Tom Chilton has won the final race of the day in the opening weekend of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch. The Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher driver had started from third on the grid.
Matt Neal who had started from pole position led for most of the race after getting past the quick starting Stephen Jelley who had jumped from sixth into the lead at Druids. But, the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver couldn’t hold the Ford Focus RS of Chilton as his soft tyres started to decline.
Neal and Jelley then had a titanic battle for second until contact from the BMW 125i M Sport tipped the Honda Civic Type R sideways and opening the door for Rory Butcher to take the initiative and score his maiden BTCC podium finish.
Jelley rightfully allowed Neal past to not feel the wrath of the stewards at the end of the race. However, the Team Parker Racing driver got the final podium position when on the final lap Matt Neal’s rear suspension failed. A possible legacy of the contact earlier in the race.
Josh Cook ended his fantastic weekend with fourth which keeps him in the lead of the drivers championship by one point heading to Donington Park.
Fifth and sixth went to the Team BMW duo of Colin Turkington and Tom Oliphant who did their best impression of an eight-wheeled BMW 330i M Sport as they were cutting through the field nose to bumper.
Seventh went to Chris Smiley who had started the race in twentieth closing a fantastic weekend for BTC Racing. Eighth went to the wounded Matt Neal and ninth to Aiden Moffat.
Tom Ingram rounded out the top ten despite having quite the train behind his Team Toyota GB with Ginsters Toyota Corolla GT.
Ashley Sutton’s weekend ended on a sad note when he was tipped into the barriers following a racing incident with Jake Hill and Sutton’s teammate Senna Proctor, who had started second, finished twenty-second after an incident on the first lap which spun him around.
However, after the race Chilton was handed a five second penalty giving Rory Butcher his maiden BTCC victory. The amended results can be found HERE
The 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship is well and truly underway and all focus in now on the next rounds at Donington Park.
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