Tom Oliphant fends off pressure from Ash Sutton to secure maiden BTCC win

Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant took his maiden British Touring Car Championship victory at Brands Hatch, fending off a hard-charging Ash Sutton for the majority of the encounter.

It was a dramatic start to the final race of the day at the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, with polesitter Aiden Moffat retaining the lead while second row starter Stephen Jelley shot up to second off the line.

Chaos ensued on the exit of Druids as second-place starter Jack Goff made contact with Chris Smiley’s Hyundai with Adam Morgan’s Mercedes pitched onto the grass as a result.

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Goff’s sliding Volkswagen would then collect the unfortunate Toyota Corolla of Tom Ingram, putting them both out of the race.

Later in the lap, Jelley tapped Moffat wide at Clarke Curve to get down the inside of the Infiniti Q50 coming across the Brabham straight.

Oliphant capitalised on the pair’s battle to get the run and make it three wide across the line before swooping around the outside to perform a spectacular double overtake into Paddock Hill Bend.

When Moffat made a mistake at Westfield on the following lap, Sutton and race one polesitter Rory Butcher stormed through to second and third, closing in on Oliphant to make it three-for-the-lead with over two-thirds of the race remaining.

Unfortunately, Butcher would suffer the same fate as he had in the opening race, with a left-front puncture resulting in another non-score while he ran third late in the race.

That promoted Jelley back up into the podium positions in his Team Parker Racing BMW, gaining a further position after Chris Smiley’s Hyundai crashed out of fourth position on the exit of Sheene Curve to bring out the yellow flag in sector three for the remaining laps of the race.

At the chequered flag, polesitter Moffat would get his best result of the season in the second of the Infiniti Q50s in fourth, while Colin Turkington completed an incredibly successful day in scorching temperatures at Brands Hatch in fifth position.

The four-time BTCC champion again recorded valuable points as championship rival Dan Cammish suffered his second DNF of the day after a mechanical issue forced him to grind to a halt midway through the race.

Cammish’s team-mate Matt Neal managed to salvage some points from a disastrous day in Kent after a charging drive through the field to finish sixth at the flag after starting 26th on the grid.

Trade Price Cars Racing’s James Gornall managed his best-ever BTCC finish in seventh position in his Audi S3, while BTC Racing’s Tom Chilton placed eighth.

Senna Proctor would finish ninth after his early drama while Sam Osborne completed the top ten after his MB Motorsport team-mate again retired with a front-left puncture.

Chilton’s BTC Racing team-mate Michael Crees was 11th ahead of Bobby Thompson, the pair separated by just half a second at the flag, running together on track again after their earlier clash in race two.

Ollie Brown gave Team HARD some consolation after their disappointing DNF with Goff to get his first points finish in 14th, with fellow Volkswagen runner Nic Hamilton also securing his first series points finish with a great result in 15th.

The British Touring Car Championship is back in action in two weeks [22-23 August] at Oulton Park.

Race result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME BEST GD
1 15 M Tom OLIPHANT Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 15 23:26.141 1:32.622 6
2 116 I Ashley SUTTON Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 15 0.324 1:32.571 10
3 12 I Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 15 4.978 1:32.642 4
4 16 I Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 15 5.981 1:32.869 1
5 1 M Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport 15 6.611 1:32.817 12
6 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R 15 8.857 1:32.585 24
7 180 I James GORNALL GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 15 9.951 1:32.871 3
8 3 I Tom CHILTON BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 15 14.43 1:32.469 23
9 18 I Senna PROCTOR Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 Fastback N 15 15.462 1:33.171 5
10 4 I Sam OSBORNE MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type-R 15 17.410 1:33.024 16
11 777 I Michael CREES The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 15 18.605 1:32.945 25
12 19 I Bobby THOMPSON GKR TradePriceCars.com Audi S3 15 19.104 1:33.429 26
13 34 I Ollie BROWN RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 15 27.411 1:33.375 20
14 32 I Jack BUTEL Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 30.531 1:33.658 18
15 28 I Nicolas HAMILTON ROKiT Racing with Team HARD. Volkswagen CC 15 38.896 1:33.896 17
16 41 I Carl BOARDLEY Team HARD. BMW 125i M Sport 15 53.711 1:33.242 15
17 66 I Josh COOK BTC Racing Honda Civic Type-R 15 1:30.770 1:32.214 22
18 44 I Andy NEATE Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 14 + 1 LAP 1:32.919 14
19 48 I Ollie JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 13 + 2 LAPS 1:33.084 8
R 6 I Rory BUTCHER Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST 12 DNF 1:32.416 9
R 22 I Chris SMILEY Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 Fastback N 12 DNF 1:32.633 13
R 24 I Jake HILL MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square Honda Civic Type-R 10 DNF 1:32.847 21
R 32 I Adam MORGAN Carlube Triple R Racing with Mac Tools Mercedes-Benz A-Class 9 DNF 1:32.916 7
R 27 M Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R 7 DNF 1:32.797 19
R 31 I Jack GOFF RCIB Insurance Racing with Fox Transport Volkswagen CC 0 DNF N/A 2
R 80 M Tom INGRAM Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters Toyota Corolla 0 DNF N/A 11

BTCC points deficit after Round 6
Graphic: TouringCars.Net

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