2015 BTCC Supports Season Review: Top Fifteen Drivers


As the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship served up another thrilling season in 2015, its band of support championships once again provided plenty of thrills and spills as well, with lots of exciting, close-fought racing from some emerging stars of the future.

From those standout performers, The Checkered Flag have picked out the top fifteen drivers who impressed us most over the course of the season from the Renault UK Clio Cup, Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Ginetta Junior Championship and MSA Formula.

First of all, you can see here who made our countdown at the halfway point of the season by clicking here.

Our end of year list meanwhile starts with an absent teenage star …..

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

15. Sophia Floersch

While Floersch may have left the Ginetta Junior Championship halfway through the season, she made a lasting impression on the championship with a superb spell of results, bursting into the limelight with a stunning double win at Thruxton.

The German teenager followed it up with two other outright podium finishes at Croft, bringing huge publicity to the championship and hinting at a potential outright title challenge, eventually leaving the series lying third overall in the standings with a clear lead in the Rookie Cup.

14. Colton Herta

Son of IndyCar legend Bryan, Herta entered UK racing for the first time with experience in the States, which he used to his advantage this season as he pieced together an impressive campaign in MSA Formula with Carlin.

After a relatively slow start as he adapted to the new car, Herta came to the fore at Snetterton with a double victory and further podium finishes in each of the final four meetings, including two more race wins, guided him to third in the championship.

13. Stuart Middleton

Middleton entered his first year of car-racing as the reigning Ginetta Junior Scholarship winner and went on to fully justify his selection for the fully-funded season, making his mark with pole position at Thruxton and three outright podium finishes.

The 16 year old starred as a single-car entry with Douglas Motorsport, battling with Rookie class rivals who received the benefits of running within multi-car outfits and coming out as class vice-champion, before impressively dominating the season-ending Winter Series at Snetterton.

Credit: Malcolm Griffiths
Credit: Malcolm Griffiths

12. Michael Meadows

With his previous experience and success in the championship, Meadows will be frustrated not to have pieced together another title victory in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, but despite missing out on the honours it was another strong campaign for the series stalwart.

Whilst ultimately unable to match the pace of runaway champion Dan Cammish, which saw him limited to a solitary win at Oulton Park, Meadows firmly established himself as best of the rest with a total of eleven podium finishes for his fifth consecutive Carrera Cup top two points finish.

11. Ant Whorton-Eales

In his fourth full-season in the Renault UK Clio Cup, Whorton-Eales put together his first championship challenge, thanks in part to a superb start to the season that featured wins at Brands Hatch and Donington Park as part of seven podiums in the first eight races.

The 21 year old kept in title battle despite changing teams mid-season, and he showed his fight with two stunning Croft drives, but a winless run of nine races crucially lost him ground to his rivals. Four pole positions in a row to end the year with new team Maximum Motorsport hints at bright 2016.

10. Tom Sharp

Returning to the TOCA package this season after two years away, Sharp put together a hugely impressive maiden Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign as he secured the Rookie Class title with his family-run IDL Racing team, the smallest outfit in the paddock.

Podium breakthroughs at Snetterton and Silverstone were part of twelve consecutive top six finishes, a run only matched by Dan Cammish, which he capped off a superb end to the season at Brands Hatch GP with a maiden outright win and the Rookie honours.

Credit: AS Autosport Photography
Credit: AS Autosport Photography

9. Senna Proctor

Proctor played his part in a remarkable 2015 Ginetta Junior title battle, fighting throughout the season to keep himself in the championship hunt, despite not being able to match the outright pace of his title rival Jamie Caroline.

It was consistency that proved key to Proctor’s challenge, with more podium finishes than anyone else, and he eventually finished tied on points at the top of the standings, just countback on race wins costing him the crown.

8. Carl Breeze

It was business for usual for Breeze in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup as he produced a championship challenge for the fifth consecutive season, a partnership with reigning champions HHC Motorsport generating one of his best ever campaigns in the series.

A couple of key mechanical retirements in the middle of the year ultimately meant he finished as runner-up for a third time, but he produced great starts and ends to the campaign, in particular four wins in the last seven races that meant he matched champion Tom Oliphant’s tally of eight victories.

7. Ricky Collard

Heading into the season as the only returning Formula Ford front-runner, there were big hopes for Collard during the inaugural MSA Formula campaign and he would go on to fulfil the expectations with an impressive championship tilt with Arden.

