Team BMW’s Colin Turkington won the final, reverse-grid race in the British Touring Car Championship at Croft, heading up Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden and Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton.
Turkington started the race from pole position after the top seven finishers from race two were randomly selected by BTCC Chief Executive Alan Gow to be reversed for the race.
Shedden made a strong start to draw alongside the BMW on the run up to the first corner, but Turkington held his line and the position, as behind there was chaos in the mid-pack.
Contact amongst several drivers pitched local Dan Lloyd into the gravel and out of the race, with BMW’s Tom Oliphant also taking a trip through the gravel but surviving.
Two Team HARD cars, those of Jack Goff and Jack Mitchell, picked up damage in the melee and were out of the race, along with the MB Motorsport Ford of Ollie Jackson, who sustained broken suspension, prompting a one-lap safety car period on lap two. BTC Racing’s Jade Edwards also retired to the pits at the end of the lap.
When racing resumed on lap three, Turkington had more heat in his tyres and was able to open up a gradual advantage over Shedden, who had his mirrors full of the Infiniti of Sutton.
Despite applying race-long pressure, points leader Sutton was unable to find a way past the three-time champion ahead, and the duo ultimately finished the race in second and third.
Indeed, amongst the top eight finishers there were no changes from their starting grid positions, with Excelr8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram also finishing where he started in fourth.
BTC’s Josh Cook was fifth, ahead of race one winner Aiden Moffat’s Laser Tools Infiniti in sixth.
MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill, laden with full ballast after his race two win, was seventh, although his race was not without incident. Defending from Ciceley Motorsport’s Adam Morgan on lap six, the two made contact at the Complex, sending Morgan into a spin and down the order.
Hill continued unscathed, but behind him there was further drama as BMW’s Stephen Jelley was tapped into a spin by Team Dynamics’ Daniel Rowbottom in the confusion.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor managed to avoid the drama, and reclaimed his eighth place, which he held until the chequered flag.
The top ten was completed by the Honda of Rowbottom and Ciceley Motorsport’s Tom Chilton, the latter recording just his third top ten finish of the season.
Toyota’s Rory Butcher was an impressive 11th, having started the race from the back of the grid for the second time in one day, making up 18 places over the course of the race.
Árón Taylor-Smith was the leading Team HARD driver in 12th, ahead of the two BMW’s of Oliphant and Jelley after their dramas earlier in the race.
Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato might have scored points, but he spun out of the race at high-speed on lap three whilst running in 12th, necessitating a pitstop for new tyres and he ultimately finished 23rd and a lap down.
The only other retirement of the race was Excelr8’s Chris Smiley, who slowed on lap five whilst running in 11th with a technical issue.
As Sutton finished ahead of Hill he has re-extended his championship lead, with the reigning champion now on 247 points ahead of Hill (218), Turkington (212), Cook (211), Ingram (210) and Shedden (165).
|1||2||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||16||23:19.784||1:22.504||1|
|2||52||I||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||16||3.500||1:22.671||2|
|3||1||I||Ashley SUTTON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||16||3.716||1:22.423||3|
|4||80||I||Tom INGRAM||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||16||7.282||1:22.889||4|
|5||66||I||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||16||7.896||1:22.952||5|
|6||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||16||16.730||1:23.234||6|
|7||24||M||Jake HILL||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||16||18.360||1:23.758||7|
|8||18||I||Senna PROCTOR||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||16||18.979||1:23.676||8|
|9||32||I||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||16||20.363||1:22.785||16|
|10||3||I||Tom CHILTON||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||16||20.810||1:23.076||17|
|11||6||M||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||16||21.279||1:22.891||29|
|12||40||I||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions||CUPRA Leon||16||22.409||1:23.341||22|
|13||15||M||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||16||22.600||1:23.026||28|
|14||12||M||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||16||23.383||1:23.093||10|
|15||41||I||Carl BOARDLEY||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||16||26.709||1:23.546||23|
|16||23||M||Sam SMELT||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||16||34.310||1:23.353||19|
|17||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||16||34.872||1:23.222||9|
|18||44||M||Andy NEATE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||16||36.467||1:24.283||24|
|19||96||I||Jack BUTEL||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||16||36.939||1:24.190||26|
|20||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading||CUPRA Leon||16||45.435||1:24.721||27|
|21||42||I||Nick HALSTEAD||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||15||+ 1 LAP||1:25.297||25|
|22||4||M||Sam OSBORNE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||15||+ 1 LAP||1:23.071||13|
|23||11||I||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||15||+ 1 LAP||1:23.130||12|
|R||22||I||Chris SMILEY||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||5||DNF||1:24.132||11|
|R||48||M||Ollie JACKSON||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||1||DNF||N/A||14|
|R||99||I||Jade EDWARDS||PHSC with BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||1||DNF||N/A||21|
|R||31||I||Jack GOFF||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||1||DNF||N/A||15|
|R||123||I||Daniel LLOYD||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||0||DNF||N/A||18|
|R||19||I||Jack MITCHELL||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||0||DNF||N/A||20|