Bigger BTCC prize confirmed for milestone Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres season

The Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres will mark what will be a milestone season with an even bigger prize package for the 2019 campaign.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, the popular 5/8 scale series will continue its partnership with race-winning British Touring Car Championship outfit HMS Racing.

A ‘touring car experience’ will be awarded to at least 10 drivers come the end of the 2019 season, in-keeping with the revised qualifying format as of past seasons.

The top ten drivers in the overall points at the end of the penultimate event, staged at Pembrey, will be invited onto the specially arranged day. Should the lead rookie driver at that point of the season sit outside of the top ten, he/she will also be part of the prize.

Alongside high-speed passenger laps in the squad’s stunning Alfa Romeo with multiple BTCC race winner Rob Austin, the Legends Cars drivers will also get to see behind-the-scenes with HMS to understand the inner workings of a top touring car team, with hospitality also included.

Phil Cooper, Legends Cars National Championship with MRF Tyres owner, said: “We’re delighted to begin our 25th anniversary year with this fantastic announcement here at the Autosport International Show.

“The partnership with HMS Racing is one we value immensely and to be able to offer 10, potentially 11, of our drivers the chance to experience a day with the team is tremendous.

“It will provide a wonderful opportunity for a much bigger number of Legends Cars competitors to see behind the scenes with HMS, and to also experience the full capability of the team’s incredible Alfa Romeo with Rob Austin at the wheel – he’s not bad in a touring car, so I hear…! Obviously, we’re incredibly grateful to Simon Belcher for his continued support.”

HMS Racing Team Principal Belcher added: “We’re very excited to be providing this touring car experience day to more drivers than ever before, particularly in Legends’ 25th anniversary year.

“Having the opportunity to sit alongside Rob [Austin] for some full-on hot laps, and then experiencing a full day with the team to see the inner workings of what we do, is a great opportunity and one hopefully everyone will enjoy.”

BTCC organisers reveal 30 car entry list for 2019 season

Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Series Organisers TOCA have revealed that an entry of 30 cars has been confirmed for the 2019 season.

Following the entry approval deadline, the maximum number of TOCA BTCC Licences (TBLs) held by teams have all been confirmed to have been entered for the forthcoming campaign.

Each team must hold a TBL for each car entered, with there being 30 TBLs controlled by teams in total and two further licences retained by TOCA for its own use.

In keeping with the aim reducing the size of the BTCC grid, TOCA have confirmed they will not be allocating its two TBLs to additional entrants, despite receiving serious applications from no fewer than three new teams wishing to participate in 2019.

Amongst the regular outfits, Excelr8 Motorsport will join the BTCC ranks for next year having firmed up their plans to take on the running of the two MG’s.

HMS Racing, the Independent squad responsible for bringing the Alfa Romeo name back to the series in 2018, has announced that it will take a year out. Motorbase Performance have subsequently taken on the running of their TBL to remain a three-car outfit.

Teams will announce driver line-ups and details of their cars and sponsorship agreements for 2019 over the coming weeks, prior to the release of the finalised entry list, set to be distributed by TOCA in March.

Confirmed entries for the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship:

Aiden Moffat Racing – 1

AMD / Cobra Exhausts – 2

AMD / Trade Price Cars – 2

BTC Racing – 2

Ciceley Motorsport – 2

Excelr8 Motorsport – 2

Motorbase Performance – 3

Power Maxed Racing – 2

Simpson Racing – 1

Speedworks Motorsport – 1

Team BMR – 2

Team Dynamics – 2

Team HARD – 4

Team Parker Racing – 1

West Surrey Racing – 3

Kwik Fit announced as new BTCC title sponsor

TOCA has confirmed that the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, Kwik Fit, is to become the title sponsor of the British Touring Car Championship for the 2019 season.

Goodyear Dunlop will remain as the sole tyre supplier to the BTCC under its current contract until at least 2022 however the championship will now be known as the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.

