The final round of the 2019 BTCC season rolls back into Brands Hatch, this time on the fast sweeps of the full Grand Prix loop, the season will finish where it began and under similar conditions to the season opener, with sporadic rain and sunshine punctuating race day bringing mayhem.
The saturday saw Colin Turkington clinch pole position for race 1 after a strong run in qualifying, putting him in good stead to defend his title.
Sunday dawned to changeable weather conditions with rain & sunshine making tyre choice difficult for all the runners & riders. Race 1 saw Turkington bog down slightly off the line which allowed Ash Sutton to jump into the lead on the run into the first corner. Andrew Jordan began to apply pressure to Turkington but he resisted Jordans challenge and was able to start challenging Sutton for the lead of the race. Turkington pulled off an audacious move on Sutton at Druids to regain the lead of the race.
The safety car made an appearance as Matt Simpsons race came to a premature close as he skated off the track and careened into the barriers at Paddock Hill, destroying his FK2 Honda Civic Type R in the process. Whilst the safety car circulated, the rain came and a slew of cars dived into the pits to try and procure an advantage.
As the race restarted and the rain continued to fall, the front wheel drive cars started to move up the order. Rory Butcher relieved Turkington of the race lead as the BMW struggled in the increasingly slippery conditions. Meanwhile, the wet shod cars started to gain huge gobs of time as a downpour in the closing stages of the race saw Dan Cammish & Matt Neal on wet tyres thunder their way up the order. Cammish put in a stunning move round the outside of Paddock Hill on Rory Butcher to take the race lead and in the rain rocketed away from the rest of the grid. Colin Turkington meanwhile continued to drop back in the worsening conditions, both Matt Neal & Tom Chilton making last lap passes on the defending champion.
Josh Cook in the rain came to grief, sliding wildly at the top end of the track on the slippery surface and coming to rest in the gravel, it was game over and disappointment for the affable Josh Cook.
At the close of the race, Dan Cammish took the win with teammate Matt Neal in second, Tom Chilton rounded out the podium in third whilst Rory Butcher came home fourth with Colin Turkington in fifth.
Dan Cammish started from the pole after victory in race 1, but it was Turkington who made a strong start jumping up from 5th into 2nd. Turkington applying pressure to Cammish through Paddock Hill and up into Druids, behind the battle at the front of the pack, Jack Goff, Adam Morgan & Tom Oliphant all retired at the bottom of Paddock Hill. Goff slipped sideways and collected Tom Oliphant in the BMW which then saw Adam Morgan in his Mercedes A class getting caught up, all 3 cars suffered heavy damage which saw the safety car come out.
As this was going on, Colin Turkingtons strong start came to no good as he was collected by Matt Neal and spun off into the grass and plunged down the order. Turkington, under the subsequent safety car switched onto slick tyres.
Cammish led briefly as the race restarted, however Ash Sutton in a ballast-less Subaru Levorg managed to sneak past Cammish into the lead. Mark blundell meanwhile came to grief and spun off at druids and was beached in the gravel. The grid closed back up and it saw Ash Sutton sprint away on the restart with Dan Cammish unable to keep pace. Behind, a recovering Andrew Jordan duked it out with Matt Neal for fourth position and a robust move from Jordan saw contact made with Neal but Jordan making the move and giving chase to Cammish in 2nd place.
Andrew Jordan steadily chipped away at Cammish’s advantage, steadily reeling in Cammish. A considered and methodical move on Cammish out of the final corner gave Jordan a strong run on Cammish’s Honda allowing Jordan to sprint past on the run down to the first corner.
Jason Plato meanwhile at the tail end of the race was gaining and overhauling the cars ahead of him left, right & centre and was quickly in pursuit on Cammish on the final lap for 3rd place. Unfortunately Plato put a wheel on the grass through the fast right handed Sheen Curve, sending the car into a lurid slide onto the grass. It was a bit of respite for Cammish on the final lap.
The close of race 2 saw the first victory of the year for Ash Sutton with Andrew Jordan in second, Dan Cammish in third, Matt Neal in fourth and Tom Chilton rounding out the top five.
The reverse grid draw for Race 3 will see Senna Proctor starting from pole position. The final race will decide the champion. Dan Cammish holds an 8 point lead over Colin Turkington who will start race 3 from 25th position and there is a further 5 points back to Andrew Jordan. Turkington will simply need a miracle in Race three to secure the championship, whilst Jordan will need Cammish to finish well down the order and secure a victory as well to clinch the championship. The contact between Matt Neal & Colin Turkington on lap 1 would see Neal hit with a 5 place grid penalty going into the final race of the day.
