Rockingham was the latest destination on the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship ‘TOCA’ calendar, with the banked circuit providing a unique challenge to the teams and drivers in the support championships.
With the Porsche Carrera Cup GB missing the weekend, it was the Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, MSA Formula, Ginetta Junior Championship and Renault UK Clio Cup in action in Corby as we close in on the business end of the campaign.
From championship leaders extending their advantages, to drivers keeping themselves in title contention and rookies enjoying career-best weekends, we’ve picked out the drivers who were the stars of the show at the Rock:
Ginetta GT4 Supercup – Carl Breeze
It’s been a frustrating recent spell for Breeze as he watched Tom Oliphant march into the points lead while mechanical issues have hampered his own charge, so it was a huge weekend for him at Rockingham as a double victory re-ignited his championship challenge.
Qualifying on the front row for the first time in four meetings, just 0.066s off pole, was key. It allowed him to use his trademark fast start to take the lead and control the opening race, before showing his dominant pace as he stormed away to a four second victory in race two.
Renault UK Clio Cup – Ant Whorton-Eales
A return to the top step of the Clio podium has been a long-time coming for Whorton-Eales, and victory at Rockingham couldn’t have come at a better time for him to kick his title challenge back into life after seeing Ash Hand pull clear.
Whorton-Eales showcased his race pace in the opener as he impressively closed a three second gap to the top two en-route to third, and he proved unstoppable in race two as he stormed into the lead off the start and streaked clear to an 8.4 second success.
Ginetta Junior Championship – Stuart Middleton
Middleton has been hugely impressive over the course of his maiden Junior season as the latest Scholarship winner, and he reached new heights at Rockingham with a stunning pair of second place finishes, his first double podium finish of the campaign.
After qualifying third, Middleton impressively mixed it with the championship contenders throughout the two races, showcasing his raw pace and overtaking prowess to take his second and third podiums of the season, which move him seven points shy of the Rookie class lead.
MSA Formula – Lando Norris
Norris stormed back to the top of the championship standings with a star performance at Rockingham, the Carlin ace stamping his authority on the weekend with pole position in qualifying, which he duly converted into a lights-to-flag sixth win of the season in race one.
After battling to eighth in a fierce three-car race two battle, a thrilling finale saw him come out on top of a duel with title rival Dan Ticktum before missing out on victory by just a quarter of a second, with second place giving him a seventeen point title advantage.
Who else impressed?
Tom Oliphant and Will Burns took a pair of podium finishes apiece in the Supercup, the former maintaining his healthy points advantage, while in the Clio Cup a double podium keeps Ash Hand on top, while Team Cooksport duo Rory Collingbourne and George Jackson starred with career best fourth place finishes apiece.
Senna Proctor continued his Ginetta Junior title charge with a podium finish, but it wasn’t enough to prevent double winner Jamie Caroline taking the championship lead back. In MSA Formula, Dan Ticktum and Colton Herta impressed with double podiums, while Sandy Mitchell returned to the top three for the first time since Thruxton in May.