2014 British Touring Car Championship

BTCC 2017 | Brands Hatch Grand Prix – What did we learn?

With the 2017 BTCC title going down to the wire, Brands Hatch was set for a knockout battle. 2017 BTCC Brands Hatch GP

After another thrilling weekend of action, the British Touring Car Championship has a new name on the coveted trophy – Ashley Sutton. Sunday was certainly another day of twists and turns, but even Saturday’s qualifying session made headlines.

Sutton went into the weekend with a 10 point gap over nearest, and only realistic rival, Colin Turkington. A rain and red flag affected qualifying certainly went Sutton’s way as he qualified third behind Jack Goff and Aiden Moffat. Turkington’s BMW suffered electrical problems, not for the first time this season, and it meant he could only qualify in 17th.

Another disappointment for Turkington was that potential ally, in the form of teammate Rob Collard, had to withdraw from the weekend’s action after free practice as he was still suffering the effects of his heavy crash at Silverstone. Turkington’s other WSR teammate qualified a place behind him in 18th. While two of Sutton’s teammates qualified well down the pack, Jason Plato qualified in a handy 10th, although none of the teammates had particularly much impact on Sunday.

Race one certainly went Sutton’s way as Turkington struggled to make progress while Sutton took 3rd. Conditions appeared tricky at the start of the race as the track was damp, but drying. Astonishingly, no safety car was needed throughout the race, although Goff lost it at Paddock Hill bend on the opening lap and Adam Morgan had a few encounters with the barriers too. By lap 6, the cars on the slick tyres were starting to go quicker than those on the wet versions. The race was generally quite good, with the top 3 of Moffat, Tom Ingram and Sutton challenging each other well and by lap 10 they had a 15 second gap to 4th.

Towards the end while Sutton was, stupidly, considering what was at stake, attacking Ingram for 2nd, Turkington who’d make his way up to 12th started to lose places and after a final lap incident with Matt Simpson. He finally finished a lowly 15th to gain a solitary point. The gap to Sutton was now 24 points. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Brands Hatch GP – Rounds 28/29/30 – Review

Slightly later than planned*, our BTCC correspondent gives his take on the final rounds of the 2014 season.

Turkington Crowned Champion

2014 BTCC Brands Hatch GP 000

Colin Turkington was crowned the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion at Brands Hatch after a fantastic final round of racing. Turkington, ironically, had his worst weekend of the season, but still came away from the Kent circuit as the happiest man of the day after taking his second drivers’ title.

Saturday saw Turkington’s nearest rival, Jason Plato, take pole position from his teammate Sam Tordoff, Gordon Shedden, Turkington, Adam Morgan and a season’s best for Fabrizio Giovanardi and James Cole in 6th and 7th. It was yet another poor day for Matt Neal, and his Sunday wasn’t going to go much better, as he qualified in 22nd.

Race One took place on a drying track although it wasn’t wet enough to use wet tyres. However, we probably saw the most dramatic start of the season as Plato got off to an awful start meaning Tordoff jumped him, but then Turkington was in the lead just after Paddock Hill bend as the cars headed for Druids. However, after Druids that soon reverted back to Tordoff from Plato and Turkington. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Rockingham – Rounds 22/23/24 – Review

Turkington Extends His Championship Charge!

2014 BTCC Rockingham 001

It was another great weekend for the BTCC championship leader, Colin Turkington, in the latest rounds held at Rockingham. Turkington took the chequered flag in the first two races of the day with Rob Austin making a popular climb to the top of the podium for the final race. Turkington’s wins also coincided with a poor weekend for his nearest challenger going into the weekend, Gordon Shedden, so his advantage now stands at 55 points over Jason Plato.

The MG duo of Plato and Sam Tordoff had looked strong all weekend and it was no surprise that Tordoff took his second pole position in a row from Turkington, with full ballast remember, then Plato, Shedden, Andrew Jordan and Adam Morgan.

