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Graham Powell takes home victory in opening Truck encounter

Saturday, October 30 2010

Aylesford's Graham Powell steered his ERF to home victory in the opening Delphi British Truck Racing Championship Class B outing at Brands Hatch on Saturday, after rival Cees Zandbergen's Scania was penalised for not respecting track limits.

Zandbergen finished first on the road after qualifying in pole position before leading from lights to flag. 2010 Class B champion Powell challenged his Dutch rival in the early stages although was unable to ultimately match his pace.

However, it was deemed shortly after the race that Zandbergen had not respected the track limits on two occasions, for which the 'Rainbow Warrior' was handed two five-second penalties. This meant he dropped behind Powell and therefore was classified in second place.

Graham Powell's brother Steven enjoyed a quietly consistent run to third place in his Ford Cargo after making up two places on the opening lap, securing a double podium for the locally-based family.

There was an exciting tussle for fourth, fifth and sixth places during the eight lap outing, as front row starter Hendrik Antoine Tijhuis slipped down to fifth on lap one behind the Powell brothers and the ERF of Carl Brookfield.

Tijhuis made a bold move down the inside Brookfield at Surtees on lap four to retake fourth place, which resulted in contact between the pairing. This dropped Brookfield into sixth behind Manuel Rodrigues' Volvo, although Brookfield launched a resurgent drive to snatch fifth place two laps later with a commanding manoeuvre down the inside at Druids.

Although Rodrigues crossed the line in sixth, he was also deemed to have disrespected the track limits and was later demoted to twelfth position.

Rodrigues' penalty meant Ben Horne took sixth following a magnificent drive from the back of the grid, with the feisty young racer making up ten places on the first lap alone!

Ginetta G50 champion Frank Wrathall secured a strong seventh place finish on his British Truck Racing debut after being delayed on the opening lap when Marco Donk's Volvo spun at Druids.

Wrathall crossed the line just thousandths of a second ahead of West Kingsdown racer Oscar Clarke's Volvo, although Clark was later issued with a track limits penalty. This was not enough to alter the race result though, as tenth place finisher David Smith was also penalised, which dropped him to eleventh in the final classification behind the Seddon Atki of Jim Bennett and the ERF of Luke Taylor.

Truck Racing continues at Brands Hatch on Sunday with the first Class A race at 11.40am.

Delphi British Truck Racing Championship, Brands Hatch, Class B race one:

1. Graham Powell (ERF ECX), 8 laps
2. Cees Zandbergen (Scania 124), +6.435s
3. Steven Powell (Ford Cargo), +6.505
4. Henrik Antoine Tijhuis (Scania 124), +22.415s
5. Carl Brookfield (ERF ECX), +25.158s
6. Ben Horne (Volvo White Aerodyne), +30.111s
7. Frank Wrathall (Sisu SL250), +30.670s
8. Oscar Clark (Volvo FL10), +35.724s
9. Jim Bennett (Seddon Atkinson), +41.227s
10. Luke Taylor (ERF E14), +42.966s

Tickets for the Truck or Treat Halloween Spooktacular on Sunday 31 October cost £21 on the gate for adults, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0870 950 9000 or click on the link below.