27 AUGUST : BTCC DONINGTON PARK
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship returned to the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit for the first time in 21 years with a meeting that legendary drivers who had graced the circuit in years gone by would surely have appreciated.
At the end of three breathless – and breathtaking – races Ash Sutton had narrowly extended his lead at the top of the Drivers’ standings after both he and title rival Tom Ingram took a win each, whilst Jake Hill remains in contention thanks to two podiums.
Drivers using Cobra seats won a brace of races – in addition to Tom Ingram winning Race 2, the final reverse grid race was won by Rory Butcher in his Gazoo Racing Toyota.
Ash Sutton extended his Championship lead with a win in Race 1 while the “Cobra boys” were embroiled in a nerve shredding battle for the minor places. Jake Hill in his Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW was the star of the show. Starting 6th on the grid, Hill worked his way past Team BMW stablemate Colin Turkington for fourth and then moved into third ahead of Ricky Collard before going in pursuit of Tom Ingram in second place.
It was a battle that was ultimately decided in the stewards room: At Goddard’s – the final corner on the last lap - the pair touched and ran side-by-side to the chequered flag, with Hill taking the place following a post-race penalty for Ingram, after he was adjudged to have gained a position by not leaving a car’s width to the edge of the circuit.
However, reigning Champion Ingram obviously isn’t going to give up his title without a fight, making a brilliant move to take the lead in Race 2 passing Sutton on the run down to the Old Hairpin.
Yet again, Ash Sutton was the “cuckoo in the nest” – the only non-Cobra driver in the top six as Hill finished third with Turkington, Cook and Ricky Collard 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
In Race 3 it was Rory Butcher’s turn to jump out of his Cobra seat and jump on to the top step of the podium. After a frustrating season this was Butcher’s first win of the campaign – and a long overdue bit of good fortune as the promotion from a hard fought second place to an unexpected win was handed on a plate by long-time race leader Dan Lloyd who spun out on the final lap when a driveshaft broke on his Cupra.