Brands Hatch - Easter Monday
There was plenty more excitement on the final day of the Easter Truck Racing event at Brands Hatch with several race winners and drama right up to the final moments of the day.
The day got off to a great start when a brave dive into Paddock Hill bend gave Ryan Smith the first win of the morning in Group A. Steven Powell led for several laps at his home track, before Luke Taylor took over the position. As the faster trucks caught the leaders, Smith was perfectly poised for his... race-winning move. Behind them, Mat Summerfield drove a defensive race to hold Stuart Oliver off until the flag, the pair catching Taylor right at the end. Smith said: "I had to be patient, as Luke had good pace and I just said to myself 'pick your time'. The brakes were getting hot, so I backed off three laps then had one attack and I outbraked him . It felt good! I'm absolutely delighted. David Jenkins bounced back after a troubled opening race to win the second Group A encounter of the day. He passed Luke Garrett early on and kept out of reach from Shane Brereton to take the win. Summerfield defended third place from Steve Thomas, Oliver and race one winner Ryan Smith. Jenkins said: "It's a pleasure to be back here at Brands Hatch in the sunshine with such an enthusiastic crowd." Oliver took his second race victory of the weekend in the final Group A race, making him the only repeat winner of the weekend in his class. After two aborted starts, miraculously the field lined up for the third and final attempt, and Oliver passed early leader Dave Smith early on and into a lead he would not relinquish. Cees Zandbergen starred in second place, but a mistake late on meant that he finished in fifth place, behind the group he had been defending from. This comprised of Jenkins, Thomas and Summerfield.
Simon Cole won the first Group B race of the day after a fine move on the outside of Paddock Hill, but was later excluded from the result for a technical infringement, giving Rody Smit a third straight victory. Before Cole hit the lead the race was looking set to be a Smit family affair, with Frans running second, but late on he lost pace, losing the eventual second place to John Powell. Frans Smit took the fourth win after hitting the front of the field early and keeping brother Rody at a safe distance behind. Cole claimed third place, unable to catch the Smits, with Ryan Colson just behind in fourth. The final Group B race had a thrilling finish; after passing Brian Burt for the lead, the Smit brothers put on a display of dominance for the crowd. However, their exuberance got the better of them, particularly Frans's obsession with taking the lead, and the pair collided just a couple of laps from the flag, handing victory to a delighted Cole. Frans Smit said: "I don't know what happened, I brake but I don't know! It was a good race, we pushed each other very well but something happened! But the weekend was fantastic."