Goff, Proctor and Ingram shine on BTCC Opening Weekend
The opening weekend of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship got underway in true touring car fashion after three excellent races at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent.
Race one got off to a chaotic start after Matt Neal, Sam Tordoff and Mat Simpson all came together, ending one another’s chances of scoring good points and bringing out the safety car in the process. Colin Turkington had a chance on lap 14 to pass the leader Jack Goff and both went side by side through Clearways. The Honda driver held on however, and was able to fend off any more challenges from the BMW.
Jack Goff held on to take an impressive lights to flag victory in the wet conditions with Turkington not far behind and the hard charging Andrew Jordan completing the rostrum positions for Team BMW.
Race two will go down as being one of the best races in modern BTCC history. The race got underway in wet conditions, but the rain had already stopped falling, a dry line was beginning to appear and nearly a third of the grid gambled on using the Dunlop SportMaxx dry tyres.
You could say this was a race of two halves, as the first half went the way of the cars that chose the wet compound. Tom Ingram, Andrew Jordan and Jack Goff enjoyed an exciting battle for supremacy during the early stages of the race and this battle went on for the next ten laps.
Reigning champion Ash Sutton then joined the party and it became four for the lead midway through the race. However, conditions changed dramatically on lap 22 of 27 and the cars on wets found themselves in trouble. Aiden Moffat led the dry tyre charge with Senna Proctor, Jake Hill and Ollie Jackson all just behind him as they swarmed the leading four. The wet tyres couldn’t hang on and the cars on dry tyres made quick work of the leaders going over the star/finish line.
The action wasn’t done yet, as Moffat ran wide coming out of Druids and collided with Senna Proctor on the run down to Graham Hill Bend sending the Mercedes into the barrier, however Moffat still carried on with damage. The incredible encounter drew to a close and it was the TAG Racing Astra of Senna Proctor who took his first win in the BTCC, following by Jake Hill and Ollie Jackson, who both scored their first ever BTCC podiums with Tom Boardman and Aiden Moffat coming home in 4th and 5th.
Race three had a hard act to follow and wasn’t to be as hectic, but still didn’t disappoint. The HMS Racing Alfa Romeo of Rob Austin was drawn out on pole for the final encounter and initially made a great getaway off the line, leading Ollie Jackson and Aiden Moffat early on.
Tom Ingram made a great start further back and after starting in 11th, he found himself in 6th and then passed the VW of Mike Bushell shortly after. Ollie Jackon began to fade and Ingram was into 2nd by the end of lap seven and started to hunt down Austin.
Adam Morgan was also making strides through the pack and was soon to be hunting down Austin too. After waiting to make a move, Ingram made one stick on lap 13 as he slid down the inside of the Alfa on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend. The Speedworks Motorsport man would never look back and claimed his first win of the year. Morgan also passed Austin on the penultimate lap to take an impressive 2nd place and despite losing some pace towards the end of the race, HMS Racing still came home in a welcome 3rd.
In terms of the standings after rounds 1,2 and 3, Tom Ingram leads the overall standings from Jack Goff, Adam Morgan, Rob Austin and Ash Sutton.
BMW take a slim early lead in the manufacturers standings, WIX Racing with Eurotech take the early advantage in the teams standings and Tom Ingram also leads the independent drivers standings.
Next stop on the BTCC calendar is Donington Park (28th/29th April).
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 1 – Brands Hatch Indy
1 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech 25 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.547s
3 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +2.481s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +3.577s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +11.290s
6 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +12.263s
7 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +14.578s
8 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +15.087s
9 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +15.612s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.715s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 2 – Brands Hatch Indy
1 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 27 laps
2 Jake HILL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +0.568s
3 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +1.761s
4 Tom BOARDMAN (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +2.393s
5 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.348s
6 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +9.395s
7 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +16.386s
8 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +17.145s
9 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +17.770s
10 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +22.213s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 3 – Brands Hatch Indy
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport 27 laps
2 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +3.237s
3 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +4.202s
4 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +8.939s
5 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +10.376s
6 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing +10.500s
7 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +10.992s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +11.913s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +12.068s
10 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +12.503s