BTRC set for exciting Brands Hatch season opener

Brands Hatch provides the backdrop to the opening rounds of the 2024 British Truck Racing Championship this weekend (31 March/1 April) with a bumper entry list revved up to take centre stage around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit.

Following months of excitement and anticipation, the titans of truck racing are poised to kick-start what promises to be another unmissable seven-event campaign – which starts and ends at the world-famous Kent venue.

Hosting the BTRC curtain-raiser once again, the circuit’s mix of technical and sweeping corners is renowned for producing great racing – therefore making it the perfect destination for this year’s crop of drivers to throw down the gauntlet.

Gentleman, start your engines….

Division 1 boasts another captivating line-up for the new season and sitting atop of the tree is the driver that everyone will be looking to topple this year; reigning eight-time champion Ryan Smith.

The Daimler Freightliner driver has been the benchmark for almost a decade in the series and he enters the season looking to claim what would be a remarkable ninth consecutive crown – which would put him within one title of Stuart Oliver.

Given his recent run of dominance you’d be hard pressed to bet against Smith from clinching overall glory however he’ll undoubtedly face stiff opposition for the coveted prize – not least from the aforementioned Oliver and fellow former champion David Jenkins.

Both Oliver and Jenkins boast countless years of experience in the championship and with an understanding of what is required to succeed, the pair will be worth keeping an eye on in their respective Volvo and MAN machines.

Local driver Steven Powell will be eager to build on a successful last few seasons in the premier class while Michael Oliver (son of Stuart) and John Bowler have their sights set on more race wins, having taken one apiece last year.

After debuting last year, Neil Yates will team up with Powell for a full season while popular Scotsman Tom O’Rourke is also back, this time in his recently re-worked International Navistar machine.

The Division 1 ranks are completed by a familiar face, former champion David Smith. After sitting on the sidelines for the past seven years, Smith returns to the series in a MAN and will be viewed by many as somewhat of a dark horse.

Over in Division 2 the battle for supremacy is set to come down to three drivers; defending champion Paul Rivett, perennial contender John Powell and fan favourite Simon Cole.

After claiming the title in dramatic fashion last year, Rivett and NAPA Racing UK have teamed up for a second successive season and the goal for both is clear; to retain the prestigious crown yet again.

Like 2023 though, Rivett is likely to have to fend off the advances of John Powell, who has a striking new DAF to sink his teeth into and he’s steadfast on his overall ambitions for the year – to finally become champion.

Completing the Division 2 line-up is the popular Simon Cole, who is back once again in his IVECO after taking a podium finish in the category last year.

Strength in depth

As always, Truck Sport UK – the organisers behind the championship – have not rested on their laurels during the off-season and have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to both strengthen and create ties with key partners.

The BTRC’s commitment to sustainability continues with Silvery Fleet providing all competing drivers with high-performance HVO fuel at each round, while Transport Monitoring Solutions have been named as the new telematics and video provider for the championship.

Elsewhere important relationships with Giti Tire UK, MV Commercial, TRP Parts, Totalkare, Dynes Motor Group, Fruehaulf and Truck & Driver have all been maintained.

Brands Hatch: Timetable, Live Stream & Tickets

Full throttle thrills are never far away when the BTRC is in town and this weekend looks to be no different with an Easter extravaganza expected to dazzle a packed trackside audience.

Sunday 31st March | Qualifying: 11:30 / Race 1: 13:45 / Race 2: 16:55

Monday 1st April | Race 3: 10:35 / Race 4: 13:50 / Race 5: 16:10

Easter Monday will see a Grid Walk take place, scheduled to take place from 13:20 to 13:50, subject to any timetable changes.

All races will be streamed online via the official British Truck Racing Championship YouTube channel for free across both days. Action from the support categories will also be broadcast.

Ticket information for the event can be found by visiting the Brands Hatch website HERE.

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