BTCC Returns With Thrilling Opener At Donington Park

The BTCC returned after the delayed start to the 2020 season. 26 cars lined up ready to take on Donington Parks National layout. 

With reigning champion Colin Turkington putting his BMW 330i on pole and 2019 runner up Dan Cammish alongside him on the front row, it was like the championship had never been away.

Photo Credit: Ian Cutting Photography

As the lights went out it was Ash Sutton in his new Infiniti Q50 who got the best start moving from third to second ahead of Cammish, Turkington took the lead as the pack piled into Craner curves. Sutton who was driving on the limit pushed Turkington all the way in the opening laps before a gap appeared at Swantz curve, he went for the move at Mcleans but there was contact between him and Turkington allowing Cammish to take full advantage and grab the lead. Sutton fought back at Coppice, with the concertina effect the pack behind bunched up causing contact between Turkington and Sutton with the latter spinning backwards down the order, he would go on to set the fastest lap finishing down in 14th after a late safety car bunched the pack. Cammish pulled out a lead and controlled the pace winning round one ahead of Turkington. Rory Butcher came home in third in the newly built Ford Focus ST by Motorbase, a great performance being pushed all the way by Tom Ingram.

Race two saw another close contest, Turkington in his rear wheel drive BMW getting the best drive to lead into Redgate ahead of pole man Cammish. The weight in the Honda Civic took it’s tole throughout the race with Rory Butcher making a move for second. Cammish would slip down the order to sixth behind a charging Sutton who made up more places on his recovery up the order again setting the fastest lap time. Tom Oliphant faired better in race two and had a great scrap with Tom Ingram for the final podium spot with Oliphant just pipping Ingram by three tenths. 

Photo Credit: Ian Cutting Photography

Race three the reverse grid, on pole the new Hyundai i30N of Chris Smiley alongside him Ollie Jackson in the new Ford Focus ST.  It was Jackson who got a fantastic start to move ahead of Smiley and lead in the early stages. Josh Cook closed in on the top two to make it three for the lead, with Adam Morgan and the charging Ash Sutton not far behind. Smiley made a move on Jackson at the old hairpin. The lead group all together Jackson was getting attacked from all angles, Morgan tried to make a move with Sutton just behind. It was at Coppice were the trio went three wide as Sutton used all the track to make the move stick. Sutton picked off Cook and Smiley as the Roberts chicane became Suttons favourite place to overtake. Sutton taking the Infinit Q50s first victory and cementing the rapid pace he had all day with another fastest lap, Smiley and Cook followed with title challenger Turkington down in tenth having started twelfth with the reverse grid. 

Photo Credit: Ian Cutting Photography

Full results here: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/203103

They all go again around the Brands Hatch GP circuit this coming weekend.