BTCC: Austin wins finale, Sutton crowned champion

Source: Barneshaw Images

Rob Austin takes rain soaked race three win as Ashley Sutton is crowned 2017 champion.

Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin took victory in the final round of the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship. The race got underway in the rain with Auto Aid/RCIB Insurance Racing’s Michael Epps starting from pole position and Rob Austin alongside. Straight off the line Austin was alongside Epps but the latter did not let go of the lead at turn one. The top three of the race was Epps, Austin and Tom Ingram out at the front. Both championship protagonists Colin Turkington and Ashley Sutton passed Power Maxed Racing’s Tom Chilton on the opening lap of the race. Sutton was shadowing Turkington at every twist and turn.

On the following lap Turkington was clipped by Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo’s Mat Jackson as the latter rejoined the circuit after contact with Speedworks’ Tom Ingram. The BMW was forced into retirement as he received both a puncture and broken suspension, this ended the title fight. Sutton was deemed champion as Turkington retired in the pit lane through damage sustained in someone else’s incident.

Lap three saw Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor beach his Vauxhall in the Druids gravel trap, bringing out the safety car as the car needed recovering to a safe place. On lap three the order behind the safety car was Austin, Epps, Goff, Sutton, Ingram, Neal, Shedden, M Jackson, Moffat and Hill. The race was back underway a few laps later.

Austin began pulling away from Epps as the latter came under huge pressure from Goff. Goff then made a move on the VW which saw Epps to drop to fourth as Sutton followed Goff through. Ingram closed in on Epps and began hounding the bumper of the VW. On lap eleven it was Austin, Goff, Sutton, Epps, Ingram, Shedden, M Jackson, Neal, Morgan and Moffat.

Behind the lead fight, Ingram was battling hard to keep Shedden behind him in order to maintain his third place overall in the outright championship.

Not long after setting the fastest lap of the race Simpson Racing’s Matt Simpson went flying through the Paddock Hill gravel trap after sliding off track. Ingram meanwhile passed Epps on lap fourteen to take fourth meaning he had a car between himself and Shedden.

As the flag fell on the last race of the 2017 season, Austin took the flag ahead of Goff and newly crowned 2017 Champion Ashley Sutton.

Full classification; 

Rob AUSTIN – Handy Motorsport 

Jack GOFF – Eurotech Racing 

Ashley SUTTON – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 

Tom INGRAM – Speedworks Motorsport 

Michael EPPS – Auto Aid/RCIB Insurance Racing

Gordon SHEDDEN- Halfords Yuasa Racing 

Mat JACKSON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo 

Matt NEAL – Halfords Yuasa Racing 

Adam MORGAN – Ciceley Motorsport 

Jake HILL – TAG Racing

Chris SMILEY – BTC Norlin Racing 

Rory BUTCHER – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo 

Andrew JORDAN – BMW Pirtek Racing 

Aiden MOFFAT – Laser Tools Racing 

Tom CHILTON – Power Maxed Racing 

Ollie JACKSON – with Cobra Exhausts 

Dave NEWSHAM – BTC Norlin Racing 

Brett SMITH – Eurotech Racing 

Stephen JELLEY – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport 

Aron TAYLOR-SMITH – MG Racing RCIB Insurance 

Stewart LINES – Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport 

Jason PLATO – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 

Martin DEPPER – Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo 

Matt SIMPSON – Simpson Racing 

Ant WHORTON-EALES – with Cobra Exhausts 

James COLE – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing

DNF – Josh PRICE – Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 

DNf – Josh COOK – MG Racing RCIB Insurance 

DNF – Senna PROCTOR – Power Maxed Racing