The British Truck Racing Championship roars into the UK’s fastest circuit – Thruxton – this weekend (July 9/10) for the latest chapter of the 2022 season, the eagerly-anticipated Convoy on the Plain event.
In what is always one of the standout stops on the calendar each year, the annual visit to the high-speed Hampshire circuit is set to have everyone on the edge-of-their-seats as the titans of Division 1 and Division 2 resume battle following a two-month hiatus.
Appearances on the latest series of hit BBC television show Top Gear and a recent visit to the Road Transport Expo have only added to the excitement too, with a bumper crowd expected to flock to Thruxton to see the revitalised 20-truck field get back down to business.
Chase is on to catch the champion
Division 1 has seen a familiar story at the top of the standings with reigning champion Ryan Smith leading the way having enjoyed a simply stunning start to his campaign.
Chalking up five wins, four second place finishes and a third so far, the Daimler Truck driver arrives at Thruxton with a healthy points advantage and currently looks on course to clinch what would be a seventh successive title.
Undoubtedly in contention to add to his impressive silverware haul this weekend, Smith will have to be at his brilliant best as a number of other drivers are hot on his heels and looking to close the deficit at the top.
Multiple champion Stuart Oliver heads the chasing pack in his Volvo VNL and armed with a wealth of experience, the wily veteran will be one to watch around a circuit he has enjoyed success at in the past.
Fellow former title winner David Jenkins holds third at the moment, having taken two wins at the season-opener whilst John Newell and Simon Reid – the latter being another to have stood on the top step this year – round out the top five. They’ll all be worth keeping an eye on.
After coming oh so close to a first win of the season last time out, Mark Taylor will be out to prove a point whilst former Division 2 champion Steven Powell and Bradley Smith will be eager to add to their podium finishes from the first two meetings.
Other notable names to look out for in the series’ top tier include Craig Reid, Tom O’Rourke, Richard Collett, Michael Oliver and Simon Faulkner – all of whom could be mixing it at the front at any point during the weekend.
Tight at the top in Division 2
Things are somewhat closer in Division 2 where the top four are blanketed by just 14 points. Former two-time champion Luke Garrett arrives in Hampshire as the driver to beat after storming to hat-trick of wins at Pembrey, giving him a slender six-point advantage.
After a year away competing in the FIA European Truck Racing Championship, the MAN driver is back on British shores and appears to have lost none of his speed – something he will be keen to prove at what is his home circuit this weekend.
Jock Borthwick sits second in the points and he too was a winner at Pembrey, converting pole position into what was a commanding victory. The Scotsman has been the epitome of consistency so far and will be one to watch.
Tied on points for third is Brad Smith and John Powell. The pair have both stood on the top step of the podium already and can’t be discounted from making their mark on what is shaping up to be a fascinating battle for supremacy at the front.
Craig Evans enters the weekend riding a wave of momentum having scored his first podium finish of the season last time out whilst former champion Adam Bint will be keen to get build on opening his win account for the year in South Wales.
Rounding out the Division 2 entrants is John Bowler, who has returned to the series after some time away. Bowler has endured a rollercoaster couple of events so far but if things fall his way he’ll be firmly in contention for outright honours behind the wheel of his MAN.
Fun for all the family
On top of five BTRC races, those attending Thruxton this weekend will once again be able to experience a festival of all things trucking thanks to Convoy on the Plain.
After enjoying an impressive debut event last year, Convoy on the Plain is set to be bigger and better than ever with more than 100 show trucks, a supercar display, live music, kids area, fire-breathers and stilt walkers amongst the attractions.
Saturday 7th May | Qualifying: 10:00 / Race 1: 13:35 / Race 2: 16:50
Sunday 8th May | Race 3 11:15 / Race 4: 13:55 / Race 5: 16:30 All races will be streamed online for free via the British Automobile Racing Club YouTube channel this weekend with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 12:30 and Sunday’s at 10:30. Ticket information for the event can be found by visiting HERE.