Brands Hatch BTCC: Cook defeats Proctor as Sutton extends lead

Josh Cook claimed victory in the first race of the British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch, as Ash Sutton extended his points lead with two races remaining.

Brands Hatch BTCC: Cook defeats Proctor as Sutton extends lead

Cook, who had the slenderest of mathematical chances of the crown entering the weekend, lined up second behind the sister BTC Racing Honda Civic Type R of Senna Proctor, but demoted the Yorkshireman into Druids on the opening lap.

Carrying 39kg of success ballast on the Honda, Cook could not pull out a gap on Proctor, but was not challenged on his way to victory by 0.639 seconds.

Attentions instead turned to Gordon Shedden, who got past Team Dynamics Honda team-mate Dan Rowbottom for third into Paddock Hill Bend on the second lap.

Shedden then set fastest lap as he closed on the BTC Honda pair, before the safety car appeared due to Andy Neate – who announced his retirement from BTCC competition this morning – going off in the gravel at Druids.

The safety car appeared to take the sting out of the contest and, while Proctor couldn’t get a run on Cook, neither could Shedden on Proctor.

Dan Lloyd took advantage of Shedden’s move on Rowbottom to slip his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra into fourth place at Druids, and held position from there in a processional contest.

Sutton brought his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 home in sixth place ahead of Colin Turkington, while 12th place for Jake Hill and 13th for Tom Ingram mean that they, along with Cook, are now out of contention for the title, which is between Sutton and Turkington.

Turkington is now the only other driver who can deny Sutton the title

Turkington is now the only other driver who can deny Sutton the title

Photo by: Jakob Ebrey Photography

Turkington jinked his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330i M Sport inside Aiden Moffat’s LTR Infiniti at Paddock for seventh on the opening lap, and applied pressure to Sutton early on, but the Infiniti drew away after the safety car.

Tom Chilton was ninth in his Ciceley Motorsport BMW, while Stephen Jelley’s WSR BMW followed him for most of the race.

Jelley’s car sounded off-song in the closing stages and he slid down the order, promoting a ferocious scrap between Ollie Jackson’s Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus and Tom Oliphant’s WSR BMW.

Jackson pipped Oliphant to 10th, while Hill held off a ferocious attack from Ingram for 12th, which included a nerf at Clearways as they passed the slowing Jelley.

The result also secured BMW its sixth successive BTCC manufacturers' crown, while Laser Tools Racing wrapped up the Independent teams' title.

Brands Hatch BTCC race 1 results (17 laps):

Cla Driver Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Josh Cook 27'24.748  
2 United Kingdom Senna Proctor 27'25.387 0.639
3 United Kingdom Gordon Shedden 27'26.270 1.522
4 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 27'27.135 2.387
5 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 27'27.769 3.021
6 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 27'29.469 4.721
7 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 27'31.421 6.673
8 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 27'32.829 8.081
9 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 27'34.346 9.598
10 United Kingdom Ollie Jackson 27'42.098 17.350
11 United Kingdom Tom Oliphant 27'42.286 17.538
12 United Kingdom Jake Hill 27'43.202 18.454
13 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 27'43.392 18.644
14 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 27'43.532 18.784
15 United Kingdom Chris Smiley 27'43.551 18.803
16 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 27'43.896 19.148
17 United Kingdom Jack Goff 27'44.729 19.981
18 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 27'46.433 21.685
19 United Kingdom Jason Plato 27'46.895 22.147
20 United Kingdom Sam Smelt 27'47.659 22.911
21 United Kingdom Jack Mitchell 27'49.792 25.044
22 United Kingdom Carl Boardley 27'55.243 30.495
23 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 27'55.545 30.797
24 Rick Parfitt Jr. 27'55.723 30.975
25 Andy Wilmot 28'02.441 37.693
26 Jade Edwards 28'04.060 39.312
27 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 28'38.147 1'13.399
  Nicolas Hamilton 20'09.568 5 Laps
  Andy Neate 6'32.488 13 Laps
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Brands Hatch BTCC: Proctor leads Honda 1-2-3-4 as Sutton heads title contenders
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