The KwikFit British Touring Car Championship blasted back into action after the summer break at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk and the fans were treated to some top class racing as Tom Ingram, Colin Turkington and Rory Butcher took the spoils over the 3 races.
The Speedworks Toyota of Tom Ingram sealed a first pole of the season in qualifying and then held its own brilliantly in the opening encounter, fending off various challenges from behind to take the first win of its BTCC life for the new Corolla.
Dan Cammish came home in second position with the AMD Tuning Honda Civic of Sam Tordoff taking a welcomed final spot on the podium. Championship leader Colin Turkington took more solid points in fourth with Andrew Jordan and Jason Plato rounding out the top six.
In the second race of the day it would be Colin Turkington who would back up his fourth from earlier in the day to take yet more spoils in what is fast becoming a hugely successful season for himself and the BMW 3 series. The Northern Irishman was made to work for it as he had to come out on top of a five car battle for the lead. The win also meant it was a tenth victory for a WSR run BMW, a record number achieved by the team in a single season. Dan Cammish took another second place finish to bolster his championship prospects with Andrew Jordan taking third. Ollie Jackson in the Motorbase Ford Focus came home in a fine fourth place, one of his best performances in the BTCC, with Sam Tordoff slipping to fifth and Jason Plato bringing home another solid points haul with sixth for the second race in a row.
The third and final race was nothing short of an absolute barn stormer, won in the end by Rory Butcher in the AMD Tuning Honda Civic after a titanic battle between old teammates Ash Sutton in Subaru and Jason Plato in the Vauxhall.
BTC Racing's Chris Smiley took the initial lead from pole position but going into turn 2, lost the lead to Plato. Sutton soon followed the series veteran through and immediately looked quicker than his former teammate. The pair did battle over a number of laps and ran side by side for lap after lap, until it reached fever pitch in the dying moments of the race. Plato, Sutton and Butcher went three wide down the back straight and in the end three into one wouldn't work going at Brundle's. The Subaru and Vauxhall made contact, Sutton went off the road and through all the madness, Butcher kept his cool to go around the outside and take the lead of the race, with the BTC pair of Josh Cook and Chris Smiley following through. Butcher sailed away to take his second win of the season and gave his own championship chances a much needed boost.
At the close of play, Turkington extended his points gap at the top to 36 points ahead of teammate Andrew Jordan, meanwhile BMW and Team BMW topped the Manufacturers and Team's tables. Rory Butcher and his AMD squad topped both Independents tables as well as the Jack Sears Trophy.
The BTCC returns to Thruxton on August 17th/18th for its second visit of the year.
Will we see any change in the championship picture?