Collard overcame qualifying difficulties through the year to enjoy a podium-filled season, standing out in the races for his overtaking expertise as he battled through to thirteen visits to the podium including six race wins, results that secured him the runners-up spot in the championship.

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

6. Jamie Caroline

When Caroline was on form this season, the 16 year old couldn’t be touched in the Ginetta Junior Championship, with ten wins, including a stunning mid-season run of five in a row, plus two other podium finishes taking him to the title in his second season in the series.

It was a far from perfect campaign for the HHC Motorsport man though, with some tough races meaning that despite his dominance at points the title wasn’t decided until the final race of the year, but the right man came away with the crown.

5. Ash Hand

For large parts of the Renault UK Clio Cup season, it looked like Hand was going to be the driver to emerge as champion at the end of the campaign, with a return to Team Pyro revitalising the 21 year old in his third year in the category.

Hand was almost unstoppable during a brilliant run of seven wins in ten races, which included faultless doubles at Thruxton and Knockhill. Though some late troubles ultimately cost him the title, he finished the year with an unmatched seven race wins, eight poles and six fastest laps.

4. Tom Oliphant

In his second full season in the Supercup, Oliphant showed incredible consistency with 26 top four finishes in 27 races, just an engine failure at Thruxton blotting a perfect results card en-route to the title with Century Motorsport.

Oliphant was simply unstoppable in the middle of the season, converting pole position into a double victory in three consecutive meetings, and a run of seventeen consecutive podium finishes pulled him clear of his pursuers for his first championship win.

Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography
Credit: Jakob Ebrey Photography

3. Lando Norris

With his karting pedigree and 2014 Ginetta Junior success, there were high expectations for Norris heading into his maiden season of single-seater racing, and he went on to firmly showcase just why he is so highly rated as he became the inaugural MSA Formula champion.

Running with top outfit Carlin, Norris stamped his authority on proceedings with two wins on the opening weekend and carried that form throughout the campaign, with an unmatched eight victories and seven other podium finishes to take the crown by over forty points.

2. Ashley Sutton

Sutton had a strong single-seater pedigree when he joined the Renault UK Clio Cup this season, and it turned out he’s a dab hand in tin-tops as well, taking the title at the first attempt with Team Pyro thanks to a superb sixteen front row starts in eighteen races that he converted into six race wins.

A double win swung the pendulum his way during a nail-biting season finale, with his achievement summed up by the fact he’s the first rookie champion since 2003, with his three predecessors to the crown having all taken three years to taste overall success.

1. Dan Cammish

Cammish will go down in the history books as one of the most successful drivers in TOCA package history, as after putting together an unbeaten campaign in Formula Ford two years ago, he truly dominated one of the most competitive entries in Porsche Carrera Cup GB history this year.

Remarkably finishing in the top two in all sixteen races across the season, Cammish secured ten race victories including a run of six in a row in the middle of the campaign, results that make it an incredible 44 podium finishes in his last 45 races in BTCC support championships.

Credit: Malcolm Griffiths
Credit: Malcolm Griffiths

Honourable Mentions

Alongside our top fifteen drivers of the season, there were a number of others who made big impacts this year. Patrik Matthiesen took the Ginetta Junior Rookie Cup title ahead of Middleton and another impressive rookie Kyle Hornby, whilst Billy Monger showed great pace and was unlucky not to put together an outright title challenge.

2014 Porsche champion Josh Webster took eight top three finishes as he defended his title valiantly, whilst his former Formula Renault BARC sparring partner Dino Zamparelli ended the season brightly with four podiums in a row including two Silverstone wins. Ignas Gelzinis starred meanwhile in Pro-Am 1, emerging from a close fought battle as the class champion.

Sennan Fielding overcame a host of mechanical troubles to take three MSA Formula victories, whilst Dan Ticktum also notched up three wins of his own in a strong maiden campaign that was sadly tainted by a controversial weekend at Silverstone, which opened the door for the ever-improving Enaam Ahmed to take the Rookie Cup title from him.

Jamie Orton was a top three regular in the Ginetta GT4 Supercup, whilst Colin White took a dominant AM class victory in the same championship. Paul Rivett was once again a Clio Cup front-runner, as Jordan Stilp had the unique honour of being the only driver to take podium finishes in two different support series, the Clios and Supercup.

.

Do you agree with our countdown? Let us know who your stars of the season were with a comment below, or tweet us @TheCheckerFlag.