BTRC delivers high drama in South Wales

The British Truck Racing Championship served up a dramatic second meeting of the 2024 season this past weekend (May 18/19) as the UK’s biggest motorsport series headlined Convoy Cymru at Pembrey Circuit.

Picking up where they left off at Brands Hatch last month, the heavyweight behemoths produced no less than five blockbuster races in South Wales for what was a bumper crowd that had flocked trackside.

In Division 1, reigning champion Ryan Smith, David Jenkins and Steven Powell charged to victory whilst the race wins of Division 2 were split between John Powell and debutant Sam Osborne.

Of course, the BTRC was just one of many attractions at Convoy Cymru as fans soaked up everything from live music and show trucks to monster truck rides and electric motocross – plus much more – over the course of the weekend.

Smith, Jenkins and Powell share Division 1 spoils

The battle for supremacy in Division 1 had everyone on the edge of their seats as Ryan Smith, David Jenkins and Steven Powell captivated those in attendance on their way to sharing the spoils that were on offer.

Stuart Oliver originally set the pace on Saturday morning as he snared pole position in qualifying however that was to be as good as it got for the ten-time champion as a mechanical issue in the opening contest forced him to withdraw for the remainder of the weekend.

Oliver had held firm out front during the early stages of race one however as his issues began to mount, the chasing pack – led by eight-time title winner Smith – soon closed in and he was forced into the pit lane and retirement.

With Smith hitting the front, many may have thought that it would be game over but the Daimler Freightliner driver was hit with a 15-second time penalty for exceeding track limits, which originally dropped him to third behind Powell and Jenkins. Following an appeal of the result, the time penalty was rescinded and Smith was declared the winner.

Race two will undoubtedly go down as an instant classic as Jenkins produced a superb defensive drive to fend off the charging Smith. Jenkins had pulled clear of the field out front but Smith not only worked his way up the order but also reeled him in to set up a tantalising final lap.

Filling the mirrors of Jenkins MAN at almost every turn, contact was made between the pair exiting the Senna Esses although both managed to hold their positions – with Jenkins triumphing ahead of Smith, while Powell finished a distant third.

Smith wasn’t to be denied in race as he reigned supreme in typical fashion after making a late move on Michael Oliver before then coming oh-so close to winning race four. Smith chased down Powell before a lunge on the final lap saw contact made; the multiple champion would win on the road but officials would later rule that he had gained an unfair advantage and was docked a position, which gave in-turn gave Jenkins victory.

Powell would finally have his moment in the sun in the weekend’s final race as he capitalised on a sensational start to lead every lap, with Jenkins holding off Smith who was on yet another charge.

Powell and Osborne reign supreme in Division 2

Division 2 wasn’t immune to delivering its own drama over the course of the weekend either at Pembrey as John Powell and Sam Osborne took it in turns to stand on the top step of the podium.

With defending champion Paul Rivett forced to watch on from the sidelines due to sustaining a broken ankle, Powell wasted no time in closing the gap to the early points leader as he blasted to pole position ahead of Rivett’s replacement at NAPA Racing UK, BTCC star Osborne.

Powell would enjoy a trouble-free run to the chequered flag in the opening contest as he claimed a comfortable lights-to-flag victory ahead of Simon Cole and Osborne, who had been running in second place before being a hit with a time penalty for exceeding track limits.

Unfortunately a mechanical issue ruled out Powell from competing in race two, which opened the door for Osborne to produce a superlative drive and get the better of Cole to triumph. Archie Handy, who was also debuting, completed the top three to clinch his maiden podium in the series.

Powell would return to the fray for race three after his team worked through the night to repair his DAF and he repaid their efforts with a near-perfect performance as he comfortably romped to victory. Cole and Osborne would complete the rostrum in second and third.

Such is the way that Powell’s weekend ebbed and flowed, race four saw him fail to start again and that in-turn allowed tin top ace Osborne to once again savour the spoils as he headed the father and son duo of Cole and Handy.

The weekend’s fifth and final bout saw the pendulum swing back to Powell as he converted his lofty starting position into a clinical victory, with Osborne and Cole following behind – each of them completing a clean sweep of podium finishes in the Welsh countryside.

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

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

The 2024 British Truck Racing Championship season continues on July 6/7 when the series travels to the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton.

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