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Race report
BTCC Thruxton

BTCC Thruxton: Hill beats the Fords to close in on series lead

Jake Hill took a superb win in the first race of the British Touring Car Championship round at Thruxton to close in on the series lead.

Jake Hill

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Hill launched his Laser Tools-liveried West Surrey Racing BMW 330e M Sport to the front of the pack from third on the grid while poleman Tom Ingram got swallowed up.

The diminutive Kentishman had established a comfortable advantage by the end of the opening lap, but found that hard work ruined by an arguably unnecessary safety car to retrieve a tyre stack that had been biffed into the track at the exit of the chicane by Andrew Watson, who had found himself with no room to manoeuvre other than into the corner-cutting deterrent.

That appeared to pull Hill into great risk from the chasing Alliance Racing-run NAPA Ford Focuses of Dan Cammish, who had access to six laps of hybrid usage compared to three for the BMW, and championship leader Ash Sutton, who was allowed just one lap of hybrid.

But Cammish couldn’t match the pace of Hill at the restart, and after the first lap of green-flag racing the BMW was over a second to the good.

The gap ebbed and flowed depending on who was using hybrid at which time, but Hill never came under serious attack and took the chequered flag 1.216 seconds clear.

Sutton, along with the Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N of Tom Ingram, ran out of what little hybrid they had very early in the race.

Cammish, Sutton and Ingram stayed close throughout, but without changing position.

“What an amazing achievement – to get a win somewhere I didn’t really feel I’d be able to do it,” said Hill, who also got fastest lap and has therefore moved to just four points away from series leader Sutton.

“It didn’t feel like a race-winning car yesterday, but obviously it is.

“I had to manage it. There was a time when Dan got really close when he used his last lap of hybrid, so I thought, ‘Right, I’ll use my last lap too.’ That just gave me the opportunity to stay out of reach.”

Tom Ingram

Tom Ingram

Photo by: JEP

Dan Rowbottom in the third of the Alliance Fords had also run ahead of Ingram on the opening lap, after the Hyundai got rather pincered by the yellow-and-blue machines on the run to the Complex.

But a squiggly moment at Goodwood gave Ingram the run on Rowbottom, albeit the 2022 champion had to run two wheels on the grass, and the second Excelr8 Hyundai of Tom Chilton also got through.

Rowbottom barged his way back ahead of Chilton at the safety car restart, also opening up a gap for Josh Cook to demote the Surrey veteran in his Speedworks Motorsport-run LKQ Toyota Corolla.

Rowbottom got close to the Cammish-Sutton-Ingram trio in front of him, but fell away again, while Cook was an equally lonely sixth.

Chilton had to fend off the WSR BMWs of Adam Morgan and Colin Turkington, which he did before pulling away slightly in the closing stages for seventh.

Chilton then moved up to sixth in the results, and Cook to fifth, when Rowbottom was penalised down to seventh for having an overlap on the Hyundai at the safety car restart, even though he hadn't yet completed his overtaking move as they crossed the start-finish line.

Behind Morgan (eighth) and Turkington (ninth), Aron Taylor-Smith beat his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra team-mate Mikey Doble to the final slot in the top 10, after Doble had pulled off a sweet manoeuvre around the outside of the Complex on the Toyota of Rob Huff, who manages the former BMW Compact Cup and Ginetta GT5 champion.

BTCC Thruxton - Race 1 results

   
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4
   
   
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2
   
Cla Driver # Car Laps Time Interval km/h Retirement Points
1 United Kingdom J. Hill Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport   BMW 330e M Sport 18

25'25.141

       
2 United Kingdom D. Cammish NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 18

+1.216

25'26.357

1.216      
3 United Kingdom A. Sutton NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 18

+1.955

25'27.096

0.739      
4 United Kingdom T. Ingram Team Bristol Street Motors   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 18

+2.518

25'27.659

0.563      
5 United Kingdom D. Rowbottom NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 18

+7.918

25'33.059

5.400      
6 United Kingdom J. Cook LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 18

+13.147

25'38.288

5.229      
7 United Kingdom T. Chilton Team Bristol Street Motors   Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 18

+16.739

25'41.880

3.592      
8 United Kingdom A. Morgan Team BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 18

+18.765

25'43.906

2.026      
9 United Kingdom C. Turkington Team BMW   BMW 330e M Sport 18

+19.151

25'44.292

0.386      
10 Ireland A. Taylor-Smith Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing   Vauxhall Astra 18

+19.752

25'44.893

0.601      
11
M. Doble Evans Halshaw Power Maxed Racing
  Vauxhall Astra 18

+19.978

25'45.119

0.226      
12 United Kingdom R. Huff Toyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 18

+20.879

25'46.020

0.901      
13 United Kingdom A. Watson Toyota Gazoo Racing UK   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 18

+24.617

25'49.758

3.738      
14 United Kingdom A. Moffat LKQ Euro Car Parts with SYNETIQ   Toyota Corolla GR Sport 18

+26.964

25'52.105

2.347      
15
R. Pearson Team Bristol Street Motors
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 18

+27.400

25'52.541

0.436      
16 United Kingdom S. Osborne NAPA Racing UK   Ford Focus ST 18

+28.401

25'53.542

1.001      
17 United Kingdom C. Smiley Restart Racing   Cupra León 18

+34.709

25'59.850

6.308      
18
D. De Duckhams Racing with Bartercard
  Cupra León 18

+36.994

26'02.135

2.285      
19
N. Halstead Team Bristol Street Motors
  Hyundai i30 Fastback N Performance 18

+48.924

26'14.065

11.930      
dnf
S. Sumpton Restart Racing
  Cupra León 13

5 laps

    Retirement  

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