It was a fantastic day of racing under the sunshine at the Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, which played host to rounds 7,8 and 9 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
It was the Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal who claimed the early bragging rights as he converted his pole into a race win. Colin Turkington, who lined up alongside Neal, drew level with the Honda is both cars approached the first few corners, but it was Neal who kept the Northern Irishman honest and pulled out a big enough gap towards the end, to have the win in the bag. Further down the order, the Motorbase Ford of Sam Tordoff hunted down Dan Cammish as the pair would then tussle for the final podium spot. Cammish would prevail and went on to claim his second outright podium of his rookie season.
Further back there was a feisty contest to see who would be best of the rest, as Tom Chilton battled with Andrew Jordan and Senna Proctor. Brett Smith recovered after a poor getaway on the second row of the grid to finish in 8th position, with Josh Cook and Chris Smiley continuing to show strong pace by rounding out the top ten. Championship leader Tom Ingram who started well, would drop out of contention altogether with a suspected electrical issue.
It was Josh Cook who would then follow up his recent success at Donington Park with a delightful display to claim the second race of the day is his own. Race one winner Matt Neal didnt get a good start and immediately conceded the early lead to Turkington, meanwhile Cammish too bogged down at the start and had to watch Tordoff and Jordan breeze by in a battle for third. The TAG Racing duo of Cook and Proctor slipped past the Ford of Tom Chilton and Cook in particular, made a break for the front with blistering pace.
It didnt take Josh Cook too long before he saw off Tordoff and Jordan and found himself hunting down the front pair of Turkington and Neal. Cook’s Astra found its way past the Honda on lap 10 and then a lap later, pulled an almost identical move on Turkington to take the race lead.
That is how it would finish, with Turkington coming home in a solid second with Matt Neal in third. Sam Tordoff took another well earned fourth with Jordan close behind in fifth.
The third and final race of the day saw Ciceley Motorsport and Adam Morgan make it a second win of the season after a lights to flag victory. Morgan got his Mercedes off the line well and was able to defend from an early attack from Senna Proctor.
There was all sorts of changing in the order, but the main man on the move was the WIX Racing Civic of Jack Goff, he stormed through the field to eventually catch Proctor for second, but Morgan was just too far up the road for him to challenge.
Sam Tordoff became “Mr Consistent” as he again cemented a solid fourth place and a huge haul of points from the weekend. Colin Turkington too had a fine afternoon and with a top five finish in the final encounter, fired himself back into the championship picture.
Adam Morgan now becomes the championship leader by just one point from Josh Cook, with previous series leader Ingram, down to third in the standings. Vauxhall leave Thruxton with the manufacturers standings lead as well as the teams’ table. Morgan and his Ciceley squad also have the lead in both the Indepedents’ standings and Chris Smiley has pushing himself to the top of the Jack Sears Trophy table.
Next stop on the BTCC calendar is Oulton Park in Cheshire on the 9th/10th June.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 7 – Thruxton
1 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing 16 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.860s
3 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +3.699s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +4.040s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +5.290s
6 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +8.922s
7 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +9.361s
8 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +9.725s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +14.929s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +15.436s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 8 – Thruxton
1 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing 16 laps
2 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.325s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +5.285
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +6.287s
5 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +6.595s
6 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +7.005s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +7.419s
8 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +7.816s
9 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +9.114s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +10.203s
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Round 9 – Thruxton
1 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport 16 laps
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +2.433s
3 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +3.147s
4 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +5.045s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +5.994s
6 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +6.544s
7 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Speedworks Motorsport +6.922s
8 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +7.722s
9 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Norlin Racing +12.985s
10 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +13.205s