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Race report
BTCC Brands Hatch (Indy Circuit)

BTCC Brands Hatch: Pearson leads Excelr8 1-2 with maiden victory

Second-year British Touring Car Championship racer Ronan Pearson took his maiden win in the series in consummate style in the finale at Brands Hatch.

Ronan Pearson, Bristol Street Motors with EXCELR8 Hyundai i30 N Fastback

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

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Second-year British Touring Car Championship racer Ronan Pearson took his maiden win in the series in consummate style in the finale at Brands Hatch.

The Scot was armed with a set of soft tyres upon his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N from reversed-grid pole position, but so was the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra of front-row partner Aron Taylor-Smith.

Taylor-Smith got a lightning start to move in front when the lights went out, but Pearson muscled his way back past the Vauxhall at Clearways to complete the opening lap in front.

Pearson was able to extend a gap of two seconds within the first five laps, with Taylor-Smith just not having the pace of the leader and 

Chief pursuer of the Vauxhall was Aiden Moffat, his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla also on soft tyres, but a technical problem sent the Scot into the pits and retirement at half-distance.

Tom Chilton moved up to third position, also on soft rubber in his Excelr8 Hyundai, with Ash Sutton, in turn, homing in at the wheel of his soft-shod Alliance Racing-run NAPA Ford Focus ST, once he had demoted medium-tyred team-mate Dan Cammish.

Chilton looked feisty in third place, and finally pulled off a spectacular move at Paddock Hill Bend with five laps remaining, throwing the Hyundai down the inside of Taylor-Smith, and knocking the Vauxhall wide as he controlled his wild slide.

That allowed Sutton past Taylor-Smith too, but the reigning champion had nothing for Chilton, who crossed the line 3.665 seconds behind the victorious Pearson.

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images


Sutton, instead, had to keep on his toes to fend off Taylor-Smith, who didn’t give up the chase.

“This has been such a long road,” said former Mini Challenge star Pearson. “To be a BTCC race winner is just incredible. Someone was peeling onions on my in-lap I reckon!

“The car was incredible. Tom Ingram’s engineer and my engineer said, ‘If you’ve got a decent buffer not every lap needs to be a qualifying lap’, but it probably was. You can’t afford to lose your focus.”

Cammish did well to keep in touch on his medium tyres to claim fifth, while Dan Rowbottom made it three Alliance Fords in the top six.

Colin Turkington, winner of the first two races of the day in his West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport, couldn’t find a way past the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport of Andrew Watson for seventh.

Rob Huff was ninth in his Speedworks Toyota ahead of the WSR BMW of Adam Morgan.

While there was Excelr8 joy at its 1-2, its lead driver Tom Ingram lost the championship lead to Sutton. He got up to seventh from 11th on the grid before being forced to the pits to replace a punctured left-front tyre.

Sutton, despite having no BTCC wins so far in 2024, has now leapfrogged interim leader Turkington to the top of the championship by two points, with Ingram eight further adrift.

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