The line-up for Saturday’s ADAC Mitterhein Cup race appears to have all the ingredients for an interesting race with six different types of truck and four nationalities of drivers represented in the top ten qualifiers.
Some of the fancied front runners – including reigning BTRA British Champion David Jenkins (MAN) and German ‘local hero’ Heinz-Werner Lenz (Mercedes-Benz) – were penalized for overspeeding in practice and will start from the back of the grid, which should produce some frantic overtaking in the early laps!
Lining up on pole position will be the MAN of Rene Reinert with the similar machine of current BTRA points leader Mat Summerfield alongside. Austrian Markus Altensrasser (Iveco) occupies third spot on the grid alongside the experienced British racer Ricky Collett (MAN).
Sascha Lenz (Mercedes-Benz) lines up on row three with Dutchman Cees Zandbergen – a wet weather specialist - sixth fastest in his Scania.
Of course the Mittelrhein Cup race features a ‘race-within-a-race’ as the BTRA-registered competitors are competing for points in the Delphi British Championship – which in turn is split into two categories, Division 1 and Division 2.
Judging by the frantic on-track action even during Friday’s wet Qualifying the British drivers are not backing off to adjust to adverse conditions; Summerfield had a high-speed ‘coming together’ with top Division 2 runner Dave Smith (Foden) while Thomas has already had an encounter with Altenstrasser!
Unfortunately the 2011 Division 2 Champion Steve Powell will not be making his planned Nürburgring outing in his new Division 1 truck – the engine of his new Foden expired before he had even made it onto the circuit. The Powell family (locals to the Brands Hatch circuit) will however be represented this weekend as Steve’s brother John will race in the Ford Cargo that took Steve to the crown last season.
Following Nürburgring the Delphi British Truck Racing Championship returns to ‘home’ soil in a fortnight with an event at Thruxton (July 28/29) – and the BTRA drivers then have a busy August ahead with races at Donington and Snetterton on successive weekends.