BTCC: Sutton & Butcher Victorious At Knockhill

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Sutton lined his Infiniti Q50 up on pole for round ten and didn’t look troubled as he took a fantastic lights to flag victory.

Team BMW’s Turkington got the jump on Hill straight off the line, but could never get quite close enough to mount a serious challenge for the lead. By lap two Sutton had an impressive 1.6 second lead and continued to build on it until a safety car period caused by a huge crash for BTC Racing’s Josh Cook, bunched up the field on lap 5.

Cook seemed to lose the rear end and careered backwards into the barrier at high speed. BTC Racing has since confirmed that his Honda Civic Type R suffered a puncture before the crash.

 

As the restart got underway, Turkington looked to have the upper hand briefly, but was then unable to get close enough to attempt a pass for the lead.

The safety car almost made another appearance as the Audi of James Gornall made heavy contact with the Ford of Andy Neate ahead of him, but both cars managed to limp out of harm’s way, albeit into retirement.

Speaking after the race, Sutton said: “It’s good obviously to get the win here for Laser Tools Racing. It’s fantastic to convert that pole into a win.

Colin was there but we just managed to hold that sensible gap that we required so he couldn’t get a move in. Obviously the initial plan was to just break clear and the opening lap was the perfect time to do that while everyone squabbles.

But the Safety Car closed that down, so it was just a case of getting a clean restart, and then managing the gap from that point onwards. Obviously he applied a little bit of pressure into the hairpin a couple of times, but it was under control.”

Hill maintained his third place position throughout the race, holding off the Toyota Corolla of Tom Ingram.

In fifth place was Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher with Dan Cammish behind in sixth.

Cammish had earlier made a move for second, going around the outside of Hill and Turkington at the final hairpin, however he was left on the outside across the start finish straight and the opening corners, as Turkington, Hill, Ingram and Butcher all ran side by side, Cammish was edged out and  dropped down to sixth.

Matt Neals qualifying shunt may have dampened his spirits, but his excellent recovery saw him taking seventh ahead of Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant.

Aiden Moffat came home in ninth, ensuring both Laser Tools Racing cars finished in top ten and Stephen Jelley, having been in several battles throughout the race, took tenth, crossing the line just ahead of Chilton.

Team Hard, who announced on Thursday that Ollie Brown and Nicolas Hamilton would not be able to race due to an incident as Oulten Park, suffered more upset as Jack Goff failed to make the start, grinding to a halt on the green flag lap.

 

Race 2 was very much more of the same, with Sutton once again leading from the start and Turkington applying as much pressure as he could in second place.

Despite Sutton having the heavier car thanks to his race 1 win, there was little Turkington could do as the Infiniti man pulled off a faultless race to take his fourth win of the season.

“It was very much like race one; the car’s evenly matched over the course of the run and I was at full tilt to try to stay with Ash and make a move, but he just has a bit more pace than us today,” Said Turkington. “We went to other tracks where we’ve been stronger, but Ash has got it dialled maybe a bit better than us.

“I think track position counts for a lot too. If you’re in the lead you can manage things, set your pace, it’s a good position to be in. But P2 for BMW again is a fantastic result, more points and hopefully I can reverse the position for race three!”

Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters’ Tom Ingram looked like he could mount a challenge for the lead, but he soon had to defend from Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish, dropping away from the lead duo.

A lap five incident involving Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher and MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill benefitted Ingram and Cammish. Butcher went down the inside of Hill’s Honda through the first complex but was unable to stop in time for the right hander, leaving no other option but a trip through the gravel.

Laser Tools Racing racked up more points courtesy to Aiden Moffat taking fifth place ahead of Tom Oliphant with BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton enjoying a little more success than in race 1 bringing it across the line in seventh.

Hill had to settle for eighth ahead of the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai of Chris Smiley whilst Butcher came home in tenth.

BTC Racing did an incredible job to repair the damage on Josh Cook’s car, but unfortunately he was out of race on the opening lap.

Race 3 was one of the more chaotic races we’ve seen for a while.

Excelr8 Motorsport’s Proctor lined up in first but Motorbase Performance’s Rory Butcher got a brilliant start and took the lead before the race was red flagged following an accident involving Mike Bushell, Ollie Jackson and Sam Osborne.

Jackson’s Ford Focus locked the right rear wheel, putting him into a spin through the chicane, right into the path of oncoming traffic. Bushell hit Jackson and Osborne tried to take evasive action, side-swiping the Vauxhall Astra ahead of him in the process. Thankfully there were no injuries and the race was red flagged before a full restart.

In an almost carbon copy of the original start, Butcher once again got the jump on Proctor, taking the lead on the run to turn 1 and never looked back as he took a fantastic home victory.

“I felt after Oulton, Josh drove so well in that race and I got handed the win; I didn’t want to take my first victory in the new car in that way,” said Butcher. “So to do what we just did there on home ground has made up for it. I’m so pleased for the team. I’ve had quite a difficult day. I was really pleased with race one, making up one place and getting past Cammish was great, but in race two I wasn’t really proud of my performance there.

“I’ve been getting superb starts this year, doing a lot of studying into how to launch the car best and I was confident going into that race that I could lead going into turn one.

“This event means so much to me. As soon as the calendar comes out it’s the event I’m looking forward to it and normally you get all the Scottish fans here.

It really makes the venue have an incredible atmosphere. Unfortunately we didn’t have that today, but the Scottish marshals were waving the Scottish flag at the end of that race so I got a little buzz from that.”

Proctor held on to second ahead of BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton who scored his 101st podium of his career. Oliphant and Hill rounded up the top five with Dan Cammish taking sixth.

Smiley came home in seventh, with a fantastic battle behind him as Turkington and Moffat swapped positions twice before Moffat eventually came out on top. Tom Ingram crossed the line in tenth with double race winner Ash Sutton in just 11th place.

 

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