The Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship truly delivered five star action on it’s 60th Birthday weekend at Snetterton circuit in Norfolk.
The first of three superb races got underway in the driving rain and wind and it was the WIX Racing man of Jack Goff who set the early pace of the race, but by the end of the first few corners, it was the Subaru Levorg of Ash Sutton who had made brilliant progress and climbed up to second from ninth on the grid and set about catching the Honda.
It was nip and tuck throughout, but by the final few laps, the two were hard to seperate as Sutton had slowly eaten into Goff’s lead. The last lap turned out to be one of the highlights of the BTCC season, as Sutton followed the wet line around the outside of the penultimate corner to take the lead of the race, but Jack Goff incredibly had the last laugh as he then had an excellent exit of the final turn to out drag the Subaru to the line and take the first win of the day.
Further back, Dan Cammish came home in a lonely but deserved third place, with Josh Cook and Sam Tordoff not far behind.
The Adrian Flux Subaru man hit back in race two as he took his third win of the season, just beating the PMR Vauxhall of Josh Cook who was hassling him in the final few laps.
Tom Ingram meanwhile, produced one of the drives of the season to surge through the field from 27th on the grid, to claim 3rd place which seemed unlikely at the start of the race. The Speedworks man made pass after pass with his final few moves receiving a standing ovation in the garage.
Dan Cammish had to settle for fourth, whilst Chris Smiley held onto fifth ahead of Sam Tordoff, Senna Proctor, Tom Oliphant, Andrew Jordan and Ant-Whorton-Eales.
The final “Diamond Double” encounter was a spectacular one and one which was won by the Honda of Matt Neal who landed another landmark victory in his career. The one off 60 mile race got off to a steady start with Jack Goff making the best getaway and keeping Matt Neal at arms length during the early stages.
Further back in the pack, there was a few bumping and door bashing, as cars were going almost three wide into some corners as they were all battling for the same piece of tarmac. The lead change came on lap 9 after a very brief scatter of rain made the track surface wet at the first corner and Goff was it’s first victim, going wide and just managing to keep his Honda Civic on the road but the damage was already done, Neal was through and into the race lead.
As the race reached its climax, Tom Ingram also joined the party and at one point, it was a three way battle for the lead. Neal managed to keep the young guns at bay to take his 63rd career win and haul himself into championship contention in the process, while Goff and Ingram filled the podium positions.
Andrew Jordan and Tom Chilton were inseparable during the race and kept each other honest finishing in 4th and 5th meanwhile Colin Turkington took 6th ahead of Josh Cook, Matt Simpson, Dan Lloyd and Bobby Thompson.
The series returns in two weeks time at Rockingham.
Words: Matt Gough
Pics: Ian Cutting Photography