Knockhill

BTCC 2017 | Knockhill – What did we learn?

The annual trip to Scotland produced three entertaining races, helped by more incidents of dubious driving standards. The series left Knockhill with a new leader at the top of the standings, but what else did we learn?

2017 BTCC Knockhill

Colin Turkington now leads the way following a hat-trick of thirds from Ash Sutton, while the former leader, Gordon Shedden, sits third and twelve points off top. Saturday’s qualifying saw a Subaru 1-2 with Jason Plato finally producing what we’ve come to expect of him, just ahead of the championship charging Sutton.

Plato duly converted his 50th pole position into a 96th BTCC victory and incredibly his first since the opening race at Knockhill twelve months ago. Although Sutton raced hard, and after a failed switch to try to gain an extra point for leading a lap, this race deservedly belonged to Plato. Their challengers, Turkington and Rob Collard, were a small gap behind the top two, but miles ahead of the rest of the field, which were headed by James Cole, who achieved a career best hat-trick of fifths over the weekend.

2017 BTCC Knockhill

The Subaru dominance continued in the second race, although the drivers switched finishing positions, further enhancing Sutton’s title credentials, while the three behind remained the same as before. The main talking point of the second race came within the first twenty seconds as a large crash, triggered by Andrew Jordan, wiped out several drivers. Jordan out-braked himself which meant he rammed Matt Neal, who in turn went into Senna Proctor who then collected Jordan. A few others had to take evasive action and ended up in the gravel trap, ruining their races too.

It was good to see Jordan admit his mistake afterwards, although it didn’t save him from a hefty fine and penalty points on his licence. Jordan has never shown championship form since winning the title in 2013 and this was a poor mistake. A championship challenge isn’t helped by moving teams each year, but he just doesn’t look as formidable as he was once.

However, the Subarus at Knockhill certainly looked formidable. In the second race, all four were inside the top seven – quite incredible. Just why did they go so well? Sutton’s looked great all season, but the other three have been nowhere to be seen. In Scotland, real wheel drive power was a huge advantage as the top five in the first two races were all powered from the rear. But then, why weren’t the BMWs seriously challenging? This could be down to the Subarus’ boxer engine which allows for a better centre of gravity and on a circuit such as Knockhill, this extra edge could well have been the difference. (more…)

BTCC 2016 – Knockhill – Reviewed and Rated

The annual trip to Scotland produced some fantastic racing, especially amongst the front runners, which hopefully now means we can forget about the driving standards furore of Snetterton.2016 BTCC Knockhill (C) BTCCThree of the most experienced drivers on the grid came to the fore with a win apiece, demonstrating outstanding defensive driving and a classic charge through the field. At the front, consistency was the key for Sam Tordoff as he regained the championship lead from Rob Collard.

Race One (1st Plato, 2nd Goff, 3rd Turkington)
Jason Plato started his 500th BTCC race from pole position after an incredibly tight qualifying session. Tom Ingram took 2nd ahead of Tordoff, Jack Goff, Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan. The championship leader, Collard, once again qualified poorly, down in 18th.

As the lights went out, the top 6 all got away well from the line, but there were echoes of Snetterton at the third corner as Matt Neal barged Adam Morgan off the track, which left Morgan well down the pack and Neal with a post-race verbal warning. This allowed the top 6 to pull out a gap on the rest of the field. Jordan was looking competitive in the opening laps and he was soon ahead of Turkington after a sweet move at the hairpin, but Turkington kept pace and re-took the position mid-race.

Ingram found himself under immense pressure from Tordoff and Goff, before the pair switched positions over the start-finish line. Goff continued his pursuit of Ingram and after a long, late lunge on the brakes into the hairpin, he succeeded in taking 2nd. Tordoff then set about Ingram too, but his challenge was halted by a safety car to recover Warren Scott’s stricken Subaru following an incident with Dan Welch.2016 BTCC Knockhill (C) Subaru UKAfter the safety car period ended, it was a quick sprint to the finish, but it was just enough time for Turkington to make a couple of brilliant moves to jump from 5th to 3rd. His first victim was Tordoff, who was almost overtaken by Jordan too, and then Ingram at the hairpin. However, it was Turkington’s teammate, Plato, who celebrated his 500th race with his 95th victory and he also became the 11th different winner of the season, equalling the BTCC season record. (more…)

BTCC 2015 – Knockill | Reviewed and Rated

It was north of the border again for the British Touring Car Championship’s annual visit to Scotland.

BTCC 2015 Knockhill 001

Forceful manoeuvres, close racing, safety cars and three different winners were just some of the things witnessed at Knockhill in the latest rounds of the BTCC. The championship top 5 contenders are now closer together thanks to a poor weekend for Team BMR and a good one for Honda Yuasa Racing.

As Tim Harvey pointed out during ITV’s coverage, the circuits are starting to become car specific, hence we are seeing some teams doing well at one circuit and not others. I quite agree with Tim, but I would also add that it isn’t the first time we’ve noticed this. For example, at Croft we always know the BMWs will go well and likewise at Snetterton we know it suits a long wheel based, front wheeled drive car, such as the Volkswagen CC. However, this season, perhaps more than others, due to the great ability of the leading championship contenders it is becoming, or has become, more of a relevant issue. Despite this, I would still suggest the best drivers have risen to the top of the leader board. Jason Plato and Colin Turkington have 2 other team mates, but they’re not in top 10, nor are other Honda Civic drivers.

The remaining circuits of Rockingham, Silverstone and Brands Hatch (GP) will favour the VW CC over the Honda Civic, or at least there will be parity between the two cars as the season reaches its climax. The racing won’t solely focus on them, of course, because we don’t want a situation like the early noughties where one Vauxhall team basically raced another Vauxhall team, as the BMWs, MGs, Fords and so on will make a valuable impact on this season’s championship. (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 Round 7 – Knockhill Review

EngageSportMode.com’s dedicated BTCC Correspondent made the trek to Scotland for the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

Turkington flies North of the Border

BTCC Knockhill 2013 001

The BTCC made the annual trip north of the border to Knockhill for the latest rounds. It was a meeting dominated by rear wheel drive cars and Colin Turkington continued his late charge towards the Drivers’ Title as he was in inspired form once again.

Rob Austin achieved his first ever pole position in his Audi A4, followed by Turkington, local hero Gordon Shedden, Jason Plato, Matt Neal and Adam Morgan. Amazingly, it was the first Audi on pole since Frank Biela in 1997. There were BTCC debuts for Mike Bushell, Kieran Gallagher and Aiden Moffat, who became the youngest ever BTCC driver at 16 years, 10 months and 28 days. There was also a popular return for Paul O’Neill driving a Team HARD. prepared Vauxhall Insignia alongside Gallagher who replaced Jack Goff. Other notable absentees were James Kaye, Andy Neate, Jeff Smith and Joe Girling who now appears to be finished with the championship for the year.

Race One saw great starts from the front two of Austin and Turkington as they made the most of their rear wheel drive power. Andrew Jordan, who was starting in 9th following his penalty for several misdemeanours this season, made a clean move up the inside of Frank Wrathall on lap 1 as he tried to make his way up the field. Lap 2 saw a significant overtake as Turkington was able to take the lead by having the inside line at the Hairpin, with Austin in the middle of a sandwich with Shedden on the other side.   (more…)

BTCC 2013 – Knockhill Highlights Gallery & Results

EngageSportMode.com’s BTCC Correspondent has spent the day North of the Border to cover the all the action from Knockhill. Here are the highlights of his photos so far with more, and a full race review, to follow soon.

Race One Photo Highlights

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