British truck racing celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend – and for MAN in Black Dave Jenkins it will mean a nostalgic return to the circuit where his love affair with the sport began.
Jenkins, from Stone in Staffordshire, was a wide-eyed youngster amongst the crowd at that very first British Truck Racing Association meeting at Donington in 1984.
Jenkins was just eight as he watched his dad Tony motor around the famous circuit. He immediately caught the bug and three decades on, Jenkins is now in his 17th year of truck racing.
“I was only eight, but I still remember that day well – the smell, the noise and just the excitement of it all,” said Jenkins, who is sponsored by leading oil blender Morris Lubricants. “British truck racing has come such a long way since then and this year’s championship is as strong as I’ve ever known it.
“I always love returning to Donington, it’s the home of British motor sport and it’s my home circuit.”
Jenkins, 38, is currently fifth in division one with three meetings to come after Donington and is hoping for a productive end of the season to build momentum for 2015.
He said: “We’ve had a mixed season with our fair share of bad fortune. We’ve been there or thereabouts but we’ve just struggled to pick up those consistent second and third finishes.
“The championship may be beyond us now realistically, but we’re looking to finish strongly.
“The family-run team is very passionate and we’re keen to perform in front of our home crowd.”
Three generations of the Jenkins family – including his truck mad father – will be making the short trip to Donington this weekend to support Dave and the team.
As well as five heavyweight races for spectators to enjoy at Donington over Sunday and Monday, there will also be almost 200 show trucks for people to view and other races, including pickups.
Jenkins, who is being backed by Morris Lubricants for a second season, said: “Truck racing has grown in popularity and it’s even got the TV coverage now.
“But there are still lots of people who haven’t experienced it in the flesh. This is a great opportunity for people to come and see what it’s all about in the Midlands.”
Jenkins uses specialist performance lubricants in his truck, which are blended at Morris Lubricants’ factory in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.