SMITH SUFFERS SPINS AND WINS IN TRUCK SHOWDOWN
It was a mixed weekend for Division One British Truck Racing Championship leader Ryan Smith, who overcooked it at the start of races one and three, which caused both to be red-flagged.
Fortunately for the Mansfield driver he was able to take his original top six places for the restarts of both – much to the chagrin of some of his rivals.
“There’s no need for it, it’s just crazy,” was championship challenger Stuart Oliver’s assessment of Smith’s starts.
Nevertheless, Smith cruised home in race one to a fourth consecutive win following his dominant weekend at the Nurburgring, and again with victory in race five. The third race didn’t end as planned when Smith came together with leader Shane Brereton into Redgate on the last lap, handing a surprised David Jenkins the win despite starting from 10th.
Jenkins’ victory made up for a tough second race in which debris pierced a hole in his MAN TGX’S radiator, but he lost the race four triumph when he spun on the straight just a handful of metres from the chequered flag.
Oliver continued to show his talent for reversed-grid wins in the second and fourth contests, while Mat Summerfield won a non-point-scoring final race.
The Division Two trucks ran in separate races on Saturday for the first time since the Brands opener in March, before combining with the Division One runners on Sunday.
Trevor Martin took the first two races while title challengers Adam Bint and Simon Cole struggled.
“We were hoping to be picking up podiums so we are really pleased with that,” said Martin, who also finished third twice. “We have had pace but have just been struggling with reliability all year.”
Cole limped onto the grass in race one when his engine failed, putting him out of action for the remainder of the event. Meanwhile, Bint’s first four races were ruined by four separate boost pipe failures – a fault his team rectified in time to enjoy the class win in race five.
Ryan Colson recovered from brake faults on Saturday to win the third and sixth races, while Andrew Lovenbury claimed victory in race four on his debut weekend.
Scottish Legends frontrunner John Paterson proved why he is lauded north of the border with his guest appearance in the national series – picking up four wins and a third. He beat team boss John Mickel in the first two races on Saturday, and would have done so again in race three had a red flag for trouble at the back not ended the final race – just as Mickel pitted from the lead with an oil leak. With the results going back to the previous lap, Mickel was declared the victor.
On Sunday Paterson again beat the boss twice in a pair of closely-fought scraps – even defying the slipstreaming conventions in race five to win by an impressive 5.418 seconds. It was too much of a good thing for the pair though – they came together with Connor Mills at the start of the last lap, handing 23rd starter David Hunter the final win.
In the Pickup Truck Racing Championship, series leader Freddie Lee narrowly defeated reigning champ Michael Smith. Lea Wood had been leading for much of the first race but Smith and Lee managed to slip through after a yellow flag zone at Roberts. A two-lap jostle through Redgate and the Craner Curves was settled in favour of Lee at the chequered flag. Wiring issues plagued David O’regan, third in the championship, forcing him to retire from race one. Race two was good news for Mark Willis with a comfortable victory, while Smith was troubled with a loose pipe. Lee could only manage seventh in his struggle for grip.
The first Kumho BMW Championship race also featured a messy start into Redgate when Max Walton and Alan Thompson came together, but James Card held onto his pole position start to extend his lead at the top of the standings.
“We have got the car set up well and it suits most tracks,” he said, somewhat ominously for the competition.
That didn’t phase James MacintyreUre though. The M3 E46 racer crept past the front two of Card and Roger Lavender and claimed victory in the second race, which ended with a red flag after a huge roll for race one Class D victor Guiseppe Callari at Coppice.
The weekend’s single Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship race on Saturday was marred by a clumsy opening lap that put paid to the hopes of five cars and eventually resulted in the race finishing under red flags following another clash.
Mike Gardner weathered the chaos the best to finish first ahead of Adriano Medeiros and John Village.
In the Hyundai Coupe Cup, Alex Cursley halted Ian Goodchild’s searing season-long performance by claiming a brace of wins.
Goodchild was close to Cursley all the way through both duels but had to settle for two second places.
The combined truck pack Smith (r) took two wins in the end
Alex Cursley was on top in Hyundai Coupe Cup, taking two victories
Paterson (left) beat team boss and Legends benchmark John Mickel