Aiden Moffat emerged victorious in a damp opening British Touring Car Championship race at Brands Hatch, ahead of Tom Ingram and Ash Sutton, as the latter took a big step closer to a maiden title.
Moffat, who started the race alongside pole-sitter Jack Goff from the front row of the grid, took the lead at the first corner of the race after Goff lost the back end of his Civic and slithered off the circuit into the tyre barriers on the infield.
Whilst Goff was able to continue, after going in backwards, he re-joined the race at the very back of the field as Moffat and Sutton led the pack on the opening lap.
Ingram made his move on Sutton for second on lap six and the Speedworks Motorsport driver immediately set about applying pressure to Moffat. The Scot, however, kept his cool to secure a second career win ahead of Ingram, who lost ground to the Mercedes driver on the final lap when caught in traffic.
Sutton completed the podium in third and as a result extends his championship margin to 24 points over title rival Colin Turkington, who struggled to make much progress in the damp race.
Fourth went to Motorbase’s Mat Jackson, who made the most of running with dry tyres on a drying track to gain 11 positions over the course of the race, as a handful of drivers on wet tyres struggled to the very back of the field as the race progressed.
Power Maxed Racing duo Tom Chilton and Senna Proctor enjoyed their best combined result of the season as they brought their Vauxhall Astras home in fifth and sixth respectively, the latter having made up seven positions over the course of the race.
Honda’s Gordon Shedden also made good progress in the race to claim seventh, from 15th on the grid, ahead of BTC Norlin Racing’s Dave Newsham in eighth.
Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin claimed ninth, despite losing a significant amount of time with a spin onto the grass on the exit of Graham Hill Bend on lap seven that dropped him out of fourth.
The second factory Honda of Matt Neal completed the top ten, with the three-time champion having got a poor start that saw him drop from sixth on the grid to 14th at the end of the first tour.
The second BTC Norlin Chevrolet of Chris Smiley was 11th after another steady race, whilst Eurotech Racing’s Jack Goff took 12th after a determined drive from the very back of the field following his lap one spin.
Title contender Turkington continued to endure a difficult weekend, spending most of the race mired in the lower points-paying positions before losing a handful of places on the final lap, having been briefly up to 12th. The BMW driver eventually finished in 15th, although the result was good enough to secure Team BMW the Teams’ championship ahead of race two.
A number of drivers opted to start the race on wet tyres, which proved to be the wrong move on a drying track. Amongst them were BMW Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan and Subaru’s Jason Plato, who took the chequered flag in 27th and 28th place respectively, one lap down.
Team HARD’s Jake Hill, who was running in fourth at the end of the opening lap, and Subaru’s Josh Price were given drive-through penalties for jump starts, with the duo finishing down in 26th and 22nd respectively.
Adam Morgan made it a race of mixed emotions for Ciceley Motorsport, as he twice spun into the barriers all of his own accord on successive laps and ended up as the only retirement of the race, his Mercedes sporting front-end damage as a result of his incidents.
Race two is scheduled to take place at 14:22 BST.
|1||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||15||24:10.915||1:34.400||2|
|2||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||0.345||1:34.458||7|
|3||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||1.499||1:34.338||3|
|4||3||Mat JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||15||14.474||1:34.082||15|
|5||2||M||Tom CHILTON||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||15.802||1:34.262||5|
|6||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||16.195||1:34.050||13|
|7||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||19.140||1:33.715||16|
|8||17||Dave NEWSHAM||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||15||29.547||1:34.377||11|
|9||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||31.577||1:33.998||4|
|10||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||41.344||1:34.862||6|
|11||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||15||47.480||1:34.346||19|
|12||31||Jack GOFF||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||47.708||1:34.342||1|
|13||303||M||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||49.110||1:34.304||14|
|14||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||15||50.241||1:34.271||26|
|15||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||15||50.667||1:34.201||17|
|16||10||Ant WHORTON-EALES||AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||15||50.891||1:34.088||22|
|17||39||Brett SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||1:05.495||1:35.183||29|
|18||12||Mike EPPS||Autoaid / RCIB Insurance Racing||Volkswagen CC||15||1:08.822||1:34.529||20|
|19||20||M||James COLE||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||15||1:14.046||1:34.668||23|
|20||7||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||15||1:14.698||1:35.814||25|
|21||30||Martin DEPPER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||15||1:24.787||1:36.667||27|
|22||28||M||Josh PRICE||A-Plan Academy||Subaru Levorg GT||15||1:26.364||1:34.616||24|
|23||40||M||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||15||1:38.336||1:40.475||21|
|24||6||Rory BUTCHER||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo||Ford Focus||14||1 Lap||1:41.416||12|
|25||66||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||14||1 Lap||1:41.298||30|
|26||24||Jake HILL||TAG Racing||Volkswagen CC||14||1 Lap||1:40.644||8|
|27||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||14||1 Lap||1:42.820||18|
|28||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||14||1 Lap||1:42.680||10|
|29||95||Stewart LINES||Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||14||1 Lap||1:42.902||28|
|R||33||Adam MORGAN||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||2||13 Laps||1:55.442||9|
|NS||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||–||DNS||N/A||–|