The sole Scottish round of the BTCC took place over the weekend at the undulating, quick fire Knockhill circuit and saw a raceday of action with a splash of controversy to mix things up. The Saturday saw local lad Rory Butcher dominating practice and Qualifying in his FK2 Honda Civic.
Mike Bushell is in this weekend covering for Sam Tordoff. Sam and his Wife Georgina grieving following the tragic loss of their week old son Arlo, a number of cars were carrying decals in memory of Arlo as the TOCA paddock has rallied around supporting Sam and Georgina at this difficult time. In a statement, Sam has asked that his family’s privacy is respected at this difficult time, our thoughts are with the Tordoff family at this difficult time.
The action got underway on Sunday under typically grey Scottish skies with low ambient temperatures. Race 1 saw Rory Butcher make a cracking start from Pole Position, keeping the BMW 330 of Andrew Jordan at bay off the line. Butcher and Jordan set sail at the head of the field, Jordan steadily turning up the heat on Butcher as the race wore on.
Further down the order Senna Proctor was showing superb pace in the Subaru Levorg, Proctor has shown flashes of brilliance but his form in race 1 was hugely impressive, harrying Colin Turkington at numerous points in the race.
Back at the front, Andrew Jordan’s BMW 330 was clearly wearing its tyres better on around the roller coaster that is Knockhill. Coming onto the final lap, Jordan snuck past Butcher at infamous hairpin and pulled past on the start/finish straight. In the excitement, Jordan then out braked himself into turn 1, forcing him to take to the escape road allowing Rory Butcher to sneak back past into the lead.
Butcher took a hugely popular victory on home turf with Andrew Jordan practically glued to the rear bumper of the Honda in second with Dan Cammish rounding out the podium. Colin Turkington in a ballast laden BMW 330 came home in fourth place while Senna Proctor took fifth after a very strong in his Subaru Levorg.
Race 2 would once again see Rory Butcher start from Pole Position and once again Andrew Jordan would line up alongside in second place. This time, Butchers Honda now heavy with ballast was not able to fend off the BMW 330 of Andrew Jordan into turn one. Jordan at this point made good his escape, thundering off into the distance. Butcher meanwhile was quickly becoming a cork in a bottle, the ballast heavy FK2 Civic being harried by Dan Cammish’s factory FK8 Civic. Cammish pulled off an audacious overtake at the hairpin on Butcher, lunging up the inside into second place.
Immediately following Cammish’s overtake, Colin Turkington was quick to capitalise on Butcher’s loss of momentum, hauling past Butcher on the start/finish straight and into turn 1. Butcher meanwhile, attempting to get back past Turkington into turn 3 made a bit of a mess of things and punted Turkington spinning him into the gravel and plunging Turks to stone dead last. The contact has massive championship implications as it has thrown the championship wide open. Butcher was handed a 5 place grid penalty for Race 3 as a result of his contact with Turkington.
Behind, Tom Chilton resisted pressure from a chasing Tom Ingram. Just behind that, it appeared war had broken out between Adam Morgan, Jason Plato, Josh Cook & Jake Hill as they brawled for the lower half of the top 10, delighting the crowds around Knockhill. Andrew Jordan meanwhile romped home to a dominant win, bringing himself to within four points of Colin Turkington. Dan Cammish finished second while Rory Butcher finished in third place. Senna Proctor put in another strong drive to finish fourth and Tom Chilton rounded out the top five.
At the close of Race 2, Double BTCC champion Alain Menu conducted the reverse grid draw and picked out Jake Hill to start from Pole Positon for Race 3.
The last race of the day saw Jake Hill start from Pole Position after being picked out from the reverse grid draw with Josh Cook alongside. Jake Hill made a strong start and held the lead, but behind mayhem broke out as Matt Simpson spun off into the gravel at turn 2. Meanwhile, Senna Proctor spun out at the high speed chicane at the top of the track, Andrew Jordan meanwhile clipped the front of Proctors Subaru taking avoiding action. The resultant contact saw Jordan spin into the gravel and retire and Proctor retired on the spot with most of the front left corner of his Subaru missing. The opening portion of the race was neutralised under the safety car, allowing Jake Hill to conserve his tyres.
As the race restarted, Jake Hill and Josh Cook both on soft tyres raced away from third placed Jason Plato who was on the less grippy medium tyres. Colin Turkington was clawing his way back through the field for the duration of Race 3, desperate to salvage some points after a less than ideal weekend. Dan Cammish meanwhile was slowly slipping down the order, his FK8 Civic bloated with ballast after two podium finishes.
Drama unfolded once again as Mike Bushell’s FK2 Honda Civic Type R’s wheel hub sheared clean off, sending the left rear wheel into the scenery, still resplendent with part of the hub and the brake disc & caliper. This bought out the safety car for a single lap to allow Marshalls to retrieve the wheel in the middle of the track.
As the race resumed, Jake Hill continued to lead the race, Josh Cook briefly closed on Hill but wasn’t able to get close enough to make a move. It was a first BTCC win for Jake Hill with Josh Cook in hot pursuit in second place & Adam Morgan enjoying a good race and a return to form in third place. Chris Smiley bough the second BTC Racing FK8 Civic home in fourth place and Tom Ingram rounded out the top five.
The Penultimate round of the championship will take place on the point and squirt triangle of the Silverstone National Circuit the weekend of September 28th-29th.
Race 1 Results
- Rory Butcher
- Andrew Jordan
- Dan Cammish
- Colin Turkington
- Senna Proctor
Race 2 Results
- Andrew Jordan
- Dan Cammish
- Rory Butcher
- Senna Proctor
- Tom Chilton
Race 3 Results
- Jake Hill
- Josh Cook
- Adam Morgan
- Chris Smiley
- Tom Ingram
- Colin Turkington – 268 points
- Andrew Jordan – 258 points
- Dan Cammish – 257 points
- Josh Cook – 238 points
- Rory Butcher – 227 points