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Truck racers gear up for Easter bash at Brands Hatch

Friday, March 25 2016

The British Truck Racing Championship contenders got down to action at Brands Hatch today (Friday), with testing for this weekend's (26-28 March) opening rounds of the 2016 season.

A bumper entry of more than 20 trucks will take part this weekend and with ten races scheduled, all of the drivers are expected to be busy. The races will be split between the two championship classes, with the top Group A enjoying several new entries.

David Jenkins, the 2011 champion, will be one of Group A's front runners. He returns in his ex-European Championship MAN and admits that he won't have much time to enjoy the off-track Easter entertainment on offer at Brands Hatch this weekend. "We need to be winning races," he said. "But most importantly we need solid finishes and see how the season pans out. There's a lot of new equipment in and there's a lot of drivers getting better. The series is as strong as it's ever been now and I think we're going to reap the rewards this year."

Ten-time champion Stuart Oliver agrees. "The competition's definitely grown year-by-year," he said. "The machines that are coming into the championship here now are phenomenal without doubt - it's good stuff. [Reigning champion] Mat [Summerfield] is a threat, but there's some other good drivers, so he'll will have a hard time, but he has reliability on his side."

Oliver will also be keeping an eye on the Group B races this season, where his son Michael will be making his Truck Racing debut this weekend. "It's a last minute thing we decided to do while the truck's spare," Stuart said. "Shane [Brereton], who drove it last year has invested in a new truck, so we now have three trucks in the team. Michael has done his ARDS test and went to Pembrey last weekend to do a few laps, so we'll see what happens, but it should be good."

Two local Group B champions will be stepping up to the top group this weekend. Reigning group champion Steven Powell from West Kingsdown will be joined by former group winner Dave Smith from West Malling, last seen in 2014. "I've been out of it for 18 months now," said Smith, who'll race a bonneted Sisu. "So I just want to get back into it, and see how we go. New truck this year, new engine, I'll be happy if we're reliable and out for every race."

Powell, who steps up to a MAN machine, said: "It's a new truck, I haven't got a clue with it if I'm totally honest! I had a really good season last year, and the new truck is competitive, but I don't really know what's going to go on, but I'll just enjoy the weekend."

Click here to download the event timetable.

Easter Truck Racing at Brands Hatch also features 18 support races, plus a feast of off-track entertainment, including Monster Trucks, children's entertainment, a funfair, showtruck display and parade, VIP grid walk and go-karting. Click here to download a map of the event.

Tickets to Easter Truck Racing at Brands Hatch are available on the gate for £10 on Saturday, £15 on Sunday and £24 on Easter Monday with free entry to under-13s and a special teen rate for 13-15 year-olds. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.