Smith crowned 2021 BTRA Champion in Brands Hatch bonanza
(Picture credit - Earths eye media)
Northside sponsored Ryan Smith and his Smith Truck Sport racing team were crowned 2021 BTRA Champions on Sunday at Brands Hatch, after taking four wins from five races to cement his sixth consecutive title.
Smith took four victories out of a possible five at Kent’s Brands Hatch to claw his way back in contention, and as he headed into Sunday's final race just one point separated him and his closest rival David Jenkins. Race five saw Ryan make a great start and after just two laps he forced his way into the lead, knowing all he had to do was hold his position and he'd become Champion.
Jenkins quickly found himself in second, but after a coming-together with another driver he was taken out of the race, meaning all Ryan had to do was finish, and finish he did. He crossed the line with a 15-second gap over the field, meaning he would notch up his sixth consecutive BTRA title, and the first Mercedes-Benz win since Steve Parish 20 years ago.
It was close to disaster for Smith, who was almost forced to withdraw from the weekend due to a brake disc issue. However, Northside employee Danny Hughes came to the rescue and quickly had a courier send the parts down to Brands Hatch. Ryan's team then worked through the night to replace the discs to ensure he was out on track the next day, where he would take three victories in one day.
After the weekend Ryan said: "I'm lost for words really, to be crowned Champion for a sixth time in a row is a special achievement, but it makes it even more special because of the challenging year we've had.
“We made the decision to switch to Mercedes-Benz this year because we wanted to challenge ourselves, and we certainly did that and I’m proud of how we’ve all battled through it. Things haven’t gone our way at times for one reason or another, but we didn’t give up and that has seen us take the title. To be the first driver since Steve Parish to take victory for Mercedes-Benz is a fantastic achievement, it’s something I’m extremely proud of.
“Without my sponsors and partners it wouldn’t have been possible to do what we’ve done, they’ve been brilliant. Northside Truck & Van truly came to the rescue at the weekend, they had a set of brake discs, the only set in the UK as well, sent down to the circuit and the guys worked through the night to replace them, and we’ve gone on to win the title, that’s commitment.
“I’m going to take a few days to let what we’ve achieved sink in and then we’ll start making plans for next year, but for now I can’t thank everyone enough for all their support, thank you for sticking by me and believing in me.”