BTRC entertains the masses at Convoy in the Park

The British Truck Racing Championship produced five blockbuster races at Donington Park this past weekend (August 12/13) as the 2023 season hit the halfway marker at Convoy in the Park.

Taking centre stage in front of packed spectator banks amidst ever-changing weather conditions, the latest chapter of what is already turning out to be a storied campaign saw the spoils shared between two in Division 1, while two different drivers also triumphed in Division 2.

Whilst the heavyweight behemoths of the BTRC and the all-new International Truck Prix stole the show on-track, those in attendance had plenty to see and do away from it courtesy of the many attractions that were situated trackside.

More than 1000 show trucks, a live action arena, kids zone, driving experiences and musical performances – plus much more – all played their part in making it a weekend to remember at the world-famous Leicestershire venue.

Smith and Reid share Division 1 bragging rights

Ryan Smith’s quest for an unprecedented eighth consecutive Division 1 title was bolstered over the course of the weekend as he extended his lead at the top of the standings by adding three more wins to his season tally.

The Daimler Freightliner driver wasted no time in stamping his authority on proceedings as he maintained his unbeaten record in qualifying to claim pole position – albeit by just 0.072s over fellow former champion David Jenkins.

Smith ensured the gap was more comfortable in the weekend’s opening encounter as he produced a virtuoso lights-to-flag performance. Holding the lead off the line, the seven-time champion soon stretched his advantage and cruised to victory ahead of Stuart Oliver and Jenkins.

Race two saw the reigning champion chalk up yet another win however this time he was kept honest all the way to the chequered flag as Oliver remained within touching distance throughout the contest. Rounding out the podium in third was the impressive Bradley Smith.

Smith’s dominance continued into Sunday as he completed his hat-trick in imperious style. Starting from sixth, the multiple title winner carved his way up into second and then set off in pursuit of race leader Craig Reid, who had been able to open up a comfortable lead.

Closing down the gap to the Reid Trucksport racer within a matter of moments, Smith produced a superlative move on the final lap to claim the lead and with it victory, whilst Reid and Tom O’Rourke finished second and third.

Simon Reid emerged as the driver to halt Smith’s dominance in race four as he reigned supreme, albeit not after a lengthy red flag stoppage. As the field streamed down Hollywood on lap one, contact between a number of trucks saw Bradley Smith exit stage left and hit the tyre wall hard.

Thankfully Smith was unhurt in the incident and he would be able to compete later in the day, however the same could not be said for the tyre wall, which took some time to put back together.

On the restart, both Steven Powell and Jenkins enjoyed stints out front but it was to be lap seven that provided the defining moment in the race as Reid battled his way into first and from there he wasn’t challenged, leading home the aforementioned duo.

Reid would add to his silverware collection in the weekend’s final encounter as he came out on top of a captivating back and forth duel with John Bowler. In what proved to be a race of attrition, Reid and Bowler diced for overall honours from the get-go however it was Reid that would prevail.

Bowler would endure further frustration too as a five-second time penalty for exceeding track limits dropped him back to fifth – which crucially promoted Oliver and Ryan Smith up into the top three.

Four-midable Rivett blitzes the opposition

NAPA Racing UK’s Paul Rivett strengthened his championship charge in Division 2 at Donington Park as he enjoyed one of his best-ever weekend’s in the BTRC by blasting to four emphatic race wins.

Heading into the fourth event of the season firmly in the wheel tracks of the top two in the standings, Adam Bint and John Powell, the former Renault UK Clio Cup champion was almost wheel-perfect in his striking blue and yellow machine.

Rivett blitzed the opposition in qualifying to snare pole position however he was unable to convert it into a meaningful result in race one as was he forced into retirement after just a handful of laps.

The demise of Rivett opened the door for Powell to triumph however he didn’t have things his own way as both Craig Evans and Simon Cole – who was making a triumphant return to Division 2 – remained glued to his rear bumper throughout.

Race two provided the catalyst for Rivett’s redemption as the MAN driver produced a clinical performance to comfortably win ahead of Evans and Bint, crucially setting him up for what turned out to be a Super Sunday under the flightpath of East Midlands airport.

Rivett held off the advances of Bint and Powell to win race three and then dominated proceedings a few hours later, cruising to victory in race four ahead of Evans and Bint.

The near-perfect weekend for Rivett was completed in race five when he edged out Powell and Bint to once again stand on the top step of the podium.

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

All five races from the fourth event of the season are available to view on the British Truck Racing Championship YouTube channel HERE.

The British Truck Racing Championship is next in action on September 16/17 when the series travels to Snetterton in Norfolk.

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