Tom Oliphant secures first ever BTCC win at Brands Hatch

Tom Oliiphant took his first ever British Touring Car Championship win in the third and final round at Brands Hatch GP. He held off Ash Sutton all race long with Stephen Jelley taking the final podium spot.

Jelley had the best start as he moved from fourth to second, behind him mayhem ensued. Coming out of Druids Jack Goff and Senna Proctor collided, with the latter almost spinning, sending Goff onto the grass. His car span into the path of the Toyota of Tom Ingram, taking both out.

Oliphant took the lead at the end of lap one and never surrendered it, despite intense pressure from Sutton in his Infiniti.

Rory Butcher had done incredibly well to recover from his race one puncture heartbreak to be fighting for second in the final race of the day.

Dan Cammish had another miserable race as for the second time in a row his Honda Civic broke down with mechanical issues on lap nine.

Punctures were a common theme at Brands Hatch, with Jake Hill suffering a puncture on lap 11. Two laps later and heartbreak again for Butcher as he suffered a puncture going into Paddock bend. Losing all the progress he had made in race two. On the same lap Chris Smiley in his Hyundai crashed from fourth place.

Oliphant took the win by just three tenths from Sutton with Jelley finishing third. Pole sitter Aiden Moffat was fourth with championship leader Colin Turkington fifth and Matt Neal recovering from a poor weekend to take sixth.

James Gornall secured his best ever finish with Tom Chilton eighth and Proctor ninth. Sam Osborne rounded off the top ten with Ollie Brown, Jack Butel and Nicolas Hamilton all picking up points.

Pos Team Car Interval
1 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport
2 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 +0.324
3 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +4.978
4 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +5.981
5 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport +6.611
6 Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 +8.857
7 James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon +9.951
8 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 +14.430
9 Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N +15.462
10 Sam Osborne Honda CIvic Type R FK2 +17.410
11 Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 +18.605
12 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon +19.104
13 Ollie Brown VW CC +27.411
14 Jack Butel Mercedes Benz A Class +30.531
15 Nicolas Hamilton VW CC +38.896
16 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +53.711
17 Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 +1:30.770
18 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +1 Lap
19 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +2 Laps
20 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST +3 Laps
21 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +3 Laps
DNF Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 Puncture
DNF Adam Morgan Mercedes Benz A Class Mechanical
DNF Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8 Mechanical
DNF Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla Collision
DNF Jack Goff VW CC Collision

Image Credit: BTCC Media

Turkington takes win as Honda drivers suffer mechanical issues

Colin Turkington took a dominant win at Brands Hatch, the 53rd of his career as Tom Ingram and Ash Sutton round off the podium in a nightmare race for Honda drivers.

Of all the Honda drivers in the field, of which there are seven, only two finished, with five all retiring with various mechanical issues.

Cammish got a poor start and was leapfrogged by Turkington and Jackson, with Ingram passing the Honda driver too on the first lap. Ingram moved up into second as he passed Jackson into Sheene curve. After an encouraging weekend at Donington last weekend, Chris Smiley went off and lost a handful of places in his Hyundai.

Rory Butcher was keen to put his race one heartache behind him as he made 13 places in two laps to be 12th as the safety car came out following a collision between Bobby Thompson and Michael Crees.

On the restart after a six lap safety car period, Cammish and Ingram were chasing down Turkington. Tom Chilton passed Jackson for fourth, but his Honda broke down, with Matt Neal joining him in the pits with mechanical issues on lap ten.

Rory Butcher continued his rise up the grid as he passed Senna Proctor at Paddock, before Jake Hill became the latest Honda to retire with an engine issue coming onto the GP section.

On lap 16 Butcher passed his team mate Ollie Jackson for fifth, making it 20 places made in one race. Dan Cammish’s Honda then broke down, struggling to find any power. The Yorkshireman finally got it going again but finished way down the grid.

Turkington took the win and extended his lead in the championship over Ingram who finished second. Sutton finished third in his pacey Infiniti with Butcher inheriting fourth, and a 21 place gain off the grid. Jackson was fifth with Adam Morgan, Tom Oliphant, Senna Proctor, Stephen Jelley and James Gornall rounding off the top ten.

