BTCC looks back: Donington Park 2019
Next on the BTCC looks back series, we’re on to Donington Park!
The Leicestershire venue hosted a feast of action in 2019, where Team BMW’s Colin Turkington took pole position, followed by the first double lights-to-flag victory of the year.
Turkington converted his first BTCC pole position in over two years into a relatively comfortable race one victory as the drama commenced behind him.
A multi-car accident on lap one led to several retirements and heavy damage to a number of cars as Andrew Jordan’s BMW slid sideways following contact on the exit of the Old Hairpin. The Mercedes of Adam Morgan had nowhere to go – making contact with Jordan’s BMW – while Ollie Jackson’s Ford, Matt Simpson’s Honda and Jake Hill’s Audi also crashed out of the action.
Jordan was taken to hospital as a precaution but the incident caused so much damage to his BMW 3 Series that the 2013 champion was unable to take part for the remainder of the day.
When the dust eventually settled it was Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ash Sutton who followed Turkington home, whilst Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant grabbed a first-ever BTCC podium. Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton was fourth and the top Independent finisher.
Turkington had to contend with a further two safety car periods in the next race as the action-packed weekend continued. The then triple BTCC champion took to the challenge with consummate ease as he scampered off into the distance on each occasion.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal – quietly going about his business on an otherwise dramatic day – made a great move by Sutton on lap 17 of 19 to take second place away from the Subaru star.
Ingram then scored an emotional first win in the all-new Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Corolla in the final race, as more than 4,500 Toyota members and their families watched on.
Ingram’s manufacturer-backed Speedworks Motorsport squad began the reversed grid encounter from pole position and last year’s runner-up went untroubled throughout the 19 laps of running.
Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing’s Rob Collard claimed second after a mid-race pass by the Trade Price Cars Audi of Hill.
Josh Cook took third in the BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R with his own smart move by Hill. Rory Butcher’s Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Honda and the manufacturer Subaru of Sutton eventually finished fourth and fifth respectively, whilst Hill had to settle for a solid top-six finish on the harder Dunlop Sport Maxx tyre compound.
Sutton’s two podiums saw him move to the head of the overall Drivers’ standings at this point in the season, although just six points covered the top five drivers with Cook, Turkington, Chilton and Butcher following closely behind.
Honda topped the Manufacturers’ order whilst Team BMW led the Teams’ table. Chilton was the man to beat in the Independent Drivers’ field whilst BTC Racing left the Leicestershire venue leading the Independent Teams’ and Butcher extended his advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.
On Tuesday BTCC looks back will focus on the third event of the 2019 season: Thruxton.