The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship produced an extraordinary day of action at Croft Circuit this past weekend (October 10/11) which saw Josh Cook and Tom Ingram triumph whilst a number of title contenders hit trouble.
BTC Racing’s Cook powered his way to a commanding double win before Toyota star Ingram emerged victorious in race three. Elsewhere, title protagonists Ashley Sutton, Colin Turkington and Rory Butcher all endured drama as the battle for UK motorsport’s most coveted prize intensified.
At the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R, Cook powered his way to pole position on Saturday and duly converted it into a commanding lights-to-flag victory in race one. Soaking up race-long pressure from Jake Hill and Turkington, the Bath racer held on to tally his second win of the year.
As the top three held station, all eyes were on Sutton as he produced another of his overtaking masterclasses. Sent spinning at the end of the first lap, the Infiniti Q50 driver charged from 14th up to fourth - pulling off a string of eye-catching moves along the way.
Cook was then awarded the spoils in race two following last lap contact between himself and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal. Three-time champion Neal was declared the on-the-road winner however his move on Cook was later viewed by the stewards and the positions were reversed. Hill bagged his second podium of the day to make it a Honda 1-2-3.
Elsewhere, Turkington’s day began to unwind as he outbraked himself on the run to the first corner and ended up in the gravel. With the Team BMW man out, Sutton had a prime opportunity to extend his points lead but he too found himself in strife as a move for third saw him pick up a puncture and finish 20th.
Motorbase Performance’s Butcher saw his title aspirations fall away too as he spun out of contention early on.
Toyota Gazoo Racing with Ginsters’ Ingram rounded off the weekend with an exemplary drive in the reverse grid encounter to net his third win of the season. Starting from third, Ingram muscled his way to the front on the opening lap and never looked back.
Coming under late pressure from Dan Cammish, the Speedworks ace placed his Corolla in the right positions to fend off the Honda man and score his third win of the year.
Sutton staged another sensational fightback to finish fifth whilst Turkington endured yet more woe as contact on the first lap broke his suspension. The BMW man would rejoin several laps down, going on to break his own lap record from last year.
Race three will also be remembered for Bobby Thompson’s scary crash which saw him barrel roll several times after exiting the circuit prior to the Jim Clark Esses. Thankfully the Trade Price Cars Racing driver walked away relatively unscathed.
Leaving Croft, Sutton remains at the top of the standings, holding a seven point lead over Cammish who has jumped ahead of Turkington who is 12 points off the top. Ingram has brought himself closer to the top three courtesy of his win.
On the TOCA support package, Josh Rattican and Tom Lebbon claimed a win apiece in the Michelin Ginetta Junior Championship whilst James Dorlin bagged a brace in the Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB contests.
Will Burns enjoyed a near-perfect weekend in the Millers Oils Ginetta GT4 Supercup as he scored two wins and a second, with Adam Smalley preventing him from completing what would have been a well-earned clean sweep.
Zak O’Sullivan and Casper Stevenson were victorious in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA - powered by Ford EcoBoost whilst spoils were also shared between Harry Nunn and Andrew Langley in the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE Trophy.