In what is a collaborative effort between TOCA, Goodyear Dunlop and Kwik Fit, the introduction of a new title sponsor is aimed towards introducing the BTCC to more fans across the UK.

Alan Gow, BTCC Series Director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kwik Fit into the fold of the BTCC. This will undoubtedly enable us to introduce the BTCC to hundreds of thousands more motorists across the UK.

“It also gives Kwik Fit the ideal opportunity to further increase their brand awareness via the UK’s largest motorsport championship.”

Andy Lane, Marketing Director at Kwik Fit, added: “We are looking forward to becoming the title sponsor of the championship. It is a fantastic competition with a strong heritage which will significantly add to our marketing activities.

“We are very excited about connecting with the fans and teams during the season ahead as well as helping raise the profile of the championship with our customers across the country.”

Andy Marfleet, Goodyear Dunlop Marketing Director, concluded: “We have been supplying motorists with Goodyear and Dunlop tyres through the Kwik Fit network for decades and we are delighted to continue our connection as they take on the sponsorship of this fantastic championship.

“We will continue to be tyre supplier and an integral supporter of the BTCC; our association with TOCA has run continuously since 2003 and is stronger than ever before.”

2019 BTCC tickets for Thruxton and Croft now on sale

Tickets for the Thruxton and Croft rounds of the 2019 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship are now on sale, with discounted prices confirmed in the run up to Christmas.

With the festive period rapidly approaching, BTCC tickets at British Automobile Racing Club circuits are set to be the perfect present for the petrolhead in your life.

Coming off the back of a pulsating and successful 2018 season, Britain’s premier race series will once again travel the length and breadth of the country, with an expected capacity entry list battling it out across 30 races.

Thruxton, the fastest circuit in the UK, will stage two stops on calendar in 2019 having picked up a round following the demise of Rockingham. The additional date means Thruxton will now stage two rounds of the championship in a single season for the first time since 2007.

The BTCC will first visit the high-speed Hampshire venue on May 18/19 before returning later in the year as the title race gathers momentum during the second half of the season on August 17/18.

Croft meanwhile has an earlier spot on the calendar for next year as it plays host to the fourth event of the 2019 campaign, taking place on June 15/16.

Thruxton – May 18/19 2019

Visit http://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/btcc to view full ticket offers

Croft – June 15/16 2019

Visit http://croftcircuit.co.uk/racing/btcc to view full ticket offers

Thruxton – August 17/18 2019 

Visit http://thruxtonracing.co.uk/racing/btcc-aug to view full ticket offers

BTCC rule changes ratified for 2019 season

British Touring Car Championship organisers TOCA have ratified a number of minor amendments to its regulations following an end-of-season consultation with the championship’s teams.

Following on from a record-breaking 60th Anniversary season that saw Colin Turkington crowned champion for a third time, the series is set to scale new heights in 2019 under the same ten-event, 30-race format.

In addition to the revised changes (listed below) it has also been decided that the introduction of hybrid power – initially outlined for introduction from the 2022 season – may be brought forward to 2021 if all key parameters relating to the supply, engineering, costs, performance and testing of the hybrid units can be achieved in good time for an earlier launch.

One of the biggest changes to be implemented will be to success ballast, which has been reduced due to the incredibly closely matched performance of the current cars.

For 2019, the maximum amount of success ballast will see the championship leader or race winner gaining 54 kilograms of additional weight and the increments thereafter being adjusted downwards slights.

Success ballast for next year in the top ten is as follows: 54kgs – 48kgs – 42kgs – 36kgs – 30kgs – 24kgs – 18kgs – 12kgs -6kgs – 6kgs.

As has been the case in recent years, some on-track driving offences will continue to receive ‘reprimands’ and in 2019 three reprimands will now constitute a ‘strike’.

Strikes will continued to be automatically applied for more serious offences, an example being if a driver is found to be wholly to blame in an incident that causes another driver to be unable to finish the race. In this case the recipient of the Strike will also receive the additional  penalty of a minimum 20 seconds added to their race time.

