Race onestart (Photo by Marc Waller)The British Touring Car Championship had it’s second visit of the year to Thruxton recently and all three wins we to a Honda car but each from three different teams.

In the first race Sam Tordoff took his older model Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Civic to a lights to flag victory from pole. Then in race two it was Josh Cook’s turn in the newer spec BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R before Halfords Yuasa Racing driver Dan Cammish took the race three victory in his Honda backed Type R. The Honda Brand has won just over half the races held at Thruxton in the past ten years, sixteen out of thirty!

Cammish and Cook’s successes edged them closer to the championship leading BMWs of Turkington and Jordan who both had difficult weekends.

Tordoff’s win in race one was made easier by fellow front row starter, Jason Plato getting a drive through in his Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra after an out of position start. Dan Cammish, Adam Morgan and Cook kept on Tordoff’s tail until the end, with the top four covered by a little over a second at the flag. Tordoff spoke afterwards;

“I’m relieved as that’s probably long-overdue – a bit of redemption after what happened here a few months ago. It was one of the longest 16-lap races I’ve ever done! It probably looked like I was managing it from the pit-wall but it didn’t feel like it! I was giving it everything. It’s a great start from the team. I got the radio call about Jason (Plato) at the end of lap one and that was a big relief. Commiserations to him but rules are rules.”

Cook’s race two win included one of the moves of the year as he went from third to first in one move. Tordoff had held a comfortable lead early on but his now ballast laden car soon had Adam Morgan’s Mac Tools Ciceley Mercedes and Josh Cook’s Honda looking to pass.

Both made their move on lap four, Morgan dived for the inside after Church while Cook looked to the outside and they ran three abreast into the final chicane. They emerged onto the pit straight with Cook leading from Morgan and Tordoff demoted to third.

Cook then went on to win the race, beating second placed Morgan by nearly two seconds. Third place was had fought with Tordoff

A huge scrap for third ensued behind with a ballast-laden Tordoff the cork in the bottle at the head of a queue of cars. Unfortunately for the race one winner, the pressure eventually told on lap 11, and he was shuffled down the order. It ended up as a battle between Honda’s Matt Neal and BMW’s Tom Oliphant with Neal taking the final podium slot at the final corner, crossing the line just 0.080 seconds ahead of Oliphant.


Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal ran in third and fourth respectively as the final place on the podium was decided at the last corner. Neal’s Honda Civic Type R got a great run on the 3 Series ahead of him and the triple BTCC champion nipped through around the outside at the final chicane to reach the rostrum – crossing the line just 0.080s ahead of Oliphant.

Cook spoke after the race about his strong run to victory;

“That went to plan! It was a bit hairy at the start and the overtake into the chicane was too! I was clear of Sam (Tordoff) and had to outbrake Adam (Morgan). I was on the outside and had to brake as late as I dared and made it stick. I was working hard out front because of Adam and I had to be mindful of the tyres around here too. We’ve had a few rounds where we’ve struggled with the weight but we’ve gone well here. Credit to the team. We’ve had our heads down working hard.”

The third race saw Rob Collard start from pole on the reverse grid. Cammish actually made a bad start and dropped some places.

Soon it became a battle between Collard, Oliphant and Cammish with Cammish moving up to second at half distance. There was then a twist as it started rain. Collard made a small error going through church on lap ten putting his car slightly on the grass. This gave Cammish his chance to take the lead. Collard didn’t make any further mistakes in the worsening conditions but Olliphant struggled losing third to Cammish’s team mate Neal and dropping eventually to seventh place.

Cammish was pleased with his race;

“A few hours ago I thought this was never going to happen. When the rain started coming down I was thinking ‘do not drop this’. It's been my best ever weekend with first, second and fifth. We’ve been racing the BMWs and fair play to them and I've consistently punched above my level without the rewards until right now. I’m fighting back from a deficit from the first two weekends and there’s a lot of racing to go. I’m in one of the best seats in British motorsport. There’s a long line of people that want my job and I’ve got to continually prove myself and make myself better.”
Turkington and Jordan struggled all weekend and their low scoring weekend has put Cammish and Cook into contention. Rory Butcher, who had been challenging has dropped back after a difficult weekend which included a DNF.

Turkington spoke about his tough weekend;

“I'm not actively trying to manage things! I would like to be faster. The car was better in race three but when you start ninth, or so, it's very hard to get through. I thought we were in a better place but when the rain came down it was very tricky. The car was skating all over the place. Hopefully this is our one difficult weekend. It was hard graft for not very much reward – we're not used to being outside the top ten. We'll go to Knockhill looking for more. It's good BMW territory so we’re hopeful we’ll be back at the front.”

Race one podium (Photo by Marc Waller) Top three battle part way through race two (Photo by Marc Waller) Race two podium (Photo by Marc Waller) Race three start (Photo by Marc Waller) A busy race three podium (Photo by Marc Waller)

 

 

 

Turkington now leads the Drivers’ championship by 30 points from Jordan, with Cammish and Cook just four and eight points further back respectively.

BMW head the Manufacturers’ order but Halfords Yuasa Racing has now moved ahead in the Teams’ championship.

Cook and his BTC Racing squad are at the top of the Independents’ table, whilst Rory Butcher still holds the lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.

The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returns at Knockhill on the 14th and 15th September.

2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 19 – Thruxton
1 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance 16 laps
2 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.403s
3 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.714s
4 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.208s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +3.189s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +4.660s
7 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +8.923s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +10.562s
9 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +10.863s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing +11.446s
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 20 – Thruxton
1 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing 16 laps
2 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +1.973s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +8.360s
4 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +8.440s
5 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +9.022s
6 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +9.608s
7 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +10.082s
8 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +10.666s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +10.823s
10 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +13.823s
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Round 21 – Thruxton
1 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 15 laps
2 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +1.974s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +4.670s
4 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +5.444s
5 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +6.239s
6 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +6.585s
7 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +7.814s
8 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +8.513s
9 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +8.996s
10 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +9.428s  By Marc Waller 

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