Race 3 sees Senna Proctor start from pole position and with conditions a stark contrast to the other two races, with glorious golden sunshine bathing the Brands Hatch circuit for the final race of the season with a fully dry track.
As the cars got underway, Chris Smileys Honda Civic Type R ground to a halt on the formation lap, bringing his season to an unceremonious end. Stephen Jelley makes a phenomenal start from the race, blowing by Proctor into the lead. Andrew Jordan leapfrogs Cammish as the field bunches up round the lap.
Senna Proctor who started from the pole was steadily dropping down the order, Tom Chilton comes to grief at the top end of the circuit, spinning off and coming to rest in the tyre barriers. Jason Plato who started fifth putting all his years of experience to good use and has climbed into the lead, overhauling Jelley on the run down into Paddock Hill bend.
Rory Butcher meanwhile turned was turning the screw on Jelley’s BMW. Josh Cook meanwhile makes contact with Proctor at the penultimate corner, spinning Proctor off track. Colin Turkington meanwhile, bereft of ballast by lap 5 had managed to get himself up to tenth place, just 2 spots behind Cammish and setting a blinding pace in the BMW.
With the race wearing on, Ingram is applying more and more pressure to Dan Cammish’s Honda with Turkingtons BMW inches off the bumper of Ingram’s Toyota. Ollie Jackson meanwhile in sixth place in acting as a cork in the bottle for Cammish, Ingram & Turkington. Turkington on lap 9 puts a move on Ingram and is now on the tail of championship leader Dan Cammish.
With just 5 laps of the race to go, Cammish & Turkington are nose to tail, on lap 12 at Druids, Turkington puts a move on Cammish which sees Ingram go back ahead of Cammish as well. Turkington now moving onto Ollie Jackson, applying immense pressure to the visibly slower Jackson, but coming under increasing pressure from Tom Ingram.
Andrew Jordan in fifth place meanwhile is starting to close on Josh Cook ahead of him. Jackson meanwhile slips up and causes Cammish as well to drop back, coming under increasing pressure from Adam Morgan & Tom Oliphant. Lap 14 sees Dan Cammish spins off the track luridly and slam into the barriers, retiring on the spot, the end of his championship challenge and a bitterly cruel turn of fate for Cammish. The car snapping sideways suddenly, the cause being brake failure.
Jason Plato meanwhile takes race victory with Rory Butcher in second and Ash Sutton in third, Andrew Jordan in fourth & Josh Cook rounds out the top five. Colin Turkington finished in sixth and with it secures his fourth BTCC title.
As the 2019 BTCC season rounds up, Colin Turkington clinches the championship with 320 points, while Andrew Jordan & Dan Cammish are tied for second place in the championship with 318 points. Josh Cook finishes in fourth with 278 points & Rory Butcher takes fifth in the championship after a fantastic debut year in the BTCC with 266 points.
The British Touring Car Championship will return in 2020 on 28th/29th March with a revised calendar, with the season opening at Donington Park. We hope you’ve enjoyed Racing 24-7’s coverage of the 2019 BTCC, we’re already counting down the days till the next season.
Race 1 results
- Dan Cammish
- Matt Neal
- Tom Chilton
- Rory Butcher
- Colin Turkington
Race 2 results
- Ash Sutton
- Andrew Jordan
- Dan Cammish
- Matt Neal
- Tom Chilton
Race 3 results
- Jason Plato
- Rory Butcher
- Ash Sutton
- Andrew Jordan
- Josh Cook
- Colin Turkington – 320 points
- Andrew Jordan – 318 points
- Dan Cammish – 318 points
- Josh Cook – 278 points
- Rory Butcher – 266 points – 2019 independents/Jack sears trophy champion
- Tom Ingram – 245 points
- Jason Plato – 237 points
- Ash Sutton – 233 points
- Matt Neal – 232 points
- Tom Chilton – 200 points
- Tom Oliphant – 178 points
- Adam Morgan – 155 points – Dunlop #foreverforward champion
- Sam Tordoff – 147 points
- Chris Smiley – 132 points
- Jake Hill – 131 points
- Rob Collard – 118 points
- Stephen Jelley – 105 points
- Aiden Moffat – 89 points
- Ollie Jackson – 81 points
- Senna Proctor – 47 points
- Jack Goff – 40 points
- Bobby Thompson – 35 points
- Matt Simpson – 33 points
- Mike Bushel – 27 points
- Michael Caine – 16 points
- Michael Crees – 11 points
- Daniel Rowbottom – 5 points
- Mark Blundell – 5 points
- Carl Boardley – 5 points
- Sam Osborne – 2 points
- Rob Smith – 2 points
- Nic Hamilton – 0 points