Croft Circuit played host to an action-packed Rounds 10, 11 & 12 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship this past weekend (June 15/16) as thousands flocked to the North Yorkshire venue to see Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton share the spoils.
Faced with challenging weather conditions on both Saturday and Sunday, Britain’s premier race series served up a feast of entertainment as records tumbled around the newly resurfaced 2.12 mile circuit.
In qualifying, BMW Pirtek Racing’s Jordan set a new lap record to score his first pole position since 2014, despite plenty of disruption throughout the session. No less than five red flag stoppages, the last of which was caused by Jordan himself, truncated the session.
Launching off the line, the 2013 champion continued his rich vein of form as he took a lights-to-flag victory. Dealing with race-long attention from BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley, as well as a lengthy safety car period, the 30-year-old proved to be in a league of his own as he powered his way to the chequered flag.
The battle for the final spot on the podium fell the way of Tom Chilton after he held off the advances of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant for the entirety of the 18-lap encounter.
Race two proved to be a similar story for Jordan as he converted pole position into his fifth win of the season, replicating his double-winning performance at Croft last time out.
Making a good getaway, Jordan pulled out a comfortable gap in the opening stages as the chasing pack battled with second place Smiley. Turkington finally got the better of his Northern Irish counterpart but by that time the gap to Jordan was too big.
Reeling him in over the course of a handful of laps, the West Surrey Racing duo held station to record their latest 1-2 finish of the season. Yorkshireman Dan Cammish gave locals plenty to cheer about as he continued his recent run of form with a podium on home turf.
BARC Chief Executive Ben Taylor carried out the reverse grid draw live on ITV4 and pulled number nine out of the bowl, promoting Chilton onto pole position.
With heavy rain falling before the race the question on everybody’s lips was what tyres to go for – wets or slicks. As the sun broke through the clouds, a majority of the field opted for wet tyres with Tom Ingram, who was starting third, rolling the dice and gambling with slicks.
As the lights went out, Ingram tumbled down the order as those on wets got the best of the conditions. At the front, Chilton held the lead and fended off the advances of Josh Cook whilst Jason Plato joined remained with touching distance of the pair too.
Laps ticked by however Ingram’s progress didn’t come into effect until the final stages of the race, by which time he was too far back to challenge those in the points. Chilton meanwhile held on to record his first win of the season whilst Cook kept his championship challenge going with a second place finish.
Double champion Plato was back on the rostrum after a year-long drought, getting a big cheer as he made it onto the podium. Ashley Sutton and Matt Neal rounded out the top five with Sutton producing a string of mesmerising overtakes heading into the hairpin.
Leaving Croft, Turkington is now the sole leader in the standings – holding an 11-point advantage over Cook whilst Sutton remains a further two points back.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads to Oulton Park at the end of the month on June 29/30 for Rounds 13, 14 & 15, before then heading into the annual summer break.