Champions Crowned At Brands Hatch Finale

In a weekend were champions would be crowned, the weather played it’s part in a dramatic season finale. 

BTCC

With Colin Turkington coming into Brands Hatch as the championship leader, he was looking for a strong weekend. Ash Sutton only nine points behind hoped the changeable weather would favour the Infiniti. In qualifying the wet track, allowed Sutton to take advantage qualifying in third, Turkington was further back in eighth. The remaining three championship contenders Tom Ingram, Dan Cammish and Rory Butcher qualified 1st, 2nd and 4th. 

Race one was on a soaked Brands Hatch circuit, the aim was to get to the finish for all five contenders. Sutton made a good start, but it was Ingram that led the way for the majority of the race. Cammish’s car came alive as he made his move on Sutton then Ingram to move into the lead. Sutton followed with a decisive move on Ingram with Butcher behind. All four took points away from Turkington who struggled with his BMW finishing a lowly ninth. 

The sun came out for race two, this also played to the BMW’s strengths. The gamble between slicks or wets proved decisive. Tom Chilton in his wet shod Civic took the lead from Sutton early on, as the slicks took a number of laps to come in. Sutton enjoyed a comfortable victory to extend his lead, as the drama took place behind. Ingram worked his way up from eleventh to second after a first corner slide down Paddock Hill which was repeated by Cammish who came through to third. Turkington was classified third, a dramatic moment when he reached Paddock Hill to be greeted by Paul Rivett broadside in the middle of the track, saw him overtake Cammish under yellows, the stewards gave him a penalty dropping him to fourth. 

The final race wasn’t without drama before the start, a heavy rain shower drenched the track with the light fading, was there set to be another twist. Sutton started 12th due to the reverse grid, made a steady getaway, knowing he could following Turkington home for the title. Turkington worked his way up to fifth initially, as Rory Butcher raced away from the front of the grid to take the final victory of 2020. Ingram produced another fine display to finish ahead of Jake Hill. Sutton began to work his way forward as Turkington began to fall back from the leading five, Sutton picked off Ollie Jackson, Aiden Moffat let his team mate past, he then set to overtake Turkington. Only making moves he knew he could 100% make Sutton got a good run down the start/finish straight and moved ahead into Paddock Hill. Sutton crossed the line to take the title for the second time, also claiming the independents crown.

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F4

F4 was just as dramatic, with the twists and turns of the season all coming down to three races. Luke Browning and Zak O’Sullivan came into the three rounds almost tied on points, first blood went to Browning in race one finishing just over half a tenth ahead of O’Sullivan, Christian Mansell wrapped up the rookie title finishing third overall. The partial reverse grid of race two provided no less drama, with Alex Connor racing up the road, O’Sullivan currently ahead of Browning as the pack came up to Clearways, O’Sullivan dived past his teammate Mansell provisionally finishing second ahead of Browning as he past Mansell in the closing stages. However a post race penalty for overtaking under yellows moved O’Sullivan back to fourth. The final race the top two shared the front row, both making a good getaway were joined by James Hedley up front. As the trio exited clearways all three spun on the same damp patch, Browning faired the worse spinning round to the back of the pack, whilst O’Sullivan saved his to continue with little time lost. At this point the championship was O’Sullivan’s, but this is finale day, there was another twist. The heavens opened forcing a red flag, with time and daylight fading the result was called with only 49% of the race completed half points were awarded. Browning claimed the title as he had enough point advantage becoming the 2020 F4 champion. 

Porsche Carrera Cup GB

There are no words that can sum up Harry King’s achievements in the Porsche Carrera Cup. The scholarship winner has been untouchable with twelve wins across the season, securing the title at the previous round at Snetterton. The two races at Brands Hatch were no different, King winning both races, but forced to work hard in them, Will Martin pushed King all the way in the first outing as Ryan Ratcliffe won ProAm with Lucky Khera enjoying his maiden AM victory. The partial reverse grid for the final race, saw King take 12 laps to make his way through again finishing ahead of Martin. Aaron Mason enjoyed victory in the ProAm ahead of the champion Esmee Hawkey, with the AM victory going the way of serial winner Justin Sherwood. 

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Photo Credit: Harry King Racing (Dan Bathie)

Ginetta Juniors

The Juniors couldn’t of been more closely matched. Three drivers came into the final rounds with a shot at the title. Josh Rattican closed the gap at the top with victory in the first race ahead of fellow championship rival Tom Lebbon, Bailey Voisin endured a difficult opener finishing in eighth partly due to a penalty from overlapping another car under the safety car. The second race was cut short due to a start line crash which caused an immediate red flag as William Vincent took a while to climb out of his battered car, were pleased to report all three drivers are fine after the nasty shunt. Upon the restart Josh Miller grabbed the lead ahead of Lebbon, to claim his first win in the series, with much of the race under the safety the last lap sprint saw Voisin jump up the order to fourth throwing everything he could at chasing his rivals, but it wasn’t enough as Lebbon crossed the line to take the crown and in his rookie year in the championship. 

Ginetta GT4 Supercup

Will Burns came into this meeting knowing he didn’t have to do anything drastic to win the title, he did just that, not fighting for positions and making no mistakes in race one he took fourth place which was enough to win the championship. Adam Smalley raced up the road to victory with Gus Burton, Burns nearest rival finishing second. Colin White secured the ProAm title which left just the AM title up for grabs in the second outing. Greasy conditions greeted them on the Sunday, with the title sewn up Burns was more aggressive, Gus Burton raced off into an early lead after a great start. Burns caught up with race one winner Smalley and battled past him, it was being in the Am class were the attention was growing. Stewart Lines had to finish second to win, with Carl Garnett his nearest rival passing him and moving into the lead, Lines’s attention turned to behind him as Nick Halstead pressurised him all race long, looking for a way past Halstead ran out of laps, allowing Lines to cross the finish in second enough to secure the Am title. 

Mini Challenge

Like many of the other championships, this closely fought one make series saw three drivers come to Brands Hatch with a chance, Nathan Harrison had a reasonable championship lead ahead of 2018 champion Ant Whorton-Eales and Dan Zelos. Former Clio cup racer Max Coates started on pole but found the damp circuit tricky having a sideway moment down Paddock Hill on lap one to fall down the order, he would eventually finish fifth. Max Bird lead the race from start to finish being chased down by Harrison, Zelos and Whorton-Eales. The result meant the title went to the final round with Harrison still in the box seat. The top ten reversed Harrison tried to stay out of trouble, a few close moments with fellow competitors made for a tense finish, Zelos moved up the grid to finish second behind Lewis Brown, but Whorton-Eales couldn’t progress as far only finishing in eighth one place ahead of Harrison, this allowed Harrison to win the 2020 Mini Challenge title, he will be looking to move up to BTCC next year after this title win.  

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Nathan Harrison, Photo Credit: JEP