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Levett storms to truck victory to close the gap to Summerfield

Sunday, September 14 2014

Christopher Levett followed-up his fine form in the warm-up session to take a commanding victory in the first of three British Truck Racing Championship races at Snetterton today (Sunday). Mat Summerfield was only able to finish sixth in class closing the title race once more, whilst in Division Two, Ryan Smith closed in on Simon Reid's lead in the standings with another class win.

Brian Burt and Jim Bennett started the race from pole position and the former led during the opening corners, whilst Steven Powell, Reid and Smith followed. Smith then took Reid and as they headed into the Brundle-Nelson esses, whilst Powell tried to take Burt, Smith passed both.

Meanwhile the Division One trucks were starting their race and with both ex-works Renaults on the front row for the faster category, it was no surprise to see Levett head off into the distance whilst his rivals sorted themselves out. They were led by David Jenkins, who was determined to score well on this occasion and proceeded to perform a masterclass of defensive driving.

With Levett scything through the Division Two trucks, Jenkins led a train that included Steve Thomas, Stuart Oliver, Mat Summerfield, Richard Collett and Ray Coleman. This lasted until lap four, when Thomas found a way past at Brundle. The chain reaction saw Collett pass Summerfield and Oliver, the latter losing the most places.

One lap later Levett passed Smith for the race lead and when Collett tried to take Jenkins at Oggies, he ran wide and let Summerfield through as the reigning champion tried to limit the damage being done to his title lead by Levett. He then tried to take Jenkins at the end of the Bentley Straight, but lost momentum and with Oliver passing Collett, the multiple champion attacked Summerfield into Murray's on the next lap. Both ran wide and this left Jenkins ahead of Collett, Oliver, Summerfield and Coleman.

Levett took an easy victory, his eventual margin 24 seconds over Smith and he was clearly relieved to have overcome his troubled Saturday: "We couldn't work out what the problem was," he admitted after the race. "We thought we had it sorted for the second race yesterday, but there was so much dirt in the water system from the issue that we had braking problems again.

"We had to see how well we could make up all the points lost yesterday. I had half a lap to see the others battle it out, which was good to watch. The mood we were in yesterday we were ready to give up, but the others must have some bad luck at some point."

Thomas just failed to catch Smith at the end but he was 12 seconds clear of Jenkins, and just over three seconds covered Jenkins, Oliver, Collett, Summerfield and Coleman at the flag after an enthralling fight. Reid took second in class to keep Smith in sight, but he was ninth overall, ahead of Powell.

Today's second race will take place at 13:05 and there is a free grid walk beforehand, starting at 12:15.

British Truck Racing Championship race three
1, Christopher Levett, Renault Premium MKR, Div 1, 7 Laps
2, Ryan Smith, Sisu, Div 2, +24.170s
3, Steve Thomas, MAN TGA, Div 1, +27.154s
4, David Jenkins, MAN TGX, Div 1, +39.324s
5, Stuart Oliver, SCANIA P1150, Div 1, +40.579s
6, Ricky Collett, MAN, Div 1, +41.587s
7, Mat Summerfield, MAN TGX, Div 1, +41.996s
8, Ray Coleman, Renault Premium MKR, Div 1, 42.939s
9, Simon Reid, Iveco Stalis, Div 2, +52.156s
10, Steven Powell, Foden Alfa, Div 2, +1:24.178s

Click here to view a full result.

Raceday tickets for the Truck Superprix at Snetterton on Sunday 13 September are available for £22, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.