Race One saw Turkington make a great start when the lights went out and he flew off the line and into the lead with Tordoff and Plato behind him. Matt Neal, having a season to forget, was once again well down the order after the lights went out. Lap 2 saw Tordoff pressurise Turkington, but to no avail, while Morgan made it up to 5th as the queue for the lead increased. A couple of laps later, Morgan and Jordan past Shedden as he went sideways after trying to pass Plato himself. However, one man who didn’t recover from going sideways was Lea Wood as he lost the back end of his Avensis under braking into the Deene Hairpin and his out of control car smacked into the front end of Warren Scott causing a safety car. Both cars suffered substantial damage, Wood’s especially, which was a bit surprising as it didn’t seem to be the worst impact ever seen. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Knockhill – Rounds 19/20/21 – Review

Trio of New 2014 Winners at Knockhill!

BTCC 2014 Knockhill 006

The British Touring Cars made their annual trip north of the border to Knockhill on August Bank Holiday weekend. There were several strong performances from the drivers and teams, as three drivers won for the first time this season. It was also the first time since soft tyres were introduced, that all three races were won by cars using them.

Championship leader, Colin Turkington, set the fastest time in qualifying but lined up 9th following a grid penalty from Snetterton. Turkington’s teammate, Rob Collard, lined up at the back of the grid, again due to misdemeanours. It meant that Sam Tordoff took pole, from an impressive performance from Sherman and Rob Austin, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden, Matt Neal and Jason Plato. There was BTCC-best qualifying for Glynn Geddie in 10th and Hunter Abbott in 11th.

Race One started slowly, as the front-runners stayed in position off the start line although Turkington did manage to get ahead of Nick Foster for 8th. On lap 4, Shedden managed to pass Jordan at the Hairpin after running closely behind him for a few laps. Lap 7 brought the first major incident of the day as Dan Welch launched into the side of Robb Holland off the curbs, damaging his front wheel and suspension. Welch later received a warning for his part in the incident.

Turkington catches some air

Turkington catches some air

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BTCC 2014 – Snetterton – Rounds 16/17/18 – Review

Plato and Turkington Shine at Snetterton

ESM BTCC Croft 2014 117

Jason Plato arrived at Snetterton in desperate need of a good points haul following some average weekends. Plato couldn’t have wished for much better, as he re-ignited his championship challenge following two victories and a fourth place. However, championship leader, Colin Turkington, was also on-song with a brace of seconds and a third to leave him with a 23 point cushion at the top of the leader board.

Plato had shown great pace in the practice sessions and converted that pace to secure pole position for Sunday from Turkington, Sam Tordoff, Matt Neal, Alain Menu and an impressive sixth for Tom Ingram. The man closest to Turkington in the championship, Gordon Shedden, was down in 11th with Fabrizio Giovanardi at the back following misdemeanours at Croft last time out. Joining Giovanardi at the back of the grid, but starting from the pit lane, was Andrew Jordan following a heavy smash in practice that left him with some concussion, meaning he was ruled out of the qualifying session. Jordan however, was cleared to race on Sunday morning.

One other point of note, was that the cars lined up on the grid for the first time since 1988, according to the ITV commentary team, without a Vauxhall on the grid. This was due to Warren Scott and Jack Goff swapping their Insignias to join teammates Menu and Aron Smith with Volkswagen CCs. Quite an amazing stat.

Race One saw Plato make a good start and maintain his lead from the always fast starting Turkington. At the first corner, Riches, Tordoff went wide and found himself on the grass, which then seemed to cause chaos behind him. It subsequently turned out that Tordoff had a broken brake pipe and within the confusion several drivers found themselves making errors with Nick Foster and Aiden Moffat amongst the unlucky/guilty parties. At the front it was Plato from Turkington, Menu and Ingram whilst further down on lap 1, Marc Hynes was barged off the circuit by Jack Goff although both did continue. (more…)