The first round of the 2017 UK Short Course Nationals took place at the EPR venue in South London with over 70 truck racers in attendance. The most popular class was 2WD SCT with just under 50 entries. After four rounds of qualifying it was Darren Boyle who stamped his authority on the overall TQ by taking three out of the four rounds and becoming the only 2WD driver all day to secure 12 laps – which he achieved in three of his runs.
In the A-final Darren held the lead in leg one for most of the distance until a late last gasp do or die move from 2nd place relegated him to the two spot with just a few corners to go. A-main two was also full of drama with the leader crashing on the final lap to allow Rich Miller to come through for another last lap late winner. No mistakes however in leg three as this time pole man Darren got away clean at the start. Knowing he had to win the leg and in a faster time than the previous two legs in order to take the overall win. He set about his task with some ultra fast and clean laps and took and unchallenged flag to flag win. However was the time fast enough? The simple answer was yes, by an astounding margin of just under 10 seconds. The final positions were Darren Boyle (TLR) 1st, Paul Timberlake (PR Racing) 2nd and Rich Miller (PR Racing) 3rd.
In 4WD and in a repeat of last year’s season long battle, team mates Lewis Williamson (2016 Champion) and Darren Boyle (2015 Champion) resumed their battle at the top and at times produced some of the closest “non contact” racing you are likely to see in SCT racing. As with 2WD Darren took three of the four rounds of qualifying with Lewis taking the other to line up 1st and 2nd on the grid. On to the finals and leg 1 of the A-mains would produce one of the closest and most intense battles seen recently with Darren and Lewis no more than just a foot or two apart throughout, with Darren taking the win after a late error opened up the gap back to Lewis, Jon Szymanski would come in 3rd. Leg two and an early error from Lewis would drop him down the field and with a huge 7 second gap out front Darren would set the cruise control, with fastest lap after fastest lap Lewis was closing in all the time and he got it to within 3 seconds at the end with Darren taking the leg and the overall win. Third leg still had the final podium places to play for, a poor tyre choice from Darren would see him fall back and this allowed Lewis to take what turned out to be the fastest leg win and secure 2nd, Jon Szymanski would take 2nd and secure 3rd overall for an all-TLR podium lock-out.