May 13, 2019
The latest chapter in Division 1 of the MV Commercial BTRA Championship was written in pulsating fashion this past weekend (May 11/12) at Pembrey Circuit as Ryan Smith and David Jenkins triumphed.
As they had done at Brands Hatch at the start of the season, the battling duo reigned supreme in the category’s top tier with Smith getting the better of the results as he scored victory in three of the four races in front of a bumper trackside crowd in South Wales.
Entering the weekend tied on points at the summit of the standings, little separated Jenkins and Smith in what proved to be an ultra-competitive qualifying session around the picturesque 1.49 mile circuit.
Powering to the top of the times early on, Jenkins notched his second successive pole position of the season, finishing ahead of Smith whilst the returning Simon Reid completed the top three.
Jenkins was unable to convert his front row start into victory in the first encounter however as he found himself in the thick of the action on the opening lap. Dropping to the rear of the field, the former champion was forced to dig deep and salvage a fourth place finish.
As Jenkins struggled, three-time champion Smith underlined his credentials with a superlative performance out front to make his escape and record an untroubled victory. Behind, John Newell and Mark Taylor rounded out the podium.
Basking in the Spring sunshine, Jenkins bounced back from his travails the day before to ascend the podium and notch his second win of the campaign in race two. Drama ensued immediately as the grid headed into the first corner with Newell and Taylor making contact.
Whilst the order was shaken up by the incident, Jenkins and Smith emerged unscathed and began to stretch their legs out front. Try as he might, the current title holder was unable to find a way past Jenkins and would ultimately hold station to finish second – with Reid notching his maiden podium of the year.
Smith would bounce back in emphatic style in race three as he produced a stunning last lap overtake to triumph. Mechanical issues forced Reid to miss the third bout, which saw another incident between Newell and Taylor take place.
Remaining at the front of the action, Jenkins and Smith went back-and-forth for outright honours over the course of the 15 minute’s track time and those that had lined the spectator bankings were treated to a memorable battle.
Swapping positions on several occasions, Smith left it until the final tour before making a move stick into Spitfires. Fending off Jenkins for the remainder of the lap, Smith crossed the line to record yet another victory whilst Jenkins and the recovering Newell rounded out the rostrum.
Bringing the curtain down on the weekend was an exciting fourth and final Division 1 race. With both classes combined together the outcome proved to be the same as Smith completed a memorable hat-trick.
Jenkins and Newell capped off their weekend’s with podium finishes too.
For the full classification of results from all Division 1 sessions at Pembrey, click here.
The MV Commercial BTRA Championship now heads to the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, for the third event of the 2019 season on June 29/30.
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