18 August 2019
A mixed set of results for drivers using Cobra seats – with Colin Turkington and Andrew Jordan having a weekend to forget – but that simply opened the door for other drivers using Cobra seats to grab the wins and the headlines!
Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance driver Sam Tordoff secured a relatively untroubled lights-to-flag victory in the first race of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship meeting at Thruxton, finishing four-tenths of a second ahead of Dan Cammish in the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda.
In an odd way it proved to be a “race of two halves” – the first four cars crossing the line separated by barely more than a second, the next three cars each detached from the next by around two seconds with Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant claiming fifth and Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance’s Rory Butcher seventh … and then there was mighty scrap for the remaining points.
It was Matt Neal who came out on top in the tussle for eighth in a battle that included Chris Smiley, Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington.
As early as the first lap, the BMWs of Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington were involved in a door mirror to door mirror tussle with one driver, then the other, taking the upper hand. Chris Smiley joined in the drama, sliding wide and in to Rory Butcher’s Honda at the final chicane – a detour that relegated Rory to tenth. Behind him, Tom Ingram’s Toyota came in eleventh with title hopefuls Jordan and Turkington finishing the race in twelfth and thirteenth respectively.
On to Race Two and a stunning move by Josh Cook on lap four saw him move from third to first in probably the move of the day: Taking the wide outside line out of Church Cooks bravery meant the leaders were three abreast on the run down to the final chicane. Incredibly all three cars made it through without any contact and emerged across the start/finish line with Cook leading the way ahead of Morgan and Tordoff. Cook never looked back, winning by more nearly two seconds at the finish.
Sam Tordoff’s Honda was struggling with its success ballast from the first race, resulting in a huge scrap for the final podium position as about a dozen cars stacked up behind him. He held off challenge after challenge until lap eleven when the inevitable happened and he began to fall down the order.
Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant and Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal ran in third and fourth respectively until late on with the final place on the podium being decided at the last corner. Neal’s Honda Civic Type R got a great run on the 3 Series ahead of him and the triple BTCC champion nipped through to reach the rostrum through the final chicane – crossing the line just 0.080s ahead of Oliphant, while Matt’s teammate Dan Cammish came fifth.
Andrew Jordan continued to claw back points on his championship rival, grabbing seventh, with Tom Ingram in eighth and Colin Turkington in ninth and Sam Tordoff eventually finishing tenth.
On to Race Three and Halfords Yuasa Racing took their first win of the season when Dan Cammish took the chequered flag. It was a hard-fought win that topped a strong weekend at Thruxton for the Honda British Touring Car Championship campaign with the Halfords Yuasa Racing team scoring podium finishes in all three races. After countless hard luck stories this season, fortune finally smiled on the Halfords Yuasa Racing team, the draw for the final race putting Cammish on the outside of the front row with Neal just behind in fourth. The field lined up under threatening skies, and after initially being out dragged off the line by Oliphant, Cammish quickly regained second spot and closed in on leader Rob Collard. Rain began to fall around the circuit as the Honda made several passing attempts on the run to the chicane, finally making the move stick with four laps left. Skilfully controlling his slick-tyred car on the now rain-soaked track, Cammish stretched his lead to secure the Halfords Yuasa squad's first victory of the season. To complete the team's joy Matt Neal took third spot.
So, a weekend to forget for the “Cobra boys” who started the day at the very top of the standings, but a memorable day for Halfords Yuasa Racing with Cammish and Neal now lying third and seventh in the driver's title chase heading towards the next rounds at Knockhill in Scotland, while Honda has closed the gap in the Manufacturers' Championship, holding a strong second, and Halfords Yuasa Racing regained the lead of the Teams points chase.
The result is a set of standings dominated by drivers and teams using Cobra seats.
In the drivers’ standings, eight of the top nine drivers use Cobra seats: Colin Turkington still heads the table on 249 points, with Andrew Jordan second (219), Dan Cammish third (215), followed by Josh Cook fourth, Rory Butcher fifth, Matt Neal seventh, Tom Ingram eight and Sam Tordoff ninth.
In the BTCC Manufacturers' Championship, after 21 rounds BMW lead on 577 points followed by Honda on 550 points, while in the BTCC Teams' Championship, Halfords Yuasa Racing lead on 378 points with Team BMW in second and Cobra Sport AMD in third.
In the Independent Drivers Championship Josh Cook leads the way with Rory Butcher a close second. In the Independent Teams Standings BTC Racing has a slender lead over Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance while in the Jack Sears Trophy Rory Butcher leads Tom Oliphant and Bobby Thompson.
No wonder we are looking forward to Knockhill!