Pos Driver Car Interval
1 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport
2 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla +3.222
3 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 +6.546
4 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST +12.822
5 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +13.943
6 Adam Morgan Mercedes Benz A Class +14.269
7 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport +15.082
8 Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N +16.596
9 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +16.759
10 James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon +17.408
11 Jack Goff VW CC +19.429
12 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +20.142
13 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +20.329
14 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +20.546
15 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +22.240
16 Sam Osborne Honda Civic Type R FK2 +27.470
17 Nicolas Hamilton VW CC +31.282
18 Jack Butel Mercedes Benz A Class +31.479
19 Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8 +59.674
20 Ollie Brown VW CC +1 Lap
DNF Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 Mechanical
DNF Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 Mechanical
DNF Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 Mechanical
DNF Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 Mechanical
DNF Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon Collision
DNF Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 Collision

Dan Cammish wins after Butcher puncture at Brands Hatch

Dan Cammish benefited from some bad luck to Rory Butcher to win the first race at Brands Hatch. Butcher’s puncture three laps from the end saw Cammish inherit the win, with Colin Turkington second and Butcher’s team mate Ollie Jackson picking up a fantastic podium for Motorbase.

Turkington had a great start and flew up to third on the run to Paddock bend, with BUtcher holding off Cammish. Turkington’s team mate Tom Oliphant slid off later on in the lap but did well to recover and only lose a few places.

The best fight was for fifth place, which was occupied by Jake HIll in the MB Motorsport Honda Civic. Tom Ingram was first to challenge HIll, before Josh Cook slid off while fighting the pair for fifth. He returned to the pits to clear any debris out of his radiator before rejoining.

Out front Butcher and Cammish were fighting for the lead, the Honda looked more stable but Butcher’s Ford Focus ST held firm. Ingram had another go at passing Hill for fifth, and on lap 12 the Toyota driver finally passed Hill.

Meanwhile further down the grid Aiden Moffat and Matt Neal collided, Neal dove down the inside and tipped Moffat round, but the Infiniti tapped into Neal and spun his Team Dynamics Honda into the wall and out. Bringing out the Safety Car.

With a three lap dash to the flag, Cammish received a stroke of luck as Butcher picked up a puncture going out of Paddock bend and Cammish passed at Druids.

Cammish took the chequered flag and won the sixth race of his career. Turkington grabbed second and Ollie Jackson held off a speedy Ingram for the final podium slot.

Pos Driver Team Interval
1 Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8
2 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport +0.812
3 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +1.994
4 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla +2.341
5 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 +2.820
6 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 +2.965
7 Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N +5.273
8 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport +5.587
9 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +5.745
10 Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 +6.917
11 Adam Morgan Mercedes Benz A Class +7.121
12 Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 +7.652
13 James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon +9.038
14 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon +9.545
15 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +10.434
16 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +10.598
17 Jack Goff VW CC +11.087
18 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +11.317
19 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +12.321
20 Ollie Brown VW CC +13.595
21 Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 +13.820
22 Nicolas Hamilton VW CC +19.974
23 Jack Butel Mercedes Benz A Class +20.161
24 Sam Osborne Honda CIvic Type R FK2 +1 Lap
25 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST + 3 Laps
Retirements
DNF Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 Collision

Image Credit: BTCC Media

Ash Sutton takes win for Infiniti in BTCC race three

Ash Sutton rounded off a fantastic day by taking the win in the third and final race at Donington Park. Chris Smiley grabbed second in a great debut weekend for Excelr8’s new Hyundai, with Josh Cook finishing third in his Honda Civic.

Smiley’s Hyundai was drawn to start on pole thanks to the reverse grid draw. Ollie Jackson in the Motorbase Ford Focus was next to him on the grid.

Jackson made the better start and led on the run down to Redgate. Stephen Jelley made a fantastic start to be third out of the first corner. Debutants Jack Butel and Ollie Brown collided at the Craner Curves, with Butel spinning, bringing out a brief safety car period.

Jackson continued to lead on the restart, Sutton moved up to sixth as he passed race one winner Dan Cammish before taking fifth from Jelley. Jack Goff’s miserable weekend continued as he span off. He retired to the pits.

Lap six and there was a four way battle for the lead between Jackson, Smiley, Josh Cook and Adam Morgan. Jelley spun at the chicane to lose his fine progress and he finished 18th.

On lap seven and Smiley took the lead into the Auld Hairpin, meanwhile Sutton joined the battle for the lead. The 2017 champion was surging forward and was second going into lap ten.

He finally passed Smiley for the lead coming into the final chicane and pulled away.

