Last weekend 15th/16th October the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) made its second trip of the season to the home of Welsh Motorsport at Pembrey in South Wales. Like at many other events in the year a number of teams attended early to take advantage of the Friday test sessions in cold but dry track conditions.
The track time set-up achieved during the Friday sessions went out the window on the Saturday morning as the weather had changed significantly to what could only be described as miserable. Following a short practice session, the 15 drivers had the opportunity in the qualification session to post a lap time to secure their grid position for the first truck race of the weekend.
As the norm throughout the whole season, the challenge for Class ‘A’ race one pole position has been in the main contested by Ryan Smith MAN and Stuart Oliver VOLVO. Throughout the whole session one would consistently, lap by lap go faster than the other with Ryan pipping Stuart on the very last lap by only two tenths of one second. Class ‘B’ Paul McCumisky VOLVO pulled out a surprise and secured pole position with Adam Bint very close behind in second by only two hundredths of one second.
Race One - the rolling start got underway in very damp conditions with plenty of close race action around the notorious Hatchets Hair Pin. The race developed into an exhibition of high speed, heavy weight and driver control. During the whole race the trucks charged around regularly exchanging places but at the chequered flag Class ‘A’ Ryan Smith MAN crossed the line first, closely followed by Stuart Oliver VOLVO in second and with David Jenkins MAN in third. Class ‘B’ honours went to Kent driver John Powell FORD, second place went to Paul McCumisky VOLVO and John Bowler FODEN crossed the line in third.
Race Two - the reverse grid format was now in play and the weather had deteriorated further to make track conditions and visibility very challenging. At the same time as the pace truck pulled off to start the race, the heavens opened and the fun began! The race conclusion following a number of spins and off track detours was Class ‘A’ Mat Summerfield MAN in first with Ryan Smith MAN in second and David Jenkins MAN in third. Class ‘B’ Adam Bint VOLVO managed to overhaul the field ahead and take the class win followed by John Powell FORD in second and Paul McCumisky VOLVO in third.
Race Three - on Sunday morning the rain had not moved on and conditions were far from good. When the race got underway Ryan Smith, Stuart Oliver and Shane Brereton made an early break from the pack and raced in close formation lap after lap. Unfortunately with two laps to go Shane Brereton’s truck aquaplaned straight into the side of Stuart Oliver’s truck, taking them both off and hard into the embankment, bringing out immediately the Red Flag’s. With the race stopped the results were published with Class ‘A’ Ryan Smith MAN as the race winner, David Jenkins MAN in second and Steven Powell MAN taking his first podium of the season in third. Class ‘B’ the winner spot was awarded to Paul McCumisky VOLVO, second place went to John Powell and third place to Adam Bint.
Race Four – this got underway in similar conditions to the previous, with what was now a depleted field of trucks due to some extensive truck damage. After a no less spectacular display of driver control, the race came to an end one lap early when John Bowlers FODEN hit the embankment at Hatchets Hairpin. Class ‘A’ race win went to Mat Summerfield MAN “the luckiest driver of the weekend” who had spun off just prior to the Red Flag stop, with the regulations then taking the race finish positions from the previous lap on track positions. Ryan Smith MAN took second and David Jenkins MAN was in third. Class ‘B’ saw Adam Bint VOLVO take the win followed by Brian Burt VOLVO in second and Trevor Martin SCANIA in third.
Race Five - with the weather again no different the rolling start got underway, with places being exchanged lap after lap. Class ‘A’ Ryan Smith MAN in the closing laps pulled out a lead which he was never to lose with Steven Powell MAN taking second and his second podium of the season and the weekend and with returning truck racer Ray Coleman MAN in third. Class ‘B’ John Powell FORD took the class win with Adam Bint VOLVO in second and Paul McCumisky VOLVO in third.
Race five result meant that Adam Bint VOLVO had acquired enough points to secure him the title of the 2016 Class ‘B’ BTRC championship winner!
The teams and drivers now only have a few weeks to repair and prepare their trucks ready for the final rounds of the BTRC season at Brands Hatch on the 5th/6th November, were the Class ‘A’ champion and runners up are to be decided as well as the Class ‘B’ runner up spots.