The British Truck Racing Championship served up a feast of entertainment at Pembrey Circuit this past weekend (May 7/8) as the second event of the 2022 season headlined the inaugural running of Convoy Cymru.
Basked in bright sunshine and welcoming a bumper trackside crowd, the picturesque Welsh venue played host to hundreds of show trucks, tractor pulling, a funfair and much more – making it a weekend to remember.
Whilst there was plenty to see and do off-track, on it saw the heavyweight behemoths take centre stage to produce five blockbuster races with two drivers starring.
Division 1 saw reigning champion Ryan Smith underline his credentials as the driver to beat as he won four out of the five races whilst Luke Garrett was one of the standout performers in Division 2, winning three races.
Four of the best for Smith
Saturday arguably belonged to Smith as he laid down his marker to the chasing pack in emphatic style. Entering the weekend as the points leader, the Daimler Truck driver lit up the timesheets in qualifying to claim pole position by more than a second.
Lining up on the front row alongside fellow multiple title winner Stuart Oliver, Smith proved to be in a league of his own in race one as he charged to an impressive lights-to-flag victory.
Holding the lead through the opening sequences of corners, Smith soon began to stretch his legs out front and open up a sizeable lead over Oliver and John Newell, both of whom rounded out the final two spots on the podium.
Race two proved to be a carbon copy of the day’s earlier contest as Smith once again triumphed. Converting pole position into first place on the opening tour, he soon pulled clear of the chasing pack – led by Oliver and Newell – to comfortably chalk up his third victory of the season.
Smith’s fine form continued on Sunday morning as he completed a hat-trick of victories in style. Starting eighth, the Mansfield racer carved his way up the order and found a way past race-long leader Mark Taylor at the final corner on the last lap to triumph. Taylor ultimately settled for second whilst Tom O’Rourke was a fine third after a masterful defensive drive.
Simon Reid was able to break Smith’s stranglehold in race four as the Iveco driver withstood pressure from the six-time title winner to score his second win of the campaign.
After missing out on victory in the penultimate bout, Smith returned to the top step of the podium in race five as he hit the front at half-distance and pulled clear to triumph ahead of Oliver and Newell.
Garrett goes for glory
Hot on the heels of what proved to be an ultra-competitive opener at Brands Hatch, Division 2 saw yet more close racing as the battle for supremacy at the top of the standings intensified.
After scoring a podium finish in every race last time out, Jock Borthwick underlined his credentials with a sensational pole position lap in qualifying on Saturday before later going on to open his win account for the year.
Piloting his MAN, the Scotsman didn’t put a wheel wrong in race one to lead home Luke Garrett and John Powell. Borthwick had been on course to make it a clean sweep on Saturday however Garrett would have the final word in race two.
Filling the mirrors of Borthwick – who provided a resolute defence – from the get-go, the former double champion was able to make a move stick on the final lap as Borthwick encountered tyre trouble. He was able to hold on to second whilst Craig Evans had plenty to smile about in third.
Garrett doubled his tally for the weekend in race three before Adam Bint came to the fore in his Volvo White Aerodyne. Sitting in third place for the majority of race four, the former Division 2 champion made two stunning moves late on to claim his first win of the year.
The weekend’s fifth and final race saw Garrett complete his hat-trick and in doing so, he strengthened his championship challenge. Borthwick had been the winner on the road however a post-race time penalty relegated him to third, with Garrett and Brad Smith being promoted up the order.
To view the full classification of results from all British Truck Racing Championship sessions at Pembrey, CLICK HERE.
All five races from the second event of the season are available to view on the British Automobile Racing Club YouTube channel HERE.
The British Truck Racing Championship is next in action on July 9/10 when the series travels to the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, for Convoy on the Plain.