The British Automobile Racing Club served up an Easter extravaganza at Brands Hatch this past weekend (April 8/9) as seven more championships lifted the curtain on their 2023 seasons in spectacular fashion.
Basking in the warm Spring sunshine at the famous Kent venue, a bumper crowd were treated to 21 blockbuster races across Saturday and Sunday – each of which were packed with their own thrills and spills.
Headlining the weekend’s action around the 1.2-mile Indy circuit were five contests from the British Truck Racing Championship and they certainly didn’t disappoint; with a near capacity grid of heavyweight behemoths delivering an unmissable show.
In Division 1, two of the series’ most successful drivers staked an early claim to the title by sharing the spoils. Reigning seven time-champion Ryan Smith – who was armed with a brand-new Daimler Freightliner – bagged a hat-trick of wins whilst ten-time champion Stuart Oliver scored a brace of his own.
There was a similar theme in Division 2 as two drivers split the wins; Adam Bint and John Powell. Former champion Bint made one of his best starts to a season in recent years with three emphatic victories whilst championship stalwart Powell reigned supreme in the remaining two bouts.
Three different drivers stood on the top step of the podium in what was an action-packed start to the Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE Trophy. Widely regarded as one of the most competitive one-make categories in the UK, no quarter was given throughout the 30-car grid.
Second-year driver Tom Ovenden kicked off proceedings with an impressive victory before Jack Byrne scampered into the distance to win race two, all while an almighty scrap for second place played out behind him. Alex Solley then rounded out proceedings by clinching his maiden win in a shortened third race.
The Pickup Truck Racing Championship also saw three different drivers claim victory. Renowned for producing high-octane wheel-to-wheel moments, the category had everyone on the edge of their seats as they debuted their new two heats and a grand final format.
Pre-season title favourites Matt Simpson, Dale Gent and reigning champion Reece Jones proved to be the class of the field as they led the way out front – taking a win apiece to set up what promises to be an exciting remainder of the season.
Elsewhere, the Morphmy Caterham Graduates Championship served up no less than four races during the weekend, each of them proving to be as captivating as the one that went before it.
Harry Senior and Harry Cramer shared the victories on offer in the amalgamated Sigma 150 and Sigmax races whilst Richard Groom and Ben Wheatley emerged victorious from the two thrilling Sigma 135 bouts that were on offer.
Scott Bugner made a flying start to life in the Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship as he opened his 2023 account with two wins.
At the wheel of his MG ZR, Bugner edged out Jack Chapman and multiple champion Steve McDermid in a close opening race before then doubling up for the day with a more comfortable victory ahead of McDermid and Andy Heitman in race two.
Wayne Rockett showcased why he has established himself as one of the most successful drivers to ever compete in the OT Publishing Coupe Cup with Toyo Tires by taking a clean sweep of race victories.
Hot on the heels of finishing the 2022 campaign with the most race wins, Rockett picked up where he left off as he produced a pair of measured drives to lead home Luca Staccini Anzanello and Mark Ridout in both encounters.
Rounding out the weekend’s action was two races from the Kumho BMW Championship, the single-manufacturer series which boasts more than three decades of history and is home to some of the most iconic models that run the badge of the Bavarian brand.
Donning the mantel of defending champion after a sensational 2022 campaign, James Card picked up from where he left off last year with an assured performance in the weekend’s opening contest as he guided his E46 M3 to victory ahead of Jason West.
Roles were reversed in race two however as West staked his claim as one to watch over the course of the year with a somewhat dominant win; leading home Card and Paul Wood to the chequered flag by more than ten seconds.
To view the full classification of results from all sessions at Brands Hatch, CLICK HERE.
Watch all of the action that was streamed live across both days on the BARC’s official YouTube channel HERE.