The final round of the 2020 BTCC season wraps at the short, quickfire Brands Hatch Indy circuit with Colin Turkington entering the final round as the championship leader with Ash Sutton in close contention. Dan Cammish & Tom Ingram stand a chance of taking the championship, both requiring race victories to bring themselves into contention while Rory Butcher, very much a wildcard is mathematically in with a shout of the title providing he wins and those ahead of him come to grief.
Coming into the weekend news was already breaking in relation to the runners and riders in the 2021 championship. Trade price cars announcing a partnership with Team Excelr8 squad seeing Trade price running Hyundai i30N fastbacks for the 2021 season, retiring the venerable Audi S3 saloon. Jake Hill meanwhile announced that he will continue with MB Racing by Blue Square for the 2021 season after enjoying a strong 2020 season with the newly set up squad run by Mark Blundell.
Saturday saw mixed conditions as heavy rain swept across the UK, but it was Tom Ingram who snatched pole position in the changing conditions. Championship leader Colin Turkington whose BMW 330 was heavy with ballast qualified in 8th for race 1 on Sunday, less than ideal to defend his championship lead with the BMW lacking the pace of the other championship challenging machinery.
Race 1 started in wet conditions, with the weather rapidly worsening as the race wore on. Tom Ingram made a good getaway, but it was Ash Sutton who made a mega start in the rear driven Infiniti. Despite this good start, Sutton just couldn’t find a way past Ingram’s Toyota in the early running.
The rain continued to fall more and more as the race went on, the safety made a brief appearance as Glyn Geddie & Sam Osbourne came to grief coming into Druids, following this there was a heated exchange off the track between Glyn & Sam as to who was at fault. The safety car peeled into the pits with 15 laps left to run, Ingram led away from the restart but came under immense pressure from the chasing pack. Dan Cammish pulled off an audacious move into Druids, the FK8 Honda Civic slithering around under braking in the wet conditions.
It wasn’t long before Ash Sutton was able to pass Ingram and began charging his way forwards towards Cammish’s Honda, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process. Despite Sutton’s best efforts, he wasn’t able to reign in the Honda.
Dan Cammish snathed victory with Ash Sutton finishing in 2nd with Tom Ingram in 3rd, Rory Butcher in 4th & Ollie Jackson in 5th. Colin Turkington finished all the way down in 9th and conceded the championship lead to Ash Sutton, who holds a 2 point advantage heading into race 2.
Race 2 saw dramatically different conditions to race 1. The sun had his hat on and the wind had picked up, drying the track out, but despite this there were still damp patches off the racing line, which would make overtaking a more challenging affair. The field running on slicks with the exception of a single Team HARD VW Passats & Tom Chilton’s BTC Racing Honda.
Mayhem ensued at the race start with Dan Cammish being crowded out & overtaken by Ash Sutton, the Motorbase Focus ST’s of Butcher & Jackson went three wide, the concertiner effect saw Butcher, Jackson & Jake Hill go off into the gravel but back on track. Tom Ingram & Dan Cammish both drifting luridly through Paddock Hill in tandem. Tom Chilton on wet tyres scythed through the order to jump into the lead and run away from Sutton in second place, the track conditions favouring the wets in the early going.
Tom Ingram meanwhile was the big loser in the opening laps, dropping down to 11th but rapidly recovering as the track dried and the conditions came to the slick shod cars. Chilton at the head of the field on wet tyres was rapidly being reeled in by Sutton’s slick shod Infiniti, on lap 9 Sutton jumped into the lead, blasting past Chilton’s Honda.
Dan Cammish, Tom Ingram & Colin Turkington duked it out for 5th & 6th positions, Turkington still not quite having the pace of the cars around him. Turkington meanwhile found himself in strife, contact with Josh Cook’s Honda saw Turkington pick up some minor front end damage, smoke billowing from the bodywork rubbing on the front right tyre & subsequently being pressured by Ollie Jackson’s Focus ST.
Turkington, fired up by the contact with Cook lunged away from the chasing Ollie Jackson and rapidly closed up to the back of Dan Cammish’s Honda, the BMW carrying little in the way of ballast while the Honda was bloated with 60kg of ballast. Further up the road, Ash Sutton had set sail with a 7 second gap over the charging Tom Ingram. Turkington continued to stay within striking distance of Cammish’s Honda. The overtake on Cammish came amidst a superb moment of opportunism. Paul Rivett’s Audi S3, stranded in the middle of the track between Paddock Hill, almost T-boned by Turkington & Cammish. Turkington breathed off the throttle and snuck in front of Cammish, who stood on the brakes after seeing the Audi broadside in the middle of the track. Turkington’s overtake would come back to haunt him, with stewards deeming Turkington to have gained an advantage under yellow flags, a two second penalty was handed down which saw Cammish elevated into third post race.
Ash Sutton clinched victory in race 2, extending his championship lead to 11 points heading into the final race. Tom Ingram charged his way to a 2nd place finish with Dan Cammish in 3rd, Colin Turkington 4th & Ollie Jackson 5th.
The reverse grid race would see Aiden Moffatt start from pole position for the final race of the 2020 BTCC season, fully shuffling the grid, which would see championship leader Sutton starting from 12th with Turkington starting from 10th.
