BTRC battles the elements on full-throttle Thruxton weekend

Ryan Smith produced a wheel-perfect performance to extend his lead at the top of the Division 1 standings this past weekend (July 6/7) as the British Truck Racing Championship battled the elements around the fastest circuit in the country, Thruxton. 

Despite facing ever-changing weather conditions across both Saturday and Sunday, the titans of truck racing put on a spectacular show for the bumper crowd that had flocked to Convoy on the Plain; with the reigning eight-time champion writing a majority of the headlines.

Five commanding wins from five races made it a weekend to remember for Smith however a number of other feel-good results in the series’ premier class underlined just how competitive the 2024 season is proving to be. 

In Division 2, John Powell and Paul Rivett renewed their battle for outright honours with Powell snaring a hat-trick of wins, while Rivett marked his return from an injury lay-off by scoring a double of his own. 

High five for unstoppable Smith

The past decade has seen Ryan Smith serve up a number of sensational performances however there are likely only a few that top what he achieved at Thruxton this past weekend as he came close to a maximum points score. 

Before racing got underway on Saturday Stuart Oliver saw his torrid run of misfortune continue as he was involved in a high-speed accident in practice which left him with cracked ribs, severe bruising and a heavily-damaged Volvo VNL after obliterating an armco barrier.

Oliver’s weekend would end there however the ramifications of the incident would ultimately see qualifying cancelled due to the lengthy delays that were subsequently caused by the repairs to the barrier.

With the grid for races one and two decided by championship order, Smith was supreme in his Daimler Freightliner as he converted pole position into a commanding lights-to-flag victory on both occasions. 

While Smith stretched his legs out front, Michael Oliver and David Jenkins had everyone on the edge-of-their-seats as they battled for second and third in race one before Steven Powell and Jenkins did the same in race two. 

Sunday morning saw drivers greeted with damp conditions however that did little in the way of slowing Smith down as he overcame the reverse grid odds to tally three more wins.

Despite starting towards the rear of the field, the multiple title winner showcased his overtaking prowess as he carved his way up the order, taking the lead from Jenkins in the latter stages while John Bowler clinched his first podium of the season in third. 

Race four was very much a rinse and repeat of the day’s earlier contest, although this time Smith left it until the final few laps before overhauling Powell for top spot, while Bowler once again impressed with a second successive third place finish.

Smith’s remarkable clean sweep at the high-speed Hampshire venue was completed in the weekend’s finale as he mastered the wet conditions to chase down and overhaul Division 2 front-runner Paul Rivett to win. 

Making a splash behind was an enthralling battle between the likes of Oliver, Powell and Tom O’Rourke. Oliver would manage to break free to notch another second place finish while O’Rourke fought tooth-and-nail to secure his first podium of the season in his International Navistar truck.  

Spoils shared in Division 2 

The fight for supremacy in Division 2 continued at Thruxton with John Powell and reigning champion Paul Rivett renewing their duel for the crown, the pair enjoying a share of the spoils that was up for grabs.

Powell wasted no time in laying down his marker to the rest of the field as he swept his way to victory in both of Saturday’s contests before then continuing his winning-streak into Sunday’s lively opener.

Despite not standing on the top step of the podium in races four and five, the DAF racer claimed runners-up laurels in both bouts which bolstered his points score even further. 

For Rivett, missing the entire Pembrey event due to a broken ankle left the NAPA Racing UK driver playing catch-up and a turbo failure in the weekend’s opening race put him even further on the back foot.

Bouncing back to shadow Powell in races two and three, Rivett finally made a welcome return to the winners’ circle in race four as he comfortably prevailed before then coming oh-so close to claiming a second overall win of the season in a wet and wild finale. 

Simon Cole – who had entered the weekend as the championship leader – faced a character-building visit to Thruxton as ongoing issues left him slightly off the pace, although he was able to secure four podium finishes. 

After making an encouraging debut at Pembrey, Archie Handy endured a weekend to forget as mechanical issues saw him miss Saturday’s two races before a decision was made to withdraw from the meeting on Sunday. 

To view the full classification of results from all British Truck Racing Championship sessions at Thruxton, CLICK HERE.

All five races from the third meeting of the season will be available to view on the British Truck Racing Championship YouTube channel HERE.

The British Truck Racing Championship hits the halfway mark in the 2024 season next as the series heads to Donington Park on August 10/11 for Convoy in the Park.

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top