The BTCC bursts back into life at Brands with an exciting days racing

The slick tyred runners make their way to the front of race two (Photo by Marc Waller)It was a dramatic but sometimes damp weekend for the BTCC as the 2018 championship got underway with wins for Jack Goff, Senna Proctor and Tom Ingram.

It’s Ingram who takes the championship lead after having the best day overall but the races were some of the most entertaining in recent memory, especially race two which was made more exciting as the track went from wet to dry during the twenty seven lap race.

The first race was a lights to flag victory in wet conditions by Wix Racing with Eurotech’s Jack Goff. But it wasn’t an easy win as he spent the entire race holding off Colin Turkington’s BMW in his Honda Civic

WIX Racing with Eurotech’s Goff produced a stellar display in race one as he fended off Team BMW’s Colin Turkington in a near race-long duel. The closest Turkington came to passing was at around the halfway point as his BMW 1 series drew alongside through Clearways but Goff made a faster exit and pulled ahead once again.

It was a strong race for the WSR run BMWs with Andrew Jordan taking third and making it WSR’s 100th Podium result in the BTCC.

Goff was pleased with his first race of 2018;

"That was the perfect start to the season for WIX Racing with Eurotech and all our amazing sponsors – we’ve all been working flat-out behind-the-scenes over the winter, and if we can end the season in the same position I’ll be well happy! It was extremely greasy out there – the last corner in particular was like an ice-skating rink! Colin had better traction out of Clearways being rear-wheel drive and we had a little rub on one occasion, but he’s a very fair driver and we came out fighting. It’s such a competitive field out there, so to emerge on top of the pile when everyone is on zero ballast means a lot to us."

Race two was the most exciting race of the day. At the start the circuit was still wet but it was getting close enough to drying that about a third of the field decided to gamble on using dry tyres.

The track was wet enough that for the first half of the race it was the wet shod runners who were fighting it out. Andrew Jordan passed Jack Goff off the line and the two were joined by Tom Ingram in a three way battle for the first ten laps.

Jordan was the first to start fading as the track began to dry but he was first passed by Ash Sutton in a wet shod Subaru Levorg.

By this lap the dry tyres were now getting into perfect conditions as Mike Bushell set the fastest lap of the race so far in his VW CC.

Over the next twelve or so laps, the dry running cars closed on the leaders and if was Aiden Moffat and Senna Proctor who were the first to challenge and then pass for the lead. Jake Hill’s VW CC and Ollie Jackson in the AMD with Cobra Audi were also soon through. Tom Boardman in the sister AMD run MG6 joined them into fifth.

Moffat then ran wide through Druids allowing Proctor alongside. The two made contact on the run down to Graham Hill bend. Moffat was sent into the barrier and Proctor into the lead. Moffat managed to continue but only after dropping to fifth.

It was Amds best ever BTCC weekend (Photo by Marc Waller) Ingram got the race three win (Photo by Marc Waller) Ollie Jackson ran second at the start of race three but a second podium wasnt to be (Photo by Marc Waller) Rob Austin got the Alfa a podum on it's first weekend (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

So it was Proctor taking his and the team’s first win and the first win for Vauxhall for several years. Jake Hill was a popular second for Trade Price cars Racing (Team Hard) with Ollie Jackson an equally popular third. None of the three drivers have scored an overall podium before. Rob Austin was sixth in the new Alfa Romeo giving him the reverse grid pole as the top six were drawn in the post-race draw.

BMW are top in the manufacturers championship (Photo by Marc Waller) Senna Proctor celebrates his and the teams first BTCC win (Photo by Marc Waller) Race one top three (Photo by Marc Waller) The unexpected top three of race two (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

The top three also scored well in the Dunlop Forever forward competition which rewards drivers for making up positions, with Proctor, Hill and Jackson starting in twenty seventh, twenty fifth and twelfth. Senna Proctor clearly hadn’t been expecting a win;

"I don’t really know what to say – I didn’t have a speech prepared after the way race one went! I’m over the moon – I’ve winded myself jumping up and down celebrating. This is unbelievable, and all credit to the boys at Power Maxed TAG Racing and all of our sponsors – they’re the reason I’m stood here today. I went round on the green flag lap and said to my engineer, ‘there are a few dry patches forming’, so he replied, ‘let’s put slicks on then’. I said, ‘we’re not going to win the race on wets but we just might on slicks, so let’s give it a go’ – and look what we’ve done! When Aiden went a little bit wide on the brakes at Druids, I was able to seize the opportunity. I’m still waiting to wake up from this dream – it’s amazing. Now I just need to resist drinking this champagne on the podium!"

