Brands Hatch

BTCC 2016 – Brands Hatch Indy Reviewed and Rated

BTCC is back, and EngageSportMode’s dedicated correspondent has also returned to action. Here’s his rundown of who shined and who flopped on the first weekend of racing. 

(C) BTCCSix newcomers, various driver changes, a new manufacturer and a major regulation change and the British Touring Car Championship was ready for action in 2016. Once again, the series started at Brands Hatch on the Indy Circuit, which I’ve been less than complimentary about in the past. However, this year was certainly an improvement on the previous snooze-fests we’ve had to endure.

(C) BTCCRace One (1st – Ingram, 2nd – Shedden, 3rd – Neal)
Tom Ingram secured pole on Saturday for the first time and made no mistake in the opening race of the day with a lights to flag victory, despite a safety car to recover Alex Martin’s heavily damaged car after taking action to avoid a spinning Hunter Abbott. The mid-race battle for fourth between several cars was certainly entertaining, finally culminating in Ash Sutton emerging as victor ahead of teammate Josh Cook and Rob Collard, who had earlier collided with his teammate, Sam Tordoff. Being a fly on the wall in the WSR garage post-race sounded like the place to be if you believe ITV’s coverage. The opening race of the season was less conservative than normal and brought a new team and driver to the top step of the podium.

(C) HondaRace Two (Shedden, Neal, A Smith) A formidable Honda 1-2 for Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal come the end of the race looks ominous for the rest of the season, as they were rarely troubled and looked in cruise control after the second lap. After scrapping the fastest-lap starting grid used last season, and reverting back to the first race finishing positions, Ingram made another good start as he retained the lead. A fast-starting Collard raced through into second and closed in on Ingram on the second lap. However, as Collard pulled a move down Ingram’s inside, contact took place, sending Collard into a spin and leaving Ingram with damaged suspension. Perhaps a bit more could have been given and taken on both sides. Motorbase duo Andrew Jordan and Mat Jackson worked well together, taking several positions working in tandem. It’ll be interesting to see how they progress over the season. The end of the race was spiced-up by several cars going off the track, some twice, after fluid on the track, but this didn’t stop the Hondas coming through convincingly. (more…)

BTCC 2015 – Brands Hatch Indy | Rated and Reviewed

After a long break, the British Touring Car Championship was back this weekend for the first rounds of the new season. What did our BTCC Correspondent make of proceedings? Read on for his views and driver ratings.

2015 BTCC Brands Hatch Indy 001

As the dust settles on the first BTCC weekend of the season, it has certainly raised a few interesting points. Matt Neal leads the championship, level on points with Jack Goff, from Aron Smith and Andy Priaulx after a Sunday that saw three different winners. Several sections of the media have described the action as ‘sensational’ and ‘brilliant.’ I wouldn’t go as far as that, solid, perhaps being a more apt adjective.

The Brands Hatch Indy Circuit has traditionally produced close racing and this weekend was no different. I will no doubt continue to complain every year until we don’t race on the Indy Circuit, but I just don’t enjoy a lap that is less than 50 seconds long with only 10 sections. There are other circuits out there that would be able to host a BTCC meeting, meaning we wouldn’t have to visit Brands twice, not that I have anything against Brands itself.

015 BTCC Brands Hatch Indy 003

Andy Priaulx might not have raced in the BTCC at Brands for many a year, but he has of course visited since his last BTCC visit. It was evident from his pole qualifying position and his subsequent performances that he’s not here to make up the numbers, but he’s going to be a title contender. Many people, me included, may not have had him in our immediate contender thoughts, but this has obviously changed over the weekend. It’s hardly surprising considering his record of racing BMW touring cars and the fact he’s in last year’s title winning machine. (more…)

BTCC 2014 – Brands Hatch Indy – Rounds 1, 2 and 3

The British Touring Car Championship got itself back on track at the Brands Hatch Indy circuit. Just what did our BTCC Correspondent make of the opening three rounds? Read our in-depth coverage below:

2014 BTCC BHI 001

2013 BTCC champion Andrew Jordan was in a defiant mood as he started the defence of his title at the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit with 2 victories. However, the usual protagonists were not too far behind him and the standings were very close at the end of the first BTCC meeting of the year.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a fan of the Indy Circuit, it’s just too short and I find it ridiculous that we’ve got a serious championship with cars doing sub 49 second lap times. Having said that, I was able to bare it more this year than on previous occasions and that was because there was a better quality of racing. This was also the first event where a few new rules or tweaks to the rules have been introduced, most notably the track limits of the circuits have been considerably tightened to encourage the drivers to stay on the track, rather than gaining advantages from run-off areas.

One man, who seemed to have no problem staying on track in qualifying was Jordan who took pole from Jason Plato by 0.012s. Colin Turkington lined up third ahead of the Yuasa Honda Racing duo of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, while there was an impressive 6th for Tom Ingram in his first BTCC qualifying. The ridiculousness of the Indy Circuit was shown by the fact only eight tenths of a second separated the top 23 drivers.

2014 BTCC BHI 003

Race One saw a clever start by Jordan and Plato as they worked together to box in the fast starting Turkington, as all the top drivers held position. Further down the pack, returning double champion, Alain Menu, had a nightmare start as he lost the back of his car at Paddock Hill Bend sending him sprawling across the track where he was lucky not to be collected by someone. Menu was ok to continue after a quick excursion onto the grass. (more…)

Andrew Jordan Takes 2013 BTCC Title

It took him all 30 rounds of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship to do it, but Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan finally secured the title at a soaked Brands Hatch.

Andrew Jordan 2013 BTCC Title

Despite a comfortable lead going into the final race weekend, Jordan didn’t make winning the championship easy. Atrocious conditions caused the start of race one to be delayed, with the Honda driver subsequently making his way to a cautious fifth place finish.

Broken rear suspension in race two caused Jordan’s only DNF of the year, and meant he would have to battle through from the rear of the grid to have any chance of taking the championship. Fortune seemed to be on his side though, as the field parted to let the Lichfield based driver thread his way to a title-securing ninth place.

EngageSportMode.com’s BTCC Correspondent will have a full review of the race weekend soon.