Ryan Smith basks in the Thruxton sun to claim Division 1 clean sweep
Reigning three-time MV Commercial BTRA Championship Division 1 title holder Ryan Smith served up a perfect performance at Thruxton Circuit this past weekend (June 29/30), taking a clean sweep of victories to extend his lead in the standings.
Roaring back into life after a six-week break, the heavyweight behemoths of the championship descended on the Hampshire venue revved up to put on a show for the bumper crowd that had turned out to line the grass bankings.
Qualifying around the fastest circuit in the UK proved to be a frenetic affair with the searing temperatures pushing both drivers and machines to their limit.
Continuing his rich vein of form, three-time champion Smith proved to be too much for the opposition as he stormed to his first pole position of the season. Topping the times with a 1:37.489, the MAN driver powered to the summit of the time-sheets ahead of David Jenkins and Richard Collett.
Fans were treated to a blockbuster opening race as Smith and Jenkins went wheel-to-wheel for outright honours. Trading places in the opening laps, the champion pairing had fans on the edge-of-their-seats before Smith took control and began to pull away - going on to score his sixth win of the year.
Having endured a luckless start to the year, Collett got back on-track at Thruxton by holding station throughout the ten-lap race to clinch a first podium of the season.
Smith’s charge continued on Sunday as he showcased his overtaking prowess with a scintillating drive from the back row for race two. Starting sixth, Smith picked his way through the field and onto yet another win ahead of Jenkins and this time Ray Coleman.
Lights-to-flag dominance was the story of the third encounter as Smith again exerted his dominance around the home of the British Automobile Racing Club. Along with Jenkins, Smith broke away from the chasing pack and cantered to the chequered flag whilst Collett picked up further silverware in third.
With all eyes on the multiple champion to see if he could complete an unprecedented clean sweep at Thruxton, Smith brought the weekend to a close in Division 1 with a fourth win, cementing his place firmly at the summit of the drivers’ standings.
Mark Taylor and John Newell joined Smith on the rostrum to ensure that every Division 1 competitor ended the event with at least one podium finish.
To view the full classification of results for all Division 1 sessions from this past weekend’s event at Thruxton, click here.
Luke Garrett scorches his way to Division 2 hat-trick at Thruxton
Luke Garrett powered his way to an impressive hat-trick of wins in Division 2 of the MV Commercial BTRA Championship at Thruxton this past weekend (June 29/30) whilst Steve Powell also served up a stellar drive triumph.
Following a lengthy in-season break, the titans of the truck racing scene descended on the fastest circuit in the UK aiming to put on a show as a bumper crowd basked in the searing sun.
Having powered his way to pole position at both Brands Hatch and Pembrey, reigning champion Garrett saw his fine qualifying form halted as Paul Rivett claimed a career-first pole position in the series.
Setting a blistering time of 1:38.399, the former Renault UK Clio Cup champion proved to be in a league of his own to charge to the summit of the time-sheets.
Having missed out on pole position, Garrett redeemed himself in the opening encounter as he cantered to his fifth win of the season. Getting the jump on Rivett as the lights went out, the MAN driver opened up his advantage as each lap passed to score victory.
Whilst Rivett held station in second place, the WDE Motorsport driver came under late pressure from Simon Cole and Steve Powell; however the experienced racer was able to hold station to take the chequered flag and with it more silverware.
Race two saw Powell come to the fore as he tallied his third win of the year. Slotting into second place off the start, Powell hounded the DAF of Brad Smith before making a move for the lead in the latter stages.
Unable to resist the challenge of the MAN driver anymore, Smith not only lost out to Powell but also Garrett, who demoted him down to third by the end of the race.
Garrett was back on the top step of the podium for race three as he led from start-to-finish. Former champion Adam Bint, who is beginning to build a wave of momentum behind him, showed that he is not to be counted out as he finished in second place with John Powell rounding out the rostrum.
Like they had done earlier in the day, the fourth and final race of the weekend saw Division 2 share the grid with those in Division 1, setting up a blockbuster finale for those in attendance.
Garrett underlined his credentials as a true force, as this time he took the chequered flag in dominant fashion. Powering away from the rest of the field, the experienced racer built up a sizeable gap over both Division 1 & 2 competitors to bring the curtain down on the event and extend his lead in the standings.
To view the full classification of results for all Division 2 sessions from this past weekend’s event at Thruxton, click here.
Having thrown up plenty of unpredictability leading into the event, the Pickup Truck Racing Championship continued to deliver a nail-biting battle towards the sharp end of the grid – with Mark Willis and Michael Smith sharing the spoils.
The Luna Logistics Classic Formula Ford 1600 Championship produced a spectacular pair of races, rolling back the years in emphatic style. Tim Harvey enjoyed a near perfect weekend around the ultra-fast venue to take the lead in the overall standings. Triumphing in the opening encounter, the former BTCC champion narrowly missed out on a second win by 0.187 as Rick Morris bounced back from a frustrating race one to round out the weekend on the top step of the podium.
There was plenty of drama in the Mighty Minis Championship as those in attendance were treated to a raft of slipstreaming thrills and spills. Just 0.024 separated Stuart Coombs and Greg Jenkins in race one, with Coombs getting the better of his rival to score a hard-earned win.
Jenkins would strike back in the second race of the weekend as he fended off a swarm of challengers to narrowly pip Neven Kirkpatrick to the chequered flag.
Elsewhere, the BARC Clubmans Sports Prototype Championship in association with King Henry’s Taverns provided plenty of entertainment with Clive Wood in dominant mood as he swept his way to a hard-earned hat-trick of wins.
In the Kumho BMW Championship, Garrie Whittaker continued his winning streak with a dominant performance, extending his unbeaten run in 2019 as well. Arriving as the man to beat in the single manufacturer category, the E36 M3 driver exerted his status as the man to beat by scoring wins in both races by more than 30 seconds.
Rounding out the weekend’s action at Thruxton was a pair of races from the Carbon8 Hyundai Coupe Cup. Wayne Rockett recorded his fifth win on the bounce in the opener but saw his winning streak come an end later in the day as Nick Moore struck to notch his first win of the year.
Thruxton’s next major event of the year takes place on August 2/3/4 in the shape of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship in association with Pirelli.