With a huge entry of 30 trucks competing for glory last weekend (4/5 November) in front of a bumper, record breaking number of British truck race fans held at the 2017 final of the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) at Brands Hatch.
Heading up the 12 Division 1 trucks was Ryan Smith, from the outset of the weekend he was set to take his second consecutive BTRC title. His closest competitor in the standings was ten-time British and former European champion Stuart Oliver, the pair were set to continue their all season on-track rivalry on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit.
Division 1 Race One
On the Saturday, the opening race of the day in the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) event got under way in very wet conditions. Starting from second on the grid, Smith was soon past pole position Shane Brereton and headed towards a dominant win, over two seconds ahead of second-placed David Jenkins, with Brereton completing the podium. Title challenger Stuart Oliver took fourth, ahead of the battling Simon Reid and Mat Summerfield. Further back, Ray Coleman finished in seventh place, having battled past Dutchman, Frans Smit, who had tried his hardest to keep most of the pack behind. Richard Collett also managed to clear the Dutchman in the late stages.
Following the race, the paddock was filled with celebration as Ryan Smith had sealed his 2017 BTRC Division 1 title following his race win.
1, Ryan Smith, MAN, 11 Laps
2, David Jenkins, MAN, +2.205s
3, Shane Brereton, MAN, +3.902s
4, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +4.349s
5, Simon Reid, Iveco, +6.997s
Division 1 Race Two
On the Sunday morning Luke Taylor started from the front row of the grid and won the opening race of the day in Division 1, Terry Gibbon led the early laps, but midway through the lead fight, he hit the barrier at the exit of Druids, fortunately able to continue to finish in ninth place. Taylor held on against increasing pressure from Mat Summerfield, whose race ended at Druids one lap from home following heavy contact with newly-crowned champion Ryan Smith.
1, Luke Taylor, MAN, 15 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +0.792s
3, Richard Collett, MAN, +12.126s
4, Ray Coleman, MAN, +24.667s
5, Shane Brereton, MAN, +25.047s
Division 1 Race Three
Stuart Oliver in the opening laps managed to storm through to the front to take a dominant lead that resulted in a clear victory in the second Division 1 race of the day, Smith tried to hunt Oliver down but fell short by nearly 5 seconds. Ray Coleman managed to stay marginally ahead of Richard Collett and Luke Taylor to complete the podium.
1, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, 12 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +4.903s
3, Ray Coleman, MAN, +25.628s
4, Richard Collett, MAN, +25.754s
5, Luke Taylor, MAN, +26.248s
The Grand Final Race
The final race of the season, in this Ryan Smith celebrated winning the BTRC Division 1 Championship in style with victory in the Grand Final, the race combined Division 1 and 2 machines. Smith fought through the field in a pulsating race, which was led early on by Luke Taylor followed by Terry Gibbon. At the chequered flag Gibbon and Summerfield completed the winners podium. Luke Garrett won Division 2, ahead of Steve Powell and class 2 champion Mika Mäkinen.
1, Ryan Smith, MAN, 14 Laps
2, Terry Gibbon, MAN, +4.315s
3, Mat Summerfield, MAN, +5.142s
4, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +5.598s
5, Ray Coleman, MAN, +13.452s
Following the on track race activities, was a spectacular 'big bang' fireworks display in conjunction with a full circuit, Show Truck parade, this ended what has been an action-packed season of truck racing of the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC).