Four drivers will head into the final three races of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship in contention to be crowned champion at Brands Hatch in less then two weeks following an action-packed weekend (October 9/10) at Donington Park.
Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington scored victory at the Leicestershire venue on what proved to be an action-packed penultimate event of the year but it was Ashley Sutton that was the big winner as he secured a 32-point lead heading into the season finale.
Qualifying around the 1.97-mile National circuit on Saturday underlined how competitive the UK’s premier motorsport series currently is with no less than 27 drivers covered by less than second and a new lap record being set.
Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Shedden emerged as the driver to beat in the Top Ten Showdown as he powered his Honda Civic Type R to a sensational time of 1:08.994 to clinch pole position ahead of the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing duo of Daniel Lloyd and Jason Plato.
Launching off the front row for race one, Shedden maintained his lead and despite coming under pressure from Lloyd during the first half of the contest, the Scotsman cruised to a maiden win of the campaign.
Remaining within striking distance throughout the 19-lap bout, Lloyd finished second whilst Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Rory Butcher continued his recent run of fine form by rounding out the podium in third.
Race two saw Ginsters with TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram produce a sensational charge to score victory on the road however it would be taken away from him after a post-race penalty was applied.
Free of success ballast and starting from 11th, the Hyundai driver carved his way to the front in a matter of laps but he was deemed to have gained an unfair advantage when taking the lead from Shedden – who inherited victory.
Ingram’s penalty dropped him back to second with Butcher finishing third once again, having been challenged by Turkington before the BMW ace made a rare mistake and spun out of contention.
Championship leader Sutton had found himself in the thick of the action in the early stages but once his tyres came into their operating window there was no stopping the Infiniti Q50 driver as he progressed up into fourth come the chequered flag.
Turkington bounced back from his race two spin to claim a commanding 60th career victory in the reverse grid encounter. Drawn onto pole position, the Team BMW driver didn’t put a wheel wrong to pull clear of the opposition and triumph.
Behind, an almighty battle for second place raged with Jake Hill ultimately fending off Aiden Moffat at the line to round out the rostrum.
Leaving Donington Park, Sutton holds a 32-point lead over Turkington with Ingram, Hill and Josh Cook filling out the top five positions.
Sutton also remains in control of the BTCC Independent Drivers’ Championship whilst Laser Tools Racing rule the roost in the Teams’ and Independent Teams’ categories.
Elsewhere, BMW are within touching distance of clinching a record-breaking sixth consecutive Manufacturer/Constructor crown. Daniel Rowbottom is the first driver that can call himself a champion in the BTCC this year after securing an unassailable lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Donington Park, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will bring the curtain down on its 2021 season on October 23/24, with three races scheduled to play out around the Grand Prix layout of Brands Hatch.