Four drivers will head into the final three races of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season in contention to be crowned champion next month following an action-packed weekend (September 24/25) at Silverstone.
Brands Hatch will provide the setting for the 2022 finale in less than two weeks’ time and it will see Ashley Sutton, Jake Hill, Tom Ingram and Colin Turkington all arrive with a mathematical shot at lifting the biggest prize in UK motorsport – with a maximum of 67 points set to be on offer at the famous Kent venue.
The penultimate event of the season at Silverstone saw its fair share of thrills and spills as both Hill and Ingram, along with Rory Butcher, enjoyed a share of the spoils around the 1.64-mile National circuit.
Qualifying at the Home of British Motor Racing on Saturday underlined how competitive the BTCC currently is with no less than 26 drivers being covered by less than second. At the top of the times, nobody could stop Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Butcher as he clinched pole position by the narrowest of margins.
Just 0.037s separated the Scotsman and title contender Hill, who secured his sixth front-row start of the season. Hot on their heels was the duo of Adam Morgan and Ingram who locked out row two whilst Dan Cammish completed the top five.
Butcher converted his front-row start into a superb first win of the season in the opening contest after he soaked up immense pressure from the BMW duo of Hill and Morgan. Storming clear in the early running, the Toyota man was forced to deal with a safety car period but he ultimately didn’t put a wheel wrong to triumph.
Further back, action was rife throughout the field with the likes of Ingram, Sutton, Cammish and Gordon Shedden in the midst of many wheel-to-wheel battles. Notably, Turkington endured a torrid time as a spin and further contact saw him non-score.
Race two saw Hill stamp his authority on proceedings with a commanding victory. In what was a carbon copy of the day’s earlier bout, the MB Motorsport driver shadowed Butcher up until mid-distance before, after a brief safety car period, he hit the front following a fine move at Copse.
Once out front, the rear-wheel-drive ace got his head down and pulled clear of the chasing pack, which was led by Butcher and three-time champion Shedden. Title rivals Sutton and Ingram rounded out the top five after a captivating cat-and-mouse battle down the three long straights of Silverstone.
The weekend’s third and final race saw Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram come to the fore as he cruised to a comfortable victory. Starting fourth, the Hyundai driver was in the right place at the right time as drama kicked off in front of him on lap one, with Morgan, Cammish and Josh Cook all in strife.
Despite having to contend with several safety car periods, Ingram remained relatively unchallenged out front to clinch his fourth victory of the season ahead of series leader Sutton and race one winner Butcher.
With just one final race meeting left to run, Sutton holds a slender five-point lead at the summit of the Drivers’ Championship over Hill, with Ingram a further two markers adrift. Four-time champion Turkington will head into the event with the most ground to make up as he trails Sutton by 27 points.
Cook has provisionally wrapped up the Independent Drivers’ Championship whilst Rich Energy BTC Racing have edged closer to clinching the Independent Teams’ crown.
BMW remain on course to win a seventh successive Manufacturer-Constructor title however they will need things to fall their way if they want to lift the Teams’ Championship, as NAPA Racing UK hold a commanding lead.
In the Jack Sears Trophy, Bobby Thompson sits on the cusp of lifting the coveted title as he holds a 49-point lead over George Gamble in the category.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Silverstone, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will bring the curtain down on its 2022 season on October 8/9, with three races scheduled to play out around the Grand Prix layout of Brands Hatch.