Colin Turkington, Ashley Sutton and Tom Ingram scored a win apiece at Knockhill as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship took centre stage in front of a bumper crowd at the Scottish venue this past weekend (August 14/15).
On what proved to be a critical fifth event of the season, three of the most experienced drivers on the grid came to the fore to triumph, with Sutton extending his lead in the battle for the biggest prize in UK motorsport.
As predicted, qualifying proved to be an ultra-competitive affair around the undulating 1.27-mile circuit with less than a second covering 26 of the 29-car grid. Having endured a barren couple of events, Team BMW’s Turkington delivered when he needed it the most.
Hustling his BMW 330i M Sport to the top of the times, the Northern Irishman netted his second pole position of the season by little over a tenth of a second ahead of BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor and countryman Chris Smiley.
Turkington cruised to a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the opening contest around the Fife track, taking a historic 100th BTCC win for West Surrey Racing in the process.
Blasting away from the front row, the four-time champion duly pulled clear of the chasing pack before a safety car halted his charge. When the action resumed, nobody could stop the rear-wheel-drive ace from stretching his legs on his way to the chequered flag.
Behind, Proctor and team-mate Josh Cook rounded out the podium, the latter having got the better of Smiley after a hard-fought battle in the closing stages.
Reigning champion Sutton secured a famous victory to extend his championship lead in race two after passing Turkington on the last lap. Ladened with 75kgs of success ballast, Turkington led 26 of the 27 laps before making a small mistake during the final tour.
Piling on the pressure throughout the bout, Sutton’s constant presence in Turkington’s mirrors paid off when the BMW ace took too much kerb through the chicane which forced him wide and allowed the Infiniti to drive past and clinch his third win of the 2021 campaign.
MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill completed the podium after passing the BTC Racing duo of Cook and Proctor during what was a fraught race.
Steadily chipping away throughout Sunday, Ginsters with TradePriceCars.com’s Ingram came to the fore in race three as he scored a crucial victory to remain within striking distance of Sutton in the fight for the championship.
Charging from fourth to the front following a string of sensational overtakes, the Hyundai pilot was never challenged once in first and powered his way to a commanding win.
Behind, Proctor capped off a memorable day with his second podium whilst Stephen Jelley ensured there was more silverware for BMW in third place.
Leaving Knockhill, Sutton has extended his lead at the top of the BTCC Drivers’ Championship to 14 points ahead of Ingram. He has also stretched his advantage in the BTCC Independent Drivers’ table too.
Laser Tools Racing continue to have a stranglehold on both the BTCC Teams’ and BTCC Independent Teams’ categories whilst BMW have cemented their status at the helm of the Manufacturer/Constructors’ leaderboard. Daniel Rowbottom remans out front in the Jack Sears Trophy.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Knockhill, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads back to the fastest circuit in the UK, Thruxton, for Rounds 16, 17 & 18 of the 2021 season on August 28/29.
Tickets are available to purchase online from https://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/btcc-august at discounted prices.