Smith and Garrett clinch truck titles amid fireworks
BRANDS HATCH BARC NOVEMBER 34
Championships were up for grabs for heavyweight trucks, nimble Legends and jousting Pickups at what is one of Brands Hatch’s most popular meetings – not only because of the racing action but for Motorsport Vision’s fireworks display and entertainment programme.
On the track, Ryan Smith wasted no time confirming his third British Truck Racing Association championship by dominating Saturday’s Division 1 race. The only driver who could have challenged for the title, David Jenkins, finished second and paid tribute to Smith. He was echoed by multiple champion Stuart Oliver, who joined them on the podium and said Smith had raised the competitive bar and it was up to the rest to catch up.
Smith chased from last on a reversed grid to finish second on Sunday morning, a length behind Jamie Anderson. Smith was later handed a 10-second penalty for being out of position at the start, but retained his position. Jenkins and Martin Gibson were even closer in third and fourth, but all eyes were on Richard Collett and Oliver, who completed the final lap with their trucks locked together before Collett was excluded.
Smith’s luck ran out when his MAN had suspected clutch failure in race three, helping Oliver to only his second win of 2018. Anderson was next, with Jenkins third after being elbowed off the road early on.
The truck let Smith down again in the final, and other incidents helped former Division 2 champion John Newell to record his first Division 1 win under pressure from Simon Reid.
Luke Garrett arrived as favourite for the Division 2 crown, but didn’t do quite enough on day one to be sure.
Brad Smith kept the contest alive by winning their first race with
Garrett eighth, but a meteoric getaway gave Garrett race two.
Garrett needed a single point on Sunday and duly clinched a championship earned in the past by his late father, although it happened by default when both he and Smith were excluded for yellow-flag offences, meaning Smith couldn’t score.
The race was won by Finnish champion Erik Forsstrom. Garrett won race four.
John Mickel’s fourth Legends national title was confirmed with a day to spare with fourth, fifth and sixth-place finishes on Saturday. Miles Rudman won the first heat and the final. A mishap in the second heat, won by Marcus Pett, gave Rudman a favourable starting position for the final.
Rudman and Pett were again heat winners on Sunday, but the final went to Will Gibson in the tightest of finishes with Sean Smith and cross-channel visitor Sebastien Kluyskens. Rudman was fourth.
Another championship to be settled brought 23 Pickups to Brands, and Lea
Wood kept the pressure on Scott Bourne in the first of three races. Wood battled with David O’regan before winning, while Michael Smith, George Turiccki and Bourne contested third.
Smith enjoyed his first win of the year in race two, while Bourne secured backto-back titles by finishing third, right behind Wood. All the pressure gone,
Bourne drove to an impressive race-three victory over O’regan and Smith. Wood was involved in a first-corner incident and recovered to eighth.
Steven Chandler achieved his first Junior Saloons win in front of what must have been the category’s biggest audience of the year on Saturday in the Winter Cup, but crashed before the first corner in race two. This came down to a tense contest that fell to 2018 champion Lewis Saunders after several changes of lead on the final lap.
Newall (18) and Anderson (23) were on winners list
Bourne retained #1 doorplate