The British Truck Racing Championship is primed and ready for the opening event of the 2023 season at Brands Hatch this weekend (April 8/9) with a near capacity entry list poised to deliver an Easter extravaganza of on-track entertainment.
Following months of excitement and anticipation, the titans of truck racing are poised to return bigger and better than ever to lift the curtain on a seven-event schedule – which starts and ends at the famous Kent venue – with five blockbuster races that are set to be broadcast live online.
One of the biggest announcements during the off-season has been the BTRC’s recent commitment to sustainability. Having partnered with the UK’s leading provider of high-performance HVO fuel, Green Biofuels (GBF); every driver is set to be provided with a cleaner alternative to diesel at each round this year.
Elsewhere, whilst a lot of buzz has surrounded this year’s crop of drivers, plenty of work has also gone on behind the scenes with Truck Sport UK strengthening its ties with a host of key partners such as MV Commercial, VisionTrack, Giti, Fruehauf, TRP Parts, Road Transport Media and Totalkare.
Battle lies drawn in Division 1
One of the biggest questions heading into the new campaign is whether anybody can stop reigning champion Ryan Smith from clinching what would be an unprecedented eighth consecutive Division 1 title.
Having been the form man of recent years, the Mansfield driver – who is armed with a new Daimler Freightliner for 2023 – is the pre-season favourite however there are a number of other drivers that are keen to displace him from the summit.
Former champions Stuart Oliver and David Jenkins will undoubtedly lead the challenge to Smith whilst the likes of Steven Powell, Simon Reid, Craig Reid and Michael Oliver – who were all victorious last year – will be worth keeping an eye on as well.
Elsewhere on the grid, the quartet of Bradley Smith, Tom O’Rourke, Richard Collett and Simon Faulkner all showed promise last year and each of them are guaranteed to make their mark as the season goes on.
After making a handful of appearances in the series’ premier category in 2022, Simon Cole will embark on his first full-season in Division 1 at the wheel of his striking pink and white MAN – which is affectionately named Eleanor.
He won’t be the only full-time debutant in the top class either as proven title contenders and race-winners from Division 2 – Jock Borthwick and John Bowler – are set to graduate in into the class.
High five in Division 2
The enthralling action doesn’t stop in Division 1 though as five trucks will compete for outright honours in Division 2.
Headlining the entry list is former champion Adam Bint who will be hoping this is the year that he returns to the summit of the championship from behind the wheel of his trusty Volvo White Aerodyne.
Likely to be in contention all the way until the finish is John Powell – who clinched no less than six race wins last year – and Craig Evans; who’s already stated he’s setting his sights on claiming a breakthrough victory in 2023.
After making a popular one-off appearance at Convoy in the Park last year, NAPA Racing UK have secured a full-season entry with four-time Renault UK Clio Cup champion Paul Rivett whilst Jim Bennett will make a popular return in his Seddon Atkinson.
Brands Hatch braced for unmissable show
The British Truck Racing Championship curtain-raiser at Brands Hatch is always packed full of thrills and spills and this weekend looks set to be no different as the mega machines take centre stage for five contests around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit.
Saturday 8th April | Qualifying: 09:50 / Race 1: 12:40 / Race 2: 16:25
Sunday 9th April | Race 3: 11:00 / Race 4: 13:50 / Race 5: 16:45
In addition to the races, fans will also have the opportunity to partake in a grid walk at 15:55 on Saturday and 16:15 on Sunday.
All races will be streamed online for free via the British Automobile Racing Club YouTube channel with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 11:50 and Sunday’s at 10:10.
Tickets information for the event can be found by visiting the Brands Hatch website HERE.