The 2022 British Truck Racing Championship is poised for a blockbuster finale at Brands Hatch this weekend (November 5/6) with the destiny of both the Division 1 and Division 2 titles being decided across five unmissable races.
Concluding what has been an action-packed season in front of a huge trackside audience and thousands more watching online, fireworks are set to fly both on and off the track at the Kent venue as the heavyweight behemoths take centre stage.
In Division 1, a quartet of contenders will battle it out for the coveted championship crown whilst no less than five drivers find themselves in mathematical contention for outright honours in Division 2.
Division 1 battle set for grandstand finish
It’s been another ultra-competitive season in Division 1 and as the series speeds back to Brands Hatch – scene of the 2022 opener – no less than four drivers have a shot at capturing the big prize.
At the top of the pile and firmly in control is reigning champion Ryan Smith. Bidding to claim what would a sensational seventh consecutive title, the MAN driver enters the weekend with a commanding 58-point lead, with a maximum of 80 still up for grabs.
Chalking up countless wins and podium finishes, Smith has been in sensational season-long form and despite having to contend with a switch in machinery recently, he’s very much the title favourite.
Bidding to stop Smith are three drivers that are blanketed by just eight points; David Jenkins, Stuart Oliver and John Newell. Having each produced a number of superlative performances this year, the trio will be fired up to make in-roads into Smith’s lead.
With five races to close the gap, you can bet that none of them will be taking their foot off the throttle until they’re mathematically out of contention. The stage is well and truly set for a grandstand finish.
Of course it isn’t just the top four that will be worth keeping an eye on. Simon Reid has been another driver to make his mark over the course of the season and he’ll be eager to end the year with yet more silverware, as well as cementing his position inside the top five.
Coming oh-so close to victory on a number of occasions this year has been Mark Taylor and he’ll be aiming to finally stand on the top step of the podium this weekend, whilst Steven Powell will be keen to conclude his first year in Division 1 on a high at his home circuit.
Just five points separate the next three drivers in the standings; Richard Collett, Tom O’Rourke and Michael Oliver. Both Collett and Oliver have been victorious in 2022 whilst O’Rourke is coming off the back of a maiden rostrum finish at Pembrey.
Other notable names to look out for in the series’ top tier include the trio of Craig Reid, Bradley Smith and Simon Faulkner. They – along with the aforementioned Collett, O’Rourke and Oliver – could be in the mix for outright honours at any point during the course of the weekend.
Down to the wire in Division 2
If you think things are close in Division 1 then the state of play in Division 2 is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat this weekend.
Former two-time champion Luke Garrett leads the way, with 12 wins having been the backbone of his charge to the standings summit. Whilst he has demonstrated plenty of pace throughout the season, bad luck blighted him at Pembrey last time out and that sees him arrive at the season finale with a slender three-point advantage.
Sitting second on the leaderboard and well within striking distance is Brad Smith. In what has been a strong campaign from the DAF driver, Smith has paired raw pace with consistency to put himself in the pound seat – he’ll be one to watch.
John Powell can’t be discounted from walking away as champion either. Sitting third in the standings, the experienced racer has a 43-point deficit to overturn but given the twists and turns that have played out already this year it’s not out of the question.
Another Division 2 title contender to look out for is Jock Borthwick. The Scotsman was the pace-setter in the early rounds but misfortune has dented his chances of lifting the coveted crown. He, along with the fifth and final contender Craig Evans, will need plenty to fall his way if he is to complete a sensational turnaround.
So what of the rest of the field? Well, former champion Adam Bint has shown eye-catching speed on his way to victory in recent rounds whilst John Bowler has enjoyed a number of strong performances behind the wheel of his striking MAN.
Brands Hatch braced for showdown
With titles to be decided and drivers keen to end their campaigns on a high, edge-of-the-seat entertainment is guaranteed when it comes to the British Truck Racing Championship’s return to Brands Hatch this weekend.
Saturday 5th November | Qualifying: 09:50 / Race 1: 12:25 / Race 2: 15:00
Sunday 6th November | Race 3: 10:20 / Race 4: 13:00 / Race 5: 15:30
All races will be streamed online for free via the British Automobile Racing Club’s YouTube channel with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 11:40 and Sunday’s at 10:05.
Tickets are sold out for this weekend’s event. For more information, visit the Brands Hatch website.