BTC Norlin Racing’s Chris Smiley took a first-ever victory in the final British Touring Car Championship race at Rockingham, taking the lead on the first lap as the early front-runners slid wide in slippery conditions.
Reverse-grid pole-sitter Tom Chilton led into the Turn 2 hairpin on the opening lap, but the Motorbase driver – and several others – slid wide as a brief spell of rain struck, handing Smiley an open door to take the lead.
Further back in the pack, a recovering Chilton was contact by Andrew Jordan’s BMW, effectively ending the race of both drivers, who limped back to the pits.
Further around the opening lap Team HARD’s Michael Caine was tagged heading into the chicane, spinning into the path of the Honda of Brett Smith, eliminating both drivers from the race as the safety car was called upon for two laps to remove Smith’s Eurotech Honda.
When the action resumed, Smiley got his head down to open up a comfortable margin and claim a first win after 66 race starts in the championship.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington claimed second, having got past Eurotech Racing’s Matt Simpson at the final corner of the last lap when the Honda driver went too deep into the chicane.
That almost allowed Motorbase’s Sam Tordoff and Speedworks’ Tom Ingram to get past, but Simpson held on to the final podium position by a mere 0.031 seconds ahead of Tordoff and Ingram in the sprint to the line.
AmD Tuning’s Rory Butcher took a season-best result of sixth, having dropped out of a podium position when he went wide at the Turn 2 hairpin on lap ten.
Team HARD’s Bobby Thompson was perhaps the driver of the race, having fought his way through the pack from 28th on the grid to claim seventh at the finish, including a confident double pass on lap 12 when he picked off AmD Tuning’s Ollie Jackson and Ciceley Motorsport’s ballast-laden Adam Morgan.
Morgan himself brought his Mercedes home in eighth, ahead of Jackson and Honda’s Dan Cammish, who completed the top ten after coming through from 21st on the grid.
Jason Plato was the leading Subaru driver in 11th, putting in a spirited performance to come through from 27th on the grid and claim his second-best result of the season.
Whilst there was joy for Smiley, his team-mate Dan Lloyd retired to the pits after seven laps with damage to the rear of his BTC Norlin Racing Honda.
Second place restores the championship lead for Turkington, with a four-point advantage over Ingram heading to the next round at Knockhill in two weeks’ time.
|1||22||Chris SMILEY||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||23:56.878||1:23.905||5|
|2||2||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||16||3.563||1:24.561||6|
|3||303||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||5.156||1:24.017||2|
|4||600||Sam TORDOFF||Team GardX Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||16||5.187||1:24.328||18|
|5||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||16||5.305||1:24.245||8|
|6||6||Rory BUTCHER||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||16||9.781||1:24.421||3|
|7||19||Bobby THOMPSON||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||16||12.970||1:24.431||28|
|8||33||Adam MORGAN||MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||17.083||1:25.462||9|
|9||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||16||17.811||1:24.970||11|
|10||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||18.060||1:24.421||21|
|11||99||M||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||18.420||1:24.613||26|
|12||66||M||Josh COOK||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||16||19.323||1:24.565||12|
|13||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||20.542||1:24.798||17|
|14||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Power Maxed TAG Racing||Vauxhall Astra||16||20.954||1:24.874||7|
|15||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||21.223||1:24.223||14|
|16||60||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||16||21.956||1:24.918||31|
|17||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||22.818||1:24.667||10|
|18||11||Rob AUSTIN||DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||16||23.217||1:24.774||27|
|19||31||Jack GOFF||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||16||23.424||1:24.637||15|
|20||21||Mike BUSHELL||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||16||24.171||1:25.354||4|
|21||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||16||28.183||1:25.306||30|
|22||43||Ollie PIDGLEY||Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing||Volkswagen CC||16||37.111||1:26.037||25|
|R||41||Glynn GEDDIE||AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing||MG 6||11||DNF||1:25.438||22|
|R||23||Sam SMELT||AmD with Cobra Exhausts||Audi S3||8||DNF||1:27.155||23|
|R||26||Daniel LLOYD||BTC Norlin Racing||Honda Civic Type R||7||DNF||1:24.554||16|
|R||20||James COLE||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||1||DNF||1:48.313||19|
|R||3||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||1||DNF||1:54.752||1|
|R||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||1||DNF||1:56.852||13|
|R||44||Michael CAINE||Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars||Volkswagen CC||1||DNF||3:05.302||29|
|R||55||M||Ricky COLLARD||Team BMW||BMW 125i M Sport||0||DNF||N/A||20|
|R||39||Brett SMITH||WIX Racing with Eurotech||Honda Civic Type R||0||DNF||N/A||24|