The sun finally made an appearance for Race 3 and it certainly shone on Colin Turkington – eventually!
While Jason Plato was cruising at the front of the field to take a comfortable win ahead of Rory Butcher (whose 2nd place in his Cobra Sport AMD Honda Civic secured him the Independent Drivers Championship), all eyes were on the overall Drivers Championship battle that was evolving behind them.
No doubt fired up by a sense of injustice after the drama of Race 2, Colin Turkington (who started the race in 25th and 8 points behind Dan Cammish) tore through the field making up an incredible ten places on the opening lap.
Within five laps, Turkington had reached 9th place – just behind Tom Ingram in 8th, Dan Cammish in 7th and the third Championship contender, Andrew Jordan, in 5th.
With four laps to go, it seemed that Turkington was running out of time – but with a never say die attitude Colin got past Ingram and then squeezed past Cammish.
While Turkington had to go for broke, Cammish’s options were more complicated – avoid over competitiveness which may result in an ‘off’ but don’t allow too many people past to push him down the standings.
With three laps to go, Cammish seemed in control, knowing that 8th position would give him his first Drivers Championship and – had he had time to think about it – the knowledge that his car was the only one on the grid that had completed every lap of a very long season.
Then the unthinkable happened: with one and a half laps to go Dan’s brakes failed and he shot off the circuit and into the tyre barriers at Hawthorn Bend – one of the fastest bends on the circuit.
In the blink of an eye the Championship trophy passed from Cammish to Turkington, enabling Colin to claim a record equalling fourth Drivers Championship.
While Turkington finished in a euphoric 6th place, ahead of him a 4th place for teammate Andrew Jordan meant he finished equal 2nd in the Championship, level with Cammish and just 2 points behind Turkington.
So that was the 2019 season: 30 races over 7 months and the BTCC Drivers Championship is decided in the very last two minutes of the last race with just two points separating the top three drivers.
You can’t get much more exciting and much closer than that.
The fact that all top six drivers in the Drivers standing used Cobra Seats seems to be the only predictable thing about it!