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 2016 – Silverstone | Recapped and Rated |

Forgotten what happened in the BTCC last time out at Silverstone? You’re in luck, as ESM’s BTCC Correspondent is here to refresh your memory, and make predictions on tomorrow’s season finale.2016 BTCC SilverstoneEight drivers will go into the season finale at Brands Hatch with a chance of becoming the 2016 British Touring Car Championship champion following the latest rounds at Silverstone. Once again, the action-packed races produced three different winners and a bout of controversy.

Saturday’s qualifying brought a return to form for the MGs as Ashley Sutton took pole and teammate Josh Cook qualified third, with the duo sandwiching Tom Ingram. Andrew Jordan took fourth, Adam Morgan fifth and Rob Austin sixth, but championship leader Tordoff qualified poorly for the second meeting in a row, down in sixteenth.

2016 BTCC Silverstone

Race One (Sutton*, Cook*, 1st Ingram, 2nd Jordan, 3rd Austin)
The opening race was certainly lively, especially by first race standards. It started with Ingram taking the lead off the line and Jordan moving up the third, before cars swapped places up and down the grid, more regularly than normal. After a robust move to retain third, Jordan eventually lost out on the fifth lap as Cook powered through, while Sutton also closed on Ingram. It didn’t take long for Sutton to make his move and Cook was soon on the tail of the lead duo. Cook had a fantastic battle that lasted several corners with Ingram as he tried to make it an MG 1-2 and he succeeded following a little tap.

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BTCC Round 9 – Silverstone Review

Plato at the double but Jordan remains in control

MG celebrate a 1-2 in the first race of the day.

MG celebrate a 1-2 in the first race of the day.

The penultimate weekend of the 2013 BTCC season took place at Silverstone and produced some excellent close racing. As I have previously mentioned, I am not a fan of these ridiculous laps that take last than a second to complete, but for once I could get away with it because of the high-speed nature of the National Circuit.

Qualifying on Saturday produced one of the closest sessions that I can remember, but then again, there’s going to be less variance when the lap takes less than a minute to complete! Jason Plato took the honour of pole, ahead of his teammate Sam Tordoff, a fabulous third for Dave Newsham, Colin Turkington, and an impressive fifth and sixth for Frank Wrathall and Jack Goff.

The MG pair were able to get off the line cleanly in Race One, with Tordoff getting the better start and he was able to challenge Plato for the lead. However, after the pair had a small rub of body work, it allowed Turkington to nip through and take second as Plato just held onto the lead. Towards the end of the first lap, as the cars approached Brooklands, Newsham was able to challenge for second – that was until he lost it on cold tyres and went spinning backwards.

The second lap brought a decent sized crash as Will Bratt found the pit wall and it appeared that Nick Foster and Andy Neate took evasive action to avoid him, but could only find the gravel trap, which eventually resulted in the first safety car of the day. However, despite appearing to pass under yellow flags, Tordoff was able to pass Turkington to re-take second and a little further down Rob Collard was able to make a pass on Wrathall. (more…)

Editorial – Who Is The GFoS Really Aimed At?

A week on from the Festival of Speed and I have had the time to reflect on my experience at Goodwood. By now the magazines and websites have published their glowing reports of how it was the greatest event on the planet, offered unrivalled access and gave (journalists at least) the chance to drive iconic cars. Press accredited access is one thing, but what was it like for the regular punter.

This was the first time I’d attended the FoS since 2002, the first time I’d camped there and the first time I’d been free from parental influence. As such, it was the first FoS where I’d truly been conscious of the costs and efforts needed to attend. When you live in North-East England, travelling to West Sussex is not the work of a couple of hours. This was why ESM travelled down on the Wednesday night, stayed in a cheap hotel and got to Goodwood on Thursday lunchtime. Luckily ESM’s mate Dave has a Seat Leon FR TDi which meant the trip and fuel costs weren’t too horrendous. Plus I very much doubt we would have fitted all the assorted detritus into the boot of the Polo!

Trying to work out who the FoS is aimed at isn’t particularly easy. On one hand you have the Veuve Clicquot champagne bar, exclusive restaurants and cafes, the Cartier Style et Luxe exhibit and a drivers paddock sponsored by an investment firm. Along with this you have big stands from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Bentley and corporate hospitality seemingly packed despite costing around £500 a head for the cheapest seats. Blink, and at times it was hard to believe we’re in one of the worst economic situations the modern world has ever faced. Goodwood is about big money; the kind of money that gets richer during a recession. Where else would you see stands selling helicopters, private jets and bespoke carbon-fibre furniture. (more…)