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.
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 – AmDtuning.com 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 – AmDtuning.com 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
DNF -Colin TURKINGTON -Team BMW