BTCC season-opener at Brands Hatch gave us a fantastic racing
The 2018 British Touring Car Championship kicked-off with action this weekend at the iconic Brands Hatch, where 32 drivers fought over three races on the 1.2-mile Indy circuit.
Jack Goff (Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R), Senna Proctor (Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra) and Tom Ingram (Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis) were the race winners. If someone placed a bet before the event on that three names, he is now a millionaire.
Third BTCC win for Jack Goff
Jack Goff was the fastest qualifier in the #31 WIX-sponsored Eurotech Racing’s Honda Civic Type R, converting a pole position into his third BTCC victory in a career. In wet conditions, he had Colin Turlington (#2 West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M Sport) on his back for most of the race, beating him by 0.547 seconds on the finish line. Andrew Jordan reached the third spot on a podium in the #77 Pirtek Racing BMW.
Goff and Turkington were on P1 and P2 from the start, with Honda Yuasa Racing debutant Dan Cammish behind them and Andrew Jordan on P4. The first Safety Car intervention of the season came when three cars of Sam Tordoff, Matt Simpson and Matt Neal stopped off the track. After the restart, Cammish struggled and dropped to P8 while Jordan reached a podium. Tom Ingram (Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis) and Tom Chilton (Motorbase Performance, Ford Focus RS) completed the top 5.
Sensational maiden victory for Senna Proctor
In the second race of the day, we saw an incredible turnaround when drivers from the back of the field took an advantage of dry tires. Senna Proctor started from P27 and clinched the sensational victory in the #18 Power Maxed Racing’s Vauxhall Astra, what was his maiden victory and maiden BTCC podium in a career. Jake Hill (Team HARD, Volkswagen CC) and Ollie Jackson (AmD Tuning, Audi S3) also scored their best results in a career by finishing on a podium.
The cars came out to the track in wet conditions, but the rain had already stopped prior to lights out. Nearly a third of the field, mostly the drivers from the back, decided to gamble on Dunlop SportMaxx dry tyres. In the first half of the race, all went good for the front-runners on wet tyres, with Tom Ingram, Jack Goff, Andrew Jordan and Ash Sutton battling for the leading positions.
But, as the track was drier, the drivers on slicks were approaching. On lap 22, Aiden Moffat’s Laser Tools Racing Mercedes and Proctor’s Vauxhall Astra jumped into the lead. Jake Hill and Ollie Jackson quickly joined them on P3 and P4. Moffat and Proctor had a contact during a fight for the lead which propelled Mofatt into the barriers. He recovered and finished fifth, behind Proctor, Hill, Jackson and Tom Boardman.
Seventh victory for Tom Ingram
Rob Austin finished sixth in the #11 Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the second race. The reversed grid draw put him to the pole position for the race 3. He stayed in the lead until lap 13 when Tom Ingram took the first place. Prior to his move for the lead, Ingram made a fantastic effort by progressing from 11th place on the starts of the race.
Adam Morgan overtook Rob Austin in the penultimate lap, grabbing the second place in Ciceley Motorsport’s Mercedes-Benz A-Class. In the end, Austin is satisfied with the first podium for his Alfa Romeo.
After three races at Brands Hatch, with nine different drivers on a podium, Tom Ingram is leading the championship with 40 points on his account. Jack Goff is second with 37 points, seven more than third-placed Adam Morgan.
The next BTCC round is scheduled for April 29 at Donington Park.