BTCC signs off 2018 season in spectacular style at Brands Hatch

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship brought the curtain down on its Diamond Jubilee season in style at Brands Hatch this weekend with three dramatic races and champions being crowned.

Having already proven to be a record-breaking campaign, the BTCC’s 60th Anniversary was signed off in typically thrilling fashion as Colin Turkington beat season-long rival Tom Ingram to lift the coveted title for a third time.

Turkington’s championship triumph was just half the story however on a weekend that saw the series showcase why it is one of the leading categories in the world.

Qualifying kicked off proceedings with the all-important battle for pole position set to be critical in the title battle. Following a frenetic session, Brett Smith topped the timesheet as the clock ticked to zero, handing him his maiden BTCC pole position.

Behind the Eurotech Racing driver were a further four Honda Civic Type R’s as the underlined their superiority around the Grand Prix layout. Of the championship protagonists, Turkington could only manage 17th whilst Ingram languished in 19th.

Halfords Yuasa Racing wild prove to be the dominant force on race day however as they stormed to a pair of 1-2 finishes, with Dan Cammish finally scoring a breakthrough victory and with it becoming the 17th different race winner of the season.

As the lights went out for race one, Smith held the lead off the start but soon found himself at the mercy of Cammish who made his move at Clearways. Triple champion Neal followed soon after and that was to be how it finished at the chequered flag.

Drama was to follow afterwards though as Cammish was handed a 30-second time penalty after being adjudged to have made a false start. Following an appeal by the team, Cammish was later reinstated as the race winner meaning the original result stood.

For Turkington and Ingram, a handful of points for both saw the Team BMW driver extend his advantage and put him on the cusp of championship glory heading into race two.

Cammish produced a carbon copy performance in race two, despite being ladened with 75kgs of success ballast as he led home Neal for another Honda 1-2. Things were far less comfortable for Neal however as he fended off Andrew Jordan for a majority of the race.

In the title battle, Turkington found himself in the thick of the action and contact with Dan Lloyd at Paddock Hill Bend was shortly followed by a trip through the gravel trap sent him tumbling down the order.

As that happened, Ingram’s target became clear – he had to finish on the podium to keep the championship alive. Hustling his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota into fourth, Ingram tried everything he could to muscle his way past Jordan in the closing laps but was unable to do so, meaning Turkington secured an unassailable lead and was crowned champion.

The final race of the weekend and the season proved to be a fitting end to the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee as outgoing champion Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook engaged in a ding-dong battle for the honours.

Going bumper-to-bumper for a majority of the race and dicing for the lead, the pair kept fans on the edge of their seats and they were soon out of them as Sutton drew alongside Cook on the run to the line – snatching victory by a mere 0.032 of a second.

Rob Austin rounded out the final podium of the season as he finished third in his HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

As Turkington celebrated becoming a three-time BTCC champion, BMW and West Surrey Racing also successfully retained their BTCC Manufacturer/Constructor Championship and BTCC Teams Championship respectively.

Ingram and Speedworks Motorsport did the same in the Independents’ categories whilst the Toyota Avensis driver was also the winner of the Dunlop Forever Forward award for the most overtakes over the course of the season.

Capping off the list of title winners was two-time race winner Cammish who lifted the Jack Sears Trophy.

For the final championship standings as well as the full classification of results from the weekend, click here.

Colin Turkington writes his name into the history books after clinching third BTCC title

Colin Turkington wrote his name into the history books at Brands Hatch after clinching his third Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title.

In the series’ 60th Anniversary season, the Team BMW driver kept his cool to join an illustrious list of three-time winners and with it, add his name to the trophy for a third time.

Turkington arrived at the Kent circuit with a 34-point advantage over Tom Ingram and outscored his rival by a handful of points in the opening encounter. Encountering issues in race two which saw him non-score, the Northern Irishman crossed the line with an unassailable lead.

BMW and West Surrey Racing enjoyed further success too as they successfully retained their BTCC Manufacturer/Constructor Championship and BTCC Teams’ Championship crowns.

Despite missing out on the overall title, Ingram still tasted championship glory as he successfully retained his Independent Driver’s crown. The Toyota Avensis driver wrapped up the championship with a race to spare, pipping season-long rival Tom Chilton.

Speedworks Motorsport also fended off Motorbase Performance to retain their Independent Teams’ Championship too.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s signed off his maiden BTCC season in style around the iconic Grand Prix layout at Brands Hatch by storming to a breakthrough victory in race one. The Honda Civic Type R driver enjoyed further success later in the day as he scored a second lights-to-flag victory in race two, leading home a second Team Dynamics 1-2.

Cammish lifted championship silverware at the end of the weekend as he was crowned the new Jack Sears Trophy champion. Open to drivers who started the season having not scored an outright BTCC podium, the Yorkshireman built up an unassailable lead at the penultimate event of the season at Silverstone to lift the coveted trophy.

