BTCC - THRUXTON - 19 MAY 2019
A huge crowd at Britain’s fastest circuit enjoying the spring weather witnessed a great weekend for drivers using Cobra seats as Thruxton played host to Rounds 7, 8 and 9 of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
The best attended Saturday practice this century witnessed a fascinating battle for pole, with Sam Tordoff nudging Dan Cammish into second on the grid, with Andrew Jordan (fully recovered from that horrendous side impact last time out) in third and Colin Turkington in fourth.
In a tense, but largely uneventful, first race of the day it was the two Halfords Yuasa Racing drivers that gave thrill seekers their adrenaline rush: On lap three Cammish made an excellent “save” when his Honda went in to a 130mph slide coming out of Goodwood only to be eclipsed by Matt Neal who was tapped going in to the chicane on lap nine and came up with the save of the day as he recovered just in time to thread his way between the Armco and newly installed tyre barrier to return to the circuit and then move up to seventh with a wonderful bit of late braking.
At the front of the race a minor wobble by Tordoff as he exited Church on lap 13 (the result of a power steering issue) gave Andrew Jordan the opportunity to out-brake him at the next corner and Jordan went on to pull-away for a relatively comfortable victory in his BMW Pirtek Racing 330i M Sport.
A great start for drivers in Cobra seats saw them take the first five positions, with Tordoff second, Cammish smashing the lap record with an average speed over 110mph in third, Turkington (carrying 36kg of success ballast) fourth and Rory Butcher fifth.
Race two began with the BMW pair of Jordan and Turkington both enjoying blistering starts as Cammish suffered a sluggish start from third on the grid.
Jordan and Turkington streaked away at the front to secure a comfortable one-two while Cammish again appeared on the podium after working his way past Tordoff at the chicane on lap five with a forceful move that resulted in both drivers cutting behind the tyre pillar on the apex of the corner. Matt Neal, meanwhile, worked his way up the field to ensure both Hondas finished in the top five.
A threat of rain lingered over the final race, but never amounted to any more than light drizzle. Starting seventh and ninth on the reverse grid, both Neal and Cammish avoided a first lap crash, which helped them progress to fourth and sixth respectively. The pair of Civic Type Rs stayed out of trouble for the remainder of the race to complete a strong points haul for the team.
Ahead of them in race three, it was Josh Cook’s BTC Racing Honda that got the best launch and he survived two safety car interventions to take the chequered flag on his “home circuit” for his second win of the season.
Rory Butcher capped a strong weekend in his Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid Honda Civic, keeping his cool through a second safety car period to bank a sizeable points haul and move level with Colin Turkington at the top of the Championship.
Andrew Jordan’s erstwhile perfect weekend ended sourly when the BMW Pirtek star was tipped around by Stephen Jelley on the second restart, but those wins in races one and two have catapulted him into ninth in the Driver’s championship, just 37 points behind Turkington and Butcher, with Dan Cammish in eighth place in the table, Tom Ingram sixth, Matt Neal fifth and Josh Cook third.
With six strong results from the meeting, Honda extended its lead in the Manufacturers’ standings to 15 points over BMW, and the Halfords Yuasa Racing jumped to the top of the Teams’ standings.
As we said - a great weekend for drivers using Cobra seats.