BTCC at Rockingham: Victories for Morgan, Sutton, Smiley
Adam Morgan (Mercedes-Benz A Class), Ashley Sutton (Subaru Levorg) and Chris Smiley (Honda Civic Type R) are the winners of three BTCC races at Rockingham Motor Speedway, in the seventh round of the 2018 British Touring Car Championship season.
For Morgan, it’s the third win of the season, Sutton celebrated his fourth win this year while Smiley reached his maiden BTCC victory in his 66th start in the championship.
In the first race of the weekend, Adam Morgan (Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport) converted pole position into a commanding lights-to-flag victory. Behind his back, there was a dramatic battle for the remaining places on a podium.
The race was interrupted by Safety Car intervention on Lap 1 because of a massive crash. After the restart, the defending champion Ashley Sutton made the great progress and finished in the second place, defeating Tom Chilton in a Ford Focus. Chris Smiley and Dan Cammish completed the top 5. The championship leader Colin Turkington finished seventh in the #2 BMW 125i M Sport, after a long battle against closest rival Tom Ingram whose Toyota Avensis stopped on the final lap due to a throttle problem.
After the second race, Ash Sutton and Adam Morgan swapped positions on the podium. Sutton crossed the finish line 4.426 second ahead of Morgan, scoring his fourth win of the season.
Tom Ingram made a fantastic progress from the back of the field (27th) in the #80 Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis and took the last podium spot, which returned him to the top of the championship standings ahead of Colin Turkington, who finished fifth in Race 2. Senna Proctor ended the race between two championship contenders.
Chris Smiley (BTC Norlin Racing) has won his first ever BTCC race in the third race of the weekend. A slight rain caused problems for some drivers, including pole-sitter Tom Chilton who went wide. Chris Smiley started from P5 and avoid problems, taking the lead in the #22 Honda Civic Type R, ahead of Matt Simpson in a similar car. Later in the race, Simpson lost P2 to Colin Turkington. In the closing laps, Simpson defended his podium position against Sam Tordoff.
Tom Ingram finished the race in the fifth place, dropping behind Colin Turkington in the championship standings. After seven rounds and 21 races, Turkington collected 220 points, four more than Ingram. Sutton is third, 32 points behind Turkington. The nexz BTCC round is scheduled for August 25-26 at Knockhill.