Matt Neal makes more BTCC history while Ingram takes the lead at Snetterton

Visibility was tough in race one (Photo by Marc Waller)History was made at the most recent rounds of the BTCC at Snetterton last weekend when the “Diamond Double” race was held as part of the most recent rounds of the BTCC.


The 60 mile, ballast free race took the place of the usual race three in the meeting with a special ballast free qualifying held on Saturday to set the grid for it. The race also awarded double points so the whole field were looking to be successful in it. Jack Goff took pole in both the normal qualifying session as well as the second one for the special race.

Before that were the two regular races were held

The opening race of the day was a classic as Goff lead away from pole only to be caught by Ash Sutton from seventh on the grid.

A cat-and-mouse style battle then took place during the rest of the race. Goff had a lead of more than three seconds while Sutton was fighting up the order but once into second, Sutton was soon reeling him in.

A series of fastest laps then Hauled Sutton onto Goff’s tail with just two laps remaining. The two made contact on the penultimate lap and were then totally together up until the bomb hole on the final lap where a slight mistake by Goff saw Sutton draw alongside. He took the lead into the final corner only for Goff to overhaul him on the drag to the line.

"I wish it’d been the last lap three laps before!” Said Goff after the race. “We knew we had to get a gap at the start with us being front-wheel drive. We did that. The WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R was on rails at the start. About four or five laps from the end, Ash had eight tenths of-a-lap on us. We had strengths through sector one and he had us in sector three. He didn’t hold back at the end of last season so he was never going to hold back here! We were both on the absolute limit and what a great way to end the race that was. I knew Ash was much quicker in the last sector but he dropped a wheel on the kerb on the outside of the last turn, it was neck-and-neck and it was a combination of grip and speed over the line. I knew we’d have our hands full when I saw Ash was the highest-placed rear-wheel drive car!"
The gap as they crossed the line in the end was just 0.152 seconds. Dan Cammish’s Honda filled the final podium spot.

The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing star Sutton had his turn in front for race two as he took his third win of the season, narrowly beating the Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall of Josh Cook. Sutton’s win was made easier when pole Sitter Goff did not get out the pits in time to make the grid and he had to start from the back.

Behind, Tom Ingram produced one of his best drives of the season to take the final podium spot after starting the race in twenty seventh.

Ingram made repeated amazing passing moves with his final two passes bringing his team to their feet in the garage as they watched on tv. He sent his car inside Chris Smiley’s BTC Norlin car with just over a lap remaining and then pulled alongside Cammish’s Honda on the run to the line. When the chequered flag fell it was Ingram’s podium by just 0.042s.

It was then on to the day’s big race.

WIX Racing with Eurotech driver Jack Goff made a good if not particularly exceptional start from his pole position and in the early laps he kept Neal a reasonable distance behind. But then a brief shower of rain flurry brought the Honda Civic of Neal onto the rear of Goff’s older model Wix Racing machine.

Tordoff had a one off anniversary livery for the weekend (Photo by Marc Waller) Adam Morgan had a difficult day with offs in two of the three races (Photo by Marc Waller) Sutton took the race two win in his specially liveried car (Photo by Marc Waller) Goff leads the way at the start of race three (Photo by Marc Waller) The top three in the final race were absolutely together (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

A mistake on lap nine saw Neal’s chance to take the lead as Goff ran wide on a damp track. Goff hung on to second but couldn’t find a way to fight back over the rest of the race. Ingram had also taken the chance to close in third place and the three remained together for the rest of the race.

Ingram was pleased to have got a decent result in a race which was important for the championship with double points;

“That was a really good result for me. I was just trying to bag the points with the double score. I saw Ash (Sutton) had a drive through, so it was in the back of my mind to score. We were all quicker in different areas and we were all glued to each others’ bumpers. It was back and forth all the way through the race. I nearly said to Christian (Dick, Team Principal) to head over to Team Dynamics and say ‘let’s try to catch Jack (Goff). I’m well pleased with that for the championship.”

Matt Neal was happy to had the historic race win to his other achievements;

“I can’t believe it. I don’t know where to put this huge trophy, I’ll put it in the workshop with the boys because they earned it as much as me. It is magic. A lot is about qualifying and we were fortunate it ran well for us. It is nice to win on a race where it is even-stevens on the weight. It was our day today. It’s good for the championship too, but that was really special. I thought, ‘let’s give it a go’ after the first two races we had, ‘let’s give it a shot. The car was just awesome and I’ve got to thank Jack (Goff) and Eurotech for playing fair. He struggled leading into the greasier conditions but then he seemed to get a second wind. He had Tom (Ingram) in his mirrors later on. I had a sense of relief only when I saw the chequered flag! It was so marginal in the braking areas in those conditions. I was the gauge. I couldn’t be careful, though, for one or two corners otherwise the pair of them would have been right back at me again. Jack’s a good lad. I knew he would race fairly. He could have won all three today. I’ve managed to nick that one off him, just.”

Race two podium (Photo by Marc Waller) Goff celebrates his historic double pole on Saturday (Photo by Marc Waller) Matt Neal celebrates the diamond double win (Photo by Marc Waller) Matt Neal recives the special diamond double trophy on the podium (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

The double points certainly helped Tom Ingram, who is now leading the Drivers’ standings by five points from Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.

BMW still lead the Manufacturers’ table but Halfords Yuasa Racing have moved to the top of the Teams’ championship.

Ingram and his Speedworks Motorsport squad hold the advantage in both Independents’ championships, whilst Cammish heads the Jack Sears Trophy after winning it again for the Snetterton meeting.

The next rounds, (19, 20 and 21) of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will take place at Rockingham in less then two weeks’ time on the weekend of the 11th and 12th August.

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 16 – Snetterton

1 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech 12 laps
2 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.152s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.659s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +13.619s
5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +15.023s
6 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +27.772s
7 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +28.082s
8 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +30.690s
9 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +31.116s
10 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +37.164s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 17 – Snetterton

1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 14 laps
2 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +0.221s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +2.799s
4 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +2.841s
5 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +4.683s
6 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.151s
7 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +5.420s
8 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +6.039s
9 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.225s
10 Ant WHORTON-EALES (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +1m47.039s

2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 18:
‘The Diamond Double’ – Snetterton

1 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 21 laps
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.243s
3 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.611s
4 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +4.372s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.389s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +24.111s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +24.824s
8 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +28.191s
9 Dan LLOYD (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +28.472s
10 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +31.337s By Marc Waller 

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