The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship saw changeable conditions play its role in producing three enthralling encounters at Oulton Park this past weekend (August 22/23) as the battle for supremacy in the 2020 title battle further intensified.
Rory Butcher, Ashley Sutton and Adam Morgan took a win apiece on a blockbuster race day around the picturesque Cheshire venue, with rain playing its part in the first two contests before things dried out for the reverse grid race.
Qualifying around the 2.23-mile circuit proved to be as competitive and exciting as ever and once the dust had settled it was Motorbase Performance’s Butcher that clinched a second successive pole position of the season.
With many of the BTCC’s big hitters all featuring towards the top of the times throughout the session, the Ford Focus driver emerged as the man to beat, pipping Josh Cook and reigning champion Colin Turkington.
BTC Racing’s Cook produced a virtuoso performance in race one to claim what he though was a first win of the season however his celebrations were to be short-lived as he was later excluded from the result after his Honda Civic Type R failed a post-race ride height check.
Dropping down the order off the start, Cook made a number of impressive moves to fight his way up the order and capped it off with a stunning move on Butcher into Old Hall Corner for the lead, diving down the inside at the last second.
Cook cantered to the chequered flag from there but his celebrations were cut short due to the penalty. Butcher inherited victory with Dan Cammish and Jake Hill rounding out the remaining podium places.
Laser Tools Racing’s Sutton showed his prowess in the wet conditions in race two as he powered his way to a second win of the season ahead of Butcher and Turkington.
Starting eighth, the 2017 champion wasted no time in scything his way up the order and was in the battle for the lead at half-distance. Making two opportunistic moves on Cammish and Turkington, the Infiniti Q50 driver then set his sights on Butcher.
Catching the Ford ace in a matter of corners, Sutton found the grip around the outside of Old Hall Corner and once in front, pulled away to notch a 16th career victory in the series.
In what was the only dry race of the day, Carlube Triple R Racing’s local man Morgan produced a defensive masterclass to become the sixth different winner from nine races.
Getting the jump on pole sitter Bobby Thompson, the Mercedes A-Class ace soaked up an abundance of press from the Team BMW duo of Turkington and Tom Oliphant to take his first win since Rockingham in 2018.
Leaving Oulton Park, Turkington holds a 19-point lead over Sutton in the BTCC Drivers’ Championship whilst BMW hold a comfortable advantage in the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ categories as well.
Sutton and Laser Tools Racing remain at the summit of both Independents’ tables, with Michael Crees continuing to lead the Jack Sears Trophy.
To view the full classifications of results from all sessions, click here.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship now heads north of the border this coming weekend (August 29/30) for Rounds 10, 11 & 12 at Knockhill.