Sutton leads the way as pressure builds for 2023 title contenders
As the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads toward its final showdown next month, there is one more pivotal stop before the winners are crowned at Brands Hatch. The legendary Silverstone Circuit will host Rounds 25, 26 and 27 for the penultimate race weekend on the calendar (23/24 September).
The BTCC utilises Silverstone’s short 1.64-mile National Circuit layout to maximise the action for fans, all of whom can enjoy grandstand seating at some of the world’s most famous corners. Long straights and tight turns make for several overtaking opportunities on every lap, so action is guaranteed throughout.
Last race weekend (26/27 August), the BTCC returned to Donington Park where the GP layout was run for the first time since 2002. Like Silverstone, Donington Park is a BTCC staple and holds many fond memories for the championship.
NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton gave yet another strong performance by securing pole in qualifying and then claiming victory in the opener. His overall tally across the day leaves him 42 points clear of title rival Tom Ingram (BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8) who, after close battles with Sutton, triumphed in the second bout.
Jake Hill (Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport) who is also in with a title chance, brought home a healthy haul of points and two podiums. He was also bumped up to second in Race 1 after a final lap battle left Ingram saddled with a penalty, demoting him to third.
Record-equalling four-time champion Colin Turkington (Team BMW) is arguably the final name in with an outside chance of stealing back his crown, although a monumental challenge lies ahead for the experienced Northern Irishman.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK’s Rory Butcher inherited the Race 3 win at Donington Park after Daniel Lloyd (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils), who was drawn for pole in the reverse grid, suffered technical issues on the last half of the final lap, forcing him to spin into retirement.
Árón Taylor-Smith of CarStore Power Maxed Racing had a weekend to remember where he claimed P2 in the final race. This was Taylor-Smith's first podium in seven years and leaves him second in the Independents' standings.
Josh Cook (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) and the team still hold sway for the Independents' honours, despite his Race 3 DNF, with Cook being a commanding 92 points clear of Taylor-Smith. Behind the top two it is a very close competition with only six points separating places three to six.
Car Store Power Maxed Racing will be looking for additional success too, with two of the team’s stars – Andrew Watson and Mikey Doble – holding the top two spots in the Jack Sears Trophy. Only 30 points separate the top four so NAPA Racing UK’s Sam Osborne and Dexter Patterson (Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD) will be looking to earn some crucial points.
Ingram boasts a strong track record at his local circuit with hopes of closing the gap between himself and Sutton ahead of the Brands Hatch finale.
Turkington is also a home hero of sorts, having moved to the area in recent years, and he'll be gunning for personal glory as well as helping to keep BMW on the top of the Manufacturers' standings.
After a challenging campaign so far, local star Jade Edwards (One Motorsport with Starline Racing) will be hoping to wow her home crowd and push for vital points.
TV, Timetables and Tickets
Complimenting the tin top racing will be a sensational line-up of support series, as the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, Porsche Sprint Challenge Great Britain, Vertu Motors MINI CHALLENGE and Caterham SEVEN UK Championship completes the schedule of exciting races.
Saturday’s BTCC qualifying session will be streamed live via ITV Sport’s YouTube channel from 1530. On Sunday, the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be LIVE on ITV4 from 1100-1810.