The British Truck Racing Championship sets course for Snetterton this weekend (September 17/18) as the 2022 season speeds towards what is shaping up to be a thrilling climax.
Roaring into Norfolk for the fifth event of what has already been a captivating campaign, thousands of spectators are expected to flock to the circuit for two days of blockbuster entertainment.
Whilst the stars of Division 1 and Division 2 are set to take centre stage with five action-packed races, tributes will also be paid to the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - who sadly passed away on September 8th - over the course of the weekend.
As a mark of respect, a two minute silence will be observed on Saturday at 12:50 and Sunday at 14:25.
Smith leads the chasing pack
Division 1 has has seen a somewhat familiar scenario play out with reigning six-time champion Ryan Smith leading the way. Bidding to clinch what would be a seventh consecutive title, the Mansfield-based racer has at times been perfection personified behind the wheel of his Daimler Truck.
Nine wins and multiple podium finishes sees him arrive at Snetterton with a healthy 62-point advantage in the standings but don’t expect him to take his foot off the throttle though as the chasing pack are all still very much on the hunt.
Ten-time champion Stuart Oliver leads the chase for Smith and he’ll be keen to bounce back from what was a challenging weekend at Donington Park. The Volvo driver suffered a sizeable crash at the top of Craner Curves which ruled him out of competing in the remaining two races.
Following a monumental rebuild in recent weeks by his team, the series veteran will return to the grid this weekend and you can bet he’ll be keen to make up on the ground he’s lost in the fight for the championship.
It’s been somewhat of a rollercoaster season for David Jenkins but victory last time out has promoted him into third and within touching distance of Oliver. He, along with former Division 2 champion John Newell, will be worth keeping an eye on as they bid to maintain their title charges.
Simon Reid has been one of the standout performers this year however like Oliver, he saw his chances of big points at Donington Park slip away with a weekend-ending accident. With his Iveco Stralis now fighting fit, expect the big red machine to be a constant threat at the sharp end.
Coming off the back of his best weekend of the season, Mark Taylor will be riding a wave of a momentum and confident that he can open his win tally for the season, something that Steven Powell did at Thruxton much to the delight of the whole paddock.
Elsewhere, Tom O’Rourke has been quietly going about his business and climbing the standings whilst Michael Oliver - son of Stuart - has made his mark recently with two wins in successive race meetings.
Other notable names to look out for in the series’ top tier include Craig Reid, Bradley Smith, Richard Collett and Simon Faulkner; all of whom could be mixing it at the front at any point during the course of the weekend.
Garrett gunning for more
The battle for supremacy in Division 2 has been fierce up to now however it is former double champion Luke Garrett that arrives at Snetterton in the pound seat.
After taking a brief sabbatical to compete in mainland Europe, the MAN driver has enjoyed a fruitful return to British shores and heads into this weekend holding a 32-point lead over his nearest challenger.
Blending scintillating speed and calculated consistency, Garrett has at times been in a league of his own, and critical wins at both Thruxton and Donington Park has allowed him to create that buffer between himself and the rest of the field.
Brad Smith spearheads the chase in his DAF and he speeds into Snetterton full of confidence having matched his best weekend of the season last time out, which included a hard-fought victory.
Hot on Smith’s heels in third place is Jock Borthwick who had been the Division 2 pace-setter early in the season. Enduring a challenging few events, the Scotsman will be eager to strike back and thrust himself into the title conversation aboard his MAN.
Another driver that can’t be discounted from making his mark towards the top of the points is John Powell. Returning to the top step of the podium at Donington Park, Powell will be high in confidence of adding to his silverware collection here in Norfolk.
One driver that has been steadily chalking up the points tally is Craig Evans. A breakthrough podium at Pembrey was followed by two more at Donington Park and you can bet he’ll have his sights on also adding to his trophy haul this weekend.
Two more drivers that will be worth casting a keen eye over during the weekend is John Bowler and former champion Adam Bint. Three wins in as many race meetings has seen Bint make his mark whilst Bowler will be eager to stand on the top step of the rostrum for the first time this season.
Snetterton braced for blockbuster spectacle
Thrills and spills are never far away when the British Truck Racing Championship is around and this weekend should be no different at Snetterton.
Saturday 17th September | Qualifying: 11:00 / Race 1: 13:40 / Race 2: 16:10
Sunday 18th September | Race 3: 10:45 / Race 4: 13:20 / Race 5: 16:20 All races will be streamed online for free via the British Automobile Racing Club YouTube channel with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 12:10 and Sunday’s at 09:30. Ticket information for the event can be found by visiting HERE.