The British Truck Racing Championship rolls back to South Wales this weekend (October 8/9) for what promises to be a blockbuster penultimate event of the 2022 season.
With the fight to be crowned champion in both Division 1 and Division 2 still very much up for grabs, the stage is set for five action-packed races to take centre stage in front of a bumper trackside crowd.
Battle lines drawn as Division 1 fight gets set to intensify
It’s been another ultra-competitive season in Division 1 of the British Truck Racing Championship – with seven different drivers having scored victory – and as the season edges closer to its crescendo, a scintillating run-in awaits.
Sitting atop the standings heading to Pembrey is reigning six-time champion Ryan Smith. Bidding to clinch what would be a seventh consecutive crown, the Mansfield-racer has at times been in a league of his own.
Last time out at Snetterton though saw Smith endure his most challenging outing of the season thus far as he debuted a brand-new truck which had been built up in less than a week. Victory in race four was to be the highlight of a weekend which saw mechanical issues ultimately hamper his efforts.
Despite seeing his points advantage slightly dented, Smith will be optimistic of getting back down to the business of fighting for wins on a regular basis this weekend having had a few weeks to work on his five-tonne machine.
One of the standout performers from Snetterton was ten-time champion Stuart Oliver, who sits second in the points. Pole position and two commanding victories propelled the Volvo driver to within striking distance of Smith and with momentum on his side, the wily veteran will be keen to make further in-roads to the summit.
David Jenkins – another former champion – sits third in the points and he, like John Newell in fourth, will be worth keeping an eye on as they bid to maintain their own title aspirations with a solid haul of points amidst the picturesque Welsh countryside.
Completing the overall top five is Simon Reid, another driver that has certainly made his mark at the front of the grid. Although the past two events have been challenging, the Iveco Stralis driver has demonstrated what he is capable of and you can expect him to be in the mix for honours.
Mark Taylor has endured somewhat of a rollercoaster season and after coming oh-so close to victory at Pembrey earlier in the year, he’ll be as motivated as ever to stand on the top step of the rostrum.
Hot on Taylor’s heels is the second Reid Trucksport entry of Craig Reid. Stepping up to the premier class this season after previously triumphing in Division 2, Reid has shown flashes of brilliance and last month he pieced it altogether to clinch a first podium of the year.
Two drivers that have tasted success and that remain hungry for more is the duo of Michael Oliver and Steven Powell, whilst Tom O’Rourke has been quietly going about his business in his pursuit of scoring what would be a first podium of 2022.
Elsewhere, other notable names to look out for include Snetterton race-winner and fan favourite Richard Collett, Bradley Smith and Simon Faulkner. Keep an eye on all three of them as they could be mixing it up at the front at any point during the weekend.
Gloves off in Division 2
The battle for supremacy in Division 2 is set to rage on with six of the seven regular entrants entering the weekend covered by less than 100 points; and things could be even closer come the close of play on Sunday.
At the summit of the standings and gunning for what would be a third championship crown is Luke Garrett. The former two-time title winner has blended relentless speed with consistency thus far to head to South Wales with a 26-point advantage.
Whilst he will undoubtedly be one of the drivers to beat, the MAN driver will need to be at his brilliant best if he wishes to strengthen his grip on the crown as the chasing pack are very much on the hunt.
Brad Smith heads those in contention for top spot and having scored no fewer than 58 points at any race meeting this season, the DAF racer will be keen to punch in another virtuoso performance in his pursuit of closing the gap to Garrett.
Sitting on the heels of Smith in third place is Scotsman Jock Borthwick. After a challenging few events, Borthwick chalked up a hard-fought victory last time out at Snetterton and like Smith, he’ll be keen to gain ground as the series edges towards its finale.
Another driver that can’t be overlooked from making his mark towards the top of the points is John Powell. Picking up a number of victories and podium finishes over the course of the season, Powell will be one to watch as he continues his bid for championship silverware.
Pembrey will evoke happy memories for Craig Evans as it was there back in May where he chalked up his first podium of the season. Further visits to the rostrum have since followed but you can bet the MAN ace will be eager to further add to this trophy collection.
Elsewhere, John Bowler speeds into the weekend off the back of his first win of the season whilst former champion Adam Bint will look to bounce back from a rollercoaster outing at Snetterton with five strong results.
Pembrey poised for thrills and spills
As was demonstrated when the British Truck Racing Championship was last at Pembrey, edge-of-the-seat entertainment is guaranteed and this weekend promises to be no different.
Saturday 8th October | Practice: 09:30 / Qualifying: 11:10 / Race 1: 13:55 / Race 2: 16:05
Sunday 9th October | Race 3: 10:30 / Race 4: 12:45 / Race 5: 15:05
All races will be streamed online for free via the British Automobile Racing Club YouTube channel with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 13:45 and Sunday’s at 09:45.
Ticket information for the event can be found by visiting the Pembrey website HERE.