The BTCC headed to Silverstone last weekend for it’s penultimate three rounds of the 2018 season. When the championship reached Silverstone, eight drivers were still in contention. By the time it left Silverstone only three contenders for the title remained.
The weekend saw three different winners including two scoring their first wins of the season with Tordoff, Ingram and Moffat claiming the weekend’s wins.
Colin Turkington remains the championship leader but Ingram reduced the points gap to a still not insignificant thirty four points. Tom Chilton is the third challenger to remain in contention, despite not winning over the weekend. He finished consistently in the points to remain in contention in third place.
It was Chilton’s team mate, Sam Tordoff who led home a Motorbase One-two in the first race after starting from pole. Tordoff initially came under pressure from the fast starting Ricky Collard, the youngster still standing in for dad Rob. Collard, however ran wide at Copse allowing Chilton through into second. Collard in fact found himself down in fifth after his error. He would have to battle with Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff if he was to regain his place on the podium.
Jordan sadly found himself out of the race when his car lost power and Collard then passed Goff around the outside to take third in the closing stages. Up ahead Tordoff had battled with team mate Chilton but held him off to win.
“It was long overdue!” Said Tordoff afterwards “The first job was getting a good start because I knew Ricky [Collard] would be quick off the line, and then I settled into a rhythm. I made it difficult for myself when I stuck a wheel on the gravel and let Tom [Chilton] in. I knew in my head what I wanted to do but I’d be lying if I thought it would go quite that well. Tom was racing for the win but we kept it clean. I knew from the body language of Tom’s car that he was trying and we had no team orders. I am delighted to have finally got a win this season.”
Ricky Collard’s maiden podium was met with huge celebrations from his WSR run Team BMW crew
The second race saw a stunning drive through the field by Tom Ingram to ensure he remains in the title fight going to Brands Hatch. He had raced from the back of the grid previously at Snetterton and Rockingham and now he flew through the field from fifteenth to the lead. He was assisted by not having ballast in this race and because he was running the soft tyres.
His move to second involved passing Tom Chilton’s Focus and Adam Morgan’s Mercedes in a single move. He then caught and passed Tordoff before driving away to a comfortable lead and his third victory of the season. Tordoff hung onto second with Morgan in third.
Ingram spoke afterwards
“I was mindful of not putting myself in a vulnerable position. I knew Aiden (Moffat) was desperate for a win and rightly so. The only place I could have a little look at him was going down into Brooklands. I was trying to put myself into a position but if I went to the inside, Colin (Turkington) was going to do the opposite. I had to go to the outside and put Colin into the gap. Aiden started to go back and I was hoping he wouldn’t back me into the rest. It was a hugely important day for us. We’ve closed the gap down and it’s onto Brands Hatch now. I knew Colin was going to come at me. We had our elbows out! We’re in the best shape possible. You’d say we’ve got the strongest car. We’re lighter on weight and we’re in the driving seat. Colin’s got it all to lose and we’ve got it all to gain. We’ve gone well at Brands in the past. We took 42 points out of Colin in the last two races. We can do it, it’s just a case of putting it all together next time out.”
In race three, the reverse grid draw saw Aiden Moffat on pole and he made the most of it with a lights to flag victory becoming the season’s sixteenth different winner in the process. Half the field who started the championship at the first race have now won a race at some point during the season.
Despite never being headed, Moffat lead a six car train for most of the race with Ingram and Turkington battling for second. In the second half of the race, it was Ingram hanging on to the runner up spot. As the race entered the final few laps Turkington drew alongside and the two made minor contact but Ingram hung on to take further points away from his rival.
Moffat meanwhile had managed to edge away from the battle and took his first win of the season;
“I’ll sleep tonight, that’s for sure. I looked at the timesheet and I was confident I would get away. I had a feeling Ingram and Turkington would be there at the end but they got there a lot sooner than I hoped. It’s a track we struggle at, so to win here is a bit emotional and special. I’ve had to fight for it. There has been a few tears after that one. It meant a lot after the way things have been going recently. I’ve put a lot of work into this weekend. I was determined to bounce back to reward everyone for their efforts. There’s a few drivers you don’t want to see behind you and Tom’s definitely one of them!”
Turkington was pleased to be leaving Silverstone in the championship lead;
“I’ve been here before and I’m really enjoying it this year. Last year, I was the one doing the hunting, trying to claw the points back on Ash [Sutton] but I wasn’t really getting there, and that’s where you start taking risks. I enjoy these moments, it’s what we live for. I’m so determined this year that it’s coming home to me, especially after last year. We’ve turned it right around from 18th yesterday to a podium today, so I’m delighted. The instinct is go forward and beat Tom [Ingram] in a square fight but you’ve got to be sensible. The BTCC is such that the stars have to align if you want to win the championship. Fate has to play its cards. No matter how hard I fought last year, it wasn’t coming to me. I hope that this is the year. I’ve got real determination. It’s doesn’t matter that I’ve won it twice. I’ve got a lot of people to do it for and a lot of reasons.”
So Turkington heads to Brands with a thirty four point lead over Ingram with Chilton a further nine points back.
BMW has maintained its lead in the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings, whilst Ingram and his Speedworks team boast a slender advantage in the Independents’ categories.
Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish moved into an unassailable lead in the Jack Sears Trophy and so he should now win this baring any potential penalties from anything that may happen at Brands Hatch.
The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Championship will conclude at Brands Hatch on 29/30 September.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 25 – Silverstone
1 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase 25 laps
2 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.468s
3 Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +3.967s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +6.018s
5 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +6.193s
6 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +6.484s
7 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +10.987s
8 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +11.415s
9 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +11.942s
10 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +13.416s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 26 – Silverstone
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 22 laps
2 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +6.412s
3 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +7.921s
4 Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +8.019s
5 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +10.840s
6 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +11.883s
7 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +20.329s
8 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +12.391s
9 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +12.875s
10 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +13.096s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 27 – Silverstone
1 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing 25 laps
2 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +0.221s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.322s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +2.347s
5 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +2.642s
6 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +2.788s
7 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.000s
8 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.304s
9 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +4.504s
10 Ricky COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +5.518s
Penalties from the weekend and previous events
Carl Boardley was excluded from the results of qualifying and Rounds 22, 23 & 24 with a forfeit of 40 points from all championships concerned for a technical infringement
Halfords Yuasa Racing has had 10 points deducted from its Teams' and Manufacturers' Championship scores having changed an engine above the number permitted
WIX Racing with Eurotech has had 10 points deducted from its Teams' and Independent Teams' Championship scores having changed an engine above the number permitted
Mike Bushell was officially reprimanded and received two penalty points for an incident involving Rob Austin
Chris Smiley was officially reprimanded and received two penalty points for an incident involving Josh Cook
Ash Sutton received a verbal warning for an incident involving James Cole
Tom Chilton received a verbal warning for an incident involving Dan Lloyd
Ethan Hammerton received a verbal warning for an incident involving James Cole By Marc Waller