Last weekend 13th/14th August the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) attended the UK home of Formula One at Northampton’s Silverstone circuit. The weather was favourable and the sun shone bright on both days.
As always the organisers (BARC) British Automobile Racing Club had organised an action packed support programme to compliment the ten (BTRC) British Truck Race Championship races to include the Legends, Pickup Trucks and Mighty Mini’s.
On Saturday morning both the Class A and Class B drivers had the opportunity in a fifteen minute session to give the trucks their first run around the 1.64-mile circuit and to test any adjustments and repairs made following the arduous BTRC event at Donington Park only three weeks earlier. Following this short test session, the teams only had forty-five minutes to prepare the trucks for the qualification session, that would ultimately determine the starting grid positions for race one in both classes.
In Class A the usual contenders were fighting it out for the front row positions with the outcome at the end of the qualification session, Ryan Smith MAN posting the fastest time of 1:13.105 an average speed of 80.78 MPH, followed very close behind in second spot by Stuart Oliver VOLVO, with the second row made up with David Jenkins MAN and Steve Thomas MAN.
Class B saw Andy Lovenberry RENAULT take the top spot with a very impressive qualifying time of 1:16.836 with an average speed of 76.86 MPH, he was followed closely by Trevor Martin SCANIA to fill the front row of the grid, row two was taken by Dutchman Frans Smit SCANIA and Ryan Colson FODEN.
The first truck race of the weekend was a Class A race. As always this got underway in grand style, unfortunately at Silverstone the spectator view is somewhat limited and much of the action would go unseen. The race result was as expected due to the limited overtaking places much the same as the start position with Ryan Smith MAN taking the win followed by Stuart Oliver VOLVO in second and with an slick overtake on the very last corner of the last lap, the third place went to Steve Thomas MAN.
The first of the weekends Class B race followed straight after the Class A race. This race turned out very different to the Class A race, with none of the top three qualifiers taking a podium position and the race win going to Adam Bint VOLVO (who only qualified in fifth place) followed in second place by Ryan Colson FODEN and in third Dutchman Marco Donk VOLVO.
Truck Race three (Class A) on Saturday was when things started to get interesting as the BTRC reverse grid format came into play and because of the nature of the circuit; long straights and very few corners and overtaking opportunities. The race got underway relatively trouble free with the usual suspects making early moves to work up the pack.
At the finish line, Shane Brereton MAN took the win followed closely by Steve Thomas MAN in second and Stuart Oliver VOLVO third.
Truck Race four, the second Class B race started very fast when the lights went out. When the smoke cleared, it was apparent some trucks had gone wide on turn one (Copse) leaving the track ahead clear for Frans Smit SCANIA to take a lead followed over the finish line by Andy Lovenberry RENAULT in second and Adam Bint VOLVO third.
With very little damage to any of the trucks in all four of Saturdays truck races the drivers and teams had the opportunity to enjoy a peaceful evening in the paddock to be fresh and ready for Sunday’s six BTRC truck races.
Truck Race five (Class A) on Sunday morning was one that was full of action immediately following the rolling start. It became apparent that the truck of Ben Horne MAN was losing engine oil straight down onto the circuit, this resulted in a Red Flag stoppage due to an incident at Luffield on lap two. After the maintenance staff had treated the oil all around the circuit, the race restarted. This time Luke Taylor RENAULT had the opportunity to stay out of trouble and take his first Class A win followed by David Jenkins MAN in second and Mat Summerfield in third.
Truck Race six (Class B) got under way; this time a number of trucks experienced mechanical problems taking them back to the paddock early. The race finished with Frans Smit SCANIA taking his second win of the weekend followed by Adam Bint VOLVO in second and Andy Lovenberry FODEN third.
Truck Race seven (Class A) got underway in the most dramatic way of the weekend with a number of trucks coming together at high speed on the entry to Copse on the opening lap, leaving Simon Reid IVECO, Steve Thomas MAN and Stuart Oliver VOLVO all spinning, while the main pack went off into the yonder. Unfortunately, the incident saw Simon Reid IVECO retire from the race. By mid-race Steve Thomas MAN and Stuart Oliver VOLVO had managed to catch up with the back of the pack and very quickly they started to move further up the rankings. At the chequered flag Mat Summerfied MAN had succeeded to hold off second place Ryan Smith MAN to take the win with Oly Janes FREIGHTLINER taking his best ever Class A finish crossing the line in third.
Truck Race eight (Class B) got under way again a number of trucks experienced more mechanical problems taking them again back to the paddock early. The race result was Frans Smit SCANIA taking his second win of the weekend followed by Adam Bint VOLVO in second and Ryan Colson third.
Truck Race nine (Class A) was as always action packed with all the drivers keen to take the last class race win. As soon as the green light went out the action immediately started with a multi-truck nose to tail battle in the opening laps. Stuart Oliver VOLVO quickly worked his way up to the top of the pack and by mid race he had pulled a comfortable gap leaving behind a multiple group of trucks fighting for the remaining podium places. By the chequered flag Stuart Oliver VOLVO took a comfortable win followed by Shane Brereton MAN in second and Steve Thomas MAN third. This result meant for the first time for many years all five BTRC Class A truck races had a different overall race winner.
Truck Race ten (Class B), with the mechanical gremlins sorted for most, the last B Class race of the weekend was like in Class A, an action packed one. Local driver Adam Bint VOLVO was content on showing his supporters that he could hold off the pressure from his rivals and he worked hard to get his truck to the front and take the race win followed by Marco Donk VOLVO in second and Ryan Colson FODEN in third.
The teams and drivers now have a few weeks mid-summer break before they all head to the fast and technical Snetterton race circuit in Norfolk on 10th/11th September.