For the final standings in all BTCC championships, click here.

Championship protagonists ready for BTCC title showdown

The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title is set to go down to the wire at Brands Hatch this weekend (September 29/30) with Colin Turkington, Tom Ingram and Tom Chilton left in the running battle it out for the biggest prize in British motorsport.

Celebrating its 60 Anniversary this year, the BTCC has served up a record-breaking season which has been headlined by 16 different drivers winning a race. Now, three races and a maximum of 67 points remain before the curtain falls and it is still all to play for.

With the title pendulum having swung back and forth, Team BMW’s Turkington heads to Brands Hatch as the man to beat, holding a 34-point advantage over Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram.

Despite only scoring a solitary victory at Oulton Park, the double champion has been consistent throughout, picking up a further nine podiums along the way. Admitting that the pressure is on his main title rival, the BMW 125i M-Sport driver is looking forward to the prospect of what is to come.

“I’m really looking forward to Brands Hatch,” Turkington said. “It has been a happy hunting ground for us in the past and I’m confident that we will have a strong car going there. We were in the thick of the battle at Silverstone last time out so it was pleasing to come away from there with a podium.

“I don’t see myself as the one who is under pressure. I much prefer to be in the position that I am in because I’ve got the points in the bag. Last year the pressure was on straightaway because I was the driver chasing and trying to claw back points wherever I could.

“I’ve already got the points and that won’t change, I go into Brands Hatch ready to do my own thing. I have a lot of reasons why I want to win this title and I’m hungrier than ever to clinch a third BTCC championship.”

Continuing to go from strength-to-strength as each year has passed, Ingram finds himself in the hunt for a maiden BTCC title for the first time. At the wheel of his Toyota Avensis, the reigning Independent champion has been a force to be reckoned with all season and is up for the challenge of overhauling a 34-point deficit.

Ingram stated: “With the lead that he has, the pressure is on Colin because the title is his to lose. I’m going into Brands Hatch with no pressure and I’ll be on maximum attack; we’re the hunters and Colin is the hunted.

“We need to beat Colin every single time we go out on track to stand a race of winning and I’ll be bringing the fight to him. Everyone at Speedworks has done a mega job this season and we are going to be in good shape around the Grand Prix circuit, the Toyota should work well around there.

“Yes 34 points is a big ask but it isn’t impossible; I don’t think it’s been won from that far back….yet!”

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Chilton is the third driver that finds himself in mathematical contention for the championship, albeit 64 points off the summit. Realistic of his chances, Chilton has his own aspirations heading to Motorbase Performance’s home circuit.

“Although mathematically we are still in contention, realistically the overall title is out of reach for me,” Chilton said. “My championship is focused on Ingram to try to overhaul him for second in the standings and win the Independents title.

“Myself and Motorbase have clawed our way up the during the year and we’re not done yet!”

With one final race day left to play out in the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, Brands Hatch looks set to once again play host to another pulsating and thrilling season finale – with further twists and turns set to come.

All event information such as links to live timing, commentary and timetable can be found by clicking here.

Brands Hatch braced for unmissable BTCC finale

After nine events and 27 races, the destiny of the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will be decided around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit this weekend (September 29/30) – and the fight is still very much on.

Since roaring into life at the Kent venue in early April the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee year has been one to remember, with records tumbling on a consistent basis. Boasting an impressive 16 different race winners, the series has hit new heights and that is set to continue as the final chapter of the current campaign is written.

Colin Turkington heads to Brands Hatch as the man to beat holding a 34-point advantage over Tom Ingram at the top of the standings. Chasing a third BTCC crown, the Team BMW driver has once again underlined his class with a consistent season to-date.

A single victory, taken at Oulton Park, has been backed up by an additional nine podiums to leave the Northern Irishman with a clear road to the biggest prize in British motorsport.

Standing in the way of Turkington however is reigning Independents champion Ingram, who at the wheel of his Speedworks Toyota Avensis has pieced together a mesmerising championship challenge thus far.

Producing standout performance after standout performance, Ingram descends on Brands Hatch as the hunter and focused on overhauling the 34-point deficit he has to make up over the double champion. Renowned for his overtaking prowess and ability to rise to the occasion, the 25-year-old is expected to be on maximum attack from the get-go.

Tom Chilton also enters the final weekend of the year in mathematical contention for the title but with a gap of 64 markers to make up over Turkington, the Motorbase Performance driver’s chance of overall glory looks to be an unrealistic one.

Whilst the battle for the title will take centre stage, several other drivers will be keen to sign off their season’s in style. Having seen his aspirations of his retaining crown slip away, outgoing champion Ashley Sutton will be on the march for silverware and bidding to finish in the top three.

