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Truck racers headline day of family fun at Brands Hatch

Sunday, March 26 2017

The British Truck Championship season got underway in style at Brands Hatch this weekend, with five thrilling races concluding the event today (Sunday).

Shane Brereton drove a storming opening Division 1 race of the day, resisting the threat from 2011 champion David Jenkins to claim his first win of the season. Michael Oliver looked set for third place, but a charging Mat Summerfield denied him a maiden podium finish, leaving him to head his father, multiple champion Stuart Oliver home.

Summerfield and Oliver had cleared a titanic battle that involved Luke Taylor, Oly Janes and Ray Coleman, whilst Ryan Smith endured a torrid race, eventually finishing in ninth place ahead of Frans Smit.

British Truck Racing Championship Division One race two
1, Shane Brereton, MAN, 16 Laps
2, David Jenkins, MAN, +2.467s
3, Mat Summerfield, MAN, +24.089s
4, Michael Oliver, Scania, +25.693s
5, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +26.195s

In the second Division 1 race of the day, Smith made the most of his lowly grid position to speed off into a lead he would not relinquish. Behind him there were several skirmishes, from which Stuart Oliver emerged, but he could do nothing about the reigning champion's lead. Coleman completed the podium ahead of race one winner Brereton and Jenkins.

British Truck Racing Championship Division One race three
1, Ryan Smith, MAN, 16 Laps
2, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +9.145s
3, Ray Coleman, MAN, +21.353s
4, Shane Brereton, MAN, +21.672s
5, David Jenkins, MAN, +21.967s

The final Division 1 race was a tense battle, with Oly Janes doing his best to defend from the championship's finest. For many laps he led a train of trucks that included Summerfield, Smith, Jenkins, Oliver, Brereton and Coleman. Such was their pace that Taylor, shuffled down the order early on, almost caught on to the pack.

Whenever Summerfield tried a move, Smith was ready to pounce, with Jenkins and Oliver poised to make their moves. With just a couple of laps left to run, Janes ran wide at Druids and pulled off the road on the run to Graham Hill bend, letting everyone past. Smith tried every move to win, but Summerfield, one of the best defensive drivers in the championship, held him off to take his first win of the season. 

British Truck Racing Championship Division One race two
1, Mat Summerfield, MAN, 15 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, MAN, +0.415s
3, David Jenkins, MAN, +1.066s
4, Stuart Oliver, Volvo, +1.721s
5, Shane Brereton, MAN, +2.166s

A frantic start to the Division 2 races saw another masterclass from Mika Makinen as he made up many places to challenge early leader Brad Smith. A retirement for Joanne Eason at Druids interrupted the action, but after a restart Makinen made short work of taking the lead, fending off an attack from Simon Cole before heading off into the distance.

Cole held off Tony Smith and a fired up Adam Bint for the runner-up position, the trio lapping within a second of each other.

British Truck Racing Championship Division Two race three
1, Mika Makinen, Sisu, 8 Laps
2, Simon Cole, Mercedes, +7.022s
3, Tony Smith, Sisu, +7.712s
4, Adam Bint, Volvo, +7.943s
5, John Bowler, Foden, +9.265s

The final Division 2 race of the weekend also fell to Makinen, once again working his way up the field during another frenetic encounter. However this time reigning champion Bint made his task a tough one, resisting the Finn's many attacks. On one occasion he had a wheel on the grass along the main straight trying to find a way past, and on the next lap switched from the outside to the inside at Paddock Hill. This last move seemed destined to fail until Bint ran wide into Druids, sealing the win for the Finn.

Paul McCumisky completed the podium from Trevor Martin and John Bowler.

British Truck Racing Championship Division Two race four
1, Mika Makinen, Sisu, 14 Laps
2, Adam Bint, Volvo, +7.773s
3, Paul McCumisky, Volvo, +14.005s
4, Trevor Martin, Scania, +25.976s
5, John Bowler, Foden, +32.078s

In addition to the headline truck races, there was a packed supporting programme of races plus off-track entertainment to keep all of the family entertained. This included monster truck rides, stunt shows, children's entertainers, a funfair and driving experiences. The championship returns to Brands Hatch in November for more entertainment that includes a huge fireworks display.

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Additional images by Az Edwards

Next weekend Brands Hatch hosts the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. Advance tickets are available from £27, with free entry for under-13s. For more information or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.