WEEKEND WRAP-UP: CROFT
As the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship battle hotted up and event seven of the campaign got underway, a trio of victors graced the top step of the podium at North Yorkshire’s Croft circuit back in September.
In today’s Weekend Wrap-Up, we relive all the action from the 2.13-mile circuit…
MOFFAT, HILL AND TURKINGTON TRIUMPH AT CROFT
BTCC title chase gathers pace at North Yorkshire circuit
A first victory of the season for Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat was followed by an identical feat for MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square man Jake Hill as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship provided wheel-to-wheel action at Croft on 18/19 September.
Colin Turkington ensured that normal service was resumed in the finale, as the ‘King of Croft’ scored his 13th career victory at the North Yorkshire venue.
Despite several title challengers scoring big on the day, standings leader Ash Sutton left the circuit with his points advantage largely intact as he bagged a brilliant trio of top six finishes.
It was Moffat who proved to be Laser Tools Racing’s hero over the weekend, however, as he converted a first-ever pole position into a commanding lights-to-flag win in the opener.
Moffat controlled the pace from the outset, often cleverly bulking up the bunch behind as his rear-wheel drive Infiniti Q50 exited the final Hairpin, and he expertly fended off the advances of Hill’s Ford Focus throughout to take his first win since Silverstone in 2018.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor finished third after he got the better of Team BMW’s Turkington around the outside of Tower Bend on the opening lap.
It was Hill’s turn to produce a masterful display in the second pulsating bout as he made a fantastic early move past the pole-man.
Moffat, running maximum success ballast onboard his Infiniti virtue of his earlier race win, struggled slightly through the Complex as his Goodyear tyres came up to temperature and Hill made the most of his opportunity.
Hill immediately disappeared into the distance as a quite remarkable battle for second ensued.
Moffat hung on to the place, somehow, even after a mid-race hit from the BTC Racing Honda of Josh Cook, which caused a concertina effect behind.
Team BMW’s Turkington was bulked up following contact at the final Hairpin, leading to a further incident at turn one with Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden, which subsequently enabled Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram and Sutton past both of them.
When the dust settled, it was Cook completing the podium ahead of Ingram, Sutton, Shedden and Turkington in a scrap that will live long in the memory.
It was ‘lucky 13’ for Turkington as he took the spoils in the final contest, continuing his remarkable record around the 2.13-mile circuit.
The four-time champion has often shied away from his ‘King of Croft’ moniker over the years, but this proved to be a vital victory as the Northern Irishman kept his championship challenge on track.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Shedden equalled his best result of the season so far with second as he held off Sutton, although the latter still scored an important extra point for setting the fastest lap.
At the conclusion of another dramatic weekend of BTCC action, Sutton held a solid 29-point advantage with nine races remaining. Hill, Turkington, Cook and Ingram were separated by just eight points as the quartet looked to hunt down the reigning champion.
Laser Tools Racing and Sutton also held sway in the Teams’ and both Independents’ tables, whilst BMW still led the way in the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ championship.
Carl Boardley triumphed in the Jack Sears Trophy although Daniel Rowbottom continued to top the overall table in that category.