Brands Hatch goes with a bang
Brands Hatch goes with a bang

A spectacular ‘big bang’ fireworks display ended a packed day of racing, including five for the British Truck Racing championship (BTRC) for the final headline event of the Brands Hatch season.

Ryan Smith celebrated winning the BTRC Division 1 Championship in style with victory in the Grand Final, which combined Division 1 and 2 machines. He fought through the field in a pulsating race, which was also led by Luke Taylor and Terry Gibbon. Gibbon and Mat Summerfield completed the podium. Luke Garrett won Division 2, from Steve Powell and category champion Mika Makinen.

British Truck Racing Championship Grand Final Race
1, Ryan Smith, MAN, 14 Laps
2, Terry Gibbon, MAN, +4.315s
3, Mat Summerfield, MAN, +5.142s
4, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +5.598s
5, Ray Coleman, MAN, +13.452s

Luke Taylor won the opening race of the day for Division 1, which followed a free-for-all grid walk that combined both Divisions and proved to be a huge hit with the crowd. Terry Gibbon led the early laps, but midway through the lead fight he hit the barrier at the exit of Druids, fortunately able to continue to finish in ninth place.

Taylor held on against increasing pressure from Mat Summerfield, whose race ended at Druids one lap from home, and newly-crowned champion Ryan Smith.

British Truck Racing Championship Division 1 Race Two
1, Luke Taylor, MAN, 15 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +0.792s
3, Richard Collett, MAN, +12.126s
4, Ray Coleman, MAN, +24.667s
5, Shane Brereton, MAN, +25.047s

Stuart Oliver stormed to victory in the second Division 1 race of the day, but Smith tried to chase him down once he had cleared the pack. The champion fell short by just under five seconds, however, with Ray Coleman completing the podium.

British Truck Racing Championship Division 1 Race Three
1, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, 12 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +4.903s
3, Ray Coleman, MAN, +25.628s
4, Richard Collett, MAN, +25.754s
5, Luke Taylor, MAN, +26.248s

Mika Makinen made up for his day one defeat with victory in the Division 2 opener, which was cut short after an incident late on at Druids. This followed an increasingly tense battle for fourth place, with Adam Bint holding off Luke Garrett and many more trucks. Garrett found his way past, but Steve Powell and Tony Smith both tried to demote the outgoing class champion and as they went into Graham Hill three abreast, there was inevitable contact.

With fluid spilt as a consequence, several trucks went off the road, bringing out the red flag just after three-quarters distance. Early race leader Simon Cole and John Bowler completed the podium.

British Truck Racing Championship Division 2 Race Two
1, Mika Makinen, Sisu, 9 Laps
2, Simon Cole, Mercedes, +3.706s
3, John Bowler, Foden, +19.036s
4, Luke Garrett, MAN, +23.186s
5, Adam Bint, Volvo White, +24.945s

Two starts were required for the final Division 2-only race due to first-lap incidents at Druids. The final, five-minute restart saw Paul McCumisky take the win, heading Makinen to the flag by two seconds. Tony Smith finished in third place.

British Truck Racing Championship Division 2 Race Three
1, Paul McCumisky, Volvo, 5 Laps
2, Mika Makinen, Sisu, +2.152s
3, Tony Smith, Sisu, +2.551s
4, Brad Smith, DAF, +6.569s
5, James Aitkenhead, Sisu, +13.212s

In the support races, 2013 British Touring Car Champion Andrew Jordan took a victory in the Pickup Truck Racing Championship. As a series rookie, he started the opening race from the back of the grid, but sensationally charged to second place behind former BTCC racer Lea Wood. Jordan was on pole for the second encounter and led from the start, resisting intense pressure to take the chequered flag. Wood finished second.

A delighted Jordan said: “It’s feisty stuff out there, I can tell you! The racing’s good because it’s hard but fair. I felt such a rookie on the start – to be fair it’s quite good to start at the back just to get into it.”

Off-track, visitors enjoyed a feast of family-themed activities, including Monster Truck rides, a funfair, Big Top tent with children’s entertainment, YoungDrive, go-karting, Star Wars characters, Dexter the Dinosaur, Terry Grant stunt shows and much more.

A huge display of show trucks paraded the circuit in time for the spectacular ‘big bang’ fireworks display.

The Brands Hatch season continues with two ‘night racing’ events to close the season over the next two weeks. The Classic Car Into the Night event takes place on 11/12 November, and the season concludes with the Britcar Into the Night event on 18/19 November.

Click on the event names for more information, including ticket prices.

Pictures supplied  by PSP Images.

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