In addition, the likes of Andrew Jordan, Jack Goff, Adam Morgan, Josh Cook, Matt Neal, Aiden Moffat and Sam Tordoff, to name just a few, are also likely to be in the mix for silverware over the course of the weekend too.

Dan Cammish’s quest for a breakthrough BTCC victory will continue however the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver won’t need to worry about the Jack Sears Trophy after building up an unassailable lead at Silverstone last time out.

The remaining championships see Ingram and Chilton as well as Speedworks and Motorbase locked in a battle for both Independent titles whilst Team BMW will look to successfully retain their BTCC Manufacturer/Constructor and BTCC Teams Championship crowns too.

With a maximum 67 points up for grabs and three high-octane BTCC encounters set to take place around the 2.43 mile circuit, the final chapter of the Britain’s premier race series’ Diamond Jubilee is set to be an enthralling one – and it is not to be missed.

The all-important final qualifying session of the season will take place on Saturday at 15:20 before rounds 28, 29 & 30 take place on Sunday at 11:35, 14:25 & 17:15 respectively.

For more information in the event including links to the full timetable and live timing, click here.

Alan Gow hails 2018 BTCC season as one of the ‘truly great years’

Alan Gow has hailed the 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season as going down as one of the ‘truly great years’ in the series’ 60-year history following the Brands Hatch finale this past weekend (September 29/30).

Celebrating its Diamond Jubilee, the BTCC served up a record-breaking campaign which ultimately culminated in Team BMW’s Colin Turkington being crowned champion for a third time.

Boasting another capacity entry list, a total of 17 different drivers tasted victory at some stage through the 30-race campaign as the series travelled the length and breadth of the UK.

Handing the coveted trophy to Turkington on Sunday evening, the BTCC Series Director admitted was full of praise for the newly crowned three-time champion and the championship as a whole.

“This year has certainly lived up to all expectations, how it could it not!” Gow said. “Having 17 different race winners, the championship go down to the wire and a host of incredible races underlines why it will go down as one of the truly great years.

“There has never been an underserving champion and Colin is testament to that. He has shown he is championship material all year and to do it with one win speaks volumes of his consistency and ability to constantly rack up the points.

“It has arguably been the most competitive season in the BTCC; we’ve a record number of winners and the cars are so evenly matched. Cream always rises to the top and Colin is a class act.”

As the dust settles on the 2018 campaign, the focus towards 2019 will soon be on the horizon however Gow admits he isn’t thinking about that just yet.

He explained: “It is hard to see how we can top this year in 2019 but somehow we always seem to do so. I’m sure we will have another fantastic year next season but for now I am going to sit back and think about how well this year has gone.”

Colin Turkington: “Third BTCC title is the most special”

Newly-crowned three-time Dunlop MSA British Touring Car champion Colin Turkington admits his third title is the most special after enduring what he has described as the toughest year of his life away from the circuit.

The Team BMW driver secured the crown on a dramatic final day of the season at Brands Hatch this past weekend (September 29/30) to join an exclusive list of triple champions.

In what has arguably been the BTCC’s most competitive season to-date in the modern era, the Northern Irishman showcased his title credentials with a consistent season that culminated in him scoring just a solitary victory at Oulton Park.

Scoring a further nine podiums along the way, Turkington fended off the charging Tom Ingram to lift the coveted trophy for a third time and in-doing so, be crowned champion in the series’ 60th Anniversary season.

Commenting on his title success, Turkington said: “This title is the most special, it is difficult to believe that it has actually all happened. On Sunday morning I woke up as a double champion and by the evening I went to bed as a triple champion.

“This year has been the hardest of my life and the struggles we have been through as a family have been tough. The BTCC has been the one thing that has kept us happy though and coming here, getting results has been a ray of light for us.

“I had so many reasons why I wanted to win it this year and I was hungrier than ever to do so. We laid the groundwork coming into Brands Hatch but we knew it was going to be tough.

Whilst his third title will write his name into the history books, so will his single victory of 2018 – a feat never before achieved by a driver that would end the year as champion.

Admitting that the competition in the BTCC has been tougher than ever, the BMW driver revealed playing to their strengths was the secret behind his and West Surrey Racing’s success this year.

He explained: “We haven’t had the fastest car this year and as we have seen the competition is fierce; everybody is fast and it gets a step more difficult every year.

“We were clever throughout the year and played to our strengths, maximising what we had along the way too. From Thruxton onwards we began to find our groove and had momentum on our side, we were strong everywhere pretty much.”

Now with all-time record holder Andy Rouse, who holds four titles, in his sights, Turkington admits he would like nothing more than to return and defend his title in 2019 with the number one adorning his car.

“I love this championship and I hope to come back next year and defend my title,” he stated. “For now though I am going to live in the moment and soak up what we as a family and as a team have achieved this year.”

Turkington’s triumph was further backed up with West Surrey Racing and BMW successfully retaining their BTCC Teams Championship and BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Championship respectively.