The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship blasted back into life in blockbuster fashion at Croft Circuit this past weekend (July 29/30) as Dan Cammish, Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington charged to victory.
Kicking off the second half of the season with its annual trip to the British Automobile Racing Club’s North Yorkshire venue, the UK’s premier motorsport series served up three pulsating contests for the bumper crowd that had flocked trackside.
Saturday’s battle for pole position saw NAPA Racing UK continue their qualifying domination as Cammish, Dan Rowbottom and Sutton clinched a hugely impressive 1-2-3 lock-out.
On what proved to be a scintillating session around the 2.12-mile layout, a number of drivers staked their claim at the top of the times but it was home hero Cammish that ultimately came up trumps, blasting his rivals away with a sensational lap.
Rowbottom and Sutton – who virtue of being championship leader had no hybrid available – settled for second and third whilst Josh Cook and Turkington completed the top five on the grid for race one.
Cammish was wheel-perfect in the first of Sunday’s three races as he converted his front row start into a commanding lights-to-flag victory. Opting to run the soft option tyre, the Yorkshireman pulled clear of the chasing pack to clinch his third win of the season.
Behind, Rowbottom and Sutton diced for the remaining spots on the podium with the latter jumping ahead of his team-mate on the run to the flag as the Motorbase-run squad celebrated a historic 1-2-3.
Race two proved to be a carbon copy result however this time it was Sutton that emerged victorious. Sweeping around the outside of his stablemate on the run down to the first corner, the three-time champion produced a clinical performance.
Continuously stretching his advantage over the course of the 15-lap bout, Sutton claimed his seventh win of the season by more than seven seconds – with Cammish and Rowbottom in tow to clinch a second successive NAPA Racing UK podium sweep.
Team BMW’s Turkington then brought the curtain down on the weekend’s action with a commanding lights-to-flag victory in the reverse grid encounter, reaffirming himself as the King of Croft.
Launching his BMW from pole position, the four-time title winner held off an early charge from Ingram before settling into a groove to claim his third win of the season. Reigning champion Ingram and One Motorsport’s Cook completed the rostrum.
Leaving Croft, Sutton continues to lead the way from Ingram in the Drivers’ Championship whilst BMW and NAPA Racing UK top the Manufacturer-Constructor and Teams’ categories respectively after six events.
Elsewhere, Josh Cook and One Motorsport with Starline Racing comfortably remain out front in the Independent Drivers’ and Team’s standings, with Mikey Doble now holding the advantage in the Jack Sears Trophy.
To view the full classification of results from all BTCC sessions at Croft, CLICK HERE.
The 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship season continues in less than two weeks’ time when the series travels north of the border to Knockhill for Rounds 19, 20 & 21 on August 12/13.