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Oliver takes opening spoils as truck racers entertain at Brands

Saturday, March 25 2017

Multiple champion Stuart Oliver got his British Truck Racing Championship campaign off to a winning start as the new season got underway at Brands Hatch today (Saturday).

Oliver converted pole position in the first Division 1 truck race of the weekend into an early lead whilst front row rival Luke Taylor headed a busy pack. Reigning champion Ryan Smith, who qualified near the back of the grid, fought his way through the field until he came upon Taylor's new MAN truck. It took Smith several laps to grab second place, achieved with a fine run into Druids. Smith then drove several storming laps to reduce the gap to Oliver, falling short by just under eight tenths of a second by the flag.

Behind the leaders, Taylor managed to hold off the rest, thanks to an epic tussle between Mat Summerfield, David Jenkins, Shane Brereton and Ray Coleman. Jenkins was penalised five seconds for exceeding track limits, dropping him behind his rivals in the final result.

British Truck Racing Championship, Division One, Race One
1, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, 15 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +0.773s
3, Luke Taylor, MAN, +9.201s
4, Mat Summerfield, MAN, +9.516s
5, Shane Brereton, MAN, +10.970s

Finland's Mika Makinen won the opening race of the weekend for the Division 2 trucks. Poleman Tony Smith took the early lead, but spun at Druids early on and although he made a quick recovery, could not reduce the gap to the leader, who eventually won by over 12 seconds. Reigning champion Adam Bint completed the podium after a battle with Andrew Lovenbury, who picked up a penalty, dropping him to sixth place overall.

British Truck Racing Championship, Division Two, Race One
1, Mika Makinen, Sisu, 15 Laps
2, Tony Smith, Sisu, +12.848s
3, Adam Bint, Volvo, +35.233s
4, John Bowler, Foden, +36.654s
5, Wayne Eason, Renault, +42.430s

In the second Division 2 race, and the final encounter of the day, Makinen impressed with stunning pace to scythe through the field from the back of the grid, whilst John Powell made the most of his grid position to lead.

It didn't take long for Makinen to work his way into second place, as there was a huge battle for the runner-up position. Once the Finn had grabbed the place, he set a series of fast laps as he chased down the runaway leader. With just a few laps remaining he was on Powell's tail, but just at that moment Powell brother Steven, debuting his new Sisu truck, lost a wheel at Paddock Hill and was beached in the gravel. This resulted in a red flag, handing the win to John Powell.

British Truck Racing Championship, Division Two, Race Two
1, John Powell, Ford, 7 Laps
2, Mika Makinen, Sisu, +3.928s
3, Andrew Lovenbury, Renault, +14.072s
4, Luke Garrett, MAN, +14.243s
5, Simon Cole, Mercedes, +14.953s

Tomorrow's opening truck race gets underway at 10.30am. Click here for a timetable.

In addition to five scheduled truck races, there's also a busy programme of supporting races, plus a feast of off-track entertainment for all of the family, including a huge showtruck display, Red Dragon Monster Truck rides, Mini Monster Truck Mania, Team Maximum Lock stunt shows, YoungDrive sessions, go-karting, a big top circus tent, adventure playground, fairground, Diggerland diggers and trade village.

Raceday tickets for Truck Racing at Brands Hatch are available on the gate for £25, or £15 for 13-15 year-olds, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click  here.