As the teams arrived at Croft with twelve races to go, Ash Sutton has a lead of thirty-eight points in the BTCC Driver’s Championship.
Behind him there’s a group of four drivers jockeying to become the main contenders for Sutton’s crown: Three “Cobra drivers” – Tom Ingram, Josh Cook and Colin Turkington are joined by Jake Hill with just eleven points separating the four.
Twenty-five points further back Adam Morgan, Rory Butcher and Dan Rowbottom are another three “Cobra drivers” who may still have a say in the title race.
In Race 1 Aiden Moffat claimed a pole to flag victory with fellow front row starter Jake Hill finishing second.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor finished third after an audacious move on Team BMW’s Colin Turkington on the first lap. BTC Racing’s Josh Cook completed the top five positions after an early skirmish with the BMW 330i M Sport of Tom Oliphant.
To say that it’s been a difficult season for Halfords Racing is an understatement – and the first race at Croft did little to lift their mood with Jack Sear’s Trophy leader Daniel Rowbottom enduring a bruising race with three separate incidents with Tom Oliphant, Ollie Jackson and Aron Taylor-Smith, contact with the latter eventually ending his challenge.
In Race 2 it was Jake Hill’s turn to ease to victory, but behind him “Cobra drivers” had an incident packed race!
On the first lap there was a safety car period when the Toyota Corolla of Rory Butcher clashed with Tom Chilton’s BMW, while Tom Oliphant had to retire following a separate contact.
As the race resumed, Aiden Moffat Moffat hung on to second place despite contact from the BTC Racing Honda of Josh Cook. That had the inevitable effect of causing the following cars to bunch up: In the confusion Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was baulked which led to a further incident at turn one with the Honda of Gordon Shedden, enabling Tom Ingram’s Ginsters-backed Hyundai to pass both of them.
When the dust finally settled it was Josh Cook who completed the podium ahead of Ingram, Sutton, Shedden and Turkington in in a classic BTCC race.
Colin Turkington’s luck finally changed when he was drawn on pole for the reverse-grid finale, and he duly fended off Gordon Shedden to claim his 13th victory at Croft and move him up to third in the points table, while Shedden’s second place ahead of Sutton equalled his best result of the season so far.
In truth, following the dramas in Race 2, this race was something of an anti-climax with few positions in doubt as the race progressed: with title contenders Tom Ingram (Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com) and Josh Cook (BTC Racing) that securing comfortable fourth and fifth places respectively.