questions.
© Fay Tilley 8th November 2014