BTCC : KNOCKHILL
It was a weekend to remember for BMW (and – by association – for Cobra Seats) at the latest British Touring Car Championship round at Knockhill.
Jake Hill was fastest in qualifying and converted his pole position to a win in race one before going on to finish second in races two and three to claim his best weekend to date in the BTCC. Meanwhile George Gamble claimed his maiden victory in race three … and Colin Turkington ended the weekend at the top of the standings in one of the closest seasons we can remember.
Having qualified on pole for the second time in his BTCC career on Saturday, Jake Hill’s Rokit MB Motorsport BMW led the first lap of race one before relinquishing his position to a fast-charging Ash Sutton. However, as his tyres warmed Hill began to apply more and more pressure - making contact with the back of Sutton’s car on lap six, before finally getting back into the lead on lap nine. Despite intense pressure from Sutton, Hill held on to his lead until the chequered flag.
Behind them, Colin Turkington claimed third in his Team BMW 330e M Sport with Colin’s teammate Stephen Jelley in fourth and the Car Gods with Cicely Motorsport BMW of George Gamble in fifth.
In race two Hill looked all set to achieve a race day double, but a mistake at the chicane on lap five saw him run through the gravel and gift the lead to Sutton so that the 1 – 2 was reversed. Behind them, Colin Turkington took another “percentage third” to continue his inexorable climb up the Driver’s Championship table.
Just outside the top three, Tom Ingram, Gordon Shedden, Rory Butcher, George Gamble and Stephen Jelley claimed fourth to eighth just as they had done in race one – albeit in a different order.
The reverse grid draw for race three put George Gamble on pole who produced a dominant lights-to-flag display to claim a maiden triumph in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship.
Driving for the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport team Gamble is enjoying a mightily impressive debut season. Behind him, ROKiT MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill completed his own unforgettable day fighting back from an early mistake to get his second “second” of the meeting, giving him a points haul which, when added to his win in race one, saw him shoot up the drivers’ standings to fourth – just 14 points off top spot.
Third place was claimed by Knockhill local Rory Butcher in his Toyota GAZOO Racing Corolla, who held off Team BMW’s Turkington.
The other Knockhill “local” Gordon Shedden was caught up in a lap one incident with then Championship leader Tom Ingram before using his local knowledge to recover, taking sixth ahead of Team BMW’s Stephen Jelley and Rich Energy BTC Racing’s Josh Cook.
It was a weekend that concluded with the top two drivers in the Drivers’ Championship (“Cobra” drivers Colin Turkington and Tom Ingram) separated by just five points, with Ash Sutton only one point further back and two more “Cobra” drivers – Jake Hill and Josh Cook breathing down their necks: Not to mention two more drivers in Cobra seats – Rory Butcher and Gordon Shedden who are sixth and seventh in the standings and still very much in the mix.