The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will go down to the wire at Brands Hatch in two weeks time following an action-packed penultimate event of the season at Silverstone this past weekend (September 15/16).
Sam Tordoff, Tom Ingram and Aiden Moffat shared the spoils to score victory however it was Colin Turkington that left the Northamptonshire venue leading the standings, despite his advantage being slashed to 34 points.
Qualifying proved to be a frenetic affair around the 1.64 mile circuit with track space proving to be critical. As the clock ticked to zero, Tordoff emerged as the man to beat as he set a blistering time of 58.480 to score his and Motorbase Performance’s first pole position of the year.
Ricky Collard took on a starring role in the session in just his third race meeting, piloting his West Surrey Racing BMW to second place – just 0.018 from pole. Tom Chilton, Jack Goff and Andrew Jordan meanwhile rounded out the top five.
Of the top three in the championship standings heading into the weekend, Colin Turkington was the highest qualifier in 18th, with Ingram 19th and Ashley Sutton 25th.
Having had to endure his own fair share of bad luck throughout the season, Tordoff delivered a near-perfect performance in the opening encounter to score his maiden victory of the season.
After a season of bad luck Tordoff converted his pole position into a first victory of the season. Holding his lead off the line, the former series runner-up led home a Motorbase one-two as Tom Chilton scored second, despite launching a challenge for the lead in the closing stages.
Despite making an early challenge for top spot, Collard dropped to fifth at one stage before clawing his way back to third, ultimately crossing the line to take a popular breakthrough rostrum. Throttle issues scuppered Jordan’s chances of big points whilst Turkington threaded his way to eighth. Sutton meanwhile produced a feisty drive to climb through the order into 11th.
Scoring just a single point in race one and trailing Turkington by 50, many eyes were focused on what Ingram could achieve in round 26. Free of ballast and on the faster tyre compound, the Speedworks Motorsport served up a mesmerising performance as he charged from 14th to score his third victory of the season, and crucially reigniting his title chances.
Vaulting into fifth on the opening tour, Ingram continued his charge and hit the front on lap ten, never to be seen again afterwards. Adam Morgan muscled his way into second whilst Tordoff, after leading early on, relinquished his lead in the ballast-laden Ford Focus RS to round off the podium.
Turkington battled the harder and slower tyre to salvage eighth once again. Reigning champion Sutton meanwhile lured a disastrous race as he failed to make the start due to mechanics still working on the car in the garage as the pit lane opened.
With Aiden Moffat drawn on pole position for the final race of the weekend, the Laser Tools Racing driver became the 16th different victor of the season as he produced a defensive masterclass to score his first win of the year.
In what turned out to be a pulsating 25-lap encounter, Moffat starved off a race-long attack from Ingram, Turkington, Rob Austin, Josh Cook and Chilton to pilot his Mercedes Benz A-Class to the chequered flag.
Pipping Turkington to second place, Ingram closed the points deficit to the 34 points – ensuring he will head to Brands Hatch at the end of the month still in contention to battle for the biggest prize in British motorsport.
One title was wrapped up at Silverstone as Dan Cammish built up an unassailable lead in the Jack Sears Trophy.
For the full classification of results from all sessions over the course of the weekend as well as the championship standings, click here.
The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will draw to a close at Brands Hatch on September 29/30 with all titles set to be decided.