Having been introduced last year, the strike system will remain as it is with a third strike resulting in a driver being demoted to the back of the grid, a fourth resulting in a race ban and so on. A reprimand or strike will continue to remain recorded against a driver for 12 months.

Qualifying will see a tweak too with drivers causing a red flag losing their fastest lap time to that point and taking no further part in the session.

Option tyres will continue to be selected prior to Saturday’s qualifying session with teams still limited to how many times they can run a certain compound in a race.

Brands Hatch Indy, Oulton Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch GP will see drivers run the ‘soft’ tyre as an option, Donington Park and Croft the ‘hard’ tyre and Knockhill the ‘medium’ compound (with the ‘soft’ tyre being the standard tyre). Snetterton meanwhile will run each compound once.

All six races that are staged at Thruxton next year will see all drivers run the ‘hard’ tyre.

Finally, following an extensive testing programme an entirely new wet tyre will be introduced for the 2019 season by Dunlop.

All regulation changes will take effect from the opening round of the 2019 campaign which takes place at Brands Hatch Indy on April 6/7.

Knockhill awaits for latest chapter of enthralling BTCC title fight

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is set to produce more twists and turns this weekend (August 25/26) as the series makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill for rounds 22, 23 and 24.

With nine races remaining and a total of 201 points up for grabs, the BTCC is set for an exciting climax to its 60th season and the landscape of the title picture could well change at the picturesque Fife venue.

Famed for producing plenty of two-wheeled, close-quarter action around its undulating 1.2 mile layout, Knockhill has traditionally played a pivotal role in the destiny of the championship and is firm favourite with drivers and fans alike.

Colin Turkington arrives in Scotland at the top of the standings however the double champion has found himself in a back-and-forth battle with Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram in recent rounds. Separated by just four points, the pair traded top spot on countless occasions at Snetterton and Rockingham, with Turkington currently edging out the incumbent Independent champion.

At a circuit which in the past has been well-suited to rear-wheel-drive machinery, the title pendulum could swing further between the pair as they enter the weekend ladened with success ballast.

Having been the epitome of consistency thus far, all eyes will be on the top two to see how their fortunes fair in the latest chapter of what is proving to be an enthralling 2018 campaign.

Hot on the heels of Turkington and Ingram and not to be counted out of contention is reigning champion Ashley Sutton, who sits third in the points. Four wins from the past nine races have ignited the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing drivers title defence and Sutton could propel himself further into the mix at Knockhill.

Were it not for two non-scoring finishes in race three at both Snetterton and Rockingham, Sutton could well be closer to the top two, but instead he has a 32-point deficit to make up.

Jack Goff and Matt Neal both endured tough weekends at Rockingham and the Honda duo will be keen to get back amongst the front runners to bring themselves the title fight further.

Adam Morgan’s third victory of the season in his Mercedes Benz A-Class last time out has brought him into play in sixth as he sits level on points with Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton. The Ford Focus RS driver has scored a handful of podiums however that first win is yet to fall his way.

Josh Cook, Andrew Jordan and Senna Proctor round out the top ten in the championship standings, and like those above them, will need a big points scoring performance to ensure they come further into play.

Dan Cammish, Sam Tordoff, Jason Plato and Rockingham race-winner Chris Smiley will all be ones to watch over the course of the weekend too.

Local fans will have a trio of stars to cheer on too in the shape of Laser Tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat and the AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing duo of Glynn Geddie and Rory Butcher, the latter whose father in in charge at the venue.

With 12 different drivers having topped the podium this season and the championship battle entering a crucial stage of the year, this weekend’s triple-header at Knockhill is set to be an unmissable event.

Qualifying for the eighth meeting of the year is scheduled to begin at 15:25 on Saturday whilst Sunday’s three races will begin at 11:50, 14:25 and 17:20.

Matt Neal hails Diamond Double win ‘one of the best of his BTCC career’

Matt Neal has hailed his victory in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s Diamond Double at Snetterton this past weekend (July 28/29) as one of the best of his career.

