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Ryan Smith wins title on opening day of Trucks & Fireworks

Saturday, November 04 2017

The opening day of the British Truck Racing Championship (BTRC) and Fireworks event at Brands Hatch was filled with celebration as Ryan Smith sealed the 2017 BTRC Division 1 title with victory in the opening race of the weekend for the class.

Starting from second on the grid, Smith was soon past pole position man 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 placed, having battled past Frans Smith, who had tried his hardest to keep most of the pack behind. Richard Collett also managed to clear the Dutchman in the late stages.

After the race, Smith said: "I'm delighted. We made a bit of an error in qualifying when the transponder wasn't working, and we thought we were P1 but the transponder picked us up in P2, so I promised the team that I wouldn't just sandbag and go for one point. I promised them we'll have a go and that's what we did; we stuck it out and it's fantastic to get it here at Brands Hatch, what a fantastic circuit. I'm out to have some fun tomorrow, I'm going to get the new lap record!"

British Truck Racing Championship Division 1 Race One
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 Stralis, +6.997s

In the earlier Division Two race, newly-confirmed champion Mika Makinen looked set to hold on for victory having survived two starts, despite being unable to break free from the top four. However a late red flag and a restart proved his undoing, as he lost out at the final start to Tony Smith and Luke Garrett. Smith held the lead at Paddock Hill, but Garrett was soon through and won the race by just over three seconds as Makinen had to fend off Steven Powell and Adam Bint.

British Truck Racing Championship Division 1 Race Two
1, Luke Garrett, MAN, 5 Laps
2, Tony Smith, Sisu, +3.456s
3, Mika Makinen, Sisu, +7.651s
4, Steven Powell, ERF, +8.332s
5, Adam Bint, Volvo White, +8.988s

In the support categories, local racer Rod Birley won one of his two races in the Quaife/Cannons Tin Tops Category in his Honda Integra. However, troubles for his Ford Escort WRC in the Quaife Modified Saloons class left him at the back of the grid, jeopardising his chances of at least equalling Gerry Marshall's race victories record of 625 wins. He must win both races to match this tally.

BTCC racer Andrew Jordan qualified an excellent seventh for his Pickup Trucks debut tomorrow. He was quickest at one point and is looking forward to the races, which form part of a bumper on-track programme that includes a scheduled five BTRC races.

Off-track, there's a feast of family-themed activities on main raceday Sunday, including Monster Truck rides, funfair, Big Top tent with children's entertainment, YoungDrive, go-karting, Star Wars characters, Dexter the Dinosaur, Terry Grant stunt shows and much more. The day will climax with a spectacular 'big bang' fireworks display, plus live music into the evening.

Raceday tickets for Truck Racing and Fireworks at Brands Hatch on Sunday 5 November are available on the gate for £25, with teen discounts and free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click  here.

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