Cammish, Turkington & Oliphant Take Wins In Round 2.
After a much delayed opening round at Donington Park, the BTCC circus arrived at the legendary Brands Hatch circuit for round 2 of the 2020 season.
Rory Butcher lined his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus up in pole position after a stunning qualifying lap in the sweltering heat on Saturday. He led from the start and controlled the race, albeit under constant pressure from Dan Cammish and reigning champion Colin Turkington.
Hopes of a textbook lights to flag win were shattered when an incident between Matt Neal’s Honda and Aiden Moffat’s Infiniti brought out a late safety car. Neal went for an ambitious overtake down the inside of Moffat and made contact, spinning him off the track and into the barriers at Hawthorns. Moffat tried to correct, not an easy feat in the rear wheel drive infiniti and managed to keep himself on the track.
As the safety car period ended, it looked like it would be a 3 lap battle to the flag, when drama struck for Butcher. Cammish threw his Honda up the inside into Druids to take 1st as Butcher slowed thanks to front a left puncture, the second puncture of the weekend after he also suffered a front left puncture in FP1 on Saturday.
On the restart there's a change of lead as @rorybutcher picks up a puncture.
— BTCC (@BTCC) August 9, 2020
The late drama handed Cammish his second win of the season ahead of Turkington. and a jubilant Ollie Jackson, scoring his second career podium. After the race Cammish, who ended his title challenge in the barriers at the circuit last year, said: “It was very tough coming back here, I had a lump in my throat yesterday and, I won’t lie, I shed a few tears then. For the team to bounce back and for me mentally to recover, I’m really pleased and so proud of everyone involved”
A jubilant Ollie Jackson crossed the line in 3rd scoring his second career podium.
“It’s a shame that it’s at Rory’s expense, and it’s overall for the team a bit of a kicker but my second podium, I’m so happy,” said Jackson. “It was tough running in the heat but we got there in the end.”
Ingram took his Toyota across the line in fourth in front of Chilton’s BTC Racing Honda. Sutton claimed a valuable sixth after battling his way up the order from 14th. Proctor grabbed seventh in the all new Hyundai, with Oliphant coming home in 8th after a slide across the grass early on in the race. Team Parker Racing’s Stephen Jelley and MB Motorsports Hill rounded up the top ten.
Cammish took his position at the front of the grid for race 2, relishing the opportunity for another win, but it wasn’t to be. He bogged at the start and dropped to fourth, with Turkington and Ingram leading the field.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing man picked himself back up into the third place and caught the front runners, setting the scene for a three-way battle for the win, but bad luck struck again as his Honda cut out through Surtees and he dropped to dead lasting.
Turkington eventually eased away from Ingram and took a comfortable victory with Ingram and Sutton completing the podium.
“The 3 series was just beautiful in that race. It was like Donington, I had to try and beat Dan to the first corner, which I did with no problem.
But the pressure was on from there. It was Ollie initially and then Tom Ingram hot on my heels, a tough race because when you’re leading you can’t afford any mistakes – the guys get a sniff and they’re right on you. It was a close to perfect race and a big thanks to the team because, like at Donington, my car was improved for race two and that’s why we had that outstanding pace, so I’m really pleased to chalk another win.” Enthused Turkington.
Ingram was happy with a second place finish, saying: “First time this year, I’m absolutely thrilled.
I feel like I’ve missed out on at least three podium finishes this year so I’m pleased to get the first one out of the way – get it done. And the car felt magnificent, towards the end I was happy just to nurse it really and take the time. I knew that we were going to be dropping off and it was really hard work, especially with tyres as well.
Generally the car has felt really strong this weekend so it’s exciting, we’ve had two good solid points scores, so the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters car is feeling pretty hooked up.”
Butcher put his misfortune from the last race behind him and produced an absolutely stunning drive from 25th to 4th. His Motorbase Performance teammate enjoyed the best day of his BTCC career with a fifth placed finish.
Adam Morgan took 6th in his Carlube-backed Mercedes Benz A-Class with Oliphant and Proctor coming home in 7th and 8th.
Jelley mirrored his results of the last race with another ninth placed finish and rounding off the top ten was GKR TradePriceCars.com racer James Gornal, enjoying his best result of his short BTCC career.
📸 Race two snaps
— BTCC (@BTCC) August 9, 2020
Race 3 saw Oliphant pull out one of the passes of the season so far as he effortlessly breezed around the outside of Moffat and Jelley on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend, his double overtake propelling him into the lead.
He then had to contend with Sutton and Butcher, both breathing down his neck after several early overtakes. Sutton was on full attack mode but Oliphant didn’t put a wheel wrong and crossed the line to take his maiden BTCC win and the 300th podium for BMW in BTCC.
“Honestly, it was incredible,” said an emotional Oliphant. “The overtake was spectacular around the outside and then having Sutton right behind me the whole race – I couldn’t think of a worse person to be following me. But I just held onto the tyres, knew where I was strong and made sure I got the exits, and towards the end the car was mega. I can’t quite believe it, I’m over the moon.”
Sutton took second place third place went to Jelley after Butcher suffered yet more heartache with both Motorbase Performance cars suffering punctures.
“However it comes I’ll take third,” enthused Jelley. “Well done to the team, we’ve done really well. It’s not a strong circuit for us so I’m over the moon.”
Moffat eventually secured fourth, his best result of the season, after starting on pole and dropping down the order in the early stages. Turkington fought his way up the field from 12th to take a top 5 finish, increasing his championship lead.
Matt Neal grabbed sixth after an impressive drive from the back of the field and Gornall enjoyed his third successive points finish in just his second event bringing his Audi S3 across the line in seventh. Chilton, Proctor and Osborne completed the top ten. A number of non finishers were recorded after Proctor got out of shape on lap 1, causing a domino effect that took out Goff, Ingram and Morgan. Jake Hill suffered the last of many punctures and Dan Cammish had another mechanical fault that saw him retire.
My god @Brands_Hatch GP. You have given me some fantastic highs and terrible lows over the years. I still love you though 😘. A win and double DNF is not the weekend we wanted. The attrition rate has been high in the heat but we’re lighter now and determined to fight back 💪🏼❤️ pic.twitter.com/f5NaCEb3GL
— Dan Cammish (@DanCammish) August 9, 2020