On what was a milestone weekend for the series as it continued its 60th Anniversary celebrations, the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver once again wrote his name into the history books with a 63rd BTCC victory.

Instead of the customary reverse grid format for race three at the Norfolk venue, round 18 was to be a 60-mile, 20-lap race where all cars would run without success ballast and on the same tyre. More importantly that than, double championship points were also on offer.

Having qualified in second place in the second of two qualifying sessions on Saturday, the triple-champion served up a masterful performance at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R.

Chasing the WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda of Jack Goff, Neal took the lead on lap nine when a brief rain shower caught out Goff, sending him wide at the Wilson hairpin and allowing Neal to make the pass down the inside.

Despite coming under race-long pressure from Goff and the charging Tom Ingram, the 51-year-old used of all experience to power towards the chequered flag to take yet another famous victory.

“What a fantastic race,” Neal enthused. “To produce a result like we have done on a completely level playing field is testament to all of the hard work that everyone at Halfords Yuasa Racing has put in and underlines how strong this new Type R is.

“We qualified well but with the drizzle I wasn’t quite sure how we would fair – I was expecting us to go backwards at a million miles an hour. The car was really loose on the opening laps but it settled down soon after and I was able to push on a little bit more from then on.

“I was running halfway between a dry and full wet brake setting and that worked well for me. Both myself and Jack were strong in different areas but he was caught out a little bit by the rain at the hairpin, that opened the door for me and I was able to take the lead from there. Jack and Tom though both hounded right until the end.”

Since 1991, Neal has been a permanent fixture of the BTCC and in that time he has enjoyed some memorable moments. From becoming the first Independent driver to win a race outright and scooping £250,000 from Alan Gow in 1999 to his trio of championship wins, Neal has continued to add to his ledger as being one of the all-time greats in the series.

Basking in the glory of winning the coveted Diamond Double, Neal admits that his latest triumph ranks right up there as one of his best BTCC wins.

“I was hoping Alan was going to present me with another cheque when I got onto the podium,” Neal joked. “I’m not to sure where I am going to put this big trophy though, I think it will go in the workshop with the boys as they have earned it just as much as me.

“The BTCC has been my life so to win this race is so special, it was our day! There have been some highs and lows down the years but this is definitely up there as being one of the best achievements I have had in the BTCC.”

Virtue of his historic victory, Neal remains third in the overall standings, trailing new leader Ingram by just 16 points.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues its 2018 campaign in under two weeks times on August 11/12, with Rockingham playing host to rounds 19, 20 & 21.

BTCC marks 60th Anniversary in style with Snetterton spectacle

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship marked its 60th Anniversary in fine style at Snetterton this past weekend (July 28/29) as Jack Goff, Ashley Sutton and Matt Neal all took race wins – the latter in the Diamond Double.

In-keeping with the series’ Diamond Jubilee, the second half of the season kicked off in Norfolk with two blockbuster races and a longer milestone encounter – all of which helped write the latest chapter in the illustrious history of the BTCC.

Saturday’s two qualifying sessions belonged to the WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R of Jack Goff. Having set the pace in the day’s earlier practice session, Goff came out of the blocks flying in the first battle for pole position, storming to the top of the times at the mid-point of qualifying and to a new lap record.

Following a short break, the BTCC contingent were back out on track for 15 minutes to decide the grid for the longer 60-mile race three encounter. As he had done previously, Goff produced a scintillating lap to break his own lap record and take the all-important pole position for the weekend’s marque event.

In contrast to the dry conditions of Saturday, drivers were greeted with heavy rain on Sunday morning as they lined up for the first race of the day – one that would ultimately go on to be an all-time classic.

Launching from pole position, Goff launched his Civic off the line and into an early lead. Further back, all eyes were on reigning champion as he jumped from ninth on the grid into second place by turn three.

As others struggled to master the treacherous conditions, Goff and Sutton got their heads down and began to build a gap to Dan Cammish in third. Further back, Tom Ingram joined the ever-growing list of retirements as he crawled to a stop having suffered an alternator failure on his Toyota Avensis.