Senna Proctor started last having had a full engine refit and missed race two. He made it all the way to 15th and the points, before going off with only a couple of laps to go.

Sutton took the chequered flag with Smiley picking up a brilliant podium in the debut weekend for the Hyundai i30N. Cook finished third with Morgan and Jackson rounding off the top five.

Tom Ingram had a solid weekend and finished sixth, with Cammish and Neal seventh and eighth in their Team Dynamics Honda Civics. The two BMW’s of Tom Oliphant and race two winner Colin Turkington finishing ninth and tenth respectively.

Sutton was undoubtedly the driver of the day with his electrifying pace and fantastic determination and daring overtakes. The action continues at Brands Hatch next weekend.

Pos Driver Car Interval
1 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50
2 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +2.280
3 Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 +2.556
4 Adam Morgan Mercedes A Class +3.524
5 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +4.890
6 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla +5.161
7 Dan Cammish Honda CIvic Type R FK8 +6.247
8 Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 +7.112
9 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport +7.629
10 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport +7.993
11 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST +12.317
12 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 +14.635
13 Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 +17.127
14 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +17.239
15 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon +21.984
16 James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon +22.478
17 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +26.247
18 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +26.512
19 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +31.712
20 Jack Butel Mercedes A Class +43.719
21 Nicolas Hamilton VW CC +46.015
22 Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N +1 Lap
23 Ollie Brown VW CC +1 Lap
24 Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 +3 Laps
Retirements
RET Sam Osborne Honda Civic Type R FK2 Mechanical
RET Jack Goff VW CC Mechanical

Image Credit: BTCC Media

Colin Turkington takes a dominant win in BTCC race two

Colin Turkington fought back from second in race one by winning race two in dominant fashion. He pulled out a massive lead before a safety car reeled him back in. The restart didn’t stop him as he took a fine win.

Rory Butcher finished second in another brilliant effort from the Motorbase team, with Tom Oliphant rounding off the podium.

James Gornall and Senna Proctor failed to make the start after their mechanical failures in race one. Jake Hill managed to fix his issues and get out for race two.

Turkington got the better start and took the lead on the run to Redgate. Stephen Jelley had a fantastic start and moved up to sixth by the end of the first lap.

While Turkington pulled away, Cammish came under pressure from third placed Butcher. and finally got past him on the straight towards the final chicane. Cammish struggling with the maximum ballast on his Honda Civic.

Next to pass the Honda were Tom Ingram and Tom Oliphant, who took third and fourth respectively from the Yorkshireman on lap five.

One man who was on fire was Ash Sutton, he was storming through the grid and set the fastest lap of the race before the safety car came out for the second time today. Nicolas Hamilton went wide at Coppice and once he put a tyre on the grass his VW CC spun and beached into the gravel. Turkington had a three second lead before the safety car.

On the restart Sutton battled Jelley for seventh, Tom Chilton joined the battle and the trio went three abreast going into the chicane. Sutton on the outside with the latest of late braking to pass both without incident.

His resurgence continued on lap 16 as he passed Matt Neal for sixth and then Cammish’s slide down the order continued as Sutton passed him on lap 17 for fifth.

Oliphant passed Ingram for third place making it two BMW’s on the podium as Sutton battled the Toyota of Ingram on the final lap.

Turkington took a dominant win, with Butcher and Oliphant rounding off the podium. Ingram and Sutton had a photo finish on the line but Ingram’s Toyota took it by a tenth.

A special mention to the MB Motorsport cars of Jake HIll and Sam Osborne. Hill fought from the back of the grid to be in the points before pulling into the pits a couple of laps from the end. Osborne was in the top ten and looked for another brilliant result. But he was in the pits four laps from the end with a mechanical issue.

Aiden Moffat finished 15th on the road but received a ten second penalty for a false start. Meaning Carl Boardley in the BMW 125i took the final point.

