A huge grid is forecast for this weekend’s British truck racing championship season opener at Brands Hatch.

Division One king Matt Summerfield will be defending his title against strong opposition from rival Dave Jenkins, plus former champion Stuart Oliver and Ricky Collett.

They will also be joined by East Malling’s Dave Smith, who steps up from Division Two after taking overall honours last year.

A reverse-grid format, where the fastest qualifier starts at the back, means that the slower Division Two category for older trucks will start with half of a lap’s advantage.

Champion Smith proved last year that this can lead to outright victories at Brands Hatch.

Dartford saloon car racer Dave Rothery will be fielding Smith’s title-winning truck for the first time and will face category front-runners Graham Powell from West Malling and brother Steve, landlord of West Kingsdown’s Portobello Inn.

The trio will be upholding local honour against a field that ranges in experience from impressive rookie Simon Reid to returning veteran Paul McCumisky, who raced against bikers-turned-truckers Steve Parrish and Barry Sheene in the 1980s.

The opening round of the British truck racing championship features five races, all featuring the reverse-grid format.

Two of these will take place on the Saturday after a morning qualifying session.

Meanwhile, there will also be action from Pickup Trucks, Legends, Clubmans, saloons and Superkarts throughout the weekend.

There will also be a showtruck display opposite the track, with up to 100 trucks including vintage machinery expected.

In addition, there will be plenty to keep racegoers of all ages occupied.

On Sunday, the free Kidspace Marquee will feature children's entertainers and facepainters from JoJoFun.

Throughout the day there will be a variety of activities on offer, including games, stories, magic tricks, balloon-modelling and songs.

Children will also have the opportunity to have their face painted by skilled artists.

On the Sunday there will also be a fairground featuring dodgems, bouncy castles, mini quadbikes and differs, bungee trampolines and Laser Quest.

The Brands Hatch children’s adventure playground will also be open all weekend, as will the karting circuit.

Tickets for the British truck racing championship at Brands Hatch on April 12 and April 13 are available from £18, with free entry for children aged 12 and under.

For more information, call 0843 453 9000 or visit brandshatch.co.uk

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