PEMBREY: BARC BY DAMIAN MEADEN
Nothing is ever certain in motorsport, but two likely factors in the penultimate British Truck Racing Championship meeting of the season came into play; namely torrential rain at Pembrey in the autumn and another strong performance from points leader Ryan Smith.
Smith was forced to split the spoils with outgoing champion Mat Summerfield three to two over the five races, though it was a heavy impact for his main title rival, Stuart Oliver, that helped Smith all but seal his first title heading to Brands Hatch in three weeks.
Dicing with Shane Brereton into Honda Curve in the third race, both went off with Oliver hitting the barrier behind his team-mate, who came to rest partially atop the tyre wall. The damage to the latter’s Volvo RH13 proved too extensive for any further participation in the meeting, effectively ending his hopes of an 11th crown.
For Summerfield, the brace of victories was refreshing after a season fraught with mechanical frustrations. Indeed, the season opener on Easter weekend was the last time the 42-year-old won. In race four he nearly threw a winning position away in torrential conditions, spinning his MAN TGX into the Esses. This allowed Smith a clean break, though the red flags spared Summerfield’s blushes as he took the win on countback. Three controlled victories for Smith mean all he now needs are two points in Kent to be crowned champion.
The Divison Two contests proved marginally more diverse in their winners, with runaway class leader Adam Bint, John Powell and Paul Mccumisky sharing the honours.
A retirement for Connor Mills in the final Legends event left John Mickel to take another championship title. Mills fought hard against the rising tide of Mickel’s points advantage, claiming a hat-trick of wins including coming out top in a scintillating five-car scrap in the fourth race. Mickel only managed a solitary win, though with double points it proved enough to get him over the line.
Lea Wood put in a strong weekend in the Pickup Truck Racing Championship to help his slim chances of title glory. Wood qualified on pole for race one and converted it to victory ahead of Paul Tompkins and standings leader Freddie Lee’s biggest rival, Mark Willis. Wood also claimed the honours in an extremely wet third race, with a second to Lee in the middle race the only blemish on an impressive day.
Jack Layton wrapped up the MSA British Superkart Championship with a sixth place finish in the opening race on Saturday, and elected to sit out the remainder of the weekend as a result. Jamie O’reilly won that race, but spun at Hatchetts hairpin in race two after contact with Tom Hatfield. Having already pulled off a move for the lead around the outside earlier in that race, Gareth James dominated proceedings before a loose engine sprocket brought his Anderson/dea kart to a halt at the start of the final lap, handing Dan Clark a surprise victory. The third race was abandoned due to the adverse weather conditions.
Jason Davies claimed the WRDA Sports & Saloons Championship with a crushing win from pole position in his Ford Sierra Cosworth, comfortably leading home Dave Krayem’s Ginetta G50. He cemented his dominance with an even bigger margin over Krayem once more in the second race.