British Touring Car Championship
Brands Hatch (Indy) - Race 1 Report - 3/4/16
It was the young guns of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship who showed the way in both the free practice and the qualifying sessions at Brands Hatch yesterday for the first meeting of the 2016 season. Tom Ingram and Sam Tordoff topped the free practice time sheets with Ingram going on to put his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis on pole position for the first race today. This is the only race of the season where success ballast is not carried by any of the cars.
Joining Ingram on the front row of the grid for race one was reigning BTCC Drivers' Champion Gordon Shedden in the bright orange Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R. Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal started on row two alongside Sam Tordoff with MG Racing RCIB Insurance team-mates Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook on row three in their MG6GTs. Adam Morgan and Jack Goff started on row four with Mat Jackson and Aron Smith completing the top ten starters.
As the lights went out to start the first race of the 2016 BTCC season, pole-sitter Tom Ingram got away well as did Gordon Shedden. With Matt Neal in 3rd, there was an immediate challenge for 4th place between Jack Goff and Sam Tordoff with the two MG6GTs of Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook in hot pursuit as they entered Druids three abreast. Several minor excursions across the grass occurred for a number of drivers before Chris Smiley collected Colin Turkington and Michael Epps at Graham Hill Bend.
There was then a period under the Safety Car when Alex Martin smashed his Dextra Racing with Team Parker Ford Focus into the barriers on the Cooper Straight following a mid-field battle. After a few laps, the Safety Car came in and racing resumed. There was little change at the front of the field however several drivers failed to reach the finish including the Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruzes of Hunter Abbott and Kelvin Fletcher. Other retirements included Rob Austin, Ollie Jackson and Colin Turkington.
At the chequered flag it was a maiden victory for Tom Ingram and the Speedworks Motorsport team. Gordon Shedden held his position to finish 2nd ahead of his Halfords Yuasa Racing team-mate Matt Neal. MG Racing RCIB Insurance team-mates Ashley Sutton and Josh Cook finished in well-deserved 4th and 5th places with Rob Collard completing the top 6 places for Team JCT600 with GardX. Aron Smith, Mat Jackson, Adam Morgan and Jack Goff rounded out the top 10.
With the race two grid for 2016 being determined by the finishing order in race one, Tom Ingram will start the second race from pole position alongside Gordon Shedden but will have to start with 75Kg of success ballast on board. Matt Neal will start on row two alongside Ashley Sutton with Josh Cook and Rob Collard on row three.
Published 3 April 2016