Snetterton BTCC: Butcher makes late pass to secure race three win

Rory Butcher prevailed for his second British Touring Car Championship victory in the final Snetterton race after profiting from a frantic battle between former team-mates Ashley Sutton and Jason Plato

Snetterton BTCC: Butcher makes late pass to secure race three win

The once Team BMR stablemates were side-by-side for much of the race in an incredible battle for the lead, but they came to blows with two laps to go, which sent Sutton spinning across the track and dropped Plato to an eventual fifth.

BTC Racing's Chris Smiley was drawn on pole for the partially reversed grid, but Sutton in the rear-wheel drive Subaru Levorg - and on the softest compound rubber - made a superior getaway from second.

The duo ran alongside each other into Turn 1, but Smiley braked later with Sutton on the outside.

That opened the door for third-starting Plato to dive into the lead in his Vauxhall Astra.

As Sutton consolidated second place, he chased after Plato and was much faster through the corners, but lost ground each lap thanks to the Levorg's straight-line deficits.

Plato held a 0.5s lead at the end of the opening lap, but continued to weave on the straights in an effort to bring heat into his hard-compound tyres.

A run on the fifth lap allowed Sutton to draw alongside through Oggies after a good exit from Hamilton, but Plato turned in early to nudge Sutton wide and allow Smiley back into second.

With one second covering the top five, Sutton closed and repassed Smiley on the inside through Turn 3 and within two corners closed up to Plato again.

The pair were wheel-to-wheel across the line and Sutton braked later into the first corner to get a nose ahead into the Wilson Hairpin and pulled through for the lead after an excellent battle.

Plato then fought back with a nudge into the hairpin, which pitched Sutton wide and brought 12th-starting, soft-shod Butcher into contention.

With the AMD Tuning driver much stronger in a straight line, the three drew alongside one another into Brundle.

Butcher had the inside line to take the lead as Plato ran wide and clattered into Sutton, which put the Levorg over the sausage kerb and backwards onto the track.

It delayed Plato and put Butcher 2.3s to the good with only two laps remaining, and from there he was never caught despite the late pace of weekend-long struggler Josh Cook, who finished runner up despite lining up only 15th on the grid.

Smiley retained third position after letting his quicker BTC Racing team-mate through, while Collard earned Power Maxed Racing honours over Plato in fifth.

Andrew Jordan claimed some ground back to points leader Colin Turkington, thanks to a sixth-place finish ahead of Butcher's team-mate Sam Tordoff.

Race one winner Tom Ingram ended up eighth ahead of Ollie Jackson and Turkington.

Sutton dropped to an eventual 20th, while early contender Jake Hill retired on lap eight.

Race three results - 12 laps

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Rory Butcher AmD Tuning Honda 23m55.854s
2 Josh Cook BTC Racing Honda 1.450s
3 Chris Smiley BTC Racing Honda 8.275s
4 Rob Collard Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 8.748s
5 Andrew Jordan WSR BMW 9.873s
6 Sam Tordoff AmD Tuning Honda 10.272s
7 Ollie Jackson Motorbase Performance Ford 16.985s
8 Tom Ingram Speedworks Motorsport Toyota 17.165s
9 Colin Turkington WSR BMW 17.385s
10 Jack Goff Team Hard Volkswagen 17.517s
11 Matt Neal Team Dynamics Honda 18.483s
12 Tom Chilton Motorbase Performance Ford 19.449s
13 Matt Simpson Simpson Racing Honda 20.270s
14 Sam Osborne Excelr8 Motorsport MG 20.556s
15 Dan Cammish Team Dynamics Honda 21.150s
16 Stephen Jelley Team Parker Racing BMW 21.552s
17 Jason Plato Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall 24.598s
18 Nicolas Hamilton Motorbase Performance Ford 26.560s
19 Rob Smith Excelr8 Motorsport MG 26.912s
20 Ash Sutton BMR Racing Subaru 27.567s
21 Aiden Moffat Laser Tools Racing Infiniti 33.725s
- Senna Proctor BMR Racing Subaru Retirement
- Carl Boardley Team Hard Volkswagen Retirement
- Jake Hill Trade Price Cars Racing Audi Retirement
- Adam Morgan Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes Retirement
- Tom Oliphant WSR BMW Retirement
- Mark Blundell Trade Price Cars Racing Audi Retirement
- Daniel Rowbottom Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes Retirement
- Bobby Thompson Team Hard Volkswagen Retirement
- Michael Crees Team Hard Volkswagen Retirement


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BTCC Snetterton: Turkington extends points lead with race two win

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