The British Truck Racing Championship served up thrills, spills and plenty of edge-of-the-seat entertainment at Pembrey Circuit this past weekend (May 20/21) as the UK’s biggest motorsport series headlined Convoy Cymru.
Speeding into South Wales for the second meeting of the 2023 season, the heavyweight behemoths put on a show that will live long in the memory as they took centre stage for five blockbuster races.
Division 1 saw Ryan Smith, Jock Borthwick and Michael Oliver charge to victory whilst the spoils in Division 2 were shared between Adam Bint, Paul Rivett and John Powell.
Of course, the BTRC was just one of a number of attractions at Convoy Cymru as a bumper crowd soaked up everything from live music and show trucks to a freestyle motocross stunt show and truck drifting – plus much more – over the course of the weekend.
Smith scores hat-trick whilst Borthwick and Oliver also triumph
Saturday at the picturesque Welsh track saw reigning seven-time champion Ryan Smith produce a wheel-perfect performance to strengthen his position towards the summit of the standings.
Guiding his Daimler Freightliner to the top of the times in qualifying, the Mansfield-racer withstood constant pressure from fellow multiple title-winner Stuart Oliver in the opening contest to take victory, whilst Steven Powell bagged his first podium of the year in third.
Race two would see a carbon-copy result however not after Smith pulled off a sensational move in the early exchanges to snatch the lead away from pole sitter Oliver. Whilst the top two pulled clear, Powell once again enjoyed a relatively trouble-free drive to third.
Smith continued his impressive form during the first of Sunday’s three races as he showcased his overtaking prowess with a fine drive to victory lane.
Starting eighth, virtue of the reverse grid, the defending champion was relentless in his march as he carved his way up the order to hit the front in latter stages and lead home the duo of Simon Reid and David Jenkins.
That was to be as good as it got for Smith though as he found himself in strife in the remaining two races – with contact scuppering him in race four before a mechanical issue blighted his hopes in the finale.
Race four instead went the way of a popular first-time winner in Division 1, Jock Borthwick. In just his second meeting in the premier class, the Scotsman held off the charging duo of Craig Reid and Oliver to clinch his maiden win by less than half a second.
The weekend’s fifth and final contest then saw Michael Oliver come to the fore as he produced a brilliant lights-to-flag drive to the summit of the podium. Starting from pole, Oliver Jnr showed the chasing pack a clean set of heels to triumph ahead of Bradley Smith and Jenkins by almost two seconds.
Bint, Rivett and Powell share Division 2 spoils
As was predicted heading into the weekend, the battle for supremacy in Division 2 proved to be captivating as Adam Bint, Paul Rivett and John Powell all powered their way to the top step of the rostrum.
Entering the weekend as the points leader, Bint underlined his credentials as a serious title contender by punching in a mesmerising performance on Saturday behind the wheel of his Volvo White Aerodyne.
After blasting to pole position in qualifying, the former champion pulled clear in races one and two to claim a brace of commanding and comfortable victories. Behind, Rivett bagged a pair of second place finishes whilst there were also podiums for Powell and Craig Evans.
Powell was able to strike back in the weekend’s third bout as he pieced together a commanding drive to chalk up his third win of the season; with Rivett and Bint in tow.
Having stood on the second step of the rostrum in the previous three bouts, races four and five arguably belonged to the NAPA Racing UK MAN of Rivett as he laid down his marker as a force to be reckoned with two commanding victories.
Behind Rivett, the trio of Powell, Bint and Evans all added to their silverware hauls however none of them could stop the former four-time Renault UK Clio Cup title winner from prevailing.
To view the full classification of results from all British Truck Racing Championship sessions at Pembrey, CLICK HERE.
All five races from the series’ first visit to South Wales are now available to view on the British Truck Racing Championship YouTube channel HERE.
The British Truck Racing Championship is next in action on July 8/9 at the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, for Convoy on the Plain.