Dave finds wet weather form!!
The penultimate round of the 2016 BTRA British Truck Racing Championship saw strong performances from David Jenkins in the Digraph MAN – collecting one strong second and three third places on a wet and slippery circuit that caught out several of his rivals.
The track was already wet when the teams set out for official Qualifying on Saturday morning. Some drivers were really struggling in the rain – but Dave was happy playing in the wet, putting in a lot of laps.
“We had to cope with continuously changing conditions – and as the session progressed my times improved. I was happy to secure 3rd fastest time – which put us in a good slot on the grid for the opening race. But we’d also found a set-up that worked well and made the truck feel secure in the rain”
Saturday’s two races produced a strong start to weekend; Dave used his starting slot on the second row to good effect and secured third in race one.
Then despite the ‘handicap’ of the Reverse Grid placing him near the back in race two he sliced through the slower traffic very effectively – and again brought the black MAN through to secure the final podium spot.
Track conditions were even worse on the Sunday – with torrential rain at times flooding much of the circuit. But there was plenty of entertainment for the hardy spectators who endured the wind and rain – and Jenkins was really flying, finding his truck worked better the wetter the track got!
Race 3 saw Dave making a superb start and sprinting through the pack to take an early lead. All the time he was being pursued by Ryan Smith – who was soon sitting on his rear bumper. Dave resisted the pressure for many laps but as the pair of MANs began to negotiate lapped trucks the championship leader managed to nip in front. But Dave held on for a strong second place – and another 9 valuable championship points.
That of course meant another trip to the back of the Division One grid for
Race 4. But Jenkins was revelling in the rain – and another excellent drive saw him power through the pack to secure 3rd at the chequered flag … earning him his 4th trip to podium of the weekend.
In the final outing on Sunday Dave looked poised for another strong result. He made a good start and moved forwards rapidly in the early laps – getting involved in a good battle with Mat Summerfield.
But both drivers were finding it impossible to overtake the slower MAN of Ray Coleman – and with both trying to pass they tangled under braking into hairpin. Dave’s truck spun around and slid off – but it was so wet on grass he was unfortunately unable to return to track, so an early retirement.
But Dave was generally very happy with the weekend in Wales – which left him with another 33 championship points and still holding third overall in the championship – six points ahead of his close rival Summerfield.
“I think we had a very positive outcome at Pembrey – and I really enjoyed racing in the rain. Finding the correct set up meant that the wetter it was… the better we went” said Dave.
“That’s a good change from how it was feeling mid-season… and considering that our final meeting is at Brands Hatch on November 5/6 a good wet-weather set-up could prove very useful again!”