Race three saw Tom Ingram have a short battle with pole sitter Austin before passing him to take a lead that he’d never lose.

Initially it was Ollie Jackson challenging Austin after making a mega start from fourth to take second into the first corner. Unfortunately for Jackson, he had chosen race three to run the soft tyres and he started to fade. Ingram passed him on lap thirteen after moving up from eleventh on the grid in the opening laps. Adam Morgan then challenged Austin after fighting past the rest of the field and eventually passed Austin on the penultimate lap. Austin hung onto third though to give the new Alfa Romeo it’s first podium on it’s debut weekend.

Tom Ingram was happy to get a win on the first weekend of 2018;

"Fantastic! What a great end to the weekend. There was a lot of pressure on us coming into this weekend, with people expecting us to qualify on pole and win the first race, but we had a bit of an uphill battle. We genuinely really struggled with pace in free practice and qualifying; the car didn’t feel fantastic, but my engineer Spencer and Christian (Dick, Team Principal) did one hell of a job to give me one hell of a race car today and it was really enjoyable out there. We’ve really found the sweet spot with the Avensis. It was fun being able to just throw it down the inside of people into Clearways – the car was so stable on the brakes. I can’t say enough good things about this team and all our awesome sponsors."

Despite not winning a race, BMW hold a slender lead in the Manufacturers’ standings, whilst WIX Racing with Eurotech top the Teams’ order. Ingram and Speedworks have the early lead in the Independent’s standings. It’s Honda’s new driver Dan Cammish who claims Jack Sears Trophy honours.

The BTCC returns in three weeks’ time at Donington Park (28/29 April).

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 1 – Brands Hatch Indy

1 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech 25 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.547s
3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +2.481s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +3.577s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +11.290s
6 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +12.263s
7 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +14.578s
8 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.087s
9 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +15.612s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.715s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 2 – Brands Hatch Indy

1 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 27 laps
2 Jake HILL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +0.568s
3 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +1.761s
4 Tom BOARDMAN (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +2.393s
5 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.348s
6 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +9.395s
7 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +16.386s
8 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +17.145s
9 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +17.770s
10 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +22.213s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch Indy

1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 27 laps
2 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +3.237s
3 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +4.202s
4 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +8.939s
5 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +10.376s
6 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +10.500s
7 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +10.992s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +11.913s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +12.068s
10 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +12.503s

Penalties

Race 1

James Nash received a verbal warning for an incident involving Senna Proctor

Chris Smiley had 0.6s added to his race time for gaining an unfair advantage in an incident involving James Cole

Race 2

Tom Boardman received a verbal warning for an incident involving Matt Neal

Senna Proctor received a verbal warning for an incident involving Aiden Moffat

Race 3

Mike Bushell received an official reprimand and his licence was endorsed with two points for an incident involving Aiden Moffat

Ash Sutton received a verbal warning for an incident involving James Nash

Senna Proctor received an official reprimand and his licence was endorsed with two points incident involving James Nash

Stephen Jelley received an official reprimand and his licence was endorsed with two points for an incident involving Tom Chilton

Jack Goff received a verbal warning for an incident involving Ollie Jackson By Marc Waller 

Like it? Share it!

FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksNewsvineLinkedinRSS Feed

TechQuarters

GRIT Clothing

Motorsport Latest

Nissan all-new LEAF NISMO RC electric race car

The all-new Nissan LEAF NISMO RC, an electric race car with more than double the maximum power and torque output of its predecessor, was unveiled today in Tokyo.

Read more...

Britcar 2018 Finale - Sarah Moore and Matt Greenwood make history

Sarah Moore and her team mate Matt Greenwood recently took the Britcar Endurance title at the final rounds held at Brands Hatch.

Read more...