Pos Driver Car Interval
1 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport
2 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST +2.199
3 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport +2.610
4 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla +2.935
5 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 +3.046
6 Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8 +5.839
7 Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 +6.271
8 Adam Morgan Mercedes A Class +6.576
9 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +7.949
10 Josh Cook Honda CIvic Type R FK8 +8.320
11 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +11.171
12 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +11.650
13 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 +12.003
14 Michael Crees Honda CIvic Type R FK8 +14.610
15 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +17.384
16 Jack Goff VW CC +18.538
17 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon +19.000
18 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +20.635
19 Jack Butel Mercedes A Class +21.528
20 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +26.555
Retirements
RET Jake Hll Honda Civic Type R FK2 Mechanical
RET Sam Osborne Honda Civic Type R FK2 Mechanical
RET Nicolas Hamilton VW CC Spin
RET Ollie Brown VW CC Mechanical
DNS James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon
DNS Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N

Dan Cammish wins first BTCC round at Donington Park

Dan Cammish struck first blood as he won the first round of the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.

The Team Dynamics driver won by just seven tenths from reigning champion Colin Turkington in his WSR BMW. Rory Butcher grabbed a fantastic third place finish to round off the podium.

Turkington led off the grid, with Sutton moving up into second passing Dan Cammish at Redgate. The first lap wasn’t without its drama however as Jake Hill and Josh Cook collided, with the BTC Racing Civic of Cook falling to the back.

Sutton was taking the fight to Turkington’s BMW, and crept up the inside at Coppice, but couldn’t quite make the move stick. A lap later on lap four Sutton took the lead, albeit briefly as an initial nudge by Turkington was met with a second tap which spun Sutton’s Infiniti round. Cammish profited most from the impact as he took the lead.

Cammish was controlling the race, holding off Turkington with a lead of just under a second. However on lap 11 a safety car was called as Senna Proctor suffered an unfortunate failure while battling for tenth. This was coupled with Nicolas Hamilton going off at the final chicane.

After a four lap safety car break the green flag waved and the fights up and down the field continued. Sutton had a fantastic recovery from his early spin as he moved back up to finish 14th. Setting the fastest lap in the process.

Cammish took the chequered flag with Turkington close behind. A star drive from Rory Butcher who finished third. Tom Ingram took fourth in his Toyota before Matt Neal in the second Dynamics Honda Civic came fifth. Tom Oliphant was sixth in his WSR BMW, with Sam Osborne grabbing his best ever finish in his new MB Motorsport Honda Civic. Chris Smiley gave the new Excelr8 Hyundai i30N an eighth place finish on its debut, with Stephen Jelley and Tom Chilton rounding off the top ten.

A brilliant beginning to the 2020 British Touring Car Championship season.

Pos Driver Car Interval
1 Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8
2 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport +0.707
3 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST +1.144
4 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla +1.941
5 Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 +2.817
6 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport +3.722
7 Sam Osborne Honda Civic Type R FK2 +4.855
8 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N +5.492
9 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport +7.322
10 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 +7.623
11 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon +7.936
12 Adam Morgan Mercedes A Class +8.249
13 Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 +9.498
14 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 +9.595
15 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 +11.457
16 Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 +13.075
17 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus ST +13.398
18 Jack Goff VW CC +13.837
19 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport +14.266
20 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST +14.599
21 Ollie Brown VW CC +15.050
22 Jack Butel Mercedes A Class +19.350
Retirements
RET James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon Mechanical
RET Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N Mechanical
RET Nicolas Hamilton VW CC Crash
RET Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 Mechanical

Image Credit: BTCC Media

Colin Turkington takes pole for BTCC Donington opener

Colin Turkington’s British Touring Car Championship title defence began in the best way possible as he took pole position for the season opening round at Donington Park. The top three were separated by just a tenth of a second.

The West Surrey Racing driver broke the lap record with a 1:08:998. Team Dynamics’ Dan Cammish was just 0.087 seconds behind with Ash Sutton in his new Laser Tools Infiniti 0.097 seconds behind Turkington’s BMW.

The track was greasy which played into the hands of some drivers. Rory Butcher had a lucky escape into the Auld Hairpin as the rear of his Ford Focus stepped out. The scot recovered after an off track excursion. Nicholas Hamilton was next to catch the eye as the pins holding down his bonnet failed, resulting in the bonnet flying up and hanging off. The Team HARD driver failed to set a time in the session.

The Toyota of Tom Ingram set the early pace, with Butcher and Turkington close behind. With 12 minutes left in the session Turkington set his fastest time and he claimed pole position.

After a stoppage due to a red flag, the cars came out for ten more minutes of fighting for position for tomorrow’s opening race.

After dominating the two practice sessions, Turkington and his BMW were fastest in qualifying, with Cammish and Sutton close behind.

