WEEKEND WRAP-UP: BRANDS HATCH INDY
The third event of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship saw Britain’s premier motorsport series head to Brands Hatch’s Indy circuit, and you can relive every moment in today’s Weekend Wrap-Up!
BTCC BRINGS THE NOISE AT BRANDS HATCH
Victories shared between Tom Oliphant, Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan
Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship provided fantastic entertainment for the thousands of spectators in attendance at Brands Hatch (26/27 June) and the many more who watched the action live across the ITV television network.
Tom Oliphant, Tom Ingram and Adam Morgan claimed a win apiece around the tight and twisty 1.2-mile Indy layout, whilst consistency proved key for reigning champion Ash Sutton as the Laser Tools Racing star cemented his position at the top of the standings.
Team BMW’s Oliphant took a hugely impressive victory in the opening race, having made a stellar getaway from the second row of the grid, before going on to fend off three-time champion Gordon Shedden.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s front-row lockout immediately unravelled as pole-sitter Daniel Rowbottom bogged down off the line, while Oliphant was storming through to P1.
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill was slightly held up by the sluggish starting Honda Civic Type R of Rowbottom, as the Infiniti Q50 of Aiden Moffat scampered through into second.
Shedden and Moffat made slight contact on lap five with the former grabbing the position through Druids, which also allowed Hill and the recovering Rowbottom to get by the Laser Tools Racing man.
Moffat was further shuffled down the order late on as the battle for the lead built towards a tense climax.
Shedden produced the fastest lap of the race as he began reeling in Oliphant’s BMW 3 Series, but it proved too little too late as the #15 car held on, despite being bulked by a backmarker on the final lap.
It was a richly deserved victory for Oliphant, the second of his BTCC career so far.
The Team Dynamics duo completed the rostrum with Rowbottom securing his first-ever podium in the BTCC after his battling drive back through the order.
A second win of the season for Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram followed, further underlining his undoubted title credentials.
The Hyundai man produced a last-lap lunge to secure victory in the second bout, as long-time leader Oliphant eventually lost out during a pulsating contest.
Oliphant led for more than 26 of the 27 laps as the race one winner desperately tried to hang on with maximum ballast onboard his 330i M Sport.
A car-sized gap was left open going into Paddock Hill Bend for the final time, and the Ginsters-backed Hyundai i30N of Ingram immediately filled it. Slight contact followed with Ingram completing the pass going into Druids.
Sutton also eyed his opportunity as the Infiniti Q50 ran side-by-side with Oliphant’s BMW across the start/finish line, with the former snatching second by just 0.038s.
Adam Morgan then claimed the ninth victory of his BTCC career and the first for the new Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport, as the Lancastrian led from start-to-finish in the final race at the famous Kent venue
Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct’s Jack Goff – securing a maiden rostrum for the all-new Cupra – and Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat completed the podium with the pair having swapped positions twice during the contest.
With several of the BTCC’s main contenders further down the grid and carrying significant success ballast, the reverse grid race was a relatively routine affair with Morgan, Goff and Moffat producing a hugely popular podium.
Jason Plato nearly dragged his Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall into the silverware-paying positions as he attacked Moffat’s Infiniti on the approach to the chequered flag, but the Scotsman held on by just 0.012s.
Leaving the Kent circuit, Sutton now led Ingram in the Drivers’ standings by three points, with BTC Racing’s Josh Cook in third and Team BMW’s Colin Turkington in fourth – the latter having endured a relatively dismal day in Kent.
BMW still held sway in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship, whilst Laser Tools Racing topped the Teams’ order.
Independent Drivers’ honours remained with Sutton, but it was Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com boasting a narrow advantage in the quest for Independent Teams’ silverware. Rowbottom extended his lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.