Brands Hatch is primed for a bank holiday weekend of blockbuster proportions on Sunday and Monday as the British Truck Racing Association Championship roars into life for another season.
Headlining what is a bumper programme of track action around the Indy layout, a mammoth crowd is set to descend on the Kent venue for an Easter extravaganza of thrills ’n’ spills.
Weighing in at more than five tonnes and producing more than 1000bhp each, nothing quite compares to British Truck Racing. This weekend’s opening event will see a total of seven races run across both Divisions, however the landscape of both has changed.
In the top tier, double and reigning champion Ryan Smith has elected not to return, meaning his title is very much up for grabs. Leading the list of contenders that fans will be looking out for is multiple champion Stuart Oliver, prolific front runner Dave Jenkins and Luke Taylor, amongst others.
Division 2 champion Mika Makinen will also missing from the grid this year, opening the floodgates in the more production-based category. Former title holder Adam Bint will be keen to get back to winning ways whilst the likes of Simon Cole, John Powell and Luke Garrett lead the long list of fellow contenders.
Elsewhere, one man that will be defending his title this year starting at Brands Hatch is Scott Bourne. Climbing to the top of the Pickup Truck Racing Championship mountain in 2017, Bourne is back with a new livery and the coveted number one adorning his truck.
In what has been a strong off-season for the championship as a whole, with an influx of entries being submitted, the popular category is set for another memorable year. Usual protagonists Lea Wood, David O’Reagan, Michael Smith and Mark Willis are all joined by a host of familiar and new faces – making the opening two races impossible to call.
Following on from a memorable opening weekend in mid-March at Oulton Park, the Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres are back in action. Making the first of three visits to Brands Hatch this year, a bumper grid of the 5/8 scale machines are set to put on a show across the six races that are set to be run.
Jack Parker’s opening round consistency has placed him at the top of the standings however he has a host of race winners nipping at his heels. Will Gibson and Steve Whitelegg both took wins at Oulton Park and sit second and third in the points, with reigning champion John Mickel not far behind either.
Fans of all things BMW will be drawn to the Kumho BMW Championship, which gets underway this weekend too. Open to all models of the German manufacturer, the championship will once again run a multi-class system depending on specification.
Notable names to look out for during the season-opener include Russell Dack, Giuseppe Callari, James Card and Gareth Montgomery.
Rounding out the weekend’s jam-packed race programme will be the three categories from the BARC’s South East Centre; the BARC Modified Saloon Car Championship, BARC South East Tin Top Championship and Scrapco Metal/Avon Tyres Intermarque Championship.
All bringing together a diverse range of machines to their individual grids, a wealth of local talent is set to shine through over the course of the two days.
One of the big stories will lie in the Modified Saloon Car races as Rod barley bids to get back on track following his high speed crash at the same venue last November, injuring him and causing substantial damage to his Ford Escort RS.