With the laps ticking by, Sutton soon began eating into Goff’s lead – his Subaru Levorg working well in the pouring rain. Setting fastest lap after fastest lap, the 23-year-old soon began to fill the mirrors of Goff as they went onto the final tour.

Showing his nose at Agostini, Sutton made a bold and quite staggering move around the outside of the sweeping Coram corner, placing him on the inside for Murrays. Leading out of the final corner, the pair had a drag race to the line where Goff narrowly pipped Sutton to the chequered by just 0.152. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish rounded off the podium in third.

Riding high on the success of race one, Goff’s world came crashing down before the start of race two after missing the window to leave the pit lane and head to the grid. Forced to start from the back of the grid, Goff’s pole position spot was vacant and it gave Sutton clear road ahead.

With the track having predominantly dried out, all cars started on slick tyres and it was Sutton that made the best start. Resisting early pressure from Cammish, the Subaru driver began to stretch his legs out front whilst the chasing pack squabbled.

Whilst Sutton led, Speedworks Motorsport’s Ingram proved to be the star of the show as he scythed his way through the field from P27. Picking off drivers one-by-one, the Independents champion eventually finished on the podium, clawing third away from Cammish at the line.

Back at the front, a safety car period with just a handful of laps to go eroded Sutton’s gap and despite a strong restart he was to come under pressure from the charging Josh Cook, who ran him close as they took the chequered flag covered by less than a second.

Having started from the back of the grid, race one winner Goff struggled with the additional 75kgs of success ballast and crossed the line in P17.

As the dust settled on races one and two, all eyes were firmly focused on the Diamond Double; the 60-mile, 20 lap, double championship point extravaganza race to cap off the weekend.

Back on the front row of the grid, Goff made another lightening start and immediately began to build a gap over the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda of Neal. Sutton’s chances of scoring big ended on the opening laps he was forced to serve a 30-second stop-go penalty for an infringement on the grid before the warm-up lap. Due to serving it incorrectly, he made a second visit to the pits a lap later to do the same thing.

At the front, the battle for the lead ignited after a brief safety car period. On lap nine, a sprinkling of rain hit the circuit, catching several drivers out. Heading into the Wilson hairpin, Neal showed his nose on Goff, who out-braked himself – thus giving the lead to the three-time champion.

From there Neal, Goff and Ingram were inseparable as they built up a substantial gap over Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton in fourth and fifth. Despite Goff or Ingram being able to make a move on Neal, the three-way fight for the lead kept fans on the edge-of-their-seats until the final lap.

Further down the order was an almighty scrap for sixth, with Chris Smiley leading a train of more than 10 cars at one point. Fending off the likes of Colin Turkington, Cook and more, Smiley looked on course to maintain the position before damage late on put pay to those aspirations.

The chequered flag saw Neal write the latest chapter in what is becoming a storied career as he took victory in the winner Diamond Double, finishing ahead of Goff and Ingram.

At the end of the weekend it is now Ingram that sits at the top of the points standings, six markers ahead of Turkington whilst Neal is a further ten behind.

For the full classification of results and standings from all of the weekend’s sessions, click here.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship continues in under two weeks time for rounds 19, 20 & 21 at Rockingham on August 11/12.

BTCC signs off from Rockingham in style with memorable weekend

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship signed off its time at Rockingham with a memorable weekend (August 11/12) with Adam Morgan, Ashley Sutton and Chris Smiley shared the spoils.

Following the announcement earlier in the year that the Corby venue would not be part of the 2019 calendar, the series’ latest visit added yet another plot twist in what is turning out to be an intriguing title battle.

Qualifying on Saturday proved to be a frenetic affair as a host of drivers all held provisional pole position at some stage during the 30-minute session. As the clocked ticked to zero however it was the MAC Tool with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes of Morgan who scored his maiden pole in the series, setting a blistering time of 1:22.835.