Ingram finished fourth two tenths behind Turkington, with the second BMW of Tom Oliphant fifth. Butcher recovered from his off to claim sixth on the grid, with Jake Hill in the MB Motorsport Honda Civic sitting seventh for tomorrow.

The top ten was rounded off by BTC’s Josh Cook, the second Team Dynamics car of Matt Neal, and Adam Morgan in his Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A Class.

Pos Driver Car Time Defecit
1 Colin Turkington BMW 330i M Sport 1:08:998
2 Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type R FK8 1:09:085 +0:087
3 Ash Sutton Infiniti Q50 1:09:095 +0.097
4 Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla 1:09:210 +0.212
5 Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport 1:09:309 +0.311
6 Rory Butcher Ford Focus ST 1:09:329 +0.331
7 Jake Hill Honda Civic Type R FK2 1:09:387 +0.389
8 Josh Cook Honda Civic Type R FK8 1:09:411 +0.413
9 Matt Neal Honda Civic Type R FK8 1:09:563 +0.564
10 Adam Morgan Mercedes Benz A Class 1:09:567 +0.569
11 Senna Proctor Hyundai i30N 1:09:588 +0.590
12 Sam Osborne Honda Civic Type R FK2 1:09:631 +0.633
13 Ollie Jackson Ford Focus RS 1:09:723 +0.725
14 Chris Smiley Hyundai i30N 1:09:724 +0.726
15 Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport 1:09:818 +0.820
16 Tom Chilton Honda Civic Type R FK8 1:09:819 +0.821
17 Bobby Thompson Audi S3 Saloon 1:10:118 +1.120
18 Michael Crees Honda Civic Type R FK8 1:10:200 +1.202
19 James Gornall Audi S3 Saloon 1:10:218 +1.220
20 Aiden Moffat Infiniti Q50 1:10:432 +1.434
21 Andy Neate Ford Focus ST 1:10:692 +1.694
22 Carl Boardley BMW 125i M Sport 1:10:758 +1.760
23 Ollie Brown VW CC 1:11:049 +2.051
24 Jack Butel Mercedes Benz A Class 1:11:508 +2.510
25 Jack Goff VW CC 1:11:538 +2.540
26 Nicolas Hamilton VW CC No Time

Image Credit: BTCC Media

2020 British Touring Car Championship taking shape after Autosport announcements

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship puzzle is slowly coming together, after a flurry of announcements at the Autosport International show in Birmingham at the weekend.

No less than seven drivers were announced over the course of the weekend, with some big names catching the attention.

The big news of the weekend was Tom Chilton making the switch from Motorbase to BTC Racing for 2020. The veteran replaces Chris Smiley in the team and joins Josh Cook, forming a formidable partnership in the FK8 Honda Civics. BTC are also taking on a third Civic for this season, and racing in it will be new fans favourite Michael Crees, creating a strong team.

Excelr8 Motorsport announced their first driver for 2020 with Senna Proctor joining the team from BMR Racing. Proctor will be behind the wheel of the brand new Hyundai i30 with three years of BTCC experience behind him. His team mate is yet to be announced.

Elsewhere Ciceley Motorsport have decided to retain their lineup of Adam Morgan and Daniel Rowbottom, with both having had strong 2019 seasons, but knowing there is more to come from the Mercedes A Class.

Trade Price Racing announced former British GT champion James Gornall will be joining the team racing the Audi S3 Saloon, joining Bobby Thompson. While Sam Osborne was announced as the team mate for Jake Hill in the AMD team Honda Civic FK2’s.

Catch Jack Prentice’s interview with new Trade Price driver James Gornall here!

With only a few seats left to announce, including three from Motorbase, the 2020 Championship is shaping up to be one of the best yet.

2020 British Touring Car Championship Entries

Team Car Drivers
Team BMW BMW 330i M Sport Colin Turkington, Tom Oliphant, Andrew Jordan
Team Dynamics Honda Civic FK8 Matt Neal, Dan Cammish
Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla Tom Ingram
Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra Jason Plato, (tba)
BTC Racing Honda Civic FK8 Tom Chilton, Josh Cook, Michael Crees
Team Motorbase (tba) (tba, tba, tba)
Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes A Class Adam Morgan, Dan Rowbottom
Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 Aiden Moffat, Ash Sutton
Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 Senna Proctor, (tba)
Trade Price Racing Audi S3 James Gornall, Bobby Thompson
AMD Tuning Honda Civic FK2 Jake Hill, Sam Osborne
Team HARD Volkswagen CC Mike Bushell, Jack Goff, (tba)
Team HARD BMW 125i Carl Boardley
Simpson Racing (tba) (tba)
Team Parker Racing (tba) (tba)

The 2019 BTCC Season Preview – Going Through Changes, But The Song Remains The Same

The British Touring Car Championship gets underway next weekend at Brands Hatch, and with so many changes during the off-season, 2019 looks like being one of the best seasons yet.

