Smiley claims maiden BTCC victory in final Rockingham race

Chris Smiley won the final British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Rockingham to break his victory duck in the BTC Norlin Honda Civic

Smiley claims maiden BTCC victory in final Rockingham race

The Northern Irishman snatched the lead at the first run through the hairpin - which was slipper after a pre-race shower - when polesitter Tom Chilton (Motorbase Performance Ford Focus) was first to approach the corner and ran wide.

He was followed onto the grass by Matt Simpson (Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R) and Team Hard Volkswagen CC driver Mike Bushell. Reigning champion and race two winner Ash Sutton also ran off the road and was delayed in his Team BMR Subaru Levorg.

Smiley took charge and was pursued by Rory Butcher in the AmD Tuning MG6 until lap 10, when the Scot slid off at the Deene hairpin, leaving Smiley a clear run to the finish.

"This has been such a long time coming," said Smiley. "I am over the moon, and I have worked so hard to get here. I can't thank the team enough."

With Butcher rejoining in sixth, second place was only decided at the very last corner as Colin Turkington's WSR BMW 125i M Sport capitalised on Simpson, who had recovered from his earlier slip, running wide at the Brook chicane.

Turkington launched his car up the inside and beat Simpson off the corner, with the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus of Sam Tordoff narrowly missing out on grabbing a first podium of the season too from Simpson.

Turkington said he had gone into the race with an aggressive strategy: "I was concerned about the rain, because those aren't the best conditions for a rear-wheel-drive car, but I had to go for it.

"I took calculated risks and it was a race of patience. I could see Simpson's tyres had gone off by the end, and I pounced."

Behind Tordoff in fourth, Tom Ingram grabbed an unchallenged fifth. Butcher followed, while one of the drives of the race came from Team Hard VW CC man Bobby Thompson, who advanced from 28th to seventh.

The top 10 was rounded out by race one winner Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class), Ollie Jackson's AmD Tuning Audi and the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R of Dan Cammish.

The results of the weekend's three races mean that Turkington leads the standings by four points from Ingram. Reigning champion Sutton is 32 points adrift in third.

Result - 16 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Chris Smiley BTC Norlin Honda 23m56.878s
2 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 3.563s
3 Matt Simpson Eurotech Racing Honda 5.156s
4 Sam Tordoff Motorbase Ford 5.187s
5 Tom Ingram Speedworks Toyota 5.305s
6 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning MG 9.781s
7 Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen 12.970s
8 Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 17.083s
9 Ollie Jackson AmD Tuning Audi 17.811s
10 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 18.060s
11 Jason Plato Team BMR Subaru 18.420s
12 Josh Cook Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 19.323s
13 Tom Oliphant Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes 20.542s
14 Senna Proctor Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 20.954s
15 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 21.223s
16 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 21.956s
17 Ash Sutton Team BMR Subaru 22.818s
18 Rob Austin HMS Racing Alfa Romeo 23.217s
19 Jack Goff Eurotech Racing Honda 23.424s
20 Mike Bushell Team Hard Volkswagen 24.171s
21 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Mercedes 28.183s
22 Ollie Pidgley Team Hard Volkswagen 37.111s
- Glynn Geddie AmD Tuning MG Retirement
- Sam Smelt AmD Tuning Audi Retirement
- Daniel Lloyd BTC Norlin Honda Retirement
- James Cole Motorbase Ford Retirement
- Tom Chilton Motorbase Ford Retirement
- Andrew Jordan WSR BMW Retirement
- Michael Caine Team Hard Volkswagen Retirement
- Brett Smith Eurotech Racing Honda Retirement
- Ricky Collard WSR BMW Retirement

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Colin Turkington 220
2 Tom Ingram 216
3 Ash Sutton 188
4 Jack Goff 176
5 Matt Neal 176
6 Adam Morgan 169
7 Tom Chilton 169
8 Josh Cook 166
9 Andrew Jordan 161
10 Senna Proctor 130
11 Dan Cammish 129
12 Sam Tordoff 128
13 Chris Smiley 124
14 Matt Simpson 98
15 Rob Collard 86
16 Rob Austin 72
17 Rory Butcher 71
18 Daniel Lloyd 59
19 James Cole 59
20 Aiden Moffat 58
21 Ollie Jackson 54
22 Mike Bushell 49
23 Brett Smith 43
24 Tom Oliphant 38
25 Jake Hill 29
26 Jason Plato 26
27 Bobby Thompson 23
28 Tom Boardman 14
29 Ant Whorton-Eales 6
30 James Nash 6
31 Stephen Jelley 2

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Series BTCC
Drivers Chris Smiley
Teams BTC Racing
Author Matt James
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