Joining Morgan on the front row was the series’ top qualifier Sam Tordoff, whilst Dan Cammish, Mike Bushell, Daniel Lloyd and Chris Smiley rounded out the top six as the chequered flag fell to mark the end of the session.

Morgan converted his pole position in a comfortable lights-to-flag victory in the Rockingham opener; meanwhile behind there were plenty of major moments. The first came on the run down to the Deene hairpin as Cammish spun Tordoff, causing a chain affect that involved Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan, Ollie Jackson, Daniel Lloyd, Chris Smiley, Tom Oliphant and Sam Smelt.

Tordoff’s race was ended on the spot but Cammish continued, however his mirrors were filled by reigning champion Sutton following a brief safety car period. With Tom Chilton having rocketed into second, Cammish conceded third shortly after racing resumed but stayed on the back of the Subaru Levorg.

Catching the Ford Focus RS of Chilton, Sutton produced his latest spectacular move at the Tarzan hairpin – sending the Motorbase driver a dummy before diving down the inside of him. From there the positions remained as they were with Morgan scoring his third win of the season and Sutton and Chilton bringing themselves further into title contention with podiums.

Tom Ingram and Colin Turkington, the top two in the standings heading into race one, had been locked in an almighty battle towards the back of the top ten. Holding an advantage over the Team BMW driver, Ingram looked on course to extend his points lead until a throttle issue struck on the final lap, causing him to slow and ultimately cross the line in P24.

A heavy rain shower in-between races one and two added further spice to the action with many drivers questioning what tyres to go for, all of them in the end opting for slicks.

Launching off the outside of the front row, Sutton took the lead as the lights went out and was never troubled from then on. Despite having to manage two safety car periods, the Adrian Flux-backed driver controlled the race to notch his fourth victory of the season and bring himself firmly into title contention.

Behind Sutton, race one winner Morgan enjoyed a quiet race as he managed 75kgs of success ballast to second place. It was to be the battle for third that would captivate everyone however as Ingram produced another scintillating performance to charge scythe through the field and collect more silverware.

Just as he did at Snetterton, the Speedworks Motorsport driver started P27 and over the course of the next 18 laps he picked his way through the field, ultimately deposing Senna Proctor of third to reclaim his championship lead toward the end. Proctor finished fourth whilst Turkington was the footer of the top five.

BTC Norlin Racing’s Smiley became the latest driver to enter the winners circle in the reverse grid encounter, producing a perfect drive to become the 12th different victor of the year. Starting fifth, the Northern Irishman survived an early scare in mixed conditions on the opening tour to jump into the lead. From there he was never headed and powered his way to a popular win, joining his team-mate Dan Lloyd who won at Croft.

Behind, Turkington used all of his experience to get the better of Matt Simpson on the final lap to steal second, the Honda driver settling for third having pipped a charging Tordoff and Ingram for it on the line.

In the wake of Rockingham’s three high-octane races, Turkington returns to the summit of the standings although just four points separate himself and Ingram. Sutton remains in contention albeit 32 points further back.

BMW and Team BMW continue to lead the BTCC Manufacturer/Constructors Championship and BTCC Teams Championship respectively whilst Ingram and Speedworks are doing the same in both Independent categories. Smiley’s breakthrough win draws him closer in the Jack Sears Trophy standings although he continues to trail Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Cammish.

Matt Neal wins the BTCC Diamond Double

Matt Neal has written his name into the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship history books at Snetterton after winning the Diamond Double.

As a way of marking 60 years of the BTCC, round 18 of the series was a 60-mile, 20-lap race instead of the customary reverse grid format. In addition, and more importantly, double points were on offer for it too.

Following on from storming to pole position in the first qualifying session on Saturday, WIX Racing with Eurotech’s Goff produced another stellar performance to make it two pole’s from two sessions – underlining his superiority at the Norfolk venue. The cherry on top for Goff was that he also smashed his own lap record that he had set just a few hours before.

