SUTTON EDGES CLOSER AMID TOPSY-TURVY ENCOUNTER
Ash Sutton won a wet-dry penultimate round of the 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch as the Laser Tools Racing star edges closer in his quest to win a second Drivers’ title.
The majority of cars went to the grid on Goodyear wet tyres before a flurry of changes shortly before the start, but it was those choosing to stick with grooved rubber that initially had the better of the contest.
BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton hit the front early on after choosing to run the wets – ahead of the slick-shod Sutton – with Andy Neate surging into third in the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus.
Chilton’s joy was short-lived, however, as those running the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport dry tyres were soon in the ascendancy.
Sutton scythed his way into an unassailable lead, also taking fastest lap on his way to his fifth victory of the season, whilst the other contenders all survived bruising encounters.
Toyota’s Tom Ingram and Honda’s Dan Cammish endured a sychronised half spin at Paddock Hill Bend on the first lap, whilst BMW’s Colin Turkington was caught up in contact with BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill shortly after mid-distance.
The title chasing trio were left to play catch up during the race and they eventually did exaclty that with Ingram taking second, ahead of Turkington and Cammish.
There was one contentious and heart-in-the-mouth moment when Team BMW’s Turkington made it by Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish on the run-up to Druids. The Audi S3 of Paul Rivett was left stranded on-track in a separate incident, and Turkington was able to pass Cammish while taking avoiding action of Rivett’s car ahead of him.
In summary, the result leaves Sutton nine points clear of Turkington, with Cammish the only other driver still in contention. Ingram’s valiant title fight has come to an end but his second place again showed what a fierce competitor he is.
Motorbase Performance’s Ollie Jackson had his second successive top five finish, ahead of the Ciceley Motorsport-run Mercedes of Adam Morgan. Hill survived to finish seventh.
Excelr8 Motorsport’s Senna Proctor continued his day-long recovery – following his crash in qualifying yesterday – to finish eight, whilst BTC Racing’s Josh Cook and Motorbase man Rory Butcher completed the top ten positions.
There was cause for celebration further down the order as Michael Crees moved into an unassailable points lead in the Jack Sears Trophy, capping off a wonderful season for the Kent driver at his home track.
Round 27 – the grand finale – takes place at 1515… all the action is live on ITV4 and a champion will be crowned.
Ash Sutton said: “Obviously, on the opening lap everybody’s a bit cautious and all hell broke loose behind me. I got a little tap from Tom [Ingram], but it’s just those conditions – there was nothing he could do, I think he was getting pushed from behind. From that moment on, it was just a case of getting my head down, keeping out of trouble and pulling the gap we needed. It’s touring cars, and it can change so quickly. Obviously I would have liked a few more cars between myself and Colin [Turkington], but he took advantage of what happened on lap one and came through. Anything can happen in the reversed grid race, so we’ll wait and see. We’re in a good position as it is, so it’s just going to be a case of managing the points gap to Colin.”
Tom Ingram said: “I got a really good launch off the line and got a bit of momentum. I knew I had to try to make up as many places as I can, so it was a case of ‘lick the stamp and send it’ and see what happens. I just got to the outside, but lost the rear, did a bit of rallycross and kept going. I think we were down in 13th at one point and it was just a case of battling forwards from there. They’re conditions I absolutely love. It takes me back to being six-years-old and my dad was too tight to buy me wet tyres for my go-kart! It was mega fun and good to recover from where we were.”
Colin Turkington said: “I’m just thankful I avoided [Paul Rivett] – that’s the biggest shock you can have as a driver. Paddock Hill Bend is blind on the entry, so I had no idea he was there at all and there were no yellow flags out. It was such a shock to get to almost the bottom of the hill and see the road blocked. Just at the last moment I dived right, and I thought Dan Cammish was on the inside. I was expecting to get speared across the front of him, but those are the little bits of luck that you need to win this championship. It could be a pivotal moment. It was a really strong race for me even before that. We obviously made the call to go on slicks, and the car took a while to get going but once it did, it just switched on and I had excellent pace, so really well done by Team BMW.”
2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 2 – Brands Hatch Indy
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 24 laps
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters +4.762s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.370s
4 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +9.688s
5 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Motorbase Performance +10.832s
6 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +13.422s
7 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +14.088s
8 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +14.418s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +14.919s
10 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Motorbase Performance +17.900s
11 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +22.605s
12 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +28.823s
13 Michael CREES (GBR) The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing +33.011s
14 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +37.119s
15 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +37.712s
16 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +42.984s
17 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +43.415s
18 Tom CHILTON (GBR) BTC Racing +1 lap
19 Jack BUTEL (GBR) Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools +1 lap
20 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1 lap
21 Andy NEATE (GBR) Motorbase Performance +1 lap
22 Brad PHILPOT (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +1 lap
23 Paul RIVETT (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +1 lap
24 Ethan HAMMERTON (GBR) GKR TradePriceCars.com +1 lap
25 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Team HARD +3 laps
26 Glynn GEDDIE (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +22 laps
27 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) HUB Financial Solutions with Team HARD +23 laps