WET “N” DRY SNETTERTON
Last weekend 10th/11th September the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) attended the high speed, technical Snetterton circuit deep in the Norfolk countryside. A number of teams attended early to take advantage of the Friday test session in what was glorious sunshine.
On Saturday morning unfortunately the rain clouds arrived, apparently for the first time in that area for many weeks.
As always the on track race programme was filled with a selection of car formula racing to help entertain the spectators. As well as the on track action the organisers provided plenty of family friendly entertainment in and around the paddock, including Monster Truck rides and demonstrations, Fun Fair family entertainment and a Show Truck competition and display.
On Saturday morning qualification got underway in what was very wet and very slippery conditions, after many spins and off track ventures the conclusion was that in Class A; Ryan Smith MAN had secured pole position for race one, with Mat Summerfield MAN close behind in second, followed by Stuart Oliver VOLVO in third, Steve Thomas MAN in forth, Shane Brereton MAN in fifth and Michael Oliver SCANIA in sixth, to date his best race career qualifying position.
Dave Taylor, father of Luke Taylor stepped up from being team manager to get behind the wheel of the TTX RENAULT for the first time after an unforeseen Moto X injury, which meant Luke could not participate. Unfortunately, a terminal engine problem that developed during the Friday test meant he could not participate.
Paul McCumisky VOLVO managed to overhaul the young guns and take Class B pole position honours, followed by second fastest Adam Bint VOLVO and John Powell FORD in third, John Bowler FODEN in forth, Trevor Martin SCANIA in fifth and Brian Burt WHITE in sixth.
Race One; on the Saturday afternoon the weather had not improved so the scene was set for an all action opening truck race, with the Class A trucks at the front of the grid in order of the qualifying session. When the pace truck pulled off the pole setter Ryan Smith MAN made early haste to get the race underway, with a trail of spray coming up off the track making visibility very difficult for all apart the pole man. Unfortunately, two laps into the race the Red Flags came out due to a stranded truck. The officials quickly re gridded the trucks and the race re started again with the pole setter taking the lead, leaving plenty of overtaking race action behind. At the chequered flag Class A; Ryan Smith MAN had secured his first race win of the weekend followed by Stuart Oliver Volvo with two seconds behind in second place and another three seconds behind in third place was Mat Summerfield MAN. The Class B win went to John Powell FORD with John Bowler FODEN second and Paul McCumisky VOLVO third.
Due to the packed race programme and a number of race delays the second truck race scheduled for Saturday was re scheduled and moved to the first slot on the Sunday morning.
Race Two on Sunday; the rain clouds were gone and the sun out, but the track was still very wet. The second race started with the famous reverse grid format, allowing the large crowds that attended to witness British truck racing at its very best. Oly Janes FREIGHTLINER was sitting in pole position with Luke Garrett RENAULT alongside. When the pace truck pulled off and the lights went out the race got underway with all drivers very cautiously finding their way around the damp circuit. Once they all had a feel for the available grip, positions started to change throughout the field, this continued for the whole of the race. Oly Janes in his FREIGHTLINER was out in front and all was looking good for a win, also with posting on lap two the fastest lap of the race, but unfortunately by mid-race mechanical problems appeared causing him to retire from the race. This allowed Class A; David Jenkins MAN to snatch the race win followed by Shane Brereton MAN with less than half of one second behind in second and Mat Summerfield MAN in third. Class B had no less action with Adam Bint VOLVO taking the class win followed by Paul McCumisky VOLVO in second and John Bowler FODEN in third.
Race Three; the track was now fully dried out. Steven Powell MAN was in pole position with Simon Reid IVECO alongside. The dry truck set up the teams had established on the Friday test sessions could now be adopted. As soon as the lights went out the dry conditions immediately showed, with the front running Class A trucks posting lap times more than fifteen seconds per lap faster, with an average speed in excess of 72 MPH. Again throughout the whole race both Class A and Class B trucks exchanged positions lap after lap, with Steven Powell MAN holding on to third place for a number of laps and with his brother John Powell FORD in Class B pulling off some spectacular high speed overtaking manoeuvres. Steve Thomas MAN and Mat Summerfield MAN had a race long battle that ended with Mat spinning off onto the grass in the closing laps of the race. The race conclusion was Class A; Ryan Smith MAN taking the win followed by Stuart Oliver VOLVO in second and Steve Thomas MAN third. The Class B; win went to John Powell FORD with Adam Bint VOLVO second and John Bowler FODEN third.
Race Four; this time Luke Garrett RENAULT was in pole position alongside Oly Janes FREIGHTLINER. When the lights went out on the rolling start, the whole pack were in a very close group into the first right turn. After the dust cleared Shane Brereton MAN had come through to take the lead followed close be the whole pack, for a large part of the race Mat Summerfield, David Jenkins, Steve Thomas, Ryan Smith and Stuart Oliver raced nose to tail, with the inevitable seeing Dave and Mat make contact and Mat again spinning off. At the chequered flag Shane Brereton MAN took a deserved win followed by David Jenkins MAN second and Steve Thomas MAN third. Class B; was no less exciting with the officials issuing drive through penalties to a number of trucks for producing excessive smoke. John Powell who crossed the finish line first in Class B was later penalised for exceeding the 100 MPH limit, handing the race win and first time truck race career honour to John Bowler FODEN with second place going to “rain man” Paul McCumisky VOLVO and in third place was Adam Bint VOLVO.
Race Five; it is becoming tradition that the last truck race of the weekend is the one in which sparks fly. Snetterton was no exception with Luke Garrett RENAULT in pole position and alongside him Steven Powell. All drivers were eager to take the last truck race win of the weekend. As in the previous truck race starts, all trucks were in close formation on the rolling start, immediately after the lights went out, Mat Summerfield went into a spin causing him to hit the Armco and forcing him to take early retirement from the race. Simon Reid IVECO took an early lead that he was working hard to retain, with Stuart Oliver, Steve Thomas, David Jenkins and Shane Brereton all close on his tail, unfortunately by mid-race Simon developed a gearbox fault causing him to retire from the race. In the closing laps David Jenkins and Shane Brereton ran wide allowing Ryan Smith through, at the finish line Stuart Oliver VOLVO took the race win with Steve Thomas MAN in second and Ryan Smith MAN in third. The race win in Class B went to John Powell, second place to Adam Bint and John Bowler took the third place.
The teams now have a few weeks to prepare their trucks for the penultimate five race British Truck Race Championship meeting at Pembrey, South Wales 15th 16th October.