There are new title sponsors in the form of Kwik Fit, who replace long standing sponsor Dunlop. While a change in title sponsor is usually big news, it has been overshadowed by a wide range of developments and changes.

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements over the winter is the return of Toyota in a manufacturer capacity. Having won two titles in the 1980’s with Chris Hodgetts at the wheel, the Japanese marque are no stranger to success, and with the new Corolla, the team will be looking to start on the right foot.

To do this, they have taken on 2018 runner up Tom Ingram and his formerly independent team, Speedworks Motorsport. Touted as a future champion of the BTCC, Ingram has high hopes for 2019. Speaking to Pit Crew reporter Warren Nel in January, Ingram said: “The plan is very much to hit the ground running at Brands Hatch Indy, kind of start where we left the 2018 season and be in a position to look to win the championship.”

Though he understands success may not be instant: “Realistically we’ve got to look more at the following season as our go to year, but of course whenever you enter a season, you enter to win, not finish second. Our goal is very much to win it, but we’ve got a bit of a mountain to climb to get there.”

Another big story is that reigning champions BMW have retired their 1 series in favour of the all-new 3 series. The model which had title success with Tim Harvey in 1992 and Jo WInkelhock in 1993 has been brought back in its current guise. With current champion Colin Turkington behind the wheel, the 3 series is bound to be successful from the start.

While some faces remain on the grid, there is fresh blood, and not all of it is fresh faced youngsters. Former Formula One and IndyCar driver Mark Blundell will be making his BTCC debut at the age of 52, showing that age doesn’t matter in the world of tin-tops. Racing for the brand new Trade Price Racing team in an Audi S3, all eyes will be on Blundell as he looks to back up his illustrious CV.

Another of the old guard making headlines was Jason Plato, who returns to Vauxhall, where he won his first title in 2001. Currently backing the Power Maxed Racing team, Plato is joined by former BMW man Rob Collard in the Astra.

There will still be 30 rounds of the championship, with three races at ten meetings throughout the year. Though there won’t be a return to Rockingham this season. The Corby based circuit has been sold, and as a result won’t see the BTCC return to the unique oval circuit. Instead there will be an extra round at the high speed Thruxton circuit in August.

Circuit Date
Brands Hatch Indy 6-7 April
Donington Park 27-28 April
Thruxton 18-19 May
Croft 15-16 June
Oulton Park 29-30 June
Snetterton 3-4 August
Thruxton 17-18 August
Knockhill 14-15 September
Silverstone 28-29 September
Brands Hatch GP 12-13 October
Team Drivers Car
Team BMW Colin Turkington &Tom Oliphant BMW 330i M Sport
BMW Pirtek Racing Andrew Jordan BMW 330i M Sport
Sterling Insurance With Power Maxed Racing Jason Plato & Rob Collard Vauxhall Astra
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Ash Sutton & Senna Proctor Subaru Levorg GT
Halfords Yuasa Racing Matt Neal & Dan Cammish Honda Civic Type-R FK8
Team Toyota GB With Ginsters Tom Ingram Toyota Corolla GT
Team Shredded Wheat With Gallagher Tom Chilton & Ollie Jackson Ford Focus RS
RoKit Racing With Motorbase Nicolas Hamilton Ford Focus RS
Excelr8 Motorsport Rob Smith & Sam Osborne MG6
Cobra Sport AmD Tuning With RCIB Insurance Rory Butcher & Sam Tordoff Honda Civic Type-R (FK2)
BTC Racing Chris Smiley & Josh Cook Honda Civic Type-R (FK8)
Trade Price Cars Racing Mark Blundell & Jake Hill Audi S3
Team Parker Racing Stephen Jelley BMW 125i M Sport
Laser Tools Racing Aiden Moffat Mercedes A Class
(Team HARD) GKR Scaffolding With Autobrite Direct Bobby Thompson & Michael Crees Volkswagen CC
(Team HARD) RCIB Insurance With Fox Transport Jack Goff & Carl Broadley Volkswagen CC
Ciceley Motorsport With MAC Tools Adam Morgan Mercedes A Class
Ciceley Motorsport With Cataclean Racing Dan Rowbottom Mercedes A Class
Simpson Racing Matt Simpson Honda Civic Type-R (FK2)

While there are plenty of changes afoot in the BTCC, one thing we can all rely on never changing, is the level of excitement and door-to-door action that the championship always promises.

