Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington celebrate on the podium
BTCC legends share the success at Brands Hatch as Turkington moves ahead of Matt Neal victory tally
Colin Turkington reached a victory milestone at Brands Hatch as he moved up to second on the all-time BTCC winners list, before Ash Sutton starred to claim a double triumph.
Team BMW star Turkington secured his 64th career victory in the opener – 20 years after claiming his first at the same venue – as he now moves past Matt Neal and behind the legendary Jason Plato.
Sutton then surged to two stunning victories in the following bouts as he got the better of Tom Ingram and Turkington in race two, before scything his way from 11th on the grid to win a dramatic finale.
Sutton’s NAPA Racing UK team-mate Cammish still leads the standings from reigning champion Ingram, while Sutton and Turkington have now moved into third and fourth respectively.
The BTCC returns at Snetterton in two weeks’ time (20/21 May).
Turkington takes his first win of season
Team BMW’s Turkington enjoyed his milestone moment after a near lights-to-flag victory, following a restarted contest in the opener.
Just as the leaders were completing the first lap there was drama behind, which immediately brought about a red flag stoppage to proceedings.
NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom had squeezed down the inside of Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley at Clark Curve, but contact sent the latter into the pitwall, before both cars ultimately collected the unfortunate Andrew Watson and Adam Morgan.
Re-starting from their original grid positions, Cammish couldn’t hang on from pole as he dropped to fourth behind Turkington, Jake Hill’s BMW 3 Series and Sutton.
The Ford Focuses of Sutton and Cammish fought back by Hill shortly after, with the latter still trying to get heat into the tyres of his rear-wheel drive BMW.
Turkington – running the Goodyear softer option tyre – had no such problems as he held his three challengers off for the remainder of the race.
Sutton: “It’s good to be back!”
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton kept reigning champion Tom Ingram at bay to win his first race of the season.
The 1.21-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit – notoriously tight and challenging for all drivers – provided battles throughout the order, but it was Sutton who commanded proceedings from the outset.
Sutton snatched the lead from pole-sitter Colin Turkington on the opening lap, but it was the fast-starting Ingram that was making waves behind.
The Hyundai driver was soon into third – from fifth on the grid – and he sliced by Team BMW’s Turkington on the run through Surtees for the first time.
The top three positions remained unchanged until the finish, albeit with Ingram keeping Sutton honest throughout, ahead of Turkington.
Collard penalty promotes Sutton to victory
Sutton inherited victory in the finale due to a penalty for on-the-road winner Ricky Collard (Toyota Gazoo Racing UK).
The final reverse grid race saw Collard’s Toyota slip into the lead on the opening lap as he passed pole-sitter Bobby Thompson, while Sutton was surging through the order from 11th on the grid.
The three-time champion made pass after pass before he eventually hauled in Collard’s machine by mid-distance.
Collard defended valiantly and also used his additional hybrid well to keep Sutton at bay, but multiple track limit infringements began to be incurred as he fended off the #116 Ford Focus.
Unfortunately for Collard a 10sec time penalty was eventually issued by the race stewards to the #37 Toyota, which ultimately gave the win to Sutton.
Thompson grabbed a career-best second place, whilst reigning champ Tom Ingram completed the podium.