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LOCAL TRUCKER EXPECTS FIREWORKS ON AND OFF TRACK THIS WEEKEND - 2 Nov 2016

West Kingsdown Truck racer Steven Powell can't wait to compete in front of his home crowd at Brands Hatch this weekend (5/6 November) and is expecting sparks to fly both on and off the track at the Guy Fawkes-themed event, which will climax with a big-bang fireworks display on Sunday.

Powell, who used to run The Portobello public house near the circuit, followed his late father John into the brutal sport of truck racing several years ago. He won the championship's second division for the second time at his home track last year and is hoping to end his return to the top class with a podium this weekend.

In addition to racing a 1,000-horsepower, 5-tonne truck at speeds of up to 100mph, Powell also helps organise the championship with the Truck Sport UK operation. For this weekend he has put together a display of no fewer than 100 show trucks for the event, which will take part in a parade at dusk before the spectacular fireworks display is unleashed.

"I've been involved with the sport now for ten years," Powell said. "Living in West Kingsdown it's always going to be a special event for us, especially this year now that we've taken over the running of the championship. Being in November with the fireworks it's going to be very busy, we've got all the grid girls and race sponsors involved this weekend."

It will also be a busy weekend for the whole family, as Powell's two brothers are also involved in the sport. "My brother John [from Tonbridge] is racing, although my other brother Graham [from nearby Wrotham] isn't racing this year unfortunately," he said. "We'll also share a few memories for my dad [John Powell Sr], who passed away three years ago, as this was one of his big events as well. It's been involved with our family now for 30 years."

Steven will be coming to his home round on the back of a strong result last time out, and is hoping to end his season on a high. "We had a couple of podiums at Pembrey a month ago, so I'm quite confident and looking forward to Brands Hatch," he said. "I'm hoping for dry weather, a podium would be very nice, it's certainly possible."

In addition to eight rounds of the British Truck Racing Championship, five of which will take place on Sunday, there's a packed programme of support races. These include the Legends Cars, which are miniature replicas of hot-rods, Pickup Trucks, plus the SE-based Intermarque Championship, Tin Tops Championship and Motorsport News Saloon Championship.

The event will also include a feast of family-themed off-track entertainment on Sunday, including monster truck rides, stunt shows and driving experiences for all ages from go-karting to teenage driving lessons and mini monster trucks for children. There will also be a funfair, children's entertainment shows, face-painting, soft play and a playground.

After the last of Sunday's five truck races, the show trucks will take to the track for a parade at dusk, and with many of the trucks festooned with lights, this is a popular sight for children and adults alike. Once darkness has fallen the event will climax with a stunning fireworks display, which is set to light up the night sky!

Tickets to Truck Racing and Fireworks at Brands Hatch on 5/6 November are available in advance from £19, or £12 for 13-15 year-olds, with free entry to under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.