The 2023 British Truck Racing Championship will conclude this weekend (November 4/5) at Brands Hatch, with the destiny of both the Division 1 and Division 2 titles set to be decided in front of a huge trackside audience.
Bringing the curtain down on what has been another vintage year for the super-sized series, fireworks are set to fly both on and off the track at the Kent venue as the battle for supremacy reaches a thrilling climax.
With a maximum of 80 points up for grabs across five blockbuster contests, the titans of truck racing are poised for a grandstand finish – and if previous events are anything to go by its not to be missed.
Smith sets sights on eighth crown
Having been the driver to beat in each of the past seven seasons, this year’s Division 1 finale takes on a familiar feel as Ryan Smith arrives sitting atop the standings and with at least one hand on the coveted crown he has been so accustomed to lifting.
Gunning for a remarkable eighth consecutive title, the Daimler Freightliner racer’s charge has been mightily impressive this year with a clean sweep of pole positions and more than a dozen victories meaning he enters the weekend with a 32-point advantage.
So what of the contenders that can still stop Smith? Well, two drivers, former champions Stuart Oliver and David Jenkins, hold a mathematical chance at overhauling him heading into the weekend.
Chalking up a number of wins between them over the course of the campaign, both drivers – who arguably boast the most experience of anyone else on the grid – have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so expect the pair to be on maximum attack.
Beyond the top three, Bradley Smith will be looking to build on his maiden victory last time out at Pembrey to cement fourth place whilst Steven Powell will be eager to finish his season with a flurry of strong results.
Simon Reid, Craig Reid and Michael Oliver have tallied strong silverware collections to-date and they, along with John Bowler, are more than capable of mixing it towards the sharp end of the grid around the 1.27-mile Indy layout.
Hot on the heels of scoring back-to-back podiums at Snetterton and Pembrey, Richard Collett will undoubtedly have a spring in his step and with a wave of momentum behind him, he too will be eager to feature on the rostrum.
Further down the order Tom O’Rourke, Simon Faulkner, Jock Borthwick – who returned from injury last month – and Neil Yates will be worth casting a watchful eye over as they target big results before the year is out.
Division 2 set for grandstand finish
Over in Division 2, things are much closer as after six events and 30 races, just a single point separates Adam Bint from Paul Rivett at the top of the standings.
Bidding to clinch what would be a second title in the series, Bint heads into the finale with the slender advantage, a position he has held since the campaign began back in April.
Despite not having won a race since May, the Volvo White Aerodyne driver has been the epitome of consistency this year with relentless points-scoring and podiums allowing him to maintain his lead atop of the pile.
Bint will be a hard nut to crack, however if there is one person that could overhaul the 2016 title winner it is arguably the driver that has won 13 of the past 16 races, NAPA Racing UK’s Rivett.
The former Renault UK Clio Cup champion endured a challenging start to the season but since then he’s been nothing short of astonishing, especially across the last three events where he has been racking up race wins at an alarming rate.
Of course the fight to be crowned champion extends beyond the top two because both John Powell and Craig Evans also find themselves in mathematical contention.
Powell has been a race winner on a number of occasions this year whilst Evans is yet to visit the top step of the rostrum. Possessing plenty of front-running pace, the duo will undoubtedly play a critical role in deciding who walks away with the spoils.
Two other drivers that will be looking to sign the year off in style is Jim Bennett and Simon Cole, both of whom have both been punching in a string of notable performances over recent rounds.
Edge-of-the-seat entertainment is never far away when it comes to the British Truck Racing Championship and this weekend promises to be no different.
Saturday 4th November | Qualifying: 09:45 / Race 1: 12:55 / Race 2: 13:10
Sunday 5th November | Race 3: 10:30 / Race 4: 12:45 / Race 5: 15:20
All races will be streamed online for free via the British Truck Racing Championship’s YouTube channel with Saturday’s broadcast beginning at 12:30 and Sunday’s at 10:10.
Ticket information for the event can be found by visiting the Brands Hatch website.