Matt Simpson claims first ever BTCC victory
Pole-sitter Matt Simpson produced a dominant lights-to-flag performance in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park, securing his first ever victory in the UK’s toughest motorsport series.
The Honda Civic Type R driver made a steady getaway off the line, as Motorbase stablemates Sam Tordoff and Tom Chilton swapped positions on the run down to Old Hall Corner for the first time.
Whilst Chilton, Tordoff and the Pirtek-backed BMW of Andrew Jordan kept Simpson honest throughout the 15-lap contest, it was ultimately only a scrap for second place that was ever on the cards.
Chilton held position in second during the entire race but he first had to fend off an attack from Tordoff’s sister Ford Focus RS, and then from Jordan’s BMW 125i M Sport after he had scythed by Tordoff across the start/finish line on lap eight.
Jordan’s best chance of dislodging Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Chilton came on lap 12 at the Island Hairpin, as things bunched up at the tightest corner on the track. 2013 champion Jordan touched the rear of Chilton’s striking yellow machine, but the latter held on, exiting the turn still in command of the position.
There was a brief scare for Simpson in the latter stages with smoke coming from his front left wheel as Chilton closed in, but the Simpson Racing driver wouldn’t be denied what he called a ‘dream come true’ victory.
“We had mega pace yesterday in Free Practice 2 and qualifying and I would just have been happy to finish this race as it was already a massive achievement from where we’ve come from,” said Simpson. “I had to get away cleanly into turn one and managed to get there in the lead. I saw Tom (Chilton) looming but I held on – I’m over the moon as it’s a dream come true.
“It was the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had I think last night after the concentration yesterday. When I saw the smoke coming off the car, I didn’t want to look at my lap board as the minute you start overthinking is when you start to make mistakes. My brakes were fading and I knew I had a bit of a cushion and used that so I didn’t make a silly error. Who knows where I’ll go from here? Watch this space!”
Chilton was equally delighted with his first podium of the season, “I gave it a good go,” he said. “I was aware I was on the medium and not the more ideal soft tyre but I knew I’d be better at the end as a result. I was trying to save the brakes but went for a big push at the end and I could see that smoke coming off his car. I went for the dummy up the inside to flick left on the exit of the last corner and hopefully get him over the line.
“It was his first win and I’m very happy for him. It’s our first podium this year and I’m so pleased to have got it. I held Andrew (Jordan) off too, he was scrapping hard – it was a dream result for us as a team really.”
Matt Neal started fifth and ended in the same position as the Halfords Yuasa Racing man experienced a rather lonely race, whilst Team BMW’s Colin Turkington surged to a sixth place finish. Turkington made eye-catching passes by both WIX Racing with Eurotech Hondas with his final manoeuvre relegating James Cole’s Ford down to seventh.
Turkington was the fastest car on the circuit in the closing laps, whilst Cole held on to seventh from Jack Goff’s Honda – ensuring that all three Motorbase cars were at the sharp end of the final classification.
Rob Collard’s BMW and Rob Austin’s Audi muscled their way by Eurotech’s Brett Smith to round out the top ten positions.
The championship top two – Adam Morgan and Josh Cook – failed to score a point in their ballast-laden machines, whilst third placed Tom Ingram could only manage a solitary point after he was beaten to the line by the AmD Audi of Ollie Jackson.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 10 – Oulton Park
1 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing 15 laps
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.265s
3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.630s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +1.630s
5 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.828s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +3.165s
7 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.127s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +6.587s
9 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +7.125s
10 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +7.485s
11 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +16.644s
12 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +16.831s
13 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +17.035s
14 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +17.375s
15 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +17.423s
16 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +17.545s
17 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +18.138s
18 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +18.884s
19 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +19.618s
20 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +20.197s
21 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +20.554s
22 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +20.633s
23 Jake HILL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +22.934s
24 Tom BOARDMAN (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +27.475s
25 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +27.937s
26 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +28.173s
27 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +28.342s
28 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +28.777s
29 Michael CAINE (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +32.235s
30 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +32.779s
31 Sam SMELT (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +33.643s
32 Josh PRICE (GBR) Autoglym Academy Racing +7 laps