Recap of the 2023 Pickup Truck Racing Championship
As the final race of the 2023 Pickup Truck Championship draws to a close Ravenol UK would like to present some of the highlights of the 2023 championship season.
At the start of the season Ravenol UK joined forces with the 2023 Pickup Truck Racing season as part of a technical partnership, the announcement can be found here. With set regulations, all pickup trucks have to abide by the same set of rules, this includes the pickup trucks only weighing at 900kg, they will be packed with a 230bhp 2ltr multi-value twin-cam engine, and the chassis have to be bespokely made by SHP Engineering. As such, the vehicle specifications place a strong emphasis on the driver's ability and talent.
Rounds 1, 2, and 3 started off in the almighty Brands Hatch Race Circuit, it was a thrilling experience for the audience to hear the rumbling of the twin-cam engines as they flew by, powered by Ravenol oils the performance of these pickup trucks could be heard for miles. The results from Brands Hatch saw #83 Dale Gent at first place, #40 Reece Jones at second place, and #93 Michael Smith at third place.
In May 2023, the 2023 Pickup Truck racing crew arrived at Mallory Park, famously known for its oval circuit this was certainly the suitable track to test the true performance of the vehicle's and drivers, this is where Ravenol oils could be pushed to the limit. On Saturday, Race 1 saw Dale Gent jump into the lead position by lap 2 and he held the position all the way to the chequered flag despite several challenges from both Allen Cooper and Reece Jones. Reece had managed to hold onto 2nd place until Lap 17 which saw Allen Cooper in the #72 pickup truck snatch the position away and remain there until the final lap, Reece then took his opportunity and the race ended with Dale finishing first, Reece finishing second, and Allen finishing third. A quote from Dale Gent said "We leave Mallory maintaining the lead of the championship, 6 podiums in 6 races is a brilliant start to the season".
On Sunday, Race 2 once again saw some fantastic bumper to bumper racing with Aaron Thompson leading up until Lap 3 when Reece Jones took the lead, but this was to be short lived as the hard charging Mark Willis took the lead on Lap 6. Reece settled into second and bided his time whilst following Mark before making his move on lap 10 to retake the lead. Unfortunately for Reece, Allen Cooper fancied his turn and on lap 17 he dived into the lead but as things are in pickups, Reece dived back into the lead on lap 23 with Cooper and Willis following him to the flag. Unfortunately, Reece had a 10 second time penalty for a jumped start which gave a revised podium of Allen Cooper, Mark Willis, and Dale Gent for the podium.
On the final round of the Mallory Park race, it was much like race 2, Reece Jones jumped into the lead on lap 2 but once again, Cooper took the lead on lap 11 but by lap 19, Reece was back in front by lap 19 and held off both Dale and Allen who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively by 0.889 covering the first 3. The standard of racing between the drivers has been second to none, they’ve given each other space, the bare minimum which has ensured some very hard but clean racing and showcased why, pickups are one of the greatest spectacles on UK circuits.
Swiftly moving to July 2023, the racing teams were raring to go at Thruxton which is a fast circuit, and the drivers chasing Dale Gent are going to have to be at their very best to peg him back and stop him running away mid-season. During part one of qualifying, the results were promising for #93 Michael Smith as came first, followed by #65 Mark Willis, and #83 Dale Gent. In the second part of qualifying, Aaron Thompson took the lead, followed by Dale Gent, and then Smith in third. During race one the tables turned as Jones led to pole position, followed by Gent, and then Thompson. Race two saw Jones stay in pole, followed by Thompson in second, and Eric Boulton in third. A fantastic and thrilling race it was as the competitors battled it out. However, before race three a severe collision between a racing truck and a barrier occurred as trucks raced in the British Truck Racing Championship, this led to race three being cancelled, thankfully though the driver wasn't hurt.
After Thruxton, the points were adding up as can be seen below, this left Gent in the lead so far in the 2023 Pickup Truck Racing championship:
In August, the 2023 Pickup Truck Racing championship landed in Lydden Hill where the competition was ferociously getting more competitive as the third to last rounds of the championship lay ahead. Race 1 saw Reece Jones in first position, Mark Willis in second position, and Dale Gent in third position. Race 2 saw Matt Simpson take the lead in first position, followed by Gent, and then Cooper in third. In the final race, it was the same results for Simpson and gent, followed by Jones in third. The championship results saw a change in championship positions after Lydden Hill where Jones's performance led him to first position, followed by Gent, and Paul Tompkins in third.
We now arrive at the last rounds of the 2023 Pickup Truck Championship proudly supported By Ravenol UK, this time the teams raced at Brands Hatch for the championship finale. It was a gruelling fight to the end as all of the competitors raced with every effort, even fighting through the wet conditions. Reece Jones was previously leading the championship points with a 274 point lead meaning if he continued his pace he would win the championship, but there was still 655 points available. Jones managed to push hard and kept his pace consistent, as he crossed the line it would be announced that Jones is the winner of the 2023 Pickup Truck Championship!
Soon after finder out the championship winner, Jones announced that he would be retiring from the Pickup Truck Championship. Who will be his replacement for 2024? Stay tuned and check the Pickup Truck Championship website for the 2024 race calendar.
Ravenol UK are proud to have been the technical partner of the 2023 Pickup Truck Racing championship, it is a testament to how Ravenol oils can perform under extreme conditions.