BTCC is back with a bang
BTCC is back with a bang

The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship got underway at a damp Brands Hatch on Sunday afternoon with some excellent racing.

With three competitive races it was anyone’s guess as to who was going to win the opening rounds of the 2018 season, especially with the mixed weather conditions factored into the mix.

Race one saw pole sitter Jack Goff come through and take the win, with race two Senna Proctor taking the flag having started the race from 27th place on the grid, Kent’s very own Jake Hill came second in the race having started from 25th on the grid, netting himself the fastest lap of the race as well.

In race three it was Tom Ingram who took the race win.

There was plenty of Kent interest in the BTCC as always with Team Hard fielding no less than four cars, race one wasn’t the best for the Rochester based team. Hill and Mike Bushell on his return to the series, having contact on lap one that effectively ended their chances before the race had really got going.

Series debutant Bobby Thompson was the team’s best finisher in 19th place with Michael Caine two places further back.

Race two saw Hill take the gamble for slick tyres on the gird and it clearly paid off with him coming home P2, Bushell also had a much better race coming home inside the top ten in P8. Thompson didn’t finish the race, and Caine came home in P24.

Hill who was due to start P5 for race three, the reverse grid race, was an unfortunate victim of contact on the warm-up lap, which meant that his race was ended before the lights had even gone out. Bushell was to take advantage of that and was fitting Aidan Moffat for third before taking him off, which gave him P3, which he ran for a lot of the race before dropping down to finish P5. Thompson and Caine were 26th and 24th respectively.

Wrotham’s Motorbase performance had a good start to the season with new driver to the team Tom Chilton who came home in 5th position, James Cole was also inside the top ten in P9 and Sam Tordoff was two laps down.

Race two was a little bit different for Motorbase with Tordoff down in 18th place after an off in the early stages of the race. Tom Chilton finished a lap down on the leaders with James Cole a place behind his teammate Tordoff.

Sam Tordoff netted the fastest lap of the race in race three, with points and a 13th place finish, James Cole was a DNF after contact on lap one. Tom Chilton went on to finish two laps down having had contact midway through the race.

Meanwhile in the support series, Kiern Jewiss got off to a playing start in the British F4 Championship with second place in race one, he followed that up with a fourth place in race two and a second place in the third race. Meaning the youngster had an excellent start to his F4 racing career, and he sits third place in the championship.

Over in the Ginetta Juniors, Ethan Hawkey was tenth in his first race in the series with 14-year-old Daniel Gale P18, having been penalised for exceeding track limits. In race two it was another solid race for Hawkey finishing in 12th place, with Gale a DNF on lap eleven.

Ethan Hawkey’s sister Esmee was on track in the Porsche Carrera Cup for the first time, with an 11th overall and 6th in class in race one, and in race two she came home 9th overall but she was third in the Pro/Am class and an excellent start to the season.

The ultra-competitive Renault UK Clio Cup showed that 2018 is going to very much be the same, race one wasn’t the best for the Kent contingent. Jack McCarthy was P11, Andy Wilmot was P14 with Nathan Edwards a place further back, Brett Lidsey was a DNF in the race.

McCarthy was back up there and on the podium in P3, with Edwards in P11 and Wilmot P13, with Lidsey P15 having been penalised for exceeding track limits.

Images courtesy of PSP Images