The 2020 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship heads to Croft this weekend for rounds 19, 20 and 21 of what is turning out to be another enthralling season.
After a highly dramatic weekend at Silverstone last time out, Ashley Sutton heads to the North Yorkshire venue as the championship leader, just four points ahead of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington.
Despite this, it was an up and down weekend at Silverstone for the Laser Tools Racing driver. A fifth in race one was followed up by a DNF in race two after contact with Rory Butcher on the opening lap – acting as a catalyst for a front left puncture late in the race. However, a customary fightback from Sutton saw him stand on the podium in the third and final race of the day.
A fourth, first and a 10th saw Northern Irishman Turkington close the gap to Sutton last time out as he heads to a track that has been a happy hunting ground for him in the past.
Turkington has secured 12 wins in his career at Croft, but over the last five years Sutton has rivalled him for race wins around the North Yorkshire venue with four wins to Turkington’s two.
When speaking about the track, Turkington couldn’t hide his excitement about going back to a track where he has enjoyed much success.
“Croft is my favourite circuit; it flows really well, and you can get such a great rhythm,” beamed Turkington. “It was resurfaced last year, and the grip was great, which is a good thing heading there in October.
“It’s obviously going to be a lot cooler this time around, but that might actually make us quicker. We’re getting towards the business end of the season, so the pressure starts to rise, but really it’s still one race at a time for me – there’s still a lot of racing to be done!”
Dan Cammish sits third in the title fight after picking up a first, second and a fourth at Silverstone. He is now just 17 points behind Sutton. However, the man who perhaps missed out the most at Silverstone was Tom Ingram.
As the Championship reaches its climax, Silverstone was a weekend that could have promised so much for Ingram with a second place in race one before two retirements in each of the following two races.
As a result, Ingram heads to Croft fourth in the drivers’ standings, 42 points behind table-topping Sutton. However, with nine races still left and a bucket-load of points still on offer, Ingram insists that the championship fight is not over yet.
“I left Silverstone ruing a missed opportunity, but the reality is we were bang on the pace again weekend-long,” admitted Ingram. “To be 42 points away from the championship lead following four failures to score – all of which were outside of our control – is obviously disappointing, but also underlines how quick we have been.
“If we had picked up just 11 points in each of those races – which is lower than our average score this season – we’d be leading the championship right now. So that’s frustrating and encouraging all at once.
“The momentum tends to ebb-and-flow in the BTCC, and hopefully it will swing back our way again at Croft. We need to recover points, and we are fully prepared to adopt an aggressive strategy in order to do so. The bottom line is that I’m aiming to win again this weekend. If we want to get back into the championship battle, it has to be maximum attack from this stage on.”
It’s set to be another dramatic and hard-fought weekend of tin-top racing action as the leading protagonists all look to stamp their authority on the championship.
Header image courtesy of BTCC/Jakob Ebrey
By Jordan Hollands.