Joining Goff on the front row of the grid was Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal, whilst Tom Chilton and Tom Ingram filled the second row of the grid in their respective machines.

With mixed weather conditions battering the circuit throughout the day, all eyes were fixed on the skies to see if it would be a wet or dry race. With the rain holding off, all cars started on slicks and Goff launched from pole position into an early lead.

Behind, Tom Ingram hounded the back of Neal during the early running whilst Andrew Jordan vaulted himself into fourth. Towards the rear of the field, Aiden Moffat and Rory Butcher saw their races ended on the spot at the exit of Wilson.

Further back reigning champion Ashley Sutton found himself in strife as he was hit with not one but two 30-second stop-go penalties. The race two winner was issued the penalty on the opening lap but was adjudged to have not served it in the correct way the first time, forcing him to visit the pit lane for again a lap later.

As the laps ticked by Goff’s early lead was beginning to be whittled down as Neal and Ingram gave chase, especially after a brief safety car caused by Brett Smith and Tom Oilphant. Lap nine proved to be a decisive moment in the Diamond Double as light rain hit the circuit and Neal made his move. Running into the Wilson hairpin, Goff was unable to stop his Civic Type R and slithered wide, giving Neal the lead.

The splattering of rain ended soon after however Neal was unable to pull away from Goff. From lap nine onwards, Neal was chased by Goff and Ingram with no more than a second ever separating them.

Try as he might, Goff struggled to find a way past his Type R compatriot and he soon had his mirrors filled with the Toyota Avensis of Ingram. On lap 20, Ingram showed his nose at the Wilson hairpin but had the door shut. From there

Behind the top three, Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton enjoyed a feisty battle with the BMW driver getting the edge over the Motorbase racer, taking fourth.

The scrap for sixth was where everyone had their attention drawn towards as Chris Smiley defended the position. With a bumper queue building up, Smiley came undone after the multiple laps of scrapping with Colin Turkington, Josh Cook, Senna Proctor and more.

Smiley became undone near the end of the race, joining the long list of retirements with damage. That departure gave Turkington sixth with Cook, Matt Simpson, Daniel Lloyd, and Proctor rounding out the top ten.

In the wake of the Diamond Double, Ingram now leads the BTCC Driver standings by six points over Turkington. Neal’s victory brings him closer in third whilst Goff and Cook round out the top five.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship returns in two weeks time with rounds 19, 20 & 21 taking place at Rockingham on August 11/12.

For the full classification of results and championship standings, click here.

Jack Goff and Ashley Sutton share BTCC spoils in contrasting Snetterton races

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has marked its 60th anniversary at Snetterton in fine style so far this weekend (July 28/29), with Jack Goff and Ashley Sutton scoring wins in races one and two respectively.

In what is a totally unique meeting for the series, the opening two 12-lap encounters around the Norfolk venue are likely to live long in the memory.

Qualifying for race one of the weekend proved to be a record-breaking affair as Goff scorched his way to pole position in the searing heat. Powering his WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R to the top of the times at mid-point in the session, his 1:55.556 wasn’t to be bettered, giving him a second pole of the season.

Joining Goff on the front row was Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish in second whilst row two was made up of two more Civic Type R’s, Matt Simpson and Brett Smith.

Torrential rain and a bumper trackside crowd greeted the drivers on Sunday, with the weather adding further spice to the already unpredictable track action.

With all cars on wet tyres, Goff turned his front row start into a race lead that he ultimately would never lose, however it wasn’t easy. As the Honda driver enjoyed a strong start, reigning champion Ashley Sutton had an even stronger one as he scythed his way through the field, going from ninth to second on the opening tour.

Losing ground in the early stages to Goff, Sutton soon began to set fastest lap after fastest lap, closing the gap to Goff in the process. With just a handful of laps to go, Goff’s mirrors were soon filled with Subaru Levorg of Sutton, shades of 2017 where the pair diced for a victory at Snetterton then.

