Jake Hill picked up his second win of the season in the opening British Touring Car Championship race of the day at Knockhill, after a hard-fought battle with NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton.
At the start, Hill held the lead, but the B Motorsport driver soon found himself under pressure from reigning champion Sutton, who sought to take advantage of the longer time that the rear-wheel drive BMW takes to get its tyres up to temperature.
Sutton moved to the outside of Hill at the hairpin at the end of the opening lap, giving him an overlap heading onto the start-finish straight.
Sutton then swept around the outside of Hill into the first corner, but despite opening up an initial half a second lead, Hill was soon back onto the rear bumper of the Ford.
Lap six saw Hill nerf the back of Sutton’s car as the latter drove defensively into the hairpin, damaging the front of his BMW.
Two laps later Hill powered past Sutton before the first corner, but after cutting back Sutton was in the lead again by Turn 3.
However, before another lap was out Hill was back in front, this time with a clean move down the inside on the main straight, and thereafter he was able to open up a gap to claim the fifth win of his BTCC career.
Sutton held on to take second, a seventh podium of his thus-far winless season, despite heavy pressure from Team BMW’s Colin Turkington in the final laps, with the Northern Irishman having to settle for third.
Stephen Jelley followed his BMW team-mate home in fourth, gaining just one place which came as a result of the demise of Adam Morgan on the formation lap, with the Ciceley Motorsport driver being towed to the pits before re-joining to start at the back of the pack.
Morgan’s team-mate George Gamble came home in fifth, ahead of the leading Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai of points leader Tom Ingram in sixth, although Turkington’s podium has reduced the gap to just seven points.
Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden was seventh, the Honda driver getting by fellow Scot Rory Butcher for the place on the penultimate lap.
Butcher brought his Toyota home in eighth, with NAPA Racing’s Dan Cammish and the second Toyota of Ricky Collard completing the top ten.
Title contender Josh Cook had run in the top ten early on, but the BTC Racing driver lost three places on lap 14, before succumbing to Morgan, on a recovery drive, to slip to 15th late in the race.
Morgan gained 15 places from where he ultimately started to take the chequered flag in 14th, although he ran out of time to catch the Infiniti of Aiden Moffat in 13th before the end of the race.
Jack Butel was the sole retirement, coming into the pits after five laps with an issue on his Hyundai, whilst Daniel Rowbottom finished three laps down after he had pitted from tenth at the end of the second lap.
Elsewhere there were off-track incidents for both Power Maxed Racing’s Michael Crees and BTC Racing’s Jason Plato, leaving them to finish two laps down in 26th and 27th.
Race two is scheduled to get underway at 14:15 BST.
|1||24||M||Jake HILL||ROKiT MB Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||24||20:52.156||51.316||1|
|2||1||M||Ashley SUTTON||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||24||3.640||51.737||2|
|3||50||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||24||3.784||51.406||3|
|4||12||M||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330e M Sport||24||5.979||51.740||5|
|5||42||I||George GAMBLE||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||24||6.363||51.453||6|
|6||80||M||Tom INGRAM||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||24||6.933||51.670||8|
|7||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||24||13.008||51.546||13|
|8||6||M||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||24||13.984||51.736||7|
|9||9||M||Dan CAMMISH||NAPA Racing UK||Ford Focus ST||24||14.242||51.700||10|
|10||21||M||Ricky COLLARD||Toyota GAZOO Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||24||14.381||51.758||15|
|11||3||M||Tom CHILTON||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||24||15.296||52.035||16|
|12||19||I||Bobby THOMPSON||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||24||16.120||51.965||12|
|13||16||I||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||24||17.124||51.817||9|
|14||33||I||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330e M Sport||24||18.220||51.459||4|
|15||66||I||Josh COOK||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||21.591||51.571||14|
|16||40||I||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||24||23.599||52.189||21|
|17||77||M||Sam OSBORNE||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||24||34.493||52.465||23|
|18||62||I||Rick PARFITT JR||Uptonsteel with Euro Car Parts Racing||Infiniti Q50||24||34.803||52.400||27|
|19||123||M||Daniel LLOYD||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||24||36.371||52.804||22|
|20||17||I||Dexter PATTERSON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||24||37.039||51.824||25|
|21||48||M||Ollie JACKSON||Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan||Ford Focus ST||24||38.259||52.368||26|
|22||20||I||Will POWELL||Autobrite Direct with JourneyHero||CUPRA Leon||24||41.723||52.431||28|
|23||99||I||Jade EDWARDS||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||24||42.293||52.426||24|
|24||28||I||Nicolas HAMILTON||Yazoo with Safuu.com Racing||CUPRA Leon||24||48.873||52.635||29|
|25||97||I||Ash HAND||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||22||+ 2 LAPS||52.479||17|
|26||777||I||Michael CREES||CarStore Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||22||+ 2 LAPS||52.106||18|
|27||11||I||Jason PLATO||Rich Energy BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type R||22||+ 2 LAPS||51.915||19|
|28||32||M||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type R||21||+ 3 LAPS||51.648||11|
|R||96||M||Jack BUTEL||Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||5||DNF||53.242||20|