Turkington takes his first win of the season
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington has claimed his first win of the season after a near lights-to-flag victory following a restarted Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship contest at Brands Hatch.
Turkington had initially made a good getaway as he blasted by pole-sitter Cammish on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton made it into second after a clever move around the outside of Jake Hill’s Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW, before getting by team-mate Cammish on the run through Surtees.
Just as the leaders were completing the first lap there was drama behind, which immediately brought about a red flag stoppage to proceedings.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom had squeezed down the inside of Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley at Clark Curve, but contact sent the latter into the pitwall, before both cars ultimately collected the unfortunate Andrew Watson (CarStore Power Maxed Racing) and Adam Morgan (Team BMW).
A 45-minute delay followed as stricken cars, debris and damaged barriers were repaired ahead of a new race distance of 18-laps.
Starting from their original grid positions Cammish couldn’t hang on again as he dropped to fourth behind Turkington, Hill and Sutton.
The Ford Focuses of Sutton and Cammish fought back by Hill shortly after, with the latter still trying to get heat into the tyres of his rear-wheel drive BMW.
Turkington – running the Goodyear softer option tyre – had no such problems as he held his three challengers off for the remainder of the race.
Behind the lead quartet there was a great battle for fifth as Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) eventually got the better of Rory Butcher (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK), the latter also being relegated further by Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) with a late move in the closing stages.
Thompson has starred throughout the weekend so far and the local Team HARD racer was further rewarded with an Independents race victory.
Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing), Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) and Dan Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) completed the top ten paying decisions, which were fiercely fought throughout.
Colin Turkington said: “Off the line, it was probably a better start even than the first time! Race went according to plan really, I could get my head down and there was nobody in front so I could go as fast as I could. Saw that Ash [Sutton] was pulling me in a bit on laps 4, 5, and 6, but then I started to eek away again.
“It’s the first long run we’ve done on the softs so just trying to not overdo it, especially in the traction zones. But it was a great start, the BMW has always been really strong around Brands Indy in particular, so a good reward for Team BMW.
“Unfortunately the other side of the garage have a bit of work to do, but Jake is up there too so hopefully we’ll have a good second half of the day.
“Hybrid always looks easier on the outside I can assure you! But you are trying to second guess how the guys behind you are doing and keeping an eye on, so it’s a game of cat and mouse. But that’s what the hybrid deployment has brought to the BTCC this year. There’s a lot more strategy, especially when you throw in Option Tyres, so we’re enjoying it!”
Ash Sutton said: “I’m over the moon with that, it was a good race. We had two extra laps of hybrid, so at the beginning I used those to try and put the attack on Colin [Turkington] but he just had it covered off. It was a big ask to try and beat the BMW around here but I’m pleased with that, a mega stint from us.
“I made a slight error at Turn 3 which brought [Dan Cammish] back into it, but obviously we had hybrid there to save the day. I’m pleased with that – like I said if you look at where the other mediums (tyres) were, we were in a different ball game. Pleased with the car and we can see what the softs can do now – so let’s play that game later!”
Dan Cammish said: “A great result. That was a story of hybrid actually, having not seen it work like that before. It was the first dry race where we’ve seen what hybrid does in the new rules and it did exactly what you want it to do. I had no use and they had a lot of use! Unfortunately it made quite a lot of difference here today – as it would on a 48s lap – so by the time we got the straight I was too far behind. The softs did its job, it had a lot of grip.
“I think Ash [Sutton] had used his tyres harder than we had considering we were on the softs, so I wish the race was 30 laps, as I think we would have come back at it. We were certainly fast enough when no one was pressing the button! But I get a bit more back now and that’s the price you pay when you are leading the Championship, which is the right price to pay – that is how it’s supposed to work. So all is well and good, we’ll go away and come back stronger.”
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Race 1 – Brands Hatch Indy
1. Colin Turkington, Team BMW 18 Laps
2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +1.335s
3. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +1.716s
4. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +5.712s
5. Tom Ingram , BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +9.952s
6. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +11.010s
7. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +11.779s
8. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +14.125s
9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +14.634s
10. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +16.652s
11. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +21.400s
12. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +23.360s
13. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +24.103s
14. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +24.287s
15. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +24.629s
16. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +24.976s
17. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +25.319s
18. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +25.576s
19. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +26.427s
20. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +30.103s
21. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +30.838s
22. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +33.150s
23. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +33.872s
24. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW DNF
25. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK DNF
26. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing DNF
27. Adam Morgan, Team BMW DNF