Brands Hatch BTCC: Sutton takes title as rival Turkington retires

Ash Sutton claimed the British Touring Car Championship title in the final race of the season at Brands Hatch after rival Colin Turkington retired on the second lap

Brands Hatch BTCC: Sutton takes title as rival Turkington retires

Team BMR driver Sutton brought his Subaru Levorg home in third - behind the race winning Toyota Avensis of Rob Austin and Eurotech's Jack Goff - to claim the championship by an eventual winning margin of 21 points.

Sutton started the damp reversed-grid race two places behind WSR driver Turkington in 12th, with the pair working their way up the order in the opening sequence of corners in tandem.

Turkington put a car between himself and Sutton at the final corner on the opening lap by overtaking the Honda Civic Type R of Goff at Clearways to cross the line in fifth place, and then set about chasing after the leading quartet.

But Turkington's charge was brought to a premature end a matter of corners later, after a clash between him and Mat Jackson's Motorbase Ford Focus broke Turkington's rear suspension.

Speedworks Motorsport driver Tom Ingram tapped Jackson on the approach to Graham Hill bend and, seeking an opportunity to put more cars between himself and Sutton, Turkington went to overtake the pair on the run to Surtees.

Turkington cleared Ingram's Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis but, as he moved back on to the racing line, he and Jackson made contact that broke the right-rear upright on Turkington's BMW 125i M Sport.

The Northern Irishman returned to the pits but retired from the race with terminal damage.

That left Sutton - promoted to fourth as a result of the collision ahead - with an unassailable lead in the championship and able to cruise home to the finish.

While Austin had raced well clear at the front of the pack, Sutton clung to the back of Goff and the pair cleared the polesitting Team Hard Volkswagen CC of Mike Epps at Druids at mid-distance, three laps after a safety car period - thrown to recover the stranded Vauxhall Astra of Senna Proctor - had ended.

Sutton stalked Goff thereafter but did not attempt an overtake, and instead settled for third across the line to confirm a first crown in only his second season in the series.

"I'm lost for words," said Sutton.

"It's been a great team effort and I can't thank the team enough for this. It's a dream come true."

Austin eventually won the race by 3.185 seconds, in the final race for his Handy Motorsport team's Toyota Avensis before the squad switches to run an Alfa Romeo Giulietta from 2018, ahead of Goff.

Behind Sutton, Ingram was fourth in his Toyota Avensis and with that claimed third in the drivers' standings, beating Team Dynamics' Gordon Shedden by two points.

Epps clung on to finish a strong fifth ahead of Shedden's Civic, with Jackson bringing his Focus home in seventh and the second Dynamics Civic of Matt Neal finishing eighth.

Race three result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Rob Austin Handy Motorsport Toyota 17 31m25.679s
2 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 17 3.185s
3 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 17 4.741s
4 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 17 10.965s
5 Michael Epps Team Hard Volkswagen 17 13.978s
6 Gordon Shedden Dynamics/Honda Honda 17 15.024s
7 Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 17 15.330s
8 Matt Neal Dynamics/Honda Honda 17 16.008s
9 Adam Morgan Ciceley Racing Mercedes 17 22.924s
10 Jake Hill Team Hard Volkswagen 17 24.538s
11 Chris Smiley BTC Racing Chevrolet 17 25.254s
12 Rory Butcher Motorbase Ford 17 27.654s
13 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 17 29.191s
14 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 17 31.374s
15 Tom Chilton Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 17 31.757s
16 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 17 31.924s
17 Dave Newsham BTC Racing Chevrolet 17 32.385s
18 Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda 17 32.540s
19 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing Ford 17 35.108s
20 Aron Taylor-Smith Triple Eight/MG MG 17 35.319s
21 Stewart Lines Maximum Motorsport Ford 17 35.649s
22 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 17 37.243s
23 Martin Depper Motorbase Ford 17 40.577s
24 Matt Simpson Dynamics/Honda Honda 17 42.337s
25 Ant Whorton-Eales AmD Tuning Audi 17 45.225s
26 James Cole Team BMR Subaru 17 45.749s
- Josh Price Team BMR Subaru 9 Retirement
- Josh Cook Triple Eight/MG MG 7 Retirement
- Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 2 Retirement
- Colin Turkington WSR BMW 1 Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Ash Sutton 372
2 Colin Turkington 351
3 Tom Ingram 311
4 Gordon Shedden 309
5 Rob Collard 256
6 Jack Goff 245
7 Matt Neal 243
8 Mat Jackson 210
9 Andrew Jordan 203
10 Adam Morgan 187
11 Rob Austin 174
12 Jason Plato 146
13 Aiden Moffat 121
14 Dave Newsham 108
15 Tom Chilton 100
16 James Cole 79
17 Michael Epps 77
18 Josh Cook 75
19 Senna Proctor 63
20 Jake Hill 63
21 Chris Smiley 45
22 Ollie Jackson 42
23 Ant Whorton-Eales 34
24 Matt Simpson 30
25 Rob Huff 26
26 Jeff Smith 25
27 Aron Taylor-Smith 25
28 Martin Depper 22
29 Rory Butcher 20
30 Brett Smith 13
31 Josh Price 9
32 Luke Davenport 6
33 Daniel Lloyd 6
34 Stephen Jelley 2
35 Will Burns 0
36 Stewart Lines 0
37 Dennis Strandberg 0


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BTCC Brands Hatch: Turkington charge sets up title showdown

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