Having defended for a majority of the final lap, Goff found himself having a lary moment through the Bombhole, allowing Sutton to close the gap. Attempting to go around the outside of the Honda driver at Coram, Sutton was on the inside and in the lead exiting the final corner and onto the straight. In a drag race to the line, Goff and Sutton went door-to-door in the run to the line, with Goff emerging as the victor.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Dan Cammish rounded off the podium with a measured drive in third place; Josh Cook and Sam Tordoff capping off the top five.

The second encounter of the day saw drama before the race had even begun. Following on from his earlier victory, Goff missed the window to leave the pit lane and was forced to start from the back of the grid, automatically ending his hopes of scoring a second win.

With the rain having eased off, slick tyres were chosen by everyone and Sutton took advantage of the clear road ahead of him to storm to his third victory of the year. Despite coming under early pressure from Cammish, the 23-year-old was able to pull away from the Honda driver as the laps ticked by.

Further back, Tom Ingram proved to be the one to watch as he threaded his way up the order having started in P27. Championship leader Colin Turkington meanwhile endured a torrid time, suffering contact on the first lap that ended his race early.

Following a brief safety car period late on, Sutton attempted to make his escape but soon found himself defending on the final lap to Power Maxed TAG Racing’s Cook. Despite the best efforts of Cook, Sutton maintained his lead to thrust himself into title contention.

Ingram meanwhile continued to pick off his rivals and clinched third place on the line, taking his overtaking tally to 24 in race two.

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship will cap off the weekend at Snetterton with the Diamond Double, a 60-mile race with double points on offer. Scheduled to start at 17:15, Goff will once again start on pole position with Matt Neal joining him on the front row.

For the full classification of results from rounds 16 and 17, click here.

Special BTCC liveries unveiled to mark 60th Anniversary at Snetterton

Several cars on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship grid will sport different liveries at Snetterton this weekend (July 28/29) as part of the series’ 60th Anniversary celebrations.

In what is set to be a milestone event at the Norfolk venue, the second half of the 2018 season will kick into a life with plenty of Diamond Jubilee commemorations, including a reformatted race three titled the Diamond Double.

Instead of the traditional reverse grid encounter will be a 60-mile contest, which is almost double that of the customary BTCC race distance at Snetterton, run over 20 laps. In addition, double championship points will be on offer whilst all cars will run on base weight and the same tyre compound.

Honouring the BTCC’s Diamond Jubilee, reigning champion Ashley Sutton’s Adrian Flux Subaru Racing is adorned in black, grey and white, instead of its usual striking blue for the weekend’s trio of races.

Commenting on the livery, Sutton said: “Seeing as it is the BTCC’s 60th years felt right that we had to do something. I’ve had this idea in my head since around about Oulton Park so to now see it in the flesh is brilliant.

“I’ve always loved the BTCC; I looked up to it when I was growing up so to be in it, let alone a champion is something that is very special to me. Going black, grey and white fitted in with the theme of going back in time and looking at some of the iconic moments.

“I think it looks fantastic. When you look at it alongside Jason’s (Plato) car you almost have to look twice, it really throws you. When it is on track alongside everyone else it will really stand out.”

Sam Tordoff meanwhile will add an extra splash of colour to the grid by hitting the track in his now bright pink Motorbase Performance Ford Focus RS.

“We had such a great reaction to the JCT600 70th anniversary platinum livery that we ran at croft in 2016,” Tordoff said. “As soon as I had signed the contract with Motorbase to return to the BTCC this year, I was adamant that we should do something similar once again. The 60th BTCC anniversary celebrations at Snetterton seemed the perfect time to do it.

“We wanted to choose a colour that really made an impact on the track and also on TV. Bright pink has become my signature colour over recent years. My pink helmet attracts a lot of attentions and comments – as you’d expect – and we wanted something special for the car, so it was a no-brainer to run it.

“It’s definitely going to grab people’s attention – who knows, we may even decide to keep it.”

Rob Austin’s HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta will also carry a special roof design this weekend, with the colour matching the same paint that adorned the title-winning Alfa Romeo 155 of 1994.