BTCC Silverstone

BTCC 2017 | Silverstone – What did we learn?

You certainly cannot accuse the 2017 British Touring Car Championship of being anything but controversial. Silverstone ratcheted the tension up even further, but is the BTCC reaching breaking point?

BTCC 2017 SilverstoneThe latest rounds of the British Touring Car Championship certainly did not disappoint in the drama stakes. Everything is still very much to play for as we now head to Brands Hatch GP for the final rounds on the opening Sunday of October. At times, Silverstone seemed to descend into chaos, but at the end of it, the gap between the two title protagonists, Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington, hardly changed. Sutton started the day with a twelve point gap, but only conceded two points to Turkington. However, what else did we learn?

One of the main talking points from the weekend’s action proved to further focus on driving standards, or the lack of. So much so, it would appear to have hit a nerve with Series Director, Alan Gow, who felt the urge to speak out on Monday.

BTCC 2017 Silverstone

The opening race of the day saw Turkington start in eighth and Sutton tenth as the whole of the field was separated by an astonishing 0.886s during qualifying. The short lap obviously helped lower the gaps, but it also helped increase the action. Turkington battled his way through the field as Matt Neal, Mat Jackson, Dave Newsham and Ant Whorton-Eales did their best to halt his progress. Unfortunately, from Turkington’s point of view, Sutton did likewise and come the end of the much curtailed race, they were a place apart in fourth and fifth.

BTCC 2017 Silverstone

Who knows what would have happened had the race gone to full distance plus three extra safety car laps, but sense prevailed with a red flag eventually coming after the damage caused by a huge shunt involving Rob Collard. Having already seen Neal punt Jackson around in the race, the incident involving Collard appeared to be less clear cut. Aron Taylor-Smith appeared to lean on a rival amongst a group of cars, which in turn, resulted in Collard being touched and spat out on to the wet grass with an apparent lack of steering. Collard skittled across the grass and back on to the track, where he was hammered into by Will Burns and Andrew Jordan.

The damage to Collard’s BMW was massive. Luckily, the damage to Collard himself seemed to be less, but he wouldn’t compete for the rest of the day. Burns, took longer to be extricated from the car and it was because of this, the red flag came out. Jordan, although his car was damaged, managed to limp back to the pits before complaining about others’ “spatial awareness” on track. This did appear to be a racing incident with unfortunate consequences. A small lean would generally be classed as acceptable, but the trouble was this time a series of events followed that never could have been predicted. The stewards also issued no penalties for the incident, again backing up the racing incident line.

The shortened race itself saw Tom Ingram take victory from pole sitter Jack Goff, after a better start, with Adam Morgan finishing third.

In the second race, Jordan’s own “spatial awareness” caught him out as he appeared to be at fault for a collision with Stephen Jelley, but again the stewards took no further action. However, action was to be taken at the end of the race against Sutton following an incident with Turkington. (more…)

BTCC 2015 – Silverstone | Reviewed and Rated

The title race is almost over. So just how does our BTCC Correspondent feel about another Shedden championship?

2015 BTCC SilverstoneFollowing the latest rounds of the championship at Silverstone, you would suggest that it’s now Gordon Shedden’s title to lose. He has secured a 23 point gap at the top of the standings with only a possible 67 points remaining. The likelihood of Jason Plato, or even Colin Turkington, overturning that gap seems far-fetched.

Plato or Turkington, or even more unrealistically Matt Neal or Andrew Jordan, could complete that extremely rare situation of winning all three races. But, it would seem a near impossibility that Shedden would be so far back that his 23 point gap would be eradicated and then overturned. Shedden, of course, will be nervous and Plato and Turkington will be hopeful but it seems an unlikely event that we’ll see a Team BMR driver crowned as champion.

Whilst we talk of who will be champion, let’s not forget there are other drivers out there competing for victories. Matt Jackson has taken the championship by storm since he returned at Snetterton and he will be hoping his form will continue after securing another win at Silverstone this time out. So, even if Plato and Turkington wanted to secure three, unlikely, victories they obviously won’t just be facing competition from each other.

2015 BTCC SilverstoneAs previously mentioned, the power of Motorbase’s Ford Focus is phenomenal and it was put to good use yet again on the long straights of Silverstone. Jackson took pole for the second meeting running and secured a lights-to-flag victory in the opening race. Jordan took 2nd after a good move on Shedden on the second lap. Shedden held onto 3rd throughout the race, despite seemingly hold up many cars, especially in the early stages. The opening race felt fairly processional with not many overtakes, although late on, as some of the soft tyres ran out of grip, there was slight excitement. However, probably the biggest talking point was a puncture for Plato on the final lap. It hadn’t been the best of races for Plato, but he was in the lower reaches of the top 10. At that moment, it felt like the championship momentum swung firmly towards Shedden. (more…)