All images credit: Matthew Pigg.

BTCC 2019 – New Names And Old Faces For New Touring Car Season

New teams, new cars, new rules, it’s all change in the British Touring Car Championship, and it is shaping up to be one of the best seasons ever.

The 2018 campaign went right down to the wire, with BMW’s Colin Turkington prevailing over independent driver Tom Ingram to win his third title. In a season which saw 17 different race winners, 2019 has a tough act to follow.

With only one more driver to be announced, the grid is taking shape, and with a host of changes, including an ex-Formula One driver making their BTCC debut, the racing will be just as competitive.

Champions BMW are replacing the title winning 1 series with the all new 3 series, bringing back a very successful model from BTCC history. They have brought in Tom Oliphant from Ciceley Motorsport to replace Rob Collard, who moves to Power Maxed Racing. He will partner reigning champion Turkington. Andrew Jordan remains at BMW in his Pirtek sponsored car.

Team Dynamics retain their driver lineup of Matt Neal and Dan Cammish in their Honda Civic Type R’s. Both will be looking to build on an impressive debut year for the all new FK8 Civic.

The big news over the winter is that Toyota are returning to the sport in a full manufacturer capacity. Enjoying title success in the 80’s with Chris Hodgetts winning two titles, Toyota will be running the Speedworks Motorsport team with Tom Ingram behind the wheel of the all new Corolla, replacing his Avensis used in recent years.

2019 sees the Toyota Avensis retired in place of the all new Corolla.

Team BMR retain Subaru’s manufacturer backing, title sponsor Adrian Flux, and 2017 champion Ash Sutton. Though they welcome Senna Proctor to the team, who moves from Power Maxed Racing. In an effective straight swap, Jason Plato moves to PMR, who are backed by Vauxhall, reigniting a famous partnership which saw Plato win his first title in 2001. Plato is joined by former BMW man Rob Collard in the Vauxhall Astra’s.

Motorbase continue with their Shredded Wheat backed Ford Focus’, with Tom Chilton remaining with the team after finishing third in last season’s championship. Ollie Jackson replaces James Cole in the second Focus, moving from AMD Tuning. The third Motorbase car will be ran by Nic Hamilton, younger brother of F1 superstar Lewis.

New team Trade Price Racing raised eyebrows in the off-season by announcing former F1 and IndyCar driver Mark Blundell will be joining the grid in one of their new Audi S3’s. Jake Hill will be partnering him.

BTC Racing had a fine season last season, and welcome former Power Maxed driver Josh Cook to partner Chris Smiley. Cook showed his prowess last season picking up a handful of wins and going head to head with Ash Sutton in the final race of 2018 at Brands Hatch. They’ll be looking to build on another strong season in their Honda Civic FK7’s.

Ciceley Motorsport retain Adam Morgan and welcome former Clio Cup driver Dan Rowbottom to drive their Mercedes A Classes. Aidan Moffat remains in a Mercedes but has gone solo, having formerly ran under the Ciceley banner with his Laser Tools team.

AMD Tuning have ditched their Audi’s for the ex-Eurotech Honda Civics. They have recruited Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff to drive their RCiB Insurance backed cars.

Another new team to the BTCC grid is Excelr8 Motorsport. They will be racing in the former AMD MG6’s that will be driven by Rob Smith. He has worked with Excelr8 for the last four seasons in the Mini Challenge and will be looking to hit the ground running in the BTCC. Their second driver is yet to be announced.

Team HARD continue with their four-car squad, running Volkswagen CC’s. Mike Bushell and Bobby Thompson remain with the team, with Carl Broadley and Michael Crees joining them.

Independent driver Matt Simpson continues with his Simpson Motorsport team while Stephen Jelley is expected to remain with Team Parker Racing despite no official word from the team or driver.

With the BTCC going through a period of transition, one constant remains, the racing promises to be as scintillating as ever.