SMITH ARRIVES AT PEMBREY WITHIN TOUCHING DISTANCE OF SECOND TITLE
The British Truck Racing Championship heads to Pembrey this coming weekend [14-15 October] with Ryan Smith a handful of points away from successfully defending his crown.
The MAN driver has been in dominant form in recent meetings, adding another victory to his tally at a disrupted last meeting at Snetterton to bring his total for the season to 9 and extend his advantage at the top of the standings to 34 points.
Outscoring his closest rivals – the MAN pairing of Shane Brereton and David Jenkins – by more than six points across the quartet of contests in South Wales then a second championship crown is assured.
Brereton and Jenkins have both demonstrated race-winning form across the season but will need to be wary with 10-time series winner Stuart Oliver (Volvo VN13) only a single point behind in fourth. The trio all enjoyed podium successes in Norfolk last month and look set to continue their fight at the front again this weekend.
Mat Summerfield rounds out the championship contenders as he looks for a strong set of results to keep him in the hunt for a fifth title.
Ray Coleman continues his stoic defence of sixth in the standings, but absence at Snetterton has allowed Oly Janes' Buggyra Freightliner to close the gap to a single marker – Janes took a popular victory at the 'Home of Welsh Motorsport' in the Spring and will be keen for a repeat success to take the fight to Brands Hatch.
Terry Gibbon was another to taste victory in April, but recent podium successes for Michael Oliver (Scania) have put him under pressure to retain eighth in Division 1, and Luke Taylor could yet leapfrog the pairing with a strong end to the campaign.
Simon Reid and Ricky Collett will both be keen to continue their recent form, with the latter taking his first victory in two years at Snetterton last time out.
In Division 2, Mika Mäkinen stands on the verge of securing his first class championship in the Sisu SL250, with a 52-point lead over Tony Smith (also Sisu),
Smith faces stern competition for the runner-up spot, however, with Simon Cole well placed to capitalise on any slip-ups in the Mercedes.
Reigning class champion Adam Bint and John Bowler are set to continue their fight over fourth in the standings, whilst Steve Powell will look to continue his run of strong points-scoring finishes to close in on Luke Garrett (MAN) and Paul McCumisky ahead.
Sami Ojanen will be hopeful of repeating his breakthrough podium successess from the last round, with a whole host of other entrants set to intensify the competition for the honours.
The on-circuit action – featuring support from a host of BARC championships – will also be supplemented off-circuit by the regular Truck Sport UK Truck Show and Parade.
With just two meetings left to go, the 2017 British Truck Racing Championship is poised for yet another decisive twist in the tale of this season's title fight in both divisions.