BTCC action hots up around Brands Hatch Grand Prix

The 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship continued to gather momentum at Brands Hatch this past weekend (August 8/9) with reigning champion Colin Turkington stamping his authority on the early title battle by extending his advantage at the summit of the standings.

On what was a sweltering second event of the season around the Grand Prix circuit of the famous Kent venue, Turkington powered his BMW to a second win of the year whilst Dan Cammish and Tom Oliphant also triumphed – the latter for the first time in the BTCC.

Qualifying on Saturday saw Rory Butcher produce a stunning lap to claim pole position for Motorbase Performance however the Scotsman would be unable to convert it into victory, with cruel luck striking his aspirations.

Launching from pole position, the Ford Focus driver controlled much of the running out front – albeit coming under pressure from Cammish and Turkington before a late safety car period bunched up the field.

On the restart, Butcher saw his hopes of victory slip away immediately as he suffered a puncture. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish benefited from Butcher’s woe to score his second win of the season with Turkington and a jubilant Ollie Jackson rounding out the podium.

Elation would then turn to despair in race two for Cammish as the Honda driver saw a possible podium finish disappear as his Type R cut out with a handful of laps remaining.

Four-time champion Turkington launched his West Surrey Racing 330i M Sport into a lead that he would never relinquish, and despite the feisty efforts of Tom Ingram in his Toyota Corolla, the Team BMW driver kept his cool to triumph.

Ingram backed off his charge after Cammish’s car cut out – with several others feeling the effects of the searing temperatures as well –  to score his first podium of the year. Ashley Sutton completed the rostrum in his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50.

Arguably, the story of race two was the sensational charge through the field by Butcher, he scythed his way up the order to finish fourth after starting in 25th.

The BTCC capped off a scorching weekend with a reverse grid encounter that will live long in the memory, as Team BMW’s Oliphant claimed a spectacular maiden win.

Starting sixth, the rear-wheel-drive ace powered his way up to third off the start and then made one of the passes of the season as he blitzed around the outside of Aiden Moffat and Stephen Jelley heading into Paddock Hill Bend to take the lead.

From there, Oliphant didn’t put a wheel wrong as he soaked up extreme race-long pressure from Sutton to cross the line in front and win, handing West Surrey Racing their 300th podium in the BTCC at the same time. Jelley rounded out the rostrum in third.

Following the second event of the season, Turkington leads the BTCC Drivers’ Championship by 16 points ahead of Sutton whilst Team BMW head both the Manufacturers’ and Teams’ standings.

Sutton and Laser Tools Racing head both Independents’ categories, with Michael Crees maintaining his lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.

To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Brands Hatch, click here.

Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship takes place on August 22/23 at Oulton Park.