BTCC Brands Hatch: trio going for title in this weekend's finale

1 month ago 46
BTCC Cars Sutton presently leads the Championship with 345 points followed by Hill and Ingram with 340 and 338 respectively British Touring Car Championship acceptable for thrilling climax with Ash Sutton, Jake Hill and Tom Ingram successful contention

Three drivers, 7 points betwixt them, 3 races to go. That’s the tantalising imaginable astatine Brands Hatch this play arsenic the British Touring Car Championship heads for what has go its accepted nail-biting play finale.

Ash Sutton leads the mode arsenic helium chases a record-equalling 4th crown, but Jake Hill and Tom Ingram some privation to beryllium champion for the archetypal time, and with truthful small betwixt the trio, predictions are futile. 

What astir Colin Turkington? The antheral who shares the grounds of 4 titles with Andy Rouse is simply a premier (and painful) illustration of the good margins that tin determine BTCC fates.

The Northern Irishman headed into the penultimate gathering astatine Silverstone connected apical of the standings, but a disastrous archetypal contention successful which helium was successful the incorrect spot astatine the incorrect clip not erstwhile but doubly near him connected the backmost foot.

He has slumped to 27 points disconnected Sutton’s tally, and though determination are 67 inactive to play for astatine Brands, his hopes for a 5th crown indispensable present beryllium considered a agelong shot. Then again, to get from the late, large Murray Walker, thing tin hap successful the BTCC, and it usually does. 

Sutton's hopes for the future 

Before the play began, Sutton made it each excessively wide to Autocar wherever his racing priorities lie. “To travel distant with the astir championships to my sanction astatine the extremity of my vocation would beryllium the eventual goal,” the 28-year-old told us. “We’re a agelong mode down that way already, six years successful and 3 championships down. It’s not a atrocious percentage. As agelong arsenic we tin support that, we’re on.”

If Sutton does articulation Rouse and Turkington this play arsenic a four-time champion, there’s small uncertainty that it volition beryllium his finest accomplishment truthful far. Last winter, helium sent daze waves done the BTCC by switching from the Laser Tools Infiniti Q50 successful which helium had conscionable won consecutive titles to a caller situation with Motorbaserun Napa Racing’s Ford Focus ST.

New team, caller car – and, much significantly, a power from the rear-wheel-drive powerfulness transportation that helium had mastered truthful wholly to front-wheel drive. That’s a immense situation successful touring car terms, and to go champion – and astatine the archetypal effort since making the power – would elevate Sutton from his already rarefied presumption arsenic 1 of the BTCC’s best.

He astir apt wouldn’t request the 5th rubric for astir radical to see him the bid GOAT – top of each time. But fixed however overmuch helium has achieved already, fewer would stake against him clocking up 5 and more. 

Naturally, Sutton took clip to set and get into his afloat plaything this play – though helium inactive scored a podium astatine the archetypal gathering of the year. It’s his relentless consistency and absorption connected the bigger picture, of astir ever scoring decent points adjacent erstwhile triumph is retired of reach, that’s cardinal to his fantastically effectual approach. He has won 3 races since Knockhill astatine the extremity of July, but the Silverstone show exemplified wherefore he’s starring the mode into the last knockings. Sixth, fourth, second: connected a time erstwhile his car wasn’t the quickest successful the field, helium stuck to his long-game mission. 

He’s a shining illustration to immoderate ambitious racing operator successful immoderate subject if they privation to gain aggregate titles.

Chasing their archetypal victory 

Sutton is outstanding, but he’s not unbeatable, particularly if the cards autumn against him, arsenic they did truthful rapidly for Turkington astatine Silverstone – and successful Hill and Ingram, helium faces formidable foes, some of whom are bare and much than susceptible of snatching their archetypal BTCC crowns. 

Compared with Sutton, Hill has travelled successful reverse this season, from a front-driven Focus ST to a rear-driven BMW 330e tally by WSR nether the badging of Mark Blundell’s MB Motorsport. 

Also 28, helium has matured into a devastatingly effectual BTCC star. He’s heading to his location circuit, wherever fiercely arrogant begetter Simon spent galore years arsenic a racing schoolhouse instructor, truthful it would beryllium the cleanable backdrop if destiny is to autumn connected his side. 

Hill was the prima performer astatine Silverstone, shadowing Rory Butcher’s Toyota Corolla successful contention one, past pulling disconnected the determination of the play connected Gordon Shedden’s Honda Civic Type R to triumph contention two, and should beryllium pumped afloat of assurance this weekend. 

Twice a BTCC runner-up, 29-year-old Ingram has 4 wins nether his loop this term, his 2nd driving Excelr8’s Hyundai i30 N Fastback, and helium has nary involvement successful playing the bridesmaid again. 

There was immoderate luck successful his race-three triumph astatine Silverstone, erstwhile Josh Cook and Dan Cammish came unneurotic disconnected the enactment and past Cook was tail-ended by Adam Morgan astatine Becketts – but everyone needs and relies connected a portion of luck successful motorsport. 

“We truly needed a bully effect to bring america backmost in, due to the fact that those archetypal 2 races were bully and pointsy but not rather pointsy enough,” said Ingram. “Ash and I conscionable said to each different we couldn’t person asked for it to person gone

any better. It was precisely similar Moses: the oversea parted… We needed a spot of luck, due to the fact that we’ve sometimes been connected the different broadside of it. Now it’s perfectly on. I’m not going to slumber betwixt present and Brands. Let’s get going!” 

As Sutton said: “It’s similar it has been scripted each year. It couldn’t beryllium tighter. You’ve got a large operation of front-wheel-drive and rear-wheel-drive cars, and Brands Hatch is our location circuit for the team. We’re successful a truly bully spot with the car. In the 2nd fractional of the season, I’ve felt astatine 1 with it. I’ve been capable to tweak it, dial it successful and spot distant astatine it, and it got america into the title lead. I couldn’t person asked for thing much going into the last rounds.” Neither could we.

Read Entire Article