Daniel Rowbottom, Rory Butcher and Senna Proctor scored a win apiece during what was an action-packed fourth Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship event of the season at Oulton Park this past weekend (July 31/August 1).
The trio emerged as the leading lights from a truncated meeting as they became the latest winners this year, taking the number of different victors to nine from 12 races.
Prior to triumphing in race three, Proctor signalled his intent during an ultra-competitive qualifying session on Saturday as he stormed to a career-first pole position in his Honda Civic Type R.
Unfortunately, the BTC Racing driver couldn’t convert his front row start into victory as he was swamped by the Halfords Racing with Cataclean duo of Gordon Shedden and Rowbottom, amongst others, as the lights went out for the opening contest.
Shedden and Rowbottom went on to control proceedings until the red flag was brought out following a multi-car incident involving Tom Oliphant, Chris Smiley and Rick Parfitt at mid-distance.
On the restart, Rowbottom made the better start to take the lead and produce a superlative drive during the six-lap shootout to claim his first-ever win in Britain’s premier motorsport series. Shedden made it a Team Dynamics 1-2 whilst Adam Morgan rounded out the podium in his BMW.
Race two would see Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Butcher come to the fore as he claimed a commanding victory in his Corolla. Hitting the front on the first lap, the Scotsman soon put daylight between himself and the rest of the field to comfortably streak home.
Behind, Rowbottom delivered another sensational drive – despite being ladened with 66kgs of ballast – to fend off the race-long charge of Morgan as they finished second and third respectively.
Proctor eventually took the result his pace had deserved in race three as he dominated a truncated reverse grid encounter, upon which he had been drawn onto pole position for.
Drama ensued immediately – a theme that ran throughout the weekend – when the race was red flagged on the first of two occasions, with the latter incident ending the race early.
A number of drivers found themselves in strife as Sam Osborne pirouetted down Cascades and sent many into the gravel trap and needing recovering. Following a lengthy red flag period, the action proved to be just as dramatic on the restart.
Reigning champion Ashley Sutton was sent spinning coming out of turn one as he fought for the lead and despite recovering, further contact at Cascades ended his race on the spot.
When the dust settled, Proctor remained out front and began to build up a comfortable lead over the chasing Stephen Jelley and Shedden before the red flag ended the race early after an incident between Butcher and Carl Boardley.
At the end of a blockbuster weekend at Oulton Park, Sutton remains at the summit of the BTCC Drivers’ Championship with Ingram and the emerging Rowbottom his nearest challengers.
Sutton continues to lead the Independent Drivers’ too whilst Laser Tools Racing control the Teams’ and Independent Teams’ categories. BMW head up the Manufacturer standings, with Rowbottom the runaway leader in the Jack Sears Trophy.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads north of the border to Knockhill on August 14/15 for Rounds 13, 14 and 15.