Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton won the reverse-grid race at Brands Hatch on the opening day of the 2019 British Touring Car Championship season, after starting third on the grid and battling past polesitter Matt Neal.
Chilton led home AmD Tuning’s Rory Butcher, who capped off an impressive day with a maiden podium and Jack Sears Trophy win, ahead of Stephen Jelley who scored his sixth BTCC podium after a frantic battle with Matt Neal.
*UPDATE: Chilton was later handed a post-race five-second penalty, dropping him to second behind Butcher, as a result of contact with Neal.
Neal started from reverse-grid pole and progressed to the lead in the opening third of the race, before his soft tyres deteriorated and Chilton passed him for the lead with a robust move at Clarke Curve.
Neal then had to defend from Jelley before the pair made defending made contact at Graham Hill Bend on lap 16, with the three-time BTCC champion’s rear suspension eventually breaking on the final lap on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend.
That meant Jelley passed him for the podium, as Neal limped home with smoke bellowing from the rear of the car to finish in eighth.
Race one winner Josh Cook continued his form in fourth position, and leaves the opening round as championship leader with a one point advantage over Chilton.
Reigning champion Colin Turkington scored his best result of the day in fifth position ahead of Team BMW stablemate Tom Oliphant, with BTC Racing’s Chris Smiley putting in an impressive late performance to secure seventh at the flag.
Neal’s damaged Honda Civic Type R crossed the line eighth ahead of Aiden Moffat who secured another strong points finish after scoring fourth in the opening encounter.
Tom Ingram defended well on worn soft rubber to round out the top ten, with Adam Morgan finishing just behind in 11th ahead of Jack Goff, who secured his best result in the VW CC in 12th.
Jason Plato salvaged some points from the weekend in 13th after a drive-through penalty in race one hampered his progress throughout the day.
In 14th position was Dan Cammish, with Bobby Thompson just behind securing his third points finish of the day, while Sam Tordoff narrowly missed out on the points in 16th, a DNF in race one ruining his weekend after positive pace in pre-season testing.
After claiming the maiden victory for the BMW 330i M Sport in race two, Andrew Jordan struggled on maximum ballast and soft compound tyres, and was shown the black and orange flag for damage, eventually finishing a lap down.
2017 champion Ash Sutton also came home a lap down after contact with Jake Hill on lap 11 with Jake Hill’s Audi pitched him into the barriers on the entry to Graham Hill Bend.
Sutton’s BMR team-mate Senna Proctor briefly led the final race of the day after jumping Neal into Paddock Hill Bend. Jelley then barged his way past into Druids before Proctor spun at Graham Hill Bend.
The next round of the British Touring Car Championship takes place at Donington Park on the 27/28 April.
Revised race result*
|1||6||I||Rory BUTCHER||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||24||19:55.879||48.941||4|
|2||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||24||3.005||48.938||3|
|3||12||I||Stephen JELLEY||Team Parker Racing||BMW 125i M Sport||24||7.926||49.001||6|
|4||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||10.506||49.076||5|
|5||1||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||24||11.967||48.622||14|
|6||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||24||12.450||48.626||15|
|7||22||I||Chris SMILEY||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||12.677||48.912||20|
|8||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||12.934||48.919||1|
|9||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||15.226||48.149||17|
|10||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Team Toyota GB with Ginsters||Toyota Corolla||24||19.664||49.169||7|
|11||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||19.926||48.905||9|
|12||31||I||Jack GOFF||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||24||20.321||49.158||16|
|13||11||M||Jason PLATO||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||24||20.621||49.145||21|
|14||27||M||Dan CAMMISH||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||20.827||49.141||12|
|15||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||24||21.143||49.485||13|
|16||600||I||Sam TORDOFF||Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid / RCIB Insurance||Honda Civic Type R||24||25.052||49.347||19|
|17||37||I||Rob SMITH||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||24||25.219||49.323||24|
|18||777||I||Michael CREES||GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct||Volkswagen CC||24||25.690||49.453||23|
|19||8||I||Mark BLUNDELL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||24||27.945||49.631||27|
|20||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with Motorbase||Ford Focus RS||24||35.384||49.482||26|
|21||303||I||Matt SIMPSON||Simpson Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||35.938||49.176||29|
|22||18||M||Senna PROCTOR||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||24||36.417||49.111||2|
|23||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||24||40.265||49.447||30|
|24||77||M||Andrew JORDAN||BMW Pirtek Racing||BMW 330i M Sport||23||+ 1 LAP||48.820||11|
|25||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||Adrian Flux Subaru Racing||Subaru Levorg||23||+ 1 LAP||48.869||10|
|R||4||I||Sam OSBORNE||Exceler8 Motorsport||MG6||21||DNF||49.802||28|
|R||24||I||Jake HILL||TradePriceCars.com||Audi S3||15||DNF||49.092||8|
|R||48||I||Ollie JACKSON||Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher||Ford Focus RS||12||DNF||49.307||18|
|R||9||M||Rob COLLARD||Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||10||DNF||49.216||22|
|R||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport||Volkswagen CC||3||DNF||51.642||25|