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Thomas takes the opening truck spoils at Snetterton

Saturday, September 13 2014

Steve Thomas has taken victory in the opening British Truck Racing Championship race of the weekend at Snetterton today (Saturday), taking the lead from Division Two winner Ryan Smith with just a few corners to go and closing the gap to title leader Mat Summerfield, who finished fourth after an entertaining battle with Richard Collett.

Brian Burt and Steven Powell led the field on the formation lap, with Thomas and Ben Horne heading Division One a few yards further back. Smith took an immediate second place, followed by the lead into Agostini corner, and with title rival Simon Reid unable to claim second until the end of the opening lap, the Sisu truck of Smith held a sizeable lead.

Further back, Thomas assumed the lead of Division One right away, and Stuart Oliver took second place from Horne as Chris Levett pulled into the pitlane with brake troubles. Next time around Collett and Summerfield passed Horne and the pair began a race-long squabble for third in class. Horne would hold onto his place, as a subdued Jenkins was unable to make any progress, and he was followed by the Renault of Ray Coleman.

By lap four Thomas had caught Powell and set off after Reid in his pursuit of the race lead. He was passed by the time they reached Coram, and whilst Oliver lined up a pass on the Division Two truck, Collett and Summerfield tried to out-drag each other along the Senna Straight. Collett held on for the time being.

Thomas took a little while longer to catch Smith, but he was on his tail by the seventh and final lap. The lead changed into the Brundle-Nelson esses at the end of the Bentley Straight, but moments before this came the move of the race: Summerfield challenged Collett into the final lap on the Senna Straight, but instead of slotting behind the yellow truck, the championship leader held position into Riches, then they both exited Montreal two abreast. They ran together through Palmer, then at Agostini Summerfield was ahead. Collett could do nothing to respond, and with Smith holding onto second from Oliver, the reigning champion finished fourth and Collett fifth.

Speaking after the race, a delighted Thomas said: "We've had a few problems with the truck and I must say thank you to the lads. I felt comfortable in the lead and could have stayed out there all day. We were worried about Mat Summerfield and Chris Levett getting away from us in the championship."

Race two will take place at approx. 16:00 today. Click here for a full result.

British Truck Racing Championship race one
1, Steve Thomas, MAN TGA, Div 1, +7 Laps
2, Stuart Oliver, SCANIA P1150, Div 1, 2.196s
3, Ryan Smith, Sisu, Div 2, +2.676s
4, Mat Summerfield, MAN TGX, Div 1, +7.139s
5, Ricky Collett, MAN, Div 1, +8.418s
6, Ben Horne, MAN TGA, Div 1, +19.123s
7, David Jenkins, MAN TGX, Div 1, +22.461s
8, Ray Coleman, Renault Premium MKR, Div 1, 30.255s
9, Simon Reid, Iveco Stalis, Div 2, +31.936s
10, Steven Powell, Foden Alfa, Div 2, +1:14.326s

Tickets for the Truck Superprix at Snetterton are available for £14 on Saturday and £22 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.