With events now coming thick and fast, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship prepares for its fourth race weekend of the season at Thruxton in Hampshire on 3/4 June.
With nine races now complete, the 2023 title chase is well underway with Ash Sutton leading the Drivers’ charge. Yet, with the top five having all reached the rostrum so far this season, all will be to play for as the BTCC heads to the fastest circuit in the UK.
A stellar outing for NAPA Racing UK’s Sutton at Snetterton last time out saw him score a supreme double triumph across the first two races, after securing pole position in Saturday’s Qualifying session.
The three-time champ started race day with his 30th career victory, as he held off a late charge from Jake Hill’s Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW. This was followed by a dominant light-to-flag triumph in Round 8, ensuring the 29-year-old's spot at the top of the Drivers’ Standings.
Nearest rival Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) sits only seven points behind, after taking his first victory of the season during the finale at the Norfolk circuit. The reigning champion fought his way from seventh on the grid to first with a fantastic drive.
West Surrey Racing stablemates Colin Turkington and Jake Hill both achieved podiums on two occasions during the day, whilst TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher and NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Rowbottom completed the top three in the reverse grid race.
NAPA Racing UK’s success across the first three events, including claiming all available pole positions with three different drivers, has placed them top of the Teams’/ Manufacturers’ Standings.
Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils’ driver, Dan Lloyd, also claimed his first Independent Drivers’ victory of the season during the second race, helping retain his outfit’s lead in the Independent Teams’ Standings. However, it was One Motorsport with Starline Racing’s Josh Cook who took the advantage in the Drivers’ standings, after securing the other two Independents’ wins.
With ten BTCC victories around the 2.36-mile circuit to his name, Cook holds the record as the most successful driver in the series’ history at Thruxton, and the 32-year-old will no doubt be aiming to build on that figure next weekend.
Bath racer Cook is just one of the drivers to whom Thruxton is somewhat of a home event.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Ricky Collard lives in Hampshire, whilst NAPA Racing UK’s Dan Cammish has relocated from Leeds to Bracknell.
The circuit also marks the nearest for Jersey racer Jack Butel (Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown) so there will be a quartet of drivers vying for bragging rights at their closest racing venue.
TV, Timetables and Tickets
Complimenting the tin-top racing will be a sensational line-up of support series, as the Dunlop Mini Se7en Challenge supported by Mini Spares, Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, ROKiT F4 British Championship and MINI CHALLENGE completes the schedule of exciting races.
Saturday’s qualifying session will be streamed live via ITV Sport’s YouTube channel from 1515, before ITV4’s more than seven-hour race day broadcast gets underway at 1155 on Sunday.