A gamble on slick tyres paid dividends as Senna Proctor claimed a maiden victory in the British Touring Car Championship in dramatic circumstances at Brands Hatch.
Circuit conditions were still wet from overnight and morning rain at the 1.2 mile Kent venue, but some chose to gamble on slicks and their lap times improved dramatically in the final third of the race.
With Team.HARD’s Jake Hill second and the AmD Audi S3 of Ollie Jackson third, astonishingly all three podium finishers recorded their first silverware in the BTCC.
Tom Boardman claimed fourth in the AmD MG with a battle-scarred Mercedes-Benz A-Class of Aiden Moffat fifth despite a trip head first into the barriers.
Rob Austin’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta took sixth, with Matt Simpson seventh despite starting the race from the pit lane.
Mike Bushell opted to switch from wet tyres at the end of the two formation laps and took eighth, with the second MG of Rory Butcher ninth and erstwhile race leader Jack Goff tenth.
The drama started before the race had even commenced, with Colin Turkington stranded on the front row with a mechanical gremlin on board the BMW 125i M Sport.
Team-mate Andrew Jordan then used the vacant space to scythe past Jack Goff’s Honda Civic Type R and into the lead on the run down to Paddock Hill Bend.
Though Tom Ingram would eventually usurp them both, but a crucial safety car period for Stephen Jelley’s stranded BMW in the Clearways gravel trap gave more time for the circuit to dry.
The status quo remained largely unchanged at the front until the final third of the race – albeit with a resurgent Subaru Levorg GT of Ashley Sutton in the mix – until the slick tyres began to pay dividends for those brave enough to take them.
Initially Moffat took the lead of the lucky quintet despite a half-spin at McLaren, but contact with Proctor’s Vauxhall Astra at Druids sent the Scotsman wide and into the barrier. He skimmed back onto the circuit and continued, but couldn’t recover from fifth.
Hill’s Volkswagen CC made a couple of half-attempts to wrest the top spot away, but the 2017 Jack Sears Trophy winner had enough in hand to take the chequered flag and seal his maiden win.
Ingram’s deteroration halted at 11th ahead of Sutton, Adam Morgan, James Nash and Josh Cook.
Dan Cammish would drop to 16th, Jordan 21st as his tyres degraded at an accelerated rate and Rob Collard finished 26th via the grass on the exit of Surtees.
The final race of the weekend at Brands Hatch starts at 17:15.
|1||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||27||25:41.530||49.757||27|
|2||24||Jake HILL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||27||0.568||49.790||25|
|3||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||27||1.761||50.321||12|
|4||12||Tom BOARDMAN||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG6||27||2.393||49.829||18|
|5||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||27||3.348||50.459||14|
|6||11||Rob AUSTIN||DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||27||9.395||50.043||29|
|7||303||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||16.386||50.970||31|
|8||21||Mike BUSHELL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||27||17.145||50.809||32|
|9||6||Rory BUTCHER||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG6||27||17.770||51.079||13|
|10||31||Jack GOFF||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||27||22.213||53.824||1|
|11||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||27||24.101||53.779||4|
|12||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||27||25.780||53.452||7|
|13||33||Adam MORGAN||MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||27||27.807||53.699||6|
|14||14||James NASH||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||28.166||53.595||17|
|15||66||M||Josh COOK||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||27||28.514||53.548||28|
|16||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||30.268||53.633||8|
|17||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||27||31.456||53.732||10|
|18||600||Sam TORDOFF||Team GardX Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||27||31.638||53.450||26|
|19||20||James COLE||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||27||36.923||54.225||9|
|20||39||Brett SMITH||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||27||38.708||53.733||11|
|21||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||27||40.609||54.575||3|
|22||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||27||41.774||54.416||20|
|23||28||Josh PRICE||Autoglym Academy Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||27||42.342||54.312||23|
|24||44||Michael CAINE||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||27||48.575||54.506||21|
|25||23||Sam SMELT||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||26||1 Lap||55.032||24|
|26||5||M||Rob COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||26||1 Lap||55.080||15|
|27||2||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||26||1 Lap||50.481||2|
|28||3||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||26||1 Lap||51.700||5|
|29||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||3 Laps||51.595||30|
|R||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||22||DNF||54.472||19|
|R||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||18||DNF||54.574||16|
|R||60||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||0||DNF||N/A||22|