British truck racers Dave Jenkins and Simon Reid are revving up their preparations for the eagerly awaited first race of the new season at Brands Hatch on 1st and 2nd April.
All the hours spent fine tuning their trucks and securing sponsorship deals will come to fruition when they line up on the starting grid for the new BTRA British Truck Racing Championship, which promises to be as competitive as ever.
Jenkins and Reid have been good friends since childhood when their dads were racing trucks and there’s only a matter of eight miles between their homes.
Jenkins, a former BTRA British Truck Racing champion who has been racing for 18 years, lives and works in Stone, while Reid, who has been a truck racer for five years, lives in Stoke-on-Trent and works for the family business, Reid Freight Services.
They both have something else in common, as they share a sponsor – Shrewsbury-based Morris Lubricants, one of Europe’s leading oil blenders and marketers. Both are Morris Lubricants Racing ambassadors, drivers and riders at all levels of motorsport who are supported by the company.
Respect runs deep between the two drivers, but come 1st April, the friendship will be put to one side while they take care of the serious business in hand – winning races.
Dave has recently stood down as chairman of the BTRA to focus totally on racing this year and he’s raring to go, having invested in a European Championship winning truck for the final two rounds last season. He’s confident that the truck, which proved its speed in 2017, will give him every chance of winning the championship.
With champion Ryan Smith rumoured to be focussing on the European Championship in 2018 and Matt Summerfield retiring, Jenkins believes the British Championship will be wide open.
Turning to his friendship and rivalry with Reid, he said: “Simon’s a lovely lad, a very good driver and a big personality. We have been mates for a long time.
“He bought a truck off me three years ago and put an Iveco engine in it. It’s very fast but he hasn’t enjoyed ultimate consistency. At Donnington last year, he was the driver that I had to remove from the lead to win the race. I am sure he will be one to watch this season
“As drivers, we tend to mix in the same circles and it’s much better when there is a friendly atmosphere rather than animosity in the paddock.”
Both Jenkins and Reid go into action with Morris Lubricants as one of their main sponsors this year and both have their brothers prominent in their support teams.
Reid followed his dad into the truck racing driver’s seat five years ago and won Division Two of the BTRA within two years. He then finished sixth in Division One the following year, before an inconsistent season last year, not helped by missing the first two rounds of the championship while waiting for a new engine.
“We are all set for the challenge this year and our target is to win the championship,” said Reid. “We’ve developed the truck from the original chassis bought from Dave Jenkins and added all our own bits.
“When I first started thinking about truck racing, the first port of call was Dave and he set me on the right path with a few pointers. I am now used to competing against him and I’m really looking forward to the new season.
“I think it’s going to be extremely competitive because there’s lots of new equipment coming in and everybody is capable of winning races.”
It was Jenkins who introduced him to Morris Lubricants and now he swears by the company’s wide range of products for his fleet of 35 lorries, which travel across the UK and into mainland Europe.
“I think Morris Lubricants’ products are the best on the market and we won’t use anything else,” added Reid.
Truck racers Dave Jenkins and Simon Reid ready to resume friendly rivalry on the race track.