Prior to the start of race 3, the rain had started to fall once again, forcing teams back onto wet tyres to deal with the greasy track conditions and as the cars set off on their formation lap, the clouds gathered above Brands Hatch and the rain started falling again.
Aiden Moffatt made a blinding start off the line, charging away , but it didn’t last long as Aiden Moffat plunged down the order. Dan Cammish & Tom Ingram both climbed up the order, overhauling Sutton in the process who seemed to be struggling for grip in the ballast heavy Infiniti. Cammish found himself defending hard from Sutton for 9th position. Colin Turkington had climbed up into 5th place. Dan Cammish pulled off a sublime pair of overtakes in as many corners, nipping past Moffatt & Ollie Jackson & charging up the order. Stephen Jelley’s championship ended unceremoniously, the BMW 125 rear ended into the gravel at Druids and stuck in the gravel.
Tom Ingram meanwhile piled the pressure onto Colin Turkington for fifth place, allowing the chasing pack to close in. Ingram made the move stick on Turkington into the penultimate corner. The following lap saw Cammish sneak past Turkington’s BMW 330 while Ash Sutton behind jumped up another position into 8th, putting him behind Turkington. At the head of the field, Rory Butcher had long set sail from Adam Morgan’s Mercedes. Ash Sutton continued to pressure Colin Turkington for 7th position, the heavier Infiniti seeming more settled in the wet conditions than the BMW.
Tom Ingram & Dan Cammish meanwhile had climbed further up the order, taking advantage of contact between Jake Hill & Josh Cook seeing Cammish up into 4th & Ingram all the way up into 2nd. Cammish meanwhile pushed Adam Morgan wide at Druids, slipping into the Mercedes in the wet conditions and seeing Cammish moving up into 3rd. Sutton meanwhile continued to hold station behind Turkington’s, not taking any unnecessary risks as the championship leader. On lap 19, Sutton had enough and snuck past Turkington’s BMW on the run down to Paddock Hill bend.
Sutton continued to climb up the order, overtaking Josh Cook, the later phase of the race favouring the rear wheel drive cars as the front driven cars began to wear their tyres to the limit.
Rory Butcher charged home to a dominant race win with Tom Ingram in 2nd, Jake Hill in 3rd, Dan Cammish in 4th & Adam Morgan in 5th.
Ash Sutton, after a superb weekend, clinched his second BTCC championship title. It also marks the first time a spec TOCA engined car has won the BTCC title since the introduction of the NGTC rules in 2012. Colin Turkington after a mixed weekend of racing finished 2nd in the championship, 14 points behind Sutton while Dan Cammish finished 3rd, just 2 points adrift of Turkington. Tom Ingram finished his 2020 campaign in 4th, 8 points behind Cammish while Rory Butcher ended the championship in 5th, 40 points behind Tom Ingram.
BMW claimed a commanding teams championship title, while Michael Crees won the Jack Sears trophy in his BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R.
As always, until next time, stay safe, and Racing 24-7 will be back in 2021 for more coverage of the British Touring Car Championship, in what will hopefully be a less challenging year than 2020.
2020 BTCC Drivers championship standings:
- Ash SUTTON – 350
- Colin TURKINGTON – 336
- Dan CAMMISH – 334
- Tom INGRAM – 326
- Rory BUTCHER – 286
- Tom OLIPHANT – 228
- Jake HILL – 212
- Adam MORGAN – 206
- Josh COOK – 196
- Tom CHILTON – 184
- Matt NEAL – 181
- Ollie JACKSON – 152
- Senna PROCTOR – 141
- Chris SMILEY – 106
- Aiden MOFFAT – 105
- Stephen JELLEY – 72
- Michael CREES – 50
- Bobby THOMPSON – 44
- Sam OSBORNE – 29
- James GORNALL – 18
- Carl BOARDLEY – 18
- Rob AUSTIN – 13
- Jack GOFF – 11
- Andy NEATE – 3
- Ollie BROWN – 3
- Jack BUTEL – 2
- Mike BUSHELL – 1
- Nicolas HAMILTON – 1
- Glynn GEDDIE – 1
- Paul RIVETT – 1
- Tom ONSLOW-COLE – 0
- Jade EDWARDS – 0
- Ethan HAMMERTON – 0
- Jac CONSTABLE – 0
- Jess HAWKINS – 0
- Brad PHILPOT – 0
2020 BTCC Teams championship standings:
- Team BMW – 550
- Halfords Yuasa Racing – 505
- Laser Tools Racing – 439
- Motorbase Performance – 426
- BTC Racing – 371
- Toyota Gazoo Racing UK with Ginsters – 316
- Excelr8 Motorsport – 246
- Carlube TripleR Racing with Mac Tools – 207
- MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square – 183*x3
- Team Parker Racing – 72
- GKR TradePriceCars.com – 63
- The Clever Baggers with BTC Racing – 40*
- HUB Financial Solutions with TeamHARD – 19
- RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport – 16
- Power Maxed Car Care Racing – 13
- ROKiT Racing with Team HARD – 1