AmD Tuning’s Rory Butcher secured his second win of the season after Jason Plato and Ashley Sutton came to blows after battling each other very hard for several laps.
With the normal reverse grid race providing plenty of excitement, the added incentive of having to use each of the different tyre compounds across the three races certainly added some extra spice to the day’s racing.
Chris Smiley initially led the race from pole position but was quickly muscled out of the race lead by Plato as they went into the Montreal Hairpin for the first time. Sutton managed to sneak into second as he began to close on his old teammate Plato.
After many efforts around the outside ended in some rather robust defensive manoeuvres from Plato, Sutton finally managed to find a way through when he slipped up the inside at Palmer to take the race lead. However, contact between the pair heading into Agostini just one corner later saw Sutton lose the position he’d just gained.
From 12th on the grid, Butcher began closing in on the leading pair who continued to squabble over the lead of the race.
Sutton had got a good run out of Williams to draw alongside Plato with Butcher perfecting the slipstream to make it three-wide as they headed into Brundle. With Plato giving Butcher some room on the inside, he under-steered wide into the side of Sutton spinning him out of the race.
This allowed Butcher to take the lead of the race with just three laps to go. Josh Cook – who came from 15th on the grid – suddenly found himself in second position after his BTC Racing teammate Smiley let him past with relative ease.
Butcher held on to claim victory with Cook second and Smiley third respectively. Out of all three races, Smiley was the only driver to score a podium whilst running the hard compound tyre which most drivers struggled with throughout the course of the weekend.
“Once I took the lead I thought ‘this is going to happen on the road’,” said Butcher. “I wasn’t going to lose that one there. I’ve struggled this weekend with the car and the track. We flipped it on its head in terms of set-up for race three and it worked!
“There were so many opportunities where Ash (Sutton) almost got by Jason (Plato). I wondered how long I could do it for and I held my breath under the bridge! It was massive relief when I came out in front. I’m so happy for the team. I’ve kept my championship alive with that win.”
“It’s been a long day,” said Cook. “We were a little out of position in qualifying and had to get rid of the hard tyre and ballast in race one. We’re still working the car out. I didn’t make up as much ground as I wanted in race two. It was a busy one in the finale. Fair play to Rory (Butcher) and Mike (Bushell) they’ve worked so hard for it. It’s a double podium for us. We needed that.”
Rob Collard came home fourth with Andrew Jordan fifth after Plato was handed two 15-second time penalties for his incidents with Smiley and Sutton, dropping him to 17th.
Sam Tordoff was sixth with Ollie Jackson seventh and Tom Ingram eighth. Ninth was Colin Turkington with Jack Goff 10th.
Matt Neal came home in 11th with Tom Chilton 12th and Matt Simpson 13th.
Sam Osborne secured his first points finish in the BTCC with a fantastic 14th place finish with Dan Cammish rounding out the points-paying positions.
Turkington leads teammate Jordan in the driver’s Championship still as the BTCC heads to Thruxton in two weeks’ time for its second visit of the season to the UK’s quickest circuit.
Header image from BTCC
By Jordan Hollands.