The last round of the British Truck Racing Championship was held last weekend on 4th and 5th of November around the famous Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in Kent, with Brough racer Terry Gibbon taking the helm of the T-Sport Racing MAN.
With a record number of visitors through the gate, more than 150 show trucks and 30 race trucks, the last truck race of the year was all set to be a real cracker!
Saturday saw one qualifying session and one race scheduled in each class. With rain on Saturday, and a slippery track made it anything but easy for Terry to set a good time during qualifying.
He ended up in 12th place and kept the same position at the subsequent and first race of the weekend. After taking the victory of the race, Ryan Smith had a good reason to celebrate: he managed to gain enough points to be crowned 2017 BTRC Division 1 Champion.
As the trucks made their way onto the track for an half an hour grid walk on Sunday while the crowds started to draw into the paddock, the clouds despaired and sun broke through the sky.
Due to the reversed grid, Terry was starting from the front row. It was the race where the team hoped he would be able to get a podium position. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the race with the least of a chance for him. After the start, he pulled away with Luke Taylor sticking to his tail. A few laps in, they had both increased the gap towards the chasing pack. It looked as if they would both finish on the podium unless a technical failure forced them to retire from the race. Unfortunately though, Terry made a mistake half way through the race and dropped back to 9th place.
Two other trucks didn´t classify in that race, so Terry once again started from the front row as the second race of the day started off – thanks to the reverse grid rule. This time, the team were still hoping he would be able to pull away at the start, but we all knew, this time it would be even harder: the competitors’ right behind him were stronger than those ones at the previous race. Terry had a really good start and fought hard. Thorough the race, he joined the front pack and finally crossed line finishing 6th.
The final race of the year – which ended with an impressive firework display – was as combined Division 1 and 2 truck race. As the circuit holds a limited permit allowing it to race a maximum of 20 trucks, only the top 10 drivers out of each class where allowed to race.
It was the race where Terry managed to pull away right at the start. He took the lead of the race even though he started from 4th place! He led the race for 6 laps, and then lost two places to Luke Taylor and Simon Reid. As Luke faced a technical problem shortly after, Terry managed to overtake Simon Reid and regain the lead. It wasn’t until the very end when Ryan Smith finally managed to get passed him, relegating him to 2nd on the podium.
In the 2017 overall standings T Sport Racing secured 7th position. What a fantastic finish to close the season. The team were all so delighted with how they managed to finish the season and with what they achieved throughout their very first race season. All in T-Sport Racing are now looking forward to 2018.
Report: T-Sport Racing Picture: David Holland