BTCC is back in action for 2019 this weekend, kicking off in Brands Hatch. We round up all the results and what this means for the championship at the end of a mad few days.
The first race of the 2019 British Touring Car season kicked off with the 2017 champion on pole. Ash Sutton flew off the line to take an early lead, ahead of Andrew Jordan.
The greasy track, whilst similar in condition to qualifying the previous day, certainly threw a curve ball to the drivers. It was Josh Cook at his BTC Racing car who eventually finished in the lead, having started in 10th.
Those at the front of the starting grid all chose to race on wet tyres, whilst Cook and others took the, seemingly genius, decision to use slicks.
Those on slicks initially lacked pace but as soon as these tyres came up to temperature, they were clearly the better option. Those on wet tyres were left unable to fight or fend off as Cook and others came powering through.
Cook took the lead on lap 9, passing Sutton at Clark corner. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for the eventual winner, who faced a late challenge from Jake Hill as the leading pack had to make their way through a series of lapped cars.
Hill took 2nd having started in 15th, with the podium rounded out by Tom Chilton in 3rd. Aiden Moffet and Adam Morgan came across the line in 4th and 5th respectively.
The first wet tyre finisher was Matt Neal in 8th, ahead of pole-sitter, Sutton, who eventually crossed the line in 9th. There was further disappointment, this time for reigning champion, Colin Turkington, who could only manage 19th after starting 3rd.
The “topsy-turvy” theme of the morning continued into the second race of the day, which saw Andrew Jordan storm to victory after starting in 15th. He crossed the line with a dominant lead of nearly 10 seconds over his closest rival, and Saturday’s fastest man, Ash Sutton.
Josh Cook, who had started this race from pole, quickly pulled out a commanding lead which was up to nearly 4 seconds by lap 10. But just five laps later, an opportunistic move by Sutton and then another overtake from Jordan saw him back in 3rd. He later finished the race in 7th.
Despite taking the lead in style, Sutton was simply unable to hold back Jordan, who stormed passed at the start-finish straight, before pulling out his commanding lead. Sutton then faced further challenges from Adam Morgan – the pair could only be separated in the photo-finish.
Jake Hill crossed the line in 4th, with Tom Ingram and Stephen Jelley in 5th and 6th respectively. The top ten was rounded out by Rory Butcher, Tom Chilton and Senna Proctor.
The victor for the last race of the day – the reverse grid race – was actually decided off the track. Despite crossing the line in 1st place, Tom Chilton faced a five-second post-race penalty which demoted him to 2nd.
The penalty came after an incident with Honda’s Matt Neal – a move which, at the time, gifted him the lead of the race.
It was eventually Rory Butcher who inherited the victory, his first in BTCC, after finishing 2nd on track. He crossed the line ahead of Stephen Jelley, who also faced a battle with Neal.
While Chilton dominated at the front of the pack, there was a ferocious battle for these podium places. It looked as though Matt Neal would take one of these places, before his soft option tyres began to lose pace.
After contact between Jelley and Neal sent the Honda spinning, Jelley slowed to let him regain the position. Rory Butcher quickly took advantage of this and swiftly moved past both drivers.
Colin Turkington, having faced a miserable day so far, finished in a respectable 5th. Tom Oliphant and Chris Smiley crossed the line in 6th and 7th respectively, with Neal eventually finishing in 8th.
After the opening weekend in Brands Hatch threw up some truly interesting results, we leave the track with Josh Cook leading the championship, just 4 points ahead of Tom Chilton.
Pole-sitter, Ash Sutton is currently 7th with reigning champion, Colin Turkington in 13th, with just 14 points.
|1||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||44|
|2||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||40|
|3||Stephen JELLEY||Team ParkerRacing||35|
|4||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance||34|
|5||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||31|
|7||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||27|
|8||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||23|
|9||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||22|
|10||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||20|
|11||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||20|
|12||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||15|
|13||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||14|
|14||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||11|
|15||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||9|
|16||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||9|
|17||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||6|
|18||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||6|
|19||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||4|
|20||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||3|
|22||Sam OSBORNE||Excelr8 Motorsport||0|
|23||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||0|
|24||Nic HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||0|
|25||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||0|
|26||Sam TORDOFF||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance||0|
|27||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||0|
|28||Rob SMITH||Excelr8 Motorsport||0|
|29||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||0|
|30||Carl BOARDLEY||AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing||0|
Feature Image Credit: BTCC.net
Posted on 7th